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Full Name: Anubis
Nick Name: Anu
Other Names: Inpu, Anpu, Ienpw, Imeut
Designation: Egyptian God of Embalming and the Dead
Height: 6′ 6
Hair/Eye Color: Black/Brown
Patron of: mummification, and the dead on their path through the underworld.
Appearance: A man with the head of a jackal-like animal. Unlike a real jackal, Anubis’ head is black, representing his position as a god of the dead. He is rarely shown fully-human, but he is depicted so in the Temple of Abydos of Rameses II. There is a beautiful statue of him as a full jackal in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Human appearance: 6’6, dark hair and eyes, muscular build.
Description: Anubis is an incredibly ancient god, and was the original god of the dead before Osiris “took over” the position. After that point, Anubis was changed to be one of the many sons of Osiris and the psychopomp (conductor of souls) of the underworld. His totem of the jackal is probably due to the fact that jackals would hunt at the edges of the desert, near the necropolis and cemeteries throughout Egypt.
Prayers to Anubis are found carved on the most ancient tombs in Egypt, and his duties apparently are many. He watches over the mummification process to ensure that all is done properly. He conducts the souls through the underworld, testing their knowledge of the gods and their faith. He places their heart on the Scales of Justice during the Judging of the Heart, and he feeds the souls of wicked people to Ammit.
One of the roles of Anubis was “Guardian of the Scales”. Deciding the weight of “truth” by weighing the Heart against Ma’at, who was often depicted as an ostrich feather, Anubis dictated the fate of souls. In this manner, he was a Lord of the Underworld. He also has a daughter, Kabechet, who helps him in the mummification.
Anubis is the son of Nephthys, and his father is Osiris. One myth says that Nephthys got Osiris drunk and the resultant seduction brought forth Anubis. Yet another says she disguised herself as Isis and seduced Osiris and subsequently gave birth to Anubis. Usually, Anubis is portrayed as the son of Nephthys and Set, Osiris’ brother and the god of the desert and darkness. Nephthys exposed her son, but instead of dying, he was found by Isis, who then raised him. Anubis became the attendant of Isis.
Worship: Worshipped widely throughout all of Egypt, his cult center was Cynopolis.
The Temples dedicated to Anubis, the God of the Dead, Tombs and Embalming, were believed to be the dwelling place of this famous Egyptian God. Only the Pharaoh and the Priests of Anubis were allowed inside the temple and the priests would undergo ritual purification in a deep stone pool before they entered the Inner Sanctum of the Temple. This not only cleansed them but also gave them contact with the primeval moisture of life. Ordinary Egyptians were only allowed to come to the gates, or forecourt, of the temple of Anubis to pay homage and offer gifts to the God / Goddess. The Priests of Anubis would collect the gifts and say prayers on behalf of the person in the confines of the temple. The priests of Anubis, the God of the Dead, Tombs & Embalming, would conduct ceremonies, sacrifices and chant magical incantations, sometimes referred to as spells. The temple of Anubis would consist of heavy gates which accessed a massive hall with great stone columns, and then a series of many other rooms through which processions of priests would pass. These rooms, or chambers, were lit by candles and incense would be burnt to purify the air of the Temple. The chambers gradually decreased in size, the lighting in the temple was deliberately and significantly reduced to create an atmosphere of deepening mystery until the priests reached the chapel and the shrine which contained the Naos. The Naos was the stone tabernacle inside the shrine which housed the great Statue of Anubis, the God of the Dead, Tombs and Embalming.
The large statue of the God Anubis, the God of the Dead, Tombs and Embalming was situated in the inner sanctum of the Egyptian temple. The statue of Anubis would have been depicted with the body of a man and the head of Jackal. This sacred statue, in the dwelling place of the God, was the embodiment of Anubis. Food and drink would be offered to the God. The High Priest of Anubis, would conduct ceremonies and offer prayers and incantations but there was another important priest, called the Medjty, who was responsible for the toiletries. The statue of Anubis would have been washed and oiled. The statue was then dressed in fine linen and eye make-up, powder and rouge was applied and sacred oil rubbed on the forehead of the statue. The statue of Anubis, with its head of the Jackal, was only seen by ordinary Egyptians at important festivals when the effigy was paraded in magnificent processions.