In these myths the God Osiris is murdered by his brother Seth and his
body scattered in fourteen pieces. The pieces are collected by the
Goddess Isis, helped by her sister Nephthys, and Osiris is resurrected
for just one day. Anubis was
believed to be the son of the God Osiris and the Goddess Nephthys.
Anubis embalms Osiris, making him the first mummy. The Egyptians
believed that a physical body was essential for an eternal life for the
deceased. Without a physical body
the soul had no place to dwell and became restless forever. The Egyptian God, Anubis, was
therefore seen as the God of the Dead, Tombs and Embalming who admitted
the dead to the Underworld and was the subject of the prayers at
funerals. The priests who officiated at the 'Opening of the Mouth'
burial ceremony wore a jackal mask emulating Anubis.
Depiction of the Egyptian God Anubis - Part Human & Part Animal
The Egyptian Gods or Goddesses, such as Anubis, were often depicted as
being part human and part animal. In the description of the Egyptian
God Anubis he / she was most frequently depicted with the body of a human
and with with the head of an animal - a Jackal. In the Ancient Egyptian
religion certain animals were seen as sacred as they believed that the
Spirit of a God resided in these animals, such as the Jackal, which were
revered and worshipped as reincarnated Gods during their lifetimes.
The Ancient Egyptian God Anubis -
The God of the Dead
In the legends and myths of the
Ancient Egyptians Anubis is seen as the God of the Dead and Anubis had
an important role when dead Egyptians entered the Underworld on their
journey to the Afterlife and paradise. The Underworld was called Duat
and believed to be full of great dangers. Anubis greeted the souls in
the Underworld and protected them on their journey. The Egyptians were
also accompanied by guidebook known as the Book of the Dead which
contained spells and instructions to ensure safe passage through the
dangers of the Underworld. The final place in the Underworld was
the Judgement Hall where the Court of Osiris decided on their fate.
Anubis the God of the Dead would lead the dead in the Underworld at the
Hall of Two Truths to a set of scales where his or her heart was weighed
against the feather of truth and their fate would be decided - either
entrance into the perfect afterlife or to be sent to the Devourer of the
Temple of Anubis
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 Statue of Anubis
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.
The Egyptian God
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