By MELANIE REINHART
This autumn the planet Jupiter will align with Sirius, making a beautiful spectacle in the deep night sky. This article looks at the meaning of this conjunction.
Sirius is the brightest fixed star in our sky, apart from our Sun, and shines with a scintillating blue-white light. It is located below and left of the constellation Orion. During the autumn night skies, Jupiter will be visible, along with Saturn, and below them will shine Sirius, forming a spectacular triangle of three very bright objects. In the early autumn, you will need to be up late and sky-watching from about 2.00am to see this, but by December it will be visible from about 22.30, depending on the latitude where you live.
Let's look first at the timing. From the Autumn Equinox on September 23rd until the Winter Solstice on December 21st, Jupiter will move into conjunction with Sirius in 14.06 degrees of Cancer. This forms a powerful alignment, the energy of which will be particularly strong around the Full Moon on October 2nd, which occurs at 13.49 GMT. Twelve hours earlier, at 1.49am GMT, Jupiter aligns exactly with Sirius, this contact being repeated on December 3rd 2001 and May 19th, 2002. In the few days after the October Full Moon, the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all located within the 15th degree of their respective signs, increasing the precision and intensity of focus on Sirius.
The fixed stars are bodies outside our Solar System which, unlike planets, do not orbit our Sun, and whose positions move only very slightly from year to year. Thus they signify energies from 'the beyond' which form the backdrop of and encompass our lives within this Solar System. Their relatively 'fixed' positions symbolize our spiritual orientation to That Which Endures beyond form.
Presence of the sacred
Jupiter's energy expands and increases what it links with, bringing higher understanding and more unified perspective. Traditionally called 'the Great Benefic', when Jupiter is active, whatever difficulties are occurring in life, a sense of well-being is more easily maintained; optimism and faith usually abound, and miracles, great and small, demonstrate the presence of the sacred within our lives. Around the October Full Moon mentioned, Jupiter is also opposite Mars. As both are strongly placed, in their signs of 'exaltation',1 there is a powerful focus on vision put into action, and contemplative activity clearing the way for creative manifestation, which truly befits the Sirian energies.
Sirius features in the mythology and folklore of many diverse cultures and was considered by the ancient Egyptians to be the goddess Isis, whose husband Osiris was slain by the evil god Set. She enlisted the help of Anubis, the dog- or jackal-headed god, and together they roamed the land, collecting the dismembered body parts of her beloved, so that he might resurrect. Sirius is popularly known as the 'Dog Star', perhaps from this association with Anubis, and is found within the constellation of Canis Major, the Great Dog. So Sirius is associated with resurrection, success and prominence, emergence from a period of destruction. It is sometimes called 'The Brilliant' or 'The Shining One', or even 'The Scorcher' on account of its culmination in high summer. The Finnish poet Topelius writes of how the mythic lovers Zulamith and Salami, meeting after a thousand years of separation while building the bridge of the Milky Way, became immortalized as this star.2
The symbolism of Sirius connects with the heart, and as a binary system the two-way flow of blood through the body is suggested, which itself is a process of constant renewal located within our own bodies. The dogs of Orion the Hunter go searching - for our own lost sense of True Self, restoring it to consciousness, as the Divine Spark within is united with its celestial counterpart.3 So we may associate this star with the development of heart-centred qualities such as group consciousness, inclusiveness and impersonal love. Jupiter in the very personal sign of Cancer assists us to make real our aspirations in this direction, and to unify vision and feeling.
The following meditation is offered for those who wish to explore the energies of this alignment, for nourishing and healing the heart chakra, and to facilitate the flow of these energies outwards into our lives.
Sit comfortably, with your spine upright but not strained, neck and shoulders relaxed. Allow sufficient time simply focusing on your breath, until you feel a sense of quiet.4 If you are doing this meditation outside, relax your eyes and just look at Sirius. Maintain a steady but gentle and wide focus, take in its light, and imagine that Sirius represents a powerful energy source of impersonal love, intuition, discernment and inclusiveness, and that as its light reaches you from afar, being stepped down to human level, these qualities are awakened within your own heart. If you do the meditation indoors, simply imagine the bright blue-white brilliance of Sirius above and in front of you, pouring into your heart. Allow this light to pulsate through your whole body, healing and cleansing your energy field and physical body. As you feel this experience deepen, affirm your capacity to radiate this heart energy outwards to others in your life with the following: May the Light of Love touch all beings everywhere.5
(Caduceus Issue 53, Autumn 2001)
- In traditional astrology, planets in exaltation were said to function at their highest optimal expression.
- Star Names, their Lore and Meaning by Richard Hinckley Allen. New York: Dover Publications, 1963, p122.
- See Astrology of the Path of Return by JS Gordon. Guildford, UK: Orpheus Publishing House, 1998, p230.
- It is preferable not to continue if you feel too unquiet. The alignment continues through the entire autumn, so try another time.
- See Sirius by M Temple Richmond (Raleigh, NC, USA: Manasadeva Press) for an exposition of the meaning of Sirius according to the works of Alice Bailey.
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