Sirius (Alpha Canis majaria), the dog star, has never been able to pass unnoticed to any stargazing man because it is the brightest star in the firmament. Its appearance has always aroused the fear and veneration of human beings. Approximately 5,000 years ago, she was in charge of governing the Egyptian calendars; her heliacal birth coincided with the summer solstice*, announcing the overflowing of the Nile and the rebirth of the parched lands of Egypt.
She was called Sothis and was considered the star of Isis, goddess of love and life, who weeping seeks her husband Osiris and awakens him from the sleep of death. But not for all peoples it had the same meaning, for others (in schol. German.)’, its glowing skin sets fire to summer and announces the beginning of doom. When Sirius – the word «saínos» means burning, scorching and applies to any star that meets these conditions, like the sun – so called because it is a bright and burning star, Canicula (little dog) , or Canis (dog> names by which it is also known by the Latins), was in the center of the firmament, the sun doubled its heat making men and dogs sick: it brings the so-called «dog days», expression that has come down to us. This is the origin of the name «canicula» with which the hottest days of summer are still known.
Undoubtedly in the origin of the names and figures of the stars, Sirius or Canicula – name that could have been suggested by the function of the star that as a guard dog announces the imminent danger – was the only protagonist of the constellation. When the stars were grouped into constellations, those necessary to form this dog were sought among their neighbors; the surrounding stars lent themselves quite easily to form the lace of an animal – whether it is specifically a dog is more debatable. Exactly the same process was followed in another nearby star, Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris), identified with another dog, Canis Minor, and whose mythologies are confused and intermingled.
Its most common identification is to consider it one of the dogs of Orion, the brave hunter who was placed among the stars; so that he would not feel alone, the gods placed at his side his two dogs: Canis Majar and Canis Minar, and one of his preys: Lepus.
I invite you to read Matias’ post with the topic of the day.
Finally, I encourage everyone to reflect on the concept of the day. No one else but us can re-signify our own being