Anubis is one of the most prominent and mystical Egyptian god. As a god of mummification and the afterlife as well as the patron god of lost souls and embalmers, Anubis is one of the oldest gods of Egyptian mythology.
It is believed that he originated from a much older jackal god Wepwawet with whom he is often confused. In the eyes of the ancient Egyptians, this version of Anubis had always been an ever-present god in the afterlife.
Why was Anubis important? How did Anubis help Osiris? How did the souls of Egyptians get weighted?
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As the guardian of the cemetery, he often appears as the jackal wearing a collar decorated with magical inscriptions and holding a flail or whip, a sign of authority.
Let’s explore some more about his symbolic animal.
Jackals were associated with death because they lurked around cemeteries and would eat decomposing flesh. Therefore, by making Anubis the patron deity of jackals, the Egyptians hoped to protect the bodies from being devoured.
We may say that only Anubis knew what lay after death. Therefore, he was the one that instructed the ancient Egyptians on how they should embalm and bury their dead in order to secure safe passage in the afterlife. This was seen in the ancient Egyptian book, “the Book of the Dead”.
Anubis’s mythos was inconsistent. Initially it was believed that Anubis was the son of Ra and Hesat who served as the God of the dead. As the cult and worship of Osiris grew over time Anubis’s origin got molded into the new light of mythological patterns.
The second origin story can be traced to the second generation of gods and goddesses during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.
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