In September of 2004, like any other S.K. fan, I was anxiously awaiting the debut of Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital on ABC. I knew I would find a world filled with ghosts and mystery, sarcasm…and even the occasional disturbing incident, I did not, however expect to discover my Patron God. For most of the mini(?) series Anubis is portrayed as a giant anteater type creature, due to a little girls misunderstanding his name…she hears it as Antibus and thus pictures him as a creature that would fit the name. It’s a long and twisted story, but essentially I learned that Anubis dealt with the dead, afterlife and justice. I then began a search for more information.
Anubis is part of the Egyptian pantheon, however he seems to pre-date most Egyptian deities. Anubis was God of the Underworld before Osiris came into the picture. After Osiris was accepted as God of the Underworld Anubis has been seen as the God of embalming. Anubis is also the keeper of poisons and medicines, which is why Isis went to him for the proper herbs necessary to embalm Osiris after his death. Anubis was the one to perform the funeral of Osiris, which became the model for all funerals that followed.
After the dead have been placed in their tombs, it is Anubis that guides them to the afterlife and the Halls of Ma’ati. It is in the Halls of Ma’ati that he, acting as ‘He who counts the hearts’, oversees the weighing of the heart against the feather of Maat and judging of the deceased. Before the actual weighing, Anubis makes sure the scales are in proper alignment so that the heart may be weighed correctly. It is then Anubis’s job to weigh the heart and pass judgement on the deceased. Anubis would then give the guilty over to Ammut to be devoured, but would protect the innocent from her jaws of Final Death.
Anubis is most often seen as either a jackal or a man with a jackal head. This is most likely his totem because he is also the Guardian of the Necropolis (cemetery) and jackals were known to hunt the edges of the desert, near the necropolis and cemeteries throughout Egypt. He is very rarely seen in full human form, but a spectacular rendition exists in the Temple of Abydos of Ramses II. In the temple he is pictured fully human and seated in a chair next to the Goddess Heket (who I personally believe to be an incarnation of my patron Goddess Hecate).
Opening up to the male aspect of the divine was difficult for me, but he was patient with me, to a point. I have learned that, like Hecate, he will keep bugging you until you listen. Although, I do find him to be much gentler in his prodding. I believe it is he who has guided me to work with herbs in manners both magickal and medicinal, for before I knew him, I had little interest and now I seem to have a gift for them.
I do not see him in his jackal form or with the jackal head. I feel privileged to see him as a man, and was quite overjoyed when I discovered the picture of him in the Temple of Ramses II. To me he is a beautiful man with raven black hair, thin with skin the color of coffee with lots of cream. He has black eyes that are gentle and can see to your soul. I think that knowing Anubis is knowing how to judge the life you lead. If you are true to yourself, you should have no problems when it comes time to weigh your heart, for if you follow Anubis, you’ve really been weighing it all along.