-introductive photo Valentin Grigore
text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-

This is one of the pictures taken by Valentin Grigore
at one of the annual Perseid Camps of SARM
in the Cindrel Mountains, Transylvania, Romania
(when meteors and fireballs,
seeming to come from the constellation Perseus,
furrow the sky),
which makes me think of the representations of the Milky Way
in various mythologies.

One of the most interesting visions belongs to the Estonians
(who hardly fought in history to preserve their identity
during the German, Scandinavian and Russian dominations).

Thus, in Finnish-Estonian Mythology,
the Milky Way appears as Linnutee, the Pathway of the Birds,
being led by Lindu (the daughter of Uko, the King of the Shy),
who rejected the constancy of the Sun, the Moon and the Pole Star,
preferring to fall in love with the Light of the North.

But in 14 July 2015,
when I visited Estonia (a small, but charming country at the Baltic Sea),
I firstly decided to connect myself to its mythology
imagining a vision with its World Tree
named Ilmapuu.

Estonia is a green country,
with over 2 million inhabitants who can have
a quiet and beautiful life here.

The combinations between its landscapes and its fast and diversified clouds
are quite spectacular.

However, the most famous Estonian legend is one
which tells about the flight of the great god Tharapita
from a hill in Vironia to the island of Saarema,
where he came down, making a crater-lake which became
a place of rest for the Sun
and the birth place of Jaanipaes,
the Estonian Solstice Festival of Midsummer.

Later, the astronomers associated this legend
with the fall of the Kaali meteorite in the 2nd millennium BCE,
and named an asteroid just… Kaali!

On the day of my Estonian visit
I personally felt connected to the memory of Tharapita-Kaali
through two unexpected celestial views:

a cloud imitating the fall of a giant meteorite,

and a special vision in the centre of the Estonian Capital,
right at the Town Hall
(the oldest in Northern Europe, founded in the 14th century).

The flight of Tharapita
Becomes only a ghost
When, above the Tallin Town Hall,
The Sun looks like a fireball.


© 2017 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)