I had a thing for the Northern Lights for a very long time indeed and yesterday I finally had a chance to view them from a very different perspective: from a plane.
The Aerobility charity hosts an annual aurora flight as a fund raiser and it is a rather unique experience. The day is packed with interesting lectures by guest speakers from the British Antarctic Survey and culminates with the Aurora flight itself, expertly narrated throughout by Pete Lawrence (of BBC Sky at Night fame). The flight north happens in total darkness, the pilot switches off all lights on the plane, the crew tape off even the no smoking signs, giving your eyes the best chance to develop proper night vision.
What awaits once the plane reaches position and allows you to face north is really beyond what I can adequately describe in words, it was overwhelmingly beautiful. According to Pete's commentary this wasn't even a particularly "good" aurora but oh gods, what a sight to behold: an enormous flattish arc spanning the northern horizon with some stars beneath and the absolutely spectacular Milky Way above, swirls of Merry Dancers shooting off every now and then and just the faintest hint of colour for the naked eye (on camera it turned out to be a green one with a pink fringe). This is not a view I will ever forget.
What does all of that have to do with witchcraft, Wicca and magic? Well, if you ever wanted to feel a connection with all of creation and a sense for the divine in all of nature, this is a great way to experience it. For me it was breathtaking.
(Photo courtesy of Aerobility)