A Columnar Meteor
Theosophist, April, 1881
Not far from Warsaw (Poland) on January 14, occurred a most extraordinary natural phenomenon. As a matter of religious routine, it was forthwith attributed, even by the higher classes of bigots, to a divine portent—a “sign,” specially sent by Heaven to warn good Catholics (Russian schismatics, of course, excluded) of some extraordinary coming event. Of what nature the latter was to be, has, however, not yet transpired. So, opinions being too divided as to the solution of this riddle of Providence, we may limit ourselves to simply placing the facts on record. At about 2:30 p.m. on the day in question, the Sun was hidden by a dark mass of clouds in the western heavens, and two perfectly-defined and seemingly solid gigantic pillars, brilliantly iridescent, formed at the same instant at either side of the sombre mass. The distance of each from the Sun was about 35 degrees. The more the luminary descended the west, the more they became polychromatic and opalescent, while a third pillar of a golden hue began projecting itself over the Sun, thus forming a perfect triangle. At 4 o’clock the phenomenon reached its full development and radiancy. It was impossible to fix it for more than a few seconds. The sky was clear, and the breeze gentle. The thermometer marked 14 degrees of frost by Réaumur’s thermometer. Many women flung themselves on their knees before the three fire-pillars and remained for the hour and a half that the phenomenon lasted, in prayer, loudly confessing their sins, beating their breasts, in the full conviction that they saw before them the actual glory of the Holy Trinity!