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Anubis: God of the Underworld
By Kendra
(Written for Ecclasia)

Nephtys, wanting desperately to conceive a child, disguised herself as Isis to seduce Osiris. When Set found out about the affair he murdered Osiris. Fearing for her sons life, she had Isis help her hide the child away in the desert. Isis, still in grief from losing her husband, agreed to help her sister in exchange for her sister's help in finding the pieces of Osiris' body.

This is where the myth has many differences. Some say that Nephtys hides her son, and only after Anubis is older does Isis go to save him and then Anubis helps her to find the body pieces of Osiris. This second version of the myth rings more true because Anubis has the duty to guard Osiris' body after death, and brings the souls of the dead to Osiris for judgement. There are also legends of Anubis being husband to Ma'at and Lord of the Underworld; bringing the souls of the dead to Ma'at to have their hearts weighted against her feather before then taking the souls to Osiris.

Anubis was worshipped even before Osiris throughout Egypt. He is associated with the Eye of Horus. He is the God of death, embalming, protection, and is the guardian of all the gods. Although he is the son of Nephtys, he is the companion and loyal guard to Isis, and Isis is seldom seen without her canine accompanying her. He is the statue on the right of Osiris in the tomb, and is the lead in all processions of the dead.

In dreams or visions you would see him as a big black dog or a man with a mask of gold and black head of a jackal. He holds a green palm branch and either a wand or staff. In most processions, you'll see him leading the way, followed by a cow walking upright on its hind legs, the cow representing the Goddess. He is guardian and protector to all the gods, and bringer of the knowledge to all those who seek it. He is particularly associated with Isis because she saved him from the desert after his mother, Nephtys, abandoned him. He is often seen as her son, but there is always a dog with Isis which represents Anubis. She is often seen riding a large black dog as a symbol of the two searching for the pieces of Osiris' body.

He is seen as the horizon bridging between the night and day, which represents his mother (Nephtys) and Isis. He is the solar opposite to his half-brother Horus. Horus is the day and Anubis is the night. Both are seen on opposite sides of Osiris in his tomb. Anubis is the god to call on for protection, knowledge and help against temptation. There are visualizations that you can use to call upon Anubis to help you resist temptation, using the biblical term "lead me not into temptation," and to help you get yourself out of whatever bad situation you might be in. He is guide, protector, and teacher. He is also represented as an archer, which corresponds with Siris the Dog Star.

People who associate themselves with Anubis find themselves to be an extremely loyal friend, adventurous and usually young and good looking. Problem areas are losing interest in someone or something after they have passed the challenge of that relationship (i.e. getting a date, learning a new skill, etc.). Anubis only allows select people into his inner circle, though sometimes he will call upon others, only to ignore them the next day as if nothing had happened. You must prove yourself to become one of Anubis' loyal followers.


Dogs or any type of canines
Palm trees
Wands and staves
House and home
Death and the afterlife
Justice and protection
Loyalty and companionship
Teacher and guide

COLORS: Black, Brown, Green, Gold, and Orange
MONTHS AND HOLYDAYS: Summer Solstice, June, July, also Samhain, dusk and dawn, noon & midnight
ELEMENTS: Earth, Sand and Fire
TAROT CARD: Justice, Death, Judgement and Temperance
ZODIAC: Sagitarius, sometimes Libra or Leo
STAR: Siris, the Dog Star

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This page last updated December 16, 2005