While walking in the woods this week with a friend, I learned something of the meaning of desire. I know what you are thinking after reading that sentence but c’mon now, raise your consciousness, I am having coffee, not martinis, so this is about the ‘real’ meaning of desire. Desiderare is the Latin root verb meaning to long for, to wish for, to miss. My friend, who is a deeply intelligent woman, said that ‘sidus’ the other Latin origin of desire, is related to the star Sirius.Here is the ‘official’ description from an etymology dictionary:
desire (v.) early 13c., from O.Fr. desirrer (12c.) “wish, desire, long for,” from L. desiderare “long for, wish for; demand, expect,” original sense perhaps “await what the stars will bring,” from the phrase de sidere “from the stars,” from sidus (gen. sideris) “heavenly body, star, constellation”
So I thought to do some research and this star, Sirius, which is often referred to as the ‘missing’ star; it also the brightest star in the sky. Known as the Dog star to Romans who associated the rising of the Dog Star at dawn with the hottest part of the year, called the “dog days”, and to the Egyptians it was the Nile star because its appearance before the Solstice would signal the flooding of the Nile, which of course, was headline news in those days. Nearly every culture has a story of Sirius, and all were guided by it in some way and attributed deeply spiritual properties to its movements.
As I read more about this star, I came across something interesting and that is that the Sirius star is a binary star, which means, it is two stars orbiting in tandem with one another around a common mass. A German by the name Friedrich Bessel discovered the ‘missing companion’ of Sirius which later got nicknamed the ‘Pup’.
The Finnish poet Zakris Topelius “accounted for the exceptional magnitude of Sirius by the fact that the lovers Zulamith the Bold and Salami the Fair, after a thousand years of separation and toil while building their bridge, the Milky Way, upon meeting at its completion:
Straight rushed into each other’s arms
And melted into one;
So they became the brightest star
In heaven’s high arch that dwelt —
Great Sirius, the mighty Sun
Beneath Orion’s belt.”
(Retrieved from http://www.constellationsofwords.com/stars/Sirius.html)
Isn’t that a lovely image?
So. Let’s review: We have longing, heat, two stars, and love.
When I was growing up, I remember driving with my mom in her little red VW Beetle and telling her that I had gone through the entire Sears catalog and when I came across anything I wanted, I would touch it and imagine it was upstairs in my room. (I did this for hours!). My mom looked at me sadly and said, ‘you are so full of desire little Margaret, you should stop this or you will never be happy.’
When someone says never to me it is as good as ensuring it will happen as the sun will rise tomorrow or Sirius will shine at dawn over the horizon.
Sirius’s closest alignment to one another happened in 1994 and apparently the magnetic action produced from this occurrence has been related to everything from earthquakes and floods to a myriad of personal stories I’ve been reading that could be dismissed as simply crazy, but I have to say, my 1994 was an incredible, life-changing year. Sirius transits each year at its highest point in the north on February 20th. I am not one to put all my eggs in the astronomy basket, but I was born on February 15th. It makes me wonder if this gave me an extra dose of desire.
Heat. Two stars. One orbit. Desire.
Desire is not a bad thing; it won’t make you unhappy, as my mother would have you believe. Desire is the brightest star in your constellation, it begs you into its orbit, it pulls you towards it because it is your secret self that must be told.