Anubis Egyptian God of the Dead: 12 Ways to Work With Him
Arguably the most iconic Egyptian god, Anubis has a mysterious pull on people worldwide. He’s known as the Jackal-headed god, The Right Hand of Osiris, and the Egyptian god of the dead. He is one of the oldest Egyptian gods and today remains a popular deity among magicians, witches, and pagans. Here we introduce you to Anubis and provide 12 ways of working with this ancient, mystifying deity.
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Who is Anubis, Egyptian God of Mummification?
Exactly who is Anubis? Anubis is one of the oldest gods of the Egyptian pantheon whose image appears on temple and tomb walls beginning in the First Dynasty of Egypt circa 3150-2890 BCE. He is the god of mummification, death, the afterlife, protection, curses and justice. The Egyptian priests who performed the mummification process invoked Anubis in their death rituals. Dogs and jackals once dug up freshly buried corpses, and so to stop this from happening the Egyptians invoked Anubis as the protector of the dead. Who better to defend the dead from dogs than THE BIG DOG himself?
Anubis’ Birth and Life
Anubis is the son of Osiris and Nephthys, though older myths say he is older than his supposed parents. After he was born illegitimately, Nephthys abandoned him at the Necropolis. There he was adopted and raised by jackals. When Set killed his brother Osiris, Isis and Anubis searched for Osiris. They found him dead, which led to Anubis inventing mummification and Osiris being the very first mummy.
Anubis is a psychopomp who guides souls from this world to the next. Moreover, he guards the a door to the hall of judgment and is Osiris’ right hand man when it comes time to weigh souls’ hearts. A very powerful ancient deity not to be messed with. Take your workings with him seriously.
12 Ways to Work With Anubis, God of Mummification
Connect with Anubis as you would any other deity – with profound respect and gratitude. He selects devotees who are willing to face their shadows, and who aren’t afraid of spirits and death. Come to him with a pure heart and of pure intentions. Also have an idea why you want to work with him, as he just may ask you.
1. Read about Anubis
The best way to start getting to know a deity is to read about them. Anubis is a god whose cult was one widespread throughout the ancient world, yet he doesn’t feature in too many of the Egyptian myths. You still can find him in books on the Egyptian pantheon, blogs, fictional novels featuring Anubis, and much more. It just takes some research. I also highly recommend reading the Egyptian Book of the Dead to get an understanding of funerary practice and prayer in ancient Egypt.
2. Sacred Altar Space for Anubis
The next step to working with Anubis is to set up sacred space for him. An altar cloth, black and gold candles, a statue of him, incense and an incense burner is a great place to start. Cleanse the space beforehand, then invite him to it.
3. Offerings for Anubis
By leaving regular offerings for a deity, you show them your gratitude and your desire to work with them. It is similar to giving gifts to a friend or relative – it should be done out of love. Anubis likes any offerings related to mummification: mummified dolls and figurines, and he also likes dog related objects like collars, toys, etc. In addition, a fresh bowl of water, and incense like frankincense, myrrh and kyphi is appropriate. Wine and beer are also preferred.
4. Call Him By His REAL Names
Anubis’ name in ancient Egypt was actually Anpu (which means “to decay”); Anubis came later on when the Romans adopted him. The Roman name Anubis is thought to mean Royal Child. Honor him by calling him Anpu and also by his epithets: The First of the Westerners, Lord of the Sacred Land, Master of Secrets, and The Right Hand of Osiris.
5. Visit Mummy Exhibits
You might be surprised how many preserved mummies there are all over the world. Right here in my hometown I found a museum with an Egyptian mummy. By visiting mummies, you get a better understanding of Anubis’ character and his divine duties.
6. Explore Your Beliefs About Death
Anubis is the God of Mummification, Embalming and of Death. He presides over the death process, therefore explore your beliefs about death. Are you afraid of it? Do you have any hang-ups about death or traumas in your life that would prevent you from facing your beliefs in the afterlife? Now is the time to explore those taboo topics.
7. Shadow Work
As Anubis is the god of death and the underworld, he encourages us to face our shadows. Our shadows are those hidden aspects of us: our fears, past traumas, dislikes, and things that otherwise have been hidden from plain sight. These are the things that no one knows about us, and things that we might not even realize about ourselves. It’s painful work, but it is necessary. Ask Anubis for his aid in this healing process.
8. Doggy Care
Anubis is the jackal-headed god. He was raised by jackals and considers all dogs sacred. Donate your time and energy to caring for dogs at a shelter or rescue in his honor. Take care of your own doggies, or if anything donate money to a local rescue.
Anubis is also known as “He Who Is Sacred Upon His Mountain”, referencing the fact that wild dogs and jackals live in Egypt’s hills. Connect with Anubis by visiting the mountains, performing ritual on top of a mountain, and/or leaving offerings for him in the mountains.
10. Rituals With Anubis
Call on Anubis during ritual for protection. The Romans saw Anubis as a fierce protector and placed his statue at gates and in other places to protect from spirits and invaders. They also called on Anubis for justice against those who had wronged them AND to help break curses. You can do the same. He will also help you find lost items via locator spells.
11. Anubis Mask
An ancient and sacred way to work with Anubis is to wear a mask in his likeness during ritual. You can make your own or buy one online, just make sure it is mostly black and looks like Anubis. His ancient priests wore Anubis masks throughout the mummification, embalming and funerary procession to invoke his presence, wisdom and protection.
12. The Color Black
Anubis’ favorite color is black: like the rich soil from the Nile River, the Otherworld, and to match his jackal-head. Wear black and incorporate black into your rituals and sacred space.