Sirius, aka Alpha Canis Majoris, aka Number One Big Dog Star, is the brightest star in the sky, blazing away at an apparent magnitude of -1.43. (The latter is meaningless to most folks... except to note that Sirius is so bright relative to the other stars that it’s off the astronomer’s magnitude scale. Siriusly.) Sirius has a long history of observation (and speculation). Its connection to ancient Egypt is perhaps the most notorious, but other cultures were heavily invested in an apparent appreciation of the star as well.
Astronomers at Louisville, Kentucky, noted the Dog Star’s veneration in ancient Mesopotamia, where its “old Akkadian name was Mul-lik-ud” (“Dog Star of the Sun”) and in Babylonia, Kakkab-lik-ku (“Star of the Dog”). Assyrians, not to be outdone, called Sirius, Kal-bu-sa mas (“the Dog of the Sun”), and in Chaldea, the star was Kak-shisha (“the Dog Star that Leads”) or Du-shisha (“the Director”). The later Persians referred to Sirius as Tir, meaning “the Arrow.”
Sirius has been identified by some as the Biblical star Mazzaroth (the Book of Job, 38:32). The Semitic name for Sirius was Hasil, while the Hebrews also used the name Sihor -- the latter an Egyptian name, learned by the Hebrews prior to their Exodus. Phoenicians called Sirius, Hannabeah (“the Barker”.), a name also used in Canaan. Meanwhile, The Dogon Tribe, from the Homburi Mountains near Timbuktu (West Central Sahara Desert in Africa), have an apparent lock on traditions as they were able to describe in detail the three stars of the Sirian system.
But ancient Egypt provides the most regal history for Sirius. Initially, it was Hathor, the great mother goddess, who was identified with Sirius. But Isis soon became the major archetype, sharing honors with the title of Sirius as the Nile Star. An icon of Sirius as a five-pointed star (shades of the Golden Mean) has been found on the walls of the famous Temple of Isis/Hathor at Denderah. [The latter is possibly well connected to the Starfire of Laurence Gardner’s research. See, in particular, Gardner’s book, Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark, HarperCollins, London, 2003; for some good stuff on Hathor and Denderah.]
But Isis was not a lone goddess. Instead, her husband was Osiris (Orion), and the Sirius star system is thought by some to be Isis (Sirius A), Osiris (Sirius B), and the Dark Goddess as Sirius C (which apparently exists, but has not be seen directly by anyone other than the mentor of the Dogons).
[It is worth noting that Sirius B is a white dwarf star (one with the mass of our sun, packed into a sphere roughly four times that of the earth -- and thus with a density 3000 times that of diamonds, a hardness 300 times that of diamonds, and by virtue of its spinning on its axis every 23 minutes, the possessor of a huge magnetic field). Sirius B, then being the archetype of a collapsed star, appropriately describes the death and diminution of Osiris. The Dogon Tribe obviously had connections with those in the know!]
It might also be noted that instead of the Dark Goddess, the third alleged member of the Sirian system may also be represented by Anubis, the dog or jackel-headed son/god of Isis and Osiris, who assisted in the passage of the souls into the underworld. Anubis was the one who weighed the hearts of the dead to determine if their good deeds outweighed their not-so-good acts. Thus both Anubis and the Dark Goddess were feared by the evil doers, most Republicans and Democrats, and a fair number of Independents.
Sirius is also ancient Egypt’s inspiration for one of its first Calendars, a solar one with 12 thirty day months. In the Egyptian Sirius calendar, the year began with the helical rising of Sirius on or near the Summer Solstice (the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, and the day when the noon sun stood highest above the horizon). This “helical rising” is named after the Greek word Helios for Sun.
The fact that the early Egyptian calendar only had 360 days might be of concern to anyone who notes that in a mere ten years, the calendar (and the harvest, flooding of the Nile, etc) would be roughly 53 days out of sync. Accordingly, at some point, five feast days were added to the end of the year. Interestingly, however, this is considerable evidence to suggest that at the time, the Earth did in fact rotate in 360 days. Then, according to Immanuel Velikovsky, a close encounter by the Earth with Venus resulted in a change in the number of days in the year from 360 to 365.24. At that point of Ages in Chaos, the five feast days were added.
The feast days, by the way, “celebrated” the births of five gods (and goddesses):
Day One: Osiris,
Day Two: Horus (Heru-ur or Aroueris),
Day Three: Set,
Day Four: Isis, and
Day Five: Nephthys.
According to E. A. Wallis Budge, [Egyptian Magic, London, 1901]. The first, third and fifth feast days were considered unlucky. This might have been due to the fact that Osiris was best known as the slain god, while Set and Nephthys were the dark god, dark goddess respectively. The second and fourth days, however, were lucky, with both Horus and Isis being winged/ascended. Apparently, being dead or dark was not much of a celebration.
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