Anubis, the God of Death: Rituals, Prayers, Offerings…
Anubis (also found as Inpew, Yinepu, or Anpu) is the name of the god who guides the spirits of the dead to the afterlife.He is nicknamed the “God of the Holy Land” and of Khentamentiu (a god preceding Anubis). Because the Egyptians believed that the Valley of the Dead was to the west, they also called him the King of the West. Anubis is often depicted as a black man with a jackal’s head or as a black jackal.
In this article you’ll learn about the history of Anubis, his cult and his powers. You will also learn ways to connect with him even today, through prayer and also ceremonial invocation and evocation rituals. You might be interested in doing so to seek his protection, guidance and a grand personal transformation.
Anubis has been worshipped since ancient times, and, in this aspect, he also seems to predate Osiris. Ever since the Unas Pyramid Texts, the oldest of the Pyramid Texts, its role has been prominent: he is associated with the Eye of Horus, and since then, he was considered a guide to the afterlife for the deceased, showing them the way to Osiris. In this sense, formula 81:57 states:
Sit before Unas as his god, make way for him before the spirits, so that he may stand before the spirits like Anubis Khentimentiu. Advance! Advance before Osiris!
A fascinating part of the god’s mythology is the various versions of his parentage. Early mythology depicts the god as a son of Ra. However, the coffin texts written in the First Intermediate Period present Anubis as the son of either Hesat or Bastet. Furthermore, another story depicts him as the son of Ra and Nephthys. In later myths, he is considered the son of Nephthys, who tricked Osiris into having intercourse with her by pretending to be his wife, Isis.
Texts often associate Anubis with mummification, nicknamed imy-ut – “He who is in the place of embalming”. He was also called “He who presides over the pavilion of the god” (khanty-she-netjer), in which pavilion could refer to where the embalming took place or the burial chamber of the pharaoh.
Furthermore, in the famous Osiris myth, Anubis helped Isis embalm Osiris. Some versions also state that Anubis received Osiris’ organs after Set killed Osiris. Therefore, with the appearance of this story, Anubis became the patron god of embalmers.
One of the most important roles he had, was that of a god who led the dead to the other world. He participates in the “Weighing of the Heart” ritual, which determines if the soul of the dead is granted access to the realm of the deceased.
In the critical scene that describes the weighing of the heart (Book of the Dead reference), Anubis makes the measurements to determine if a person is accepted into the afterlife, called the Duat. By weighing the heart of a deceased person before the goddess Ma’at, the goddess of truth, Anubis dictated the fate of souls.
The process was carried out by transforming the goddess into an ostrich feather and weighing the deceased’s soul in comparison with it. If the soul was heavier than the feather, it was devoured by Ammit, and the lighter ones ascended to a heavenly existence. The female equivalent of Anubis is Anput, the goddess of funeral rituals and mummification, often represented as his wife.
In addition to presiding over the tombs, one of his duties was to be the “road opener” of the North, just as Wepwawet “Upuaut” was for the South; his significance in this location was comparable to that of Osiris, with whom he shared the kingdom of the Hereafter with Upuaut.
Anubis was also the guardian of mummification priests because he was the gods’ embalmer for assisting Isis mummy Osiris; as a result, he was responsible for the evisceration of the dead and was given the title “The one who presides over the divine tent,” which is the place of mummification; or “He who is over the bandages.”In his entourage, according to the Book of the Dead, he had seven spirits (Amset, Hapy, Duamutef, Kebehsenuf, Maa-an-tef, Jerybakef and Mejenti-irti).
Anubis could cast curses upon others while safeguarding the departed from curses as a protector of graves who watched over the body after its death. Anubis was regularly called upon (as amulets, tomb paintings, and written works attest) for protection and vengeance, especially as a powerful ally in enforcing curses placed on others or defending against those curses. Anubis was once thought to be the god of death, with the power to bring back a soul if summoned. The resurrection, nevertheless, required a price.
Reasons to work with Anubis
Anubis is the guardian of the dead, yet he is also open to anybody seeking transformation and wisdom. He is widely regarded for his ability to protect people under his guidance, making him someone you can rely on for safety when you need it the most. I noticed some mentions describing him as a protector of travelers. In my opinion, that applies more to people going through life, people that are still “traveling” to find their purpose, rather than literally traveling anyplace.
Ever felt like you are lost in this world, you don’t have anyone to rely on, or you are just going through some existential crisis and rough patches on your life journey? Then, Anubis might be the guide you need. You might wonder why.
He is a very nurturing guide; he doesn’t judge and won’t require you to do precisely as he says. It’s the other way around. He will allow you to choose what you want to do, present you with the paths, and will always be there with a piece of good advice.
Also, if you are looking for a change, help on your spiritual path, and transformation in your life, he might be precisely what you need. I’m very fond of him, and I think he is a very captivating deity since he is known for conservation and evolution. Unlike other goods, he is very calm and neutral, which might help you if you are impulsive.
Signs Anubis is calling you
Anubis is like any other deity, so keep that in mind when contacting him. He wants respect and sincerity. Also, the people he chooses to work with are not afraid of the dark in their hearts; they accept to do shadow work, even if it might be painful, and already know why they want to work with him. He might not be the best choice if you are afraid of death and spirits. Approach him with your best intentions and a pure heart.
The signs every deity sends are different from person to person because they will be very personal; they will connect with you.
Signs can be either physical – animals related to the deity, phrases specific to them, their symbols appearing out of nowhere, or things that at the same time represent them and are relevant to you and your situation. Or they can be non-physical signs – a voice in your head, dreams with things that represent said deity, visions during meditation, or even a feeling based on your intuition.
For Anubis, these are the most representative symbols and animals that may appear in your dreams and visions, or you might even see them in your day-to-day life: ankhs, bones, Eye of Horus, dogs, jackals, leopards, or foxes. Also, if you suddenly have an affinity for the black and gold combination of colors, that might be another sign.
As I said before, Anubis is the God of Mummification, Embalming, and Death. So, if you have specific questions, fears, or traumas around death, this might be the right time to explore this.
Offerings for Anubis
Giving offerings to a deity is a sign of gratitude; it’s like saying, “thank you for your help.” But it should also be done with sincere love and intentions.
For Anubis, let’s start with his titles – “God of the Holy Land,” “Lord-of-the-Place-of-Embalming,” “The one who presides over the divine tent,” “God of Mummification,” “God of Death.”
This is the best place to start because you can guess what offerings he would like based on the names he has. For example, any offerings related to mummification (mummified dolls and figurines), strong incenses (myrrh, frankincense), cypress oil, and acts of service for the death – leave flowers on a stranger’s tomb or say a prayer for them.
The standard offerings for every Egyptian god are bread and beer, which would also be a good start. Since he likes to act as a paternal figure, he also wants something that makes you happy. Talk to him, write him a poem or a song, sing or even paint or draw something for him.
In my personal experience, he is a big fan of strong liquor and dark chocolate. Since he is the jack-headed god, your dog’s collars or toys would also be good. Or maybe volunteer at the closest dog shelter in your town, act with consideration towards street animals, or volunteer at an orphanage (he is also known as a protector of the orphans).
Ankhs or sculptures with him are also a good offering that he likes, especially ankhs. You could buy one and wear it for a few days before giving him to him so that it can have your energy imprinted. The Ankh is important because it was his primary symbol since it represents the breath of life and the journey of a soul.
Setting up an altar for a deity might seem overwhelming or very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Most deities don’t expect you to break the bank for their altar. They just want sincere love and intentions. They want a place where they can connect with you.
Anubis’s colors are black and gold, so you can either set it on a black table, or you could put a black and gold scarf on top of the said place for the altar. It is imperative to have a representation of his on your altar, so a small or large statue would be perfect. But don’t worry, if you don’t afford that right now, you could use a drawing, preferably made by you.
I talked before about how the ankh is his primary symbol, so make sure you put one on his altar. A little tip – you could paint an ankh on the surface of the altar. In my experience, he is very fond of boxes with secret compartments or puzzles. For candles, go with the color black, and don’t forget to put some stones of his liking around the altar, like black obsidian, jasper, or smokey quartz.
But ultimately, don’t forget that an altar is your connection with Anubis; it’s supposed to be something somewhat intimate and personal, so follow your intuition or even ask for guidance from Anubis if you are unsure.
Anubis crystals & symbols
Anubis planet is Pluto because of his original designation of being the god of the Underworld/Duat. Also, as we discussed before what his duties are, I think it’s evident that his symbol is the sarcophagus and the Ankh. His main stones are Hematite, Carnelian, and Black Obsidian.
In the Book of the Dead, hematite was utilized as an engraving stone to alleviate insanity, reduce swelling, and be buried with the graves to assist in the afterlife. Carnelian was almost always found within Egyptian tombs; it was believed to have afterlife power, assisting in the transit of one’s Ka via it. As I said before, Anubis is the perfect guide if you are looking for transformation and protection, so I think it’s obvious why Black Obsidian is on this list since it represents both.
Jasper, Smokey Quartz, Tigers Eye, Clear Quartz, and Lapis Lazuli are other crystals associated with Anubis.
Anubis likes strong incenses, so herbs like Frankincense, Myrrh, Hyacinths, and Fuchsias are to his liking. Since he is known for his relationship with preservation, protecting and preserving plants are the fittest for him, herbs like Sandalwood, Cloves, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Dill, and Cardamom.
Anubis likes and dislikes
Anubis is a very calm and calibrated deity, but that doesn’t mean he will tolerate stupidity and bad jokes. He can be either your greatest protector or your greatest enemy. He is well known for his vengeful side. If you disrespect him, be ready to face the consequences of your actions.
Opposite of this, Anubis is very fond of vulnerable people who need protection from the dark in this world. Even though he likes to give you choices and doesn’t like to control the people he works with, if he is radical about something, you must listen to him.
Prayers to Anubis
Here are two of the most effective prayers for Anubis. One is written by me (under his guidance) and the other one is from an ancient book.
Anubis, protector of the Death
I open my heart to you with sincere intentions
Please hear my voice through my prayers
Anubis, my guardian, and protector
Hear my prayers!
Anubis, God of the Holy Land
I bring offerings of incense and liquor
I pray to you, please give me your blessings
Beloved Anubis, please protect me!
Beloved Anubis, please give me guidance!
Beloved Anubis, please protect me from the darkness within my Heart!
Greetings to you, Anubis!
Greetings to you!
O Anpu, give me life in mu heart,
And life in my tongue,
And life in my hearing,
And life in my sight,
And life in my feeling,
And life in all my body,
And life before me,
And life behind me.
Give me, I pray thee,
Life on my right hand,
And life on my left hand,
And life above me,
And life beneath me.
O Anpu, increase the life within me
And give me life to thrive within!
Invocation for Anubis:
The best place to do this ritual, when calling on Anubis, is either in front of his altar or in the cemetery (this might be tricky depending on the laws in your state). Draw a pentagram, with his symbols on each end, and put it in front of you.
It’s very important to have a representation of him in front of you, so you can visualize him. Start by meditating; empty your head and leave behind any thoughts.
After you gained that peace of mind, start visualizing him, and feel the emotions you would have if you would meet him. And finally, say the following incantation:
Hail to thee,Anpu,Neb-ta-djeser!
Please, reveal yourself to me!
O! Protector of the dead, of the spirits,
O! Mighty one,
O! Master of secrets and ruler of the Underworld,
O! Pharaoh of those in Amenti,
O! You who decides the unworthy,
Please, reveal yourself to me!
My protector, my guide, my god who I serve,
Come to the earth!
Please, reveal yourself to me and guide me through the dark!
Hail to thee, Anpu, Neb-ta-djeser!
Evocation for Anubis:
- Prior to this ritual, pray to Anubis three consecutive nights. During the prayers, give offerings to Anubis.
- Wear respectable clothing, preferably black or black and gold ceremonial robes.
- Using red chalk/paint create a pentagram on the floor and a circle surrounding it touching each of the 5 points.At each end of the pentagram, make sure to put a symbol of his.
- In the center of the pentagram put Anubis crystal, hematite, or black obsidian.
- Carve Anubis (usually an ankh with circles at the ends) on a black candle, light it, and place it in front of the pentagram.
- Sit on the ground, preferably opposite the candle. Start by meditating. Feel the energy coming through you, visualize Anubis.
- Say the following incantation: Anpu, Neb-ta-djeser, embrace me, your follower/ Anpu, Neb-ta-djeser, heal me, protect me, be my guide in this human life/ Help me see the truth behind the curtains/ Let’s unite, I’ll let you help me/ Anpu, Neb-ta-djeser, let’s unite/ Show yourself, protector of the dead/ Blessed be!
- To end the ritual,say the following: Blessed be/ Anpu, Neb-ta-djeser, thank you for your guidance/ Blessed be/ Anpu, Neb-ta-djeser, give my thoughts back, guide me into the world of living/ Blessed be
- Clean the crystal with wine and put out the candle by pouring wine over it. Then clean up the ritual space and resume your daily activities.