Known as the Dog Star, Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. Sirius is easy to spot on a clear night within the Orion constellation. Abundant folklore traces history all the way to proven facts about the Egyptian Pyramids. The belief is that the Pyramids are set up to trace the movement of Sirius. The wee hours during the later part of summer is when to look. Hot stagnant weather goes with Dog Days starting on July 3 and officially ends August 11.
Marked by three bright stars closely aligned in the Orion constellation, they form the attire of the Hunter within an overlapping constellation. The Hunter’s star studded belt makes an enviable fashion statement in the night sky, and these are easy to spot during Florida’s winter. The perception of the outline of a hunter emerges with a faintly visible sword aimed toward the universal surround. Sirius is just below and to the left of Orion’s knee. The hot summer weather and stillness of these days begin roughly on July 3 continuing through August 11.
Orion has two dog companions nearby which are the reason for the Dog Days name. Canes Major is marked by the bright star Sirius, and nearby is Canes Minor. The fascination with Orion eventually leads into astrological interpretations of the universe. And the concept of Dog Days begins.
A moment in time when the night sky wasn’t obscured by artificial lights or smog, peoples in varied parts of the world came up with imaginative characterizations of star formations. By connecting the sparkling dots with make-believe lines, clusters of stars were envisioned as animals, people, or objects. Contemporary identifications follow the monikers of which some examples are common, like the Big Dipper for instance. Many of the names were given by Arabians, and are still in use today.
With Orion, other perceptions describe the stars of the goddess Isis. At a later point in time, Isis identity evolved into the astrological representation of Virgo the Virgin. In all of her purity, Virgo is described as a gatherer holding two sheaths of wheat. In turn the imagery of Virgo as a nurturer became incorporated into astrological concepts. In other variations, Virgo is the huntress accompanied by two dogs. Speculation about aspects of Virgo traits evolve into to the virgin birth of baby Jesus.
Sirius being the brightest star has the given attribute of guiding star by which the Three Wise men found Jesus, on the miraculous night of his birth. Sirius was then shining over Bethlehem, which is where the Orion constellation is visible in winter. The three Kings were believed to be astrologers at a time when astrology and astronomy held no differentiation.
Egypt has more involvement and historically significant contributions to humanity based on this time of year. Coinciding with Dog Days, the equinox and the precession of the equinoxes occur very close to the occurrence of Dog Days. Changes of the calendars alter the original time that was set up in synch with the Pyramids. One of the pyramids pointed to Sirius, and is still fairly accurate considering the passing of time.
One incongruity about Virgo, Isis, and the Dog Star may be that, visibility of the Canine constellation is viewed at different times around the world. More than this, the establishment of the Julian calendar changed things significantly.