Posted by: Isidora | July 19, 2015

It’s Time to Get Sirius about Isis

The holy Star of Isis, the brightest star in the night sky

I know, sorry.

But it is that time.

Star and Cow Goddess were associated very early in Egypt

Stars and the Cow Goddess were associated very early in Egypt

The time when we watch the skies for the pre-dawn reappearance of the beautiful and brilliant star of Isis, Sirius.

Thanks to the wonders of modern online astronomical calculators, we can know pretty precisely when the Fair Star of the Waters will rise before the sun in our area. (To use the calculator, just enter your email and the password: softtests. You will need to know the latitude of your area and its altitude. Both of those are easily google-able.)

I’ve written a number of posts about Sirius and Isis. Here are the links, all in one place:

At Denderah, Sothis is a cow with the star between Her horns, and surrounding Her

At Denderah, one image of Sopdet shows Her as a cow with Sirius between Her horns, and stars surrounding Her

The basic information on Isis and Her holy star and why it is called the “dog star”.

Meditations on Isis and Her Mother during this time of waiting.

Why Sirius is appropriately the heavenly marker of our modern New Year, too, and about temples oriented to Sirius.

The experience of my sister priestess and me last year as we watched Her rise.

About the symbol of the star in Egyptian spirituality and being “joined” to yours.

And a ritual for beginning the process of “being joined to your star.”

Sothis from Isis temple at Philae

Sopdet from Isis’ temple at Philae

The rise of the Star of Isis was important in ancient Egypt for it marked coming of the fertilizing Nile Inundation and the day of the New Year. It was also the end of the epigominal days, those days out of time when the the Cairo Calendar tells us that the birthdays of Osiris, Horus the Elder, Set, Isis, and Nephthys were celebrated.

Thus, if you wish to celebrate the Birth of Isis, it is two days before New Year’s Day.

There are a number of options for choosing our New Year’s Day.

For instance, perhaps you’ve seen a date of July 19th given for the rising of Sirius? This comes from a 1904 calculation by Eduard Meyer, who was the first modern person to have noticed ancient Egypt’s Sothic Cycle.

Isis-Sothis, Lady of the Dog-Star, riding on Her dog

Isis-Sothis, Lady of the Dog-Star, riding on Her dog, from an Alexandrian coin

You may recall that the Sothic Cycle is a period of 1,461 ancient Egyptian years during which the 365-day Egyptian year, which is one quarter day too short, loses enough time so that the Egyptian New Year, once again coincides with the rise of Sirius.

Meyer was trying to calculate the date of the star’s rising from the ancient Egyptian calendar and translate it to the modern Julian so that the reigns of the pharaohs could be more accurately dated. The Sirius rising date he came up with was July 19—but that would have been for 140-142 CE.

You may certainly use that date if you prefer a firm date for planning your celebrations. That would make New Year on the 19th and Isis’ birthday on July 17th.

Personally, I like to use the date when Isis’ star may actually be seen in the morning skies in my area. In my part of the world, the Pacific Northwest of the US, that’s August 23rd. You can use the calculator link above to find out when She rises in your area.

The jumble of stone blocks that is, today, Isiopolis

You could mark the rise of Isis’ star at Isiopolis…

Another option might be to use the modern rising time at either of Isis’ major sacred temple sites in Egypt.

At Her Lower Egypt temple of Isiopolis in the delta, that will be August 9th this year.

 The Temple of Philae; photo by Ivan Marcialis from Quartucciu, Italy and used under Wiki Creative Commons usage guidelines

…or from Her Philae temple; photo by Ivan Marcialis; used under Wiki Creative Commons

At Her Upper Egypt temple of Philae/Agilika, that would be August 3rd.

So you can see that latitude makes a great deal of difference as to when the rising of the Goddess’ star may be actually observed.

This year, at my latitude, the rise of the Star of Isis falls on a weekend (no work worries, yay!), which means that I will be getting up in the wee hours of the morning, traveling a short distance to a high place, and watching as the Mystery unfolds and the Goddess emerges once more from the Underworld into the dawning light.

If you wish to join me, you’ll need to be at your observation point about an hour before sunrise in order to see Her. We may chant Her name—Iset-Sopdet, Isis-Sothis—as She rises. We may offer Her milk and lotuses. Or we may watch in beautiful silence as She comes, She comes.



  1. I’m having trouble calculating the time..can you help me? Not very computer savy.

    • Hi, Jose! No worries 😉 First look up the latitude and altitude for your location. You should be able to just google your city/town name and the word “latitude.” Make a note. Then do the same for “altitude.” And make a note of that. Then use the link in the post to go to the Calculator. Enter your email and the password:


      in the fields you see there. Then click “Proceed.” On the next screen, you’ll see three lines of text in yellow. Click on the one that says “the dates of heliacal setting and rising of the star of Sirius in 2015 AD.” That will take you to a new screen. Enter the latitude and the altitude you made a note of in the fields where they ask for it. Don’t worry about the rest of the fields. Then just click “Proceed.” That will take you to a new screen that has the calculations on it. Look at the third paragraph, where it says “date of the heliacal rising of the star.” It will give you a date: Day/Month/Year. And right beneath that, the time of the rising. Generally, the star rises about an hour to 45 minutes before the sun rises. The star will be very low on the horizon, so it will be much easier to see if there’s a hill or other high place you can get to. For instance, I can’t see it from my backyard because of trees on the horizon, so I go to a butte not far from me and observe from there. Hope that helps! Isidora

      Oh…and note that the altitude is in meters, not feet…so if you’re in the US, you’ll need to convert to meters.

      • Perfect! Thank you

  2. Reblogged this on Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess.

  3. Reblogged this on The Mystery Schools of Osiris & IsIs.

  4. Reblogged this on soul synchronicity and commented:
    In the beginning Genesis. Gene of Isis… The womb, the vesica pisces. Sirius is home of the dog star… Or God star. Perhaps now we understand why Sirius A & Sirius B perform the celestial dance the same shape as our Dna.

    Our etheric isis-star… Our sister.

  5. That’s just beautiful, thank you.

  6. Oh dear Isidora,
    It didn’t work for me. I must be doing something wrong. Any chance you could calculate it for me?

    • That’s weird. Describe what you did and what happened…and what exactly didn’t work.

      • The thing is I’m doing this all by cell phone. I tried to follow the instructions but the page went back to the original page with the empty fields.

      • Ohh. Well, pretty sure this website isn’t mobile responsive 😉 Tell me where you are. Under Her Wings, Is

      • Miami, Florida and thank you so much Isidora!

      • Okay…calculator says August 5 at 4:59 am. The sun rises at 5:33 am…so it won’t be visible long. Of course, you will be able to see it every day following that, too. It should be about 6.3 degrees above the horizon. I would imagine that a beach would be a good viewing spot for you. May She bless.

  7. The Extra Days (Birthdays of Osiris, Horus the Elder, Set, Isis and Nephthys) happen at the end of the year and the New Year is after that.

    I have never seen Aset’s Birthday calculated as the fourth day after the New Year. Where did you find this? That’s so interesting!

    There are some dates where a Birth of Aset festival happens on different days in some Late Period and Ptolemaic and Roman calendars, but those aren’t apart of the Epagomenal Days cycle. And New Year can be a Birth of Aset as Sopdet is born on that day (when Sopdet Rises; this is a Ptolemaic period myth cycle). And there is a Feast of Aset listed on the New Year Day from the Cairo calendar.

    • Eek! You’re absolutely right. My brain skipped a groove. I’ll correct that. Thanks so much. So her birth would be on the 4th epigominal.

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