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Anubis

Eclectic WitchcraftEclecticism can meet with a certain level of scorn, judgment and/or dismissal by some in the Pagan Community. Some think that we’re just plain indecisive. Raymond Buckland even omits Eclectics from the conversation altogether in both his “Complete Book of Witchcraft” and “The Witch Book” –which is meant to be an encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca & Neo-Paganism.

The idea that this path is somehow “less valid” than the paths of those who follow more

“established” traditions– Gardnerian, Alexandrian,  Dianic, Celtic, Romani, Strega, and British Traditional Witchcraft, just to name a few– doesn’t make sense to me. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “of course it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re one of those Eclectic Types”. Yes I am, but the reason it doesn’t make sense is held in the concept of “All Paths Lead to the Divine” that most pagans also tend to believe. It seems like some believe that one’s path must be an established path…but think about it…While Witchcraft, in one form or another, has been around for centuries, Wicca itself (in it’s capacity as a somewhat organized ‘non-organized religion’) is a fairly new path. So, viewing a path of Eclectic Witchcraft as somehow invalid in comparison seems rather short-sighted to me…but I guess that’s for others to discover in their own time.

ec·lec·tic [ih-klek-tik] adjective: 1. selecting or choosing from various sources. 2. made up of what is selected from different sources. 3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.” dictionary.com

The spiritual world of the Eclectic Witch, or at least this Eclectic Witch, is not as easy as many may think. With the exception of my Core Beliefs, it has taken much time and study to form my personal practice (which is still under construction, even after almost 11 yrs of study). I also tend to disagree a bit with the definition of “eclectic” in that I didn’t select the components that make up the foundation of my practice. What I mean is, I didn’t set out at the beginning of my journey thinking I would end up with a little of this and a little of that…nor did I seek out the elements that my practice is comprised of. These elements presented themselves to me…but, I guess they were selected by someone, so I’ll not quibble about it.

My Core Beliefs are notions that have been with me for the majority of my life…they’ve just acquired shiny new labels along the way.

My Core Beliefs:

)O( Everything Happens for a ReasonGood/Evil, Sickness/Health, Happy Events/Sad Events…Everything we witness and experience has a lesson held somewhere within. The goal is to learn as much as possible, as this not only helps to understand and accept the events of One’s own Journey but also makes it possible to help others who may need assistance in understanding their own Journey.

)O( Everything is Connected – All living things and most matter are comprised of the same chemical elements. Beyond this, all things are made up of molecules, atoms, particles, etc…all of which are made of: Energy. Energy is exchanged between all things (albeit at different rates of exchange). I have sensed this connection between people, animals, and the whole of Nature since I was a child. As Carl Sagan once said: We are all made of star-stuff.

Our Sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.” ~Carl Sagan

)O( Do No Harm, But Take No Shit. I follow The Rede to the best of my humanly ability. I am not one who interprets it as a license for others to use me as a doormat, however. I try my best not to impose harm on any living creature (Mosquitoes and roaches are exempt from this though…I just can’t abide them *shudders*, so I’m willing to risk any Universal repercussions), but as The Rede is meant to not impose harm upon anyone including myself, I have no problem defending myself or my loved ones…whether that includes physical or magickal means (These are not to be used casually).

)O( Justice is Blind, Karma Sees Everything, and Boy do They Talk! – Meaning, that if you are going to do something, be mindful that there may be consequences and you should be prepared for them. If you ask for true Justice in any given situation, be prepared to pay for whatever part you may have played in the event, even if your part was unintended.

My Primary Deities:

)O( Hecate – Greek/Thracian Goddess of the Crossroads, Transformation, Childbirth, Witchcraft, Justice

)O( Anubis – Egyptian God of the Dead/Underworld, Embalming, Keeper of Poisons & Medicines, Protector of the Scales. Patron of Lost Souls & Orphans.

)O( Brighid – Celtic Goddess of Fire: the Fire of Poetic Inspiration and Divination, the Fire of Healing and Fertility, and the Fire of Metal-Working and Crafts

)O( Pan Greek God of Nature, Shepherds, Flocks, Goats, Mountain Regions, Sexuality and Fertility

)O( Danu Celtic Goddess of Fertility, Knowledge, Wisdom, Abundance, Mother of the Faeries, Protector of the Land and Waters

)O( Ganesha – Hindu God of Education, Knowledge, Wisdom and Wealth, Lord of Obstacles and Lord of Success

Now, this group of Gods & Goddesses may seem like quite an odd mash-up to most. In fact it was even odd for me for a while. Each of these deities revealed themselves to me in their own time…I never went looking for them, as I never expected to have any other ‘regular’ Gods & Goddesses beyond Hecate & Anubis, but they seem to have other ideas.

Yesterday it occurred to me why this group is indeed perfect for me (something THEY were all undoubtedly aware of). As Pagans and Witches we are very often talking about the belief that we all contain the Divine within. Well, when looking at my seemingly indiscriminate Pantheon, I discovered that each one of the deities it contains speak to the very traits, skills, drives, and desires that make me who I am. This group truly represents the core of my being…I have to say, that was one hell of a revelation!

New discoveries and ideas regarding my practice are coming to me every day it seems…and what I’ve shared with you is really just a glimpse at some of the bones of its structure. The idea was to convey the message that Eclecticism is not a willy-nilly flight of fancy, but a legitimate spiritual path that is not always chosen, but is sometimes thrust upon those who embark upon it. Not to say that there aren’t a good many flakes out there using the Eclectic brand…but, aren’t there a few in every religion? lol However, even the ‘flakes’ are on a path…who the hell am I to say they’re wrong?

But I digress…

It can sometimes be quite difficult to find the connections between the components of one’s spiritual system. This is true regardless of what path you follow. There are always revelations and epiphanies to be had…always a new level of understanding and connectedness to be achieved. Witchcraft, whatever the tradition, is a path of Mystery. It can often seem dark, unknowable, even daunting…but the discoveries we make along the way illuminate the next portion of our Path, whatever label we may give it.

 

  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.