The Hidden Meaning Behind Sirius’ Name In Harry Potter

There are other meanings hidden in the name “Sirius Black” as well, according to the invaluable Harry Potter resource MuggleNet. The word “Sirius” literally means “glowing” or “scorching,” appropriate for both the brightest star in the sky and a man who escapes the darkness of his family (and his last name, straightforwardly meaning the absence of light). The Canis Major constellation is sometimes known as “Orion’s dog” — in the night sky, the Canis Major constellation is found at Orion’s “feet” (via EarthSky). As it happens, Sirius’ father is named Orion, and by Sirius’ account, he wasn’t treated very well — he was such a disappointment to his parents that his name was burned off his family tree tapestry (via HP Lexicon).

The star Sirius was also once seen as a bad omen in the night sky, according to MuggleNet, much like the Grim that Sirius’ dog form appears to be. There are other ominous portents in his name as well. The star he’s named for may have originally been associated with the Egyptian god Osiris, the Egyptian god of life and death — fitting for a character who dies by falling through a mysterious veil between the two.

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