Anubis was the Jackal headed god of the dead, embalming and guardian of the deceased. Anubis held many epithets including ‘lord of the hallowed land’, for his role within the ancient necropolis where he protected the dead from evil forces in the night. Anubis played an important ritualistic role at the mummification of the deceased, where a priest would wear the black jackal mask representing the god. He also resided over the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ in the Hall of Judgement, where the deceased’s heart would be weighed against the feather of Ma’at, before the god Osiris.
Limestone statue of Anubis as a jackal, Dynasty 26 (664 - 525 BCE).
Anubis appears in two of the major arcana:
o ‘XIII – Death’ (The Reaper Skeleton – Transformation) – shows Anubis in a typical judgement scene of the book of the dead, weighing the heart of the deceased against the ma’at feather.
o ‘XX – Judgement’ (The Walking of the Dead – Renewal) – shows Anubis guiding the deceased.