Astronomical designation: Alpha Canis Majoris
The brightest star in the sky and the alpha star of Canis Major, the Greater Dog, Sirius was regarded by the Egyptians as the embodiment of Osiris, the god of the dead. Their calendar was based on its heliacal rising (‘heliacal’ means, first visible rising with the sun), which also coincided with the crucial event of each year, the renewal of life signified by the Inundation of the Nile River, when life-restoring water flooded from the source of the Nile far to the south. The name Sirius comes from the Greek word for ‘scorching’; this refers to the scorching brightness of the star, and to the blazing heat of midsummer in the northern hemisphere (especially in countries like Egypt and Greece), when Sirius’s heliacal rising occurs.
Astrologically, Sirius is a spiritual star of truly immense power. Although it traditionally offers success and fame, it can be turbulent and dangerous. In its unskilful aspect, Sirius is one of the stars of hubris, leading to the retribution of an appropriate nemesis. Positively and skilfully, however, Sirius raises people to the highest they can achieve, and its rewards are not only material, but spiritual as well. Sirius is a star of magic – which isn’t hocus-pocus or childish fantasy, but the ability to harness hidden forces and create something new, working with subtle energies and making them manifest in the material realm. It offers a gift of intense, even god-like, creativity. Hence the great risks as well as the greater rewards. Traditionally, Sirius was called the ‘Dog Star’, but it is the wily desert jackal rather than the friendly domestic dog which is the truest canine symbol here. The jackal is a skilful hunter, keen-sighted, and for the ancient Egyptians represented the power to find one’s way in the trackless darkness. This is why Anubis, the god of the spiritual seeker and occult initiate – one who could cross multiple planes of consciousness – was shown with a symbolic jackal’s head. If you have Sirius guiding your life path, you have a very mighty, subtle and magical friend at hand. You go your own way and do your own thing with Sirius. Underlying the many passions of this star there is a deep and hard-earned understanding of how and why the universe is the way it is. In finding your way sure-footedly through the dark, and besting any demons along the way, you gain the truest victories of Sirius, and rewards which make even the greatest earthly treasures look trivial.
If the traditional birth-date for great Chinese philosopher and statesman Kong Fuzi (Confucius) is correct, he had Pluto with Sirius; Pluto is the dwarf planet of mass influence and deep, permanent change, and Confucian teachings have remained a constant force in China for two and a half millennia. Two great if different healer figures had Hygiea aligned with Sirius: Florence Nightingale (‘The Lady With the Lamp’, an apt image of light in the darkness with Sirius!), who more or less invented the modern nursing profession; and Edward Bach, the remarkable homoeopath who discovered the Bach Flower Remedies. Bach also had powerful, magical Hekate here, an asteroid with energetic qualities in common with Sirius. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who played with more intellectual fire than he could ultimately handle, had both illuminating Iris and the roiling passions of Amphitrite super-charged by Sirius. Baba Muktananda had Neptune aligned, while Sri Aurobindo had the asteroid Fortuna, symbol of the goddess of Fate… When Martin Luther King made his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, beautiful, reconciling Harmonia made one of her dovetail joins with Sirius, and his words caught fire across the world. Harper Lee had a potent Iris-Pluto conjunction fired up here: with the extraordinary synergy of influential darkness-banishing Sirius, messenger of truth and inclusion Iris, and collective change making Pluto, Lee was able to produce To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most influential texts in the USA (and the world) during the twentieth century, and perhaps well beyond.
This work is Copyrighted: © Kidston, Roderick 2016. Text extracts are from The Magic of the Stars: How the Stars of Astrology Enrich Your Life. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Link to book on Amazon. Note the book does not contain the otherwise unpublished card deck artworks.