- SOPDET/SEPDET (Kemetic/ancient Egyptian) or SOTHIS/SIRIUS (Greek),brightest of all fixed stars, was regarded as the most important star in the sky in Kemet (ancient Egypt) forming the astronomical foundation of their religious system, delineating the rhythms and cycles by which they lived, and establishing its mysterious connection with humanity. Thus Sopdet (meaning “she who is sharp”) is said to be the cradle of human knowledge. Over twenty times brighter than our sun and twice as massive, its brilliant white color is tinged with blue and purple. All the colors of the rainbow sparkle from Sopdet (Sirius) when observed low on the horizon during certain atmospheric conditions. Some mysteries regard Sopdet as the true light and original source of all life including our sun – “shadow” of the great star – which illuminates the illusory physical world; whereas the great star, Sopdet, keeps the true spiritual world alive. Sopdet has crossed from the east bank of the Milky Way where it resided some 100,000 years ago to the west bank of the celestial Nile River where it currently rests.
- The link between Sopdet/Sirius and occult knowledge occurs throughout history. Revered as Sopdet in Kemet, Sirius was the principal star of the Canis Major (Big Dog) constellation. Known also as “the Dog Star,” in the sky Sopdet follows Ausar (Osiris/Orion) “the Hunter” which is located along the celestial equator, thus giving rise to its mysterious lore and status in esoteric teachings. Anubis – dog-headed guardian of the mysteries and the gates of death, and companion of Auset as she searches for the pieces of her husband which had been mutilated and scattered by Set (Ausar’s brother) in his evil bid for the ancient Egyptian throne – is associated with Sopdet in the lore of Kemet. The three stars on the Hunter’s belt are referred to as “The Three Kings” or “The Three Wise Men/Magi” who herald Sopdet, the “Bright and Morning Star.” Teachings which are followed by modern secret societies such as the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians, and the Order of the Eastern Star give Sopdet (Sirius) utmost importance. Often depicted as the All-Seeing-Eye of Heru/Horus (the Masonic concept of “Christ” or the highest level of enlightenment achievable for humans on earth) Sopdet is regarded as the source of divine power, destination of divine individuals, and home of humanity’s great teachers. “As above, so below” is attributed to the great Kemetic teacher Djehuti (“Hermes Trismegistus” in Greek adaptations).
- Resident star fixed at the bridge of the Milky Way or the River of Stars, Sopdet is one of the mythological watch-persons of the Heavens said to keep guard over the abyss – gateway to the ocean of higher consciousness. At this Bridge between “heaven” and “hell” lies judgment of the experiences that have been gathered, progress that has been made, and conditions that are needed to aid the incarnation which would perfect one’s life, therefore enabling the Soul to pass over the Bridge. Dubbed the Dog Star, Sopdet symbolizes power, will and steadfastness of purpose, exemplified by the initiate who has succeeded in bridging the lower (hell) and higher (heaven) levels of consciousness. The constellation called Argo (the Ship) is located just below Sopdet.
- STAR OF AUSET ~ Subject of much veneration and myth-making throughout the world, Sopdet remained below Cairo’s eastern horizon until its “birth” (or first sighting) in circa 10,500BC which to its earliest witnesses signaled a seminal message from the gods. Although etymologically connected to the ancient Egyptian god Ausar (Greek Osiris, hence “Sirius”) the historical and religious notoriety of Sopdet (“Sirius”) is as the “Soul” or “Star of Auset” (Greek Isis), the female counterpoint of Ausar and mother goddess of Kemetic mythology. Temple’s The Sirius Mystery reveals the profound teachings given to the Dogon of Mali directly from native Nommos of the planet. The binary nature and balance of the universe based on Sopdet was a key Mystery known to the Dogon. Ancient Egyptians were aware of the orbital dynamics of the “Sirian” system in pre-dynastic times (before 3200 BC),whereas modern astronomy did not discover these facts until over five thousand years later, in 1862.
Djehuti (Greek Thoth/Hermes-Trismegistus) – teacher of mysteries who “came from the stars” – is said to be the equivalent of the Dogon in Kemet. His treatise The Virgin of the World (trans.) from Kemet refers to the “Black Rite” connected to Ausar, and offers insight into the highest mysteries of Auset. The treatise says Djehuti came to earth to teach civilization before he “mounted to the stars,” leaving behind the Kemetic/ancient Egyptian Mysteries which would someday be decoded.
- STAR OF THE NILE ~ The annual flooding of Africa’s River Nile…its coming and going heralded by the stars of Sopdet and Ausar (“Sirius” and the “three kings” of “Orion”), was without parallel. The heliacal rising of the star above the eastern horizon in the pre-sunrise July sky (following an approximate 70-day period of remaining invisible after setting in the western sky) always heralded the Nile River’s annual flood upon which ancient Egyptian agriculture depended, thus causing Sopdet to be identified as goddess of fertility of the soil. Because Sopdet was believed to be the doorway to the afterlife, the ancient Egyptians would not bury their dead during the 70-day period when the star was hidden from view, believing this meant that the doorway was closed. Alternatively, it is thought that this was a period during which the goddess cleansed the embalmed pharaoh in the afterlife. Either way, the flooding caused by the large volume of water brought down river by the melting snows from the Central African highlands created an annual period of rebirth and the beginning of a New Year for Kemet which coincided with Sopdet (Sirius) rising.
- The first binary star system discovered, “Sirius A” easily overshadows her darker companion “white dwarf” star, “Sirius B,” which is invisible to the naked eye although 4 times the diameter of our Earth. Directly upstream of our solar system within the Milky Way Galaxy, this “Sirius system” creates an axis of rotation with Earth in which each annual heliacal rising of Sopdet (marking the ancient Egyptian New Year) exactly matches the length of our solar year – 365.25 days. Sharing a center of gravity, “Sirius B” conducts a 50-year elliptical orbit around “Sirius A” facing the Earth like the dial of a clock. The periastron happens when the gravitational attraction of these stars for each other brings them into their closest communion and the energies they release become their most intense. Vast amounts of electro-magnetic radiation are thrown into space by “Sirius A” for her companion, re-igniting and rebirthing “Sirius B” before it resumes its role as her “Dark Companion” once the periastron is past. In 1993, when “Sirius” A and B were in close proximity to each other, the effects of Sopdet (Sirius) energy were said to be evident when the waters overflowed the Mississippi River’s banks from June through mid-August. The flood-waters receded when the Dog/God star Sopdet reappeared from behind the sun.
- Of this Bright and Morning Star, archaeo-astronomer Ed C. Krupp writes in his book, Echoes of Ancient Skies: “After disappearing from the night sky (for 70 days) Sirius eventually reappears in the dawn, before the sun comes up. The first time this occurs each year is called the star’s heliacal rising, and on this day Sirius remains visible for only a short time before the sky gets too bright to see it. In ancient Egypt this annual reappearance of Sirius fell close to the summer solstice and coincided with the time of the Nile’s inundation. Isis, as Sirius, was the ‘Mistress of the Year’s beginning,’ for the Egyptian New Year was set by this event. New Year’s ceremony texts at Dendera say Isis coaxes out the Nile and causes it to swell. The metaphor is astronomical, hydraulic, and sexual, and it parallels the function of Isis in the myth. Sirius revives the Nile just as Isis revives Osiris. Her time in hiding from Seth is when Sirius is gone (70 days) from the night sky… She (Isis) gives birth to her son Horus, as Sirius gives birth to the New Year, and in the texts Horus and the New Year are equated. She is the vehicle for renewal of life and heavenly order. Shining for a moment, one morning in summer, she stimulates the Nile and starts the year.”
- Ancient Egyptians used three hieroglyphic signs (a holy trinity) to represent Sopdet: (i) a womb-like dome (the half-circle – referred to by some Egyptologists as “Benben” and sometimes depicted as the missing capstone of the great pyramid of Giza – female symbol of the emergence of existence from nonexistence, or the birth of the world through Auset/Isis); (ii) a phallic obelisk (representing Auset’s husband, Ausar/Osiris); and (iii) a five-pointed star representing their posthumously conceived son Heru/Horus. According to E.C. Krupp: “One last peculiarity of the Egyptian treatment of Sirius appears to link it, through the cult of Osiris, to the Pyramids… Just as the Benben symbolized the… birth of the world, so Sirius, as the Bennu (Phoenix), re-commemorated creation by alighting upon the Benben, be it obelisk, observation platform or pyramid…” Freemasons embedded this symbolism in structures such as the Washington Monument (phallic obelisk of Ausar) which faces the Capitol (womb dome of Auset) to produce the energy represented by Sopdet.
- Once kept in the ‘Temple of the Phoenix’ at Heliopolis, the Benben (pyramidion) was a sacred stone that served as a model for the capstones of monumental pyramids and obelisks. It is said that the light behind the All-seeing Eye of Heru/Horus floating above the pyramid on the back of the American dollar bill is the representation of Sopdet (“Sirius”). The Benben of the Great Pyramid of the star-aligned Giza Necropolis has been missing for ages. It is prophesied that once the capstone is returned above the Great Pyramid it will signal the return of the “great initiate” – Christ/Heru.
- Interior design elements of the Great Pyramid of Giza make convincing connections to the significance of Sopdet in observances of the ancient Egyptian Mysteries in which it was known that once every year the sun would be aligned with the Great Star, creating a moment of astral rebirth modeled on Ausar and Auset. The Great Pyramid was constructed so that the long narrow air shaft emanating from the King’s Chamber is astronomically aligned with the three stars of the Hunter Ausar’s belt in the south, whereas the southward shaft from the Queen’s Chamber is aligned with Sopdet. During its annual reappearance, the light of Sopdet would fall upon the head of the high priest who would be conducting a ceremony of the Egyptian Mysteries from the square “Stone of God” at the upper end of the Great Gallery. The high priest would then transmit the celestial consciousness he’d received to other initiates seeking their godhood. The Atef crown is said to be modeled as a representation of the light bestowed on the illuminate. This special crown is referenced in the Egyptian hymn which proclaims “North and South of that crown is love”… The sacred mystery is thus epitomized in the astral dynamics that create and sustain the undying bond that exists between this African Goddess (Mother of Humanity) and Her God…
Malaika Mutere, Ph.D. is author of Towards an Africa-centered and pan-African theory of communication: Ubuntu and the Oral Aesthetic perspective Communicatio 38 (2) 2012: 147-163
(In remembrance of sis Chiteri ❤ on your B’Earth’Day 2/23)