Blog by Sister Patrice Colletti, SDS
Kateri Initiative – Sisseton, South Dakota
Check out the “sun dogs” seen over the tribal college! Very cool! Well, actually, very COLD as it was -4 when this picture was taken!
What’s a sun dog, you ask?
It’s those two glowing things on each side of the sun. Sometimes, if the sun is just a bit higher, there’s actually a full circle, around the sun.
Sun dogs are actually airborne ice crystals reflecting the sun’s rays. It’s sort of like a rainbow – water droplets reflecting the sun’s rays. Rainbows occur, generally, after a storm. Sun dogs, on the other hand, usually signal incoming cold. Oh, yay….
Why’s it called a sun dog? The Greeks named it because it reminded them of two dogs walking along beside their master.
The Northern Plains tribes, including the Dakota where I live, stories say the sun dog is a very powerful portent of change. A sign from Tunkasina (Grandfather God, Creator) marking a time of great change or transition on the Earth.
It is also understood to be a sign to people of the necessity of living a life in respect and harmony with all the creations that make life possible – the relatives of humanity: plants, animals, waters, minerals, fires, winds, and other humans.
Hmmmm…. somehow, both of those “fit” today, don’t they?