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The ancient Greeks thought of the constellation Canis Major as a dog chasing Lepus, the hare. Many people today use the phrase to mean something like that—but originally, the phrase actually had nothing to do with dogs, or even with the lazy days of summer. Instead, it turns out, the dog days refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever, or even catastrophe. Since then, it has taken on new meanings. Shall we move on? Lillithan nodded, and they continued down the long corridor until they reached a set of ruby red doors.

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Lillithan told Orion to wait as she slipped inside, moments later she returned and came to stand beside him. They are ready for you now, stand straight, keep your head up and step to the same pace I do. Lillithan took his hand and slowly led Orion down a set of marble stairs.

Above them, a huge hologram of Orion and Lillithan walked, and men and women of different species bowed their crowned heads towards a dazzling jewel-encrusted golden throne.

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Orion and Lillithan walked until they arrived at the throne and Lillithan ushered Orion onto it, as he sat golden straps appeared around his wrists and ankles pinning him to the throne, he tried to struggle, but the straps only cut deeper. Calm down Orion, if you stop struggling the restraints will loosen, this is only to check that you are pure of heart and blood, Lillithan said placing her hand on his shoulder.

A woman in a golden robe materialised in front of him, reached into her robe and drew out a dagger with golden etchings upon it, she approached Orion and raised the dagger above her head. The woman plunged the dagger down, and Orion closed his eyes waiting for it to strike, suddenly a sharp prick on his finger made him jump. He slowly opened his eyes and looked down where he watched golden blood run from a small dot on his finger onto the blade.

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The woman stepped back and walked towards a glass table that contained a single wooden chest upon it. She flicked the blood onto the chest and watched as it burst into flames. When the flames subsided, the chest had been replaced with a golden crown encrusted with jewels; a rainbow coloured sceptre and a long elegant sword of gold and silver. She lifted the sword and walked back to Orion when she placed the sword beside him; he noticed it contained writing that danced across the blade. She then retrieved the crown and sceptre. Lifting the crown above his head; she spoke in a soft voice that echoed across the whole planet.

When the crown touched his head the straps that bound him disappeared, and she handed him the sceptre. Rubbing his wrist, he watched as the woman disappeared in a puff of white smoke. Lillithan helped him up from the throne, fastened the sword around his waist and led him to the edge of the balcony. Long live the Intenfli. Fireworks exploded in the sky above, music could be heard from all around, and he heard the clatter of armour from behind him as the guards went into deep bows.

Lillithan swivelled him around and led him back towards the main palace, where the crowned, strange looking men and women now stood ready to greet their new leader. It was all too much for him to handle and the world around him began to swim in and out of focus. He felt himself falling backward and as he hit the ground darkness seized him. Orion jumped awake in his bed remembering the fall. Seeing that he was back in his room, he rolled over in the darkness and picked up his phone to see what the time was. It was am, he sighed and silently slid out of bed.

He opened his bedroom door quietly and made his way to the bathroom so he could wash his face. When he looked at himself in the mirror he wondered how he was going to explain the bruises and the swollen lip he had. Sighing, he finished washing and made his way downstairs in the darkness. He almost tripped over his dad who was laying on the floor passed out at the bottom of the stairs, surrounded by empty whiskey and beer bottles.

Orion bent down and silently picked them up, then made his way to the kitchen where he put them into the recycling bin. Pouring himself a glass of orange juice and a bowl of cornflakes, he sat down at the table and thought about the dream that had just awoken him. He wished it was real, even with the war going on it had to be better than this life with his dad, where he was the punching bag. As he reached the bedroom door, he could hear people speaking, assuming that it was his brothers he pushed the door open expecting them to be up but he found both of them fast asleep.

As Orion got into the car, he saw their neighbour Mr. Thomas peering out of his window with a look of disapproval on his face.

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Lawrence climbed in and started the car as they started moving the car backfired making Orion jump. The drive to school was uneventful apart from Lawrence cursing at other drivers for driving too slowly. Noticing that they had made him angry all three boys jumped out of the car and made their way through the school gates where they would be safe from him. What you going to tell people?

I fell down the stairs, same as usual, Orion said with a smile on his face, trying to reassure his younger brother.

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Meet me outside after school, I will sort getting us home, Orion said as he began to walk up the path towards the enormous Victorian building in search of his best friend. When he entered the assembly hall, he caught sight of Rachel waving him down as he made his way towards her, a man sweeping the floor bumped into him. As he walked towards Rachel, he wondered where he could have seen the caretaker before. Glancing back, he saw the caretaker stood there watching him when the caretaker noticed that Orion was looking at him he smiled and went back to sweeping the floor.

The school buzzer sounded in the background to signal the beginning of the assembly, the school song started, followed by an announcement of what would be going on during the half term. Yeah, I know but…. Orion began but trailed off as he saw their head of year Miss Harris looking disapprovingly at them over the top of her thick-rimmed glasses. This action might not be possible to undo. Some , years ago it was near Cancer on the 'east' side of the Milky Way. Since then it has crossed the Milky Way and now rests on its 'west' bank.

In the last years, for example, the position of Sirius has shifted some 45 arc minutes almost half a degree which is about one-and-a-half times the apparent size of the moon. Plate 2: Sky region of the Duat. Throughout recorded history, and probably long before, Sirius was the subject of much veneration and myth making throughout the world. Even as late as the s it became the subject of a very controversial theory linked to extra-terrestrials and the Dogon tribe of Mali published by the scholar and author Robert Temple.

There is much speculation on the origin of its modern name which is generally thought to be derived from the Greek word "Sirio" meaning "scorching" or "sparkling", apparently because it rose in the height of the summer heat. Some etymologists, however, have suggested a connection with the ancient Egyptian god Osiris. But of all the various names and epithets that this star was given, none can match the notoriety of its role in history as the "Star of Isis".

Since earliest times the ancient Egyptian paid particular attention to Sirius, which they identified to the 'soul' of the Goddess Isis. There was a time, very long ago, that Sirius could not be seen in the sky from Egypt. This was because of a phenomenon known as the Precession of the Equinoxes. The Precession is a very slow wobble of our planet taking the polar axis of the Earth in a circular swing of 47 degrees every 26, years.

The general effect is that the stellar landscape appears to swing up and down like a pendulum. It made its first appearance in the skies at that place in c. Then it had a declination of about 58 degrees 43', which meant it would have just been visible in the south about 1. For early man to witnessing the 'birth' of such a bright star must have been a very impressive sight rich with meaning and messages from the gods. Also the rising of Sirius occurred when the constellation of Virgo was rising in the east, which may partly explain why the star became the symbol of a virgin-goddess.

We do not know when exactly Sirius became identified to the goddess Isis, but the idea certainly goes back to the origin of Egyptian culture. It was from the 'womb' of Isis-Sirius that was born the divine child, Horus. The conception and birth of Horus occurred in a magical way as told in the myth of Isis and Osiris:. Isis and Osiris were among the four children born from the womb of the sky-goddess, Nut and fathered by Ra, the sungod.

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The other two children were Seth and Nephtys. Osiris took Isis as his wife, and they became the first rulers of Egypt. At the age of 28 Osiris was brutally killed by his jealous brother Seth and his body cut into fourteen pieces. Isis recovered all of the pieces of Osiris' body except the phallus, which she could not find. Isis fashioned an artificial phallus for Osiris, placed herself on it in the form of a kite, and became pregnant with his seed.

She then went into hiding in the marshes of the Nile, and gave birth to Horus. From the Pyramid Texts and various other religious writings, it is clear that this myth has its counterpart in the stars, with Isis identified to Sirius and Osiris to the constellation of Orion. In the Pyramid Texts it is said of Osiris-Orion:. Text line ]. Plate 4: Sirius-Isis following Orion-Osiris.

Recreating the ancient skies of the early Dynastic Era c. Because the earth moves around the sun, the fixed background of the stars appears to shift throughout the year in relation to the sun. Yearly observations of Sirius, for example, would show that there is a time when the star sets in the west immediately after sunset. After that the star is no longer visible for a period of about 70 days. It will reappear again, however, just before sunrise in the east. This reappearance is known as the heliacal rising of the star.

Precession has since caused that date to shift 45 days, and now the heliacal rising of Sirius occurs on the 5 th August. The striking conjunction of the heliacal rising of Sirius and the summer solstice in BC was, in itself, a powerful omen; but there was something else also occurring at the same time which, quite literally, caused the whole of Egypt to be reborn. This was the annual flooding of the Nile. Since the construction of the Aswan Dam in the s, the annual flood of the Nile is fully controlled and regulated.

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But in ancient times and until the turn of the late 19 th century the Nile would begin to swell in early June caused by the huge volume of water brought down river by the melting snows in the highlands of Central Africa. By late June the water would begin to spill over the banks to eventually flood the whole Nile Valley by end July. We know for certain that the ancient Egyptians considered the heliacal rising of Sirius to be the magical cause of the Nile Flood. The heliacal rising of Sirius became the celestial sign that marked the beginning of the New Year.

There are many ancient texts which refer to the conjunction of the 'New Year', the summer solstice, the start of the Flood and the appearance of Sirius which shows that this event was of the utmost importance to the Egyptians.