When researching mythology, and the relationship it has with the stars and planets in the sky, it is often believed that there is some kind of connection between Osiris and Orion. This connection dates back to ancient Egypt.
When Osiris, the spiritual founder and first Pharaoh of Egypt died, he went to the sky and became the constellation Orion. The pyramids were built in alignment with Orion in order to facilitate the after-death journey of the Egyptian kings, as they became stars and travelled to Orion like Osiris had done before them.
First, let’s review who Osiris the Egyptian deity is, as well as provide more context for Orion, and constellations in general.
Osiris The Egyptian God of Fertility
The ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris was responsible for the annual flooding of the Nile River, which allowed for abundant crops. Osiris was also considered the god of agriculture, the afterlife, and resurrection.
Osiris was believed to be the descendent of Ra, the original creator of the world, and was the ruler of Egypt, along with his wife Isis. His rule was usurped by his brother Seth, who murders Osiris and cuts him into little pieces. Osiris then goes on to become the ruler of the underworld.
Orion the Constellation
Orion is a constellation of stars that sits directly over the equator. Because of its position, it is visible throughout the world. It is one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky, and was named after Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology.
The most recognizable part of the Orion constellation is called “Orion’s belt”, which is a group of three stars. They are placed in a line, and are basically evenly spaced apart, with one being slightly offset.
Understanding the Constellations
Constellations are groups of stars, and which ones you can see depends on where you are on the planet. There are actually 88 constellations in total, with forty-eight of them being recognized by ancient astronomers. The others have been discovered in the last 500 years, as they are only visible in the southern hemisphere, and that is when European explorers started going there.
Each constellation is named after characters in Greek mythology. For example, the constellation Scorpio is named after the scorpion who stings Orion the hunter. Since Orion sets just as Scorpio rises, it is said that Orion is still running from the scorpion.
Of the original constellations that they ancients saw, twelve are included in western zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
Some of the other more well-known of the original forty-eight constellations, which were documented by ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy, include Andromeda, Hercules, Draco, Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor.
Orion the Hunter in Greek Mythology
The Orion constellation is named after the Greek mythological character Orion, who was a giant hunter. Orion is the son of Poseidon and Euryale, the daughter of King Minos of Crete.
Orion has the ability to walk on water, and used this ability to visit the island of Chios. He gets drunk and makes advances on the daughter of the king of the island, named King Oenopion, who responds by blinding Orion and removing him from the island.
Orion then travels to the island of Lemnos, where Hephaestus and his servant help him get to the East where Helios the sun gold restores Orion’s eyesight.
He then goes to hunt with the goddess Artemis, and gets so excited he declares he is going to kill every single animal in the world. Gaea the Earth goddess sends a scorpion to kill Orion in order to protect the animals. Then Zeus agrees to turn Orion into a constellation in the sky.
Who is Orion in Egyptian Mythology?
In Egyptian mythology, the equivalent of the Orion the hunter from Greek mythology is Sah. Like Orion, Sah also represented the constellation of Orion, which to the ancient Egyptians was one of the most visible constellations in their sky.
The ancient Greeks had a system of matching their gods with the Egyptian gods, which was called Interpretatio graeca. Like the other gods, the Greeks determined that Orion had a counterpart in Egypt, which in his case was Sah.
In Egypt, Orion or Sah had a consort named Sopdet, who in Greece become known as Sothis the goddess of the star Sirius. Later, Sah become associated with Osiris, while Sopdet became regarded as being Isis, who is Osiris’s consort. As Sah became associated with Osiris, we see another connection between Osiris and Orion emerge.
The Osiris Connection with Dionysus
So, if the ancient Greeks and the Hellenistic scholars who lived in the fusion of Egyptian and Greek philosophy shortly after believed that Orion was Sah in Egyptian myths, who do they consider the Egyptian god Osiris to be in Greek mythology? The answer: Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy.
If Osiris is Dionysus, and Sah is Orion, why is it also believed that the Egyptian god Osiris is the Orion constellation. The answer may be found in the pyramids of Giza.
Orion Correlation Theory
Starting in the 1980’s a man named Robert Bauval began publishing his research into the similarities between the pyramids of Giza, and the stars of the Orion constellation, He proposed that the location of the three largest pyramids of the Giza pyramid complex mirrors Orion’s Belt of the constellation Orion, and that this was done on purpose by the makers of the pyramids.
Specially, the three pyramids are a terrestrial reflection of the location of the three stars during the age of Leo, which occurred between 10 970 and 8810 BC. In addition to the position of the three pyramids, which has one slightly offset, in accordance with the location of the three stars in Orion’s belt, there are further connections. For example, there is a shaft in the great pyramid which directly faces Orion’s Belt. According to this theory, the sphinx represents the constellation Leo, and the Nile is the milky way.
In ancient Egypt, it was believed that the kings and pharaohs would travel to Orion after death. They would follow the milky way on their journey, reflected terrestrially as the Nile river. The kings would be transformed into a spiritual entity and go into the stars and become a star, in particularly into the centre of the constellation of Orion, where Osiris, the original king of Egypt had gone after he died.
In conclusion, saying that Osiris is Orion is accurate, although at the same time it contradicts the Greek practice of matching their gods with the Egyptians. Orion the character from Greek mythology was NOT Osiris in Egyptian times. However, it was believed that after dying, Osiris went to the sky and became Osiris, and that the kings and pharaohs of Egypt would follow him on this journey when they died.
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