Sothis was the goddess personifying the dog-star Sirius, the bright appearance of which in the July dawn sky announced the annual flooding of the Nile.
The Egyptian name of the goddess was "Sopdet", from which came the Greek Sothis, normally used in Ancient Egyptian studies. She is portrayed as a lady with a star on her head.
As early as the First Dynasty, Sothis was called bringer of the New Year and the Nile Flood. The agricultural calendar started with the rise of the Nile. Gradually Sothis became linked with the constellation Orion, because of the prosperity which resulted from the fertile silt left by the receding waters of the river.
In the Pyramid texts, there is clear evidence that the king unites with his sister Sothis who gives birth to the morning star. She is also the king’s guide to the heavenly Field of Rushes.
In the Lamentations of Isis and Nepthys (a fourth century BC papyrus), Isis states that she is Sothis, who will without fail follow Osiris in his manifestation as Orion in heaven. In the Late Period, the cult of Isis-Sothis resulted in less individuality for Sothis, and Greek versions of this double deity caused Sothis to be even further separated from her Pharaonic origins.
Both Sothis and Orion are astral symbols for abundant crops.
Main center of worship:
20th Nome, Lower Egypt
Festivals: (exact dates not historically verified)
25th July – 7th Thuthi - Annual flooding of the Nile.
Suggested Pdf Resources
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Suggested Web Resources
- Sah and Sopdet (Sothis), the Egyptian Astral God and Goddess
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- Ancient Egyptian Gods; Sopdet
- Sopdet ("skilled woman", also known as Sothis) represented Sirius, the Dog-Star.
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