Friday February 13th 2004
Let's Get Sirius... by Bernard Fitzwalter
Orion, the giant with the belt of three stars, has lately been looming large in the South. Just beneath him and to the left is the blazing light of Sirius, brightest star in the sky. In January it's already dark before Sirius rises, while in March it has already risen by the time the sun sets. But on just one day in the year Sirius rises exactly as the sun sets. It happened this week. For the ancient world, before calendars, this special day meant the end of winter, and therefore time for fertility rituals to make both crops and families grow. Young men would send love tokens to their intended partners... and the Valentine cards and presents we send today are a continuation of that. If you're making a wish for new love this weekend, wish twice. Once on Venus, the love goddess herself; easy to see in the west, and once on Sirius as he comes up in the east!
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