Our Hearts & Prayers Go Out To All Effected by The Synagogue Shootings In Pittsburgh

Our hearts and our prayers go out to all the victims of the Synagogue Shootings In Pittsburgh. There comes a time when we must set aside our own personal beliefs and traditions and pray for those who are victims of such senseless violence and killings. Today is that day.

Across our many religious divides let us put that aside and remember one important thing, we are all one race in the Goddess’ eyes. We are all Her children. We are all brothers & sisters on our Great Mother Earth. When such violence that has occurred today happens, it effects us all.

We pray for those who lost their lives today, their families, their friends, their loved ones and most of all the community of Pittsburgh. We ask that those who were injured make a full and speedy recovery. Let the healing process begin, even though it is a long and difficult road at times, let them know they do not walk it alone. We are with them in thought, spirit and prayer. Most of all, you Almighty Mother are with them. Let them feel Your comfort, Your love and Your strength during the days ahead.

Almighty Mother, most of all, we pray that we never have to turn on a TV or pick up a newspaper and hear of such violence ever again. With all our hearts we pray that the senseless violence and killings in our country cease. Let us remember what it was like to live in peace and strive for that existence once more. Let our fellow man learn to respect life and hold it sacred. Life is the most precious gift you have given us, let all mankind learn to treasure it once again.

Almighty Mother, we pray these things today and every day because through you all things are possible, if we only ask.

 

We have a large number of brothers & sisters in the Pittsburgh area, please light a candle and say a prayer for them and their safety.

Your Banishing Flame (Samhain)

Your Banishing Flame

 

As we say goodbye to the Celtic year, this is a good time to release things that have been holding you back. This is a fire festival and the strength and renewal ability of fire can be used to release the old habits and move forward into the new. Take time beforehand to consider what is holding you back and needs to be changed. Take a square piece of paper, and in black ink, write down exactly what needs to be changed/let go of i.e. I need to stop smoking. Turn over the paper and on the other side in green pen, the changes you need to grow, as if they have already happened i.e. my debts have been reduced/ paid due to stopping smoking etc. When your list of changes is done, place a bay leaf (kitchen) or a fallen oak leaf in the centre of the paper, then make 2 equal folds enclosing the black writing and leaf inside, then fold again twice more the other way to result in a small package. Place in a blank envelope and seal. Whether using a bonfire, the shop fire or the flame of your Samhain candle, you must burn this letter safely to seal the deal on the night of Samhain. As the paper begins to burn, watch it and say…

            Negative patterns be gone I say, and now you burn, let them stay away

            Open the door to changes great, transform my life as is my fate,

             Expand my horizons, my life, my soul, as positive changes are now my goal.

 

Repeat till it burns out completely and finish with “So mote it be”

Now you can go into the Celtic new year knowing changes are on the way. It is done

 

Source

Green Witch

Spell for Samhain to Ward of Bad Luck

Spell for Samhain to Ward of Bad Luck

 

There are a lot of people out there who believe they are having “a run of bad luck” and they say things run in 3’s. So here is what we are going to do. Because this is the start of the next wheel, forwarned is forarmed.

 

Take 3 shiny pennies, 3 pieces of cloth in a favourite colour and 3 bits of string/ribbon. Sit in front of your Samhain fire with protection incense burning and wrap each penny in a piece of cloth and tie with string saying:

“In luck I trust, in luck I believe, with this cloth, good luck I weave”.

 

Hold each pouch in the incense smoke and then place 2 safely on your altar/sacred space/magick box and hang the other over your front door.

 

Any time you feel there is a run of “bad luck”, you take this pouch out into a field/countryside/beach and bury it, saying

 

“Bad luck has come but not to stay, I bury it now to turn it away”.

 

Return home and hang a new one in its place. It is turned and we are done.

 

Source

Green Witch

Remembering Those Who Have Gone (Samhain)

Remembering Those Who Have Gone

Items needed:

1 natural candle and 1 blue candle

1 stone/pebble amethyst or quartz for every person you would like to remember on this night

1 goblet red wine (or more if you have a lot of people to remember!!)

 

Cast your circle or sacred space, ensuring you have a comfortable area to sit within your circle as you could be there some time. Light the two candles in the west of your circle forming a doorway by which spirit can enter should they choose to do so. Now, take one crystal in your hand, close your eyes and remember the good things about that person – those things that made you smile, laugh or cry. Then, when you have remembered the things you wanted to, simply state something like “If you are able, please come and sit with me…name….” then lay down the stone with the candles. Lift your glass and toast them and take a drink. Continue until all the people you wanted to think about had been remembered.

You may get the feeling that one is present, a few or all if you are lucky, in which case it will be a crowded circle. However, it is lovely to sit and remember and let them come should they want to. This is what Samhain is for and why the children dress as ghosts and ghouls. When you have sat for enough time and all is done (you can also do your divination within the circle as it would definitely be a powerful reading), then simply pick up each crystal individually, stating something like “…name…, thank you for your time, and I bid you hale and farewell.” and when all have been thanked, then close down your circle and keep those special crystals on your altar.

 

Source

The Green Witch

Samhain Ritual: 31 October

Samhain Ritual: 31 October

 


Materials: one cauldron, filled with water

CRONE This should be an older female.

OLD KING This should be a person chosen by lottery, or by whoever is acting as Crone. It can be enacted by the HP if needed.

BARD/GREEN MAN If the coven has no Bard available, then a Green Man should be chosen by lottery, or by whoever is acting as Maiden. It can be enacted by the HP, if needed.

The place of ritual should be set up, away from the gathered participants. This is not something that people should miss, so make sure that potty break is taken care of before the circle is cast.

HPS

Go we now to the sacred place
And stand within the sacred space
Turn your minds to sacred things
And dance with me unto the ring!

HP and HPS lead the coven to the place of ritual by a spiral dance, ending in a circle around the altar. The cauldron should be at the south. The Old King dances at the end of the line.

HPS

Come we forth, with the Spiral Dance
Within the Lady’s radiance
To mark the turning of the year
The door to Winter now is here.

Earth and Water, Fire and Air
I invoke the Goddess there!
This night we are Between the Worlds
To celebrate the year unfurled!

HP

Earth and Water, Fire and Sky
I invoke the God on high
This night we are Between the Worlds
To celebrate the year unfurled!

The corners shall be called thusly, that all may hear, but shall not be called until the HPS reaches that corner on her circumnabulation.

EAST

O Guardians of the Eastern Tower,
Airy ones of healing power
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

SOUTH

Oh fiery ones of Southern Power
Thus I invite you to this tower
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

WEST

Western ones of water’s flow
Help to guard us here below
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

NORTH

Earthen ones of Northern fame
Bless and guard our Power’s fane
I do summon, stir and call you

See these rites and guard this circle!
Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

The HPS shall move to each corner, and say, following each corner’s crying as she moves to the next:

HPS

So I cast and consecrate
This Circle of the small and great:
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
By Rock and Earth, by Land and Sea,
By Fire and Water, Earth and Air,
By the Lord, and Lady Fair!
By Love and Joy and Work and Play,
All things harmful cast away!
By lightning’s flash, and rain’s soft fall,
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
(Cast the Circle: Blessed be!)

On her return to the first corner she shall change the last line above, and say:

The Circle’s cast; and Blessed Be!

The callers of the corners shall return their tools to the altar, and then shall join the circle at their corners.

Here begins the Samhain Mystery:

OLD KING

Thus I invoke the Lady White
To come to us this sacred night.
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
I shall show you a Mystery!

Bard/Green Man and Maiden join hands, facing each other. The Maiden speaks to the Bard/Green Man:

MAIDEN

Lord of Life, hail Land-Master!
God of grain that grows and dies
Rising reborn, full of richness;
Fallow fields shall yet be fertile –
Spring sap runs as stirs your manhood
Bless barren earth, bear fruit again!

The Bard/Green Man speaks to Maiden:

BARD/GREEN MAN

Snow-shoes striding, hail swift Huntress!
Wild one, free and willful Goddess
Bow and blade you bear beside you,
Finding food to fend off hunger –
Winter will not leave us wanting;
Give good hunting, grant us skill.

The Old King moves to the West. The Crone moves to the North.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Yet I shall go into a trout.
With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt
And show thee many a merry game
Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Trout, take heed of an otter lank
Will harry thee close from bank to bank
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
All but for to fetch thee hame!

The Old King moves to the South. The Crone moves to the West.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Yet I shall go into a bee
With mickle fear and dread of thee
And flit to hive in the Lady’s Name
Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Bee, take heed of a red, red cock
Will harry thee close through door and lock
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
All but for to fetch thee hame!

The Old King moves to the East. The Crone moves to the South.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Oh, I shall go into a hare
with sorrow, sighing and mickle care
And I shall go in the Lady’s Name
Aye, until I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Hare, take heed of a swift greyhound
Will harry thee all these fields around
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
All but for to fetch thee hame!

The Old King moves to the North. The Crone moves to the East.

HP

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye her whistle would fetch him back!

OLD KING

Yet I shall go into a mouse
And haste me unto the Miller’s House
There in his corn to have good game
Ere that I be fetch-ed hame!

CRONE

Mouse, take heed of a white she-cat
That never was balked of mouse nor rat
For here come I in the Lady’s Name
And -thus- it is I fetch thee hame!

Crone walks to Old King and takes his hand. He falls as if dead.

HPS

Cunning and art he did not lack
But aye Her Song has fetched Him back!

Summer’s gone, the Lady reigns
And Winter has returned again!

Maiden wets her hands with water from the Cauldron, and sprinkles it on the Old King, who comes to life again.

OLD KING

Cunning and art I do not lack
But aye Her Cauldron will bring me back!

The Crone and Old King shall join hands, facing each other, and say:

Note: These Norse style verses were taken from a file I got (I think) from Paul Seymour. Don’t know who author is.

CRONE

One-eye, Wanderer, God of wisdom,
Hunt-lord, hail, who leads the hosting!
Nine nights hanging, knowledge gaining,
Cloaked at crossroads, council hidden.
Now the night, your time, is near us –
Right roads send us on, Rune-winner.

OLD KING

Every age your eyes have witnessed;
Cauldron-Keeper, hail wise Crone!
Rede in riddles is your ration –
Wyrd-weaver at the World-tree’s root.
Eldest ancient, all-knowing one,
Speak unto us, send us vision!

Here the HPS should say:

HPS

We remember our dead; our loved ones gone to the Summerland before us. Give them peace and joy.

ALL

Blessed be!

READER

Never again the Burning Times! Let us remember our dead, good and bad, innocent and guilty:

HPS

Let them have peace.

ALL

Blessed be!

Here ends the Samhain Mystery.

A normal cone-of-power may be raised, for growth and healing:

HPS

In a ring we all shall stand
Pass the Power, hand to hand.

HP

As the season turns again
Power flows from friend to friend

HPS

Pass the Power, hand to hand
Bless the Lady, bless the Land

HP

Bless the Lord, and bless the Skies
Bless the Power that never dies!

The above four verses should be repeated three times, or as many times as needed, and the HPS shall then say:

HPS

By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree:
Let the Power flow out and free!

All should release, at this point.

Any needed coven business may be transacted here.

The Circle is opened:

HPS

Thus I release the East and West
Thanks to them from Host to Guest
Thus I release the South and North
With “Blessed Be’ I send them forth!
The Circle’s open, dance we so
Out and homeward we shall go.
Earth and Water, Air and Fire
Celebrated our desire.
We think of those in Summerland
Who dance together, hand in hand.
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
Our circle’s done; and Blessed Be!

COVEN

Blessed Be!

All spiral dance out from the Circle, led by HP and HPS.

 

 

The White Bard, Author

Published on Pagan Library

Samhain Ritual

Samhain Ritual


This ritual was written at a time when I did not have a qualified Priest in my group. However, it may easily be adapted for those groups in which the Priestess and Priest work together. It may be just as easily adapted to solitary work.

Place an apple and pomegranate upon the altar. There should also be a “planted” pot of earth for each participant – these may be arranged on the altar as well, if there is ample space. Instruments of divination may be placed within the Circle perimeter for use during the ritual if you wish. Arrange the altar as usual and decorate with Autumn leaves, pumpkins, etc.

The Circle is cast and purified the Circle in the usual manner. Dancing around the Circle in a shuffle step (deosil), all chant three times:

The Moon is bright, the Crone is old
The body lifeless – the bones so cold
We all live and pay our dues
To die in ones and threes and twos.

Death, dance and play the harp
Piercing silence in the dark
The Woman’s old with withered limbs
Death beckons Her to dance with Him

As She accepts the Dance of Death
The Earth is cooled by ghostly breath
To lie in dormancy once more
To have Her strength and life restored

Go to the Western Quarter and draw an invoking pentagram with the athame to open the gate. Then evoke the dead by saying:

All ye spirits who walk this night –
Hearken! Hearken to my call!
I bid you in our Circle join!
Enter! Enter – one and all!

Come ye, spirits of the dead:
Be ye spirit of plant or pet
Or human being who still roams!
Into this Circle you are let!

Speak to us of things unknown!
Lend your energies to this rite!
To speed your journey, we have joined
On this sacred Samhain night!

All ye spirits who walk this night –
Hearken! Hearken to my call!
I bid you in our Circle join!
Enter! Enter – one and all!

Bestow blessings upon the dead, saying:

Oh Mighty Pan of the Summerlands:
Guardian of the beloved dead
We pour forth love on those you keep
Safely, in your peaceful stead
We bless those who have walked the path
That someday, we as well, shall rove
We offer peace unto their souls
While resting in your arms, below

Now is the time for divination (Ouija Board, pendulum, cards, etc.) and communication with those who have gone on before us. Allow plenty of time for this. [Note: I have found that it is helpful to have a tape recorder handy within the Circle for recording any communications that may be “channeled” during this time. Some people disagree with this suggestion, saying that the metal of this electronic device causes scattered energies in the Circle; however, if the recorder has been cleansed and purified as the rest of the ritual tools, the problem seems to be resolved.]

When the divinatory processes are completed, the Priestess goes to the Western Quarter and draw the banishing pentagram, saying:

Blessings be upon thee, oh wondrous Spirits of the
Summerlands. We humbly thank thee for your presence in our
Circle and honor you in celebration this sacred night. We
beseech thee, oh Pan, keeper of the sacred dead, embrace
once again those souls within your keep and hold tightly
to your breast those which have been lost and wandering.
Grant them safe passage to the Summerland, where they may
rest peacefully in your strength until they are refreshed
and reborn again in perfect love. We bid thee all a fond
farewell. So mote it be!

The gate is now closed.

The Priestess goes to the altar and hold up the pomegranate, saying:

Behold the pomegranate, fruit of Life…

The athame is plunged into the pomegranate, splitting it open to display the seeds. She says:

Whose seeds lie in the dormancy of Death!

The Priestess eats one of the seeds, saying:

I Taste the seeds of Death.

The pomegranate is then passed hand to hand through the participants of the ritual, each eating a seed and saying to the next person:

“Taste the seeds of Death.”

The Priestess then holds up the apple, saying:

Behold the apple: fruit of wisdom, fruit of Death…

She then cuts the apple crosswise, saying:

Whose symbolism rewards us with life eternal!

She holds up the apple, displaying the inner pentagram, and says:

Behold the five-fold star – the promise of rebirth!

Consecrate the fruit and wine. Each person then tastes of the apple and sips the wine, saying to the next person:

Taste the fruit of rebirth and sip from the cup of wine of Life.

After libation, the Priestess presents each member of the group with a small pot of earth, planted with three seeds [preferably rue or lavender]. She briefly explains to the group that this is the season of the seed – it is a time of dormancy, but also a time of re-generation for growth. Further, as the seed rests in the earth, they should also take time to rest and re-evaluate their lives, metaphorically planting only those values which will enrich and enhance the growth within the Divine Self. She then instructs them to name the seeds within their pots with three values they wish to incorporate into their lives, knowing that as the seeds sprout with new life, their lives will be new, as well.

After the presentation, all join hands and hold them skyward.

PRIESTESS:

Thus is the Circle of Rebirth.
All pass from this life through the great god, Pan
But through My love you are all reborn
In the cycles of nature – through the Cosmic Plan.

In living we die – in dying we live
The fruit is first seed, yet seed comes from the fruit
In the mystery of life and death and rebirth
The Circle turns ever, and I am its root.

ALL RESPOND:

The Sun conceived in Darkness, cold
In the Shadow of Death, a Life unfolds
A shred of Light begins to burn
From Death comes Life – the Circle turns.

Dismiss Quarters and Dissolve Circle.

PRIESTESS:

The rite is ended.

ALL:

Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

Outdoor libation to the Lord and Lady, and the spirits of the dead.

 

Dorothy Morrison, Author

Published on Pagan Library

Jack-O-Lantern Warding Spell (Samhain)

Jack-O-Lantern Warding Spell

 

If you feel you are being plagued by some malevolent spirit or energy, try this during the Samhain season to protect your home and send it away.

You Will Need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin carving tools
  • Black votive candles
  • Clove oil
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  1. Hollow and carve your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern the normal way. This is no time for cutesy pictures or artsy expressions. Just carve your basic scary face into it.
  2. In meditation, talk to your jack-o-lantern. Give him a name. Tell him his purpose—to ward off evil, fend off baneful magic, or banish unwanted spirits.
  3. Anoint your votive candle with clove oil, building energy as you rub it in. Empower it with your desire by simply visualizing your desire going down your arms, through your hands, into the candle. You might chant as you do this. This is the energy-raising part of the spell, so really focus on your goal and let it build.
  4. Place the candle inside your jack-o-lantern. Drop some garlic cloves and a few pinches of black pepper around it for good measure.
  5. Put your jack-o-lantern outside your door. Light the candle to release the energy. Let it burn out.
  6. For maximum effect, do this three nights in a row (putting in a newly anointed candle each night).

 

 

About The Author

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.

Published on Exemplore

Samhain Spirit-Banishing Incense

Spirit-Banishing Incense

Burn this if you are worried that baneful spirits are bothering you during this season when the veil is thin, or to follow up after burning Spirit Drawing Incense to ensure spirits return from whence they came.

3 parts Frankincense

2 parts sage

1 parts ground angelica root

1 part St. John’s Wort

1 part bay

IF you feel a particularly malevolent spirit is about, you may add one part fumitory, or a pinch of garlic powder (just a pinch—it’s strong!)

If your frankincense is not already thoroughly ground, let it air-dry overnight, then grind it in your mortar and pestle going counter-clockwise while focusing on banishing. After the frankincense is ground, add the other ingredients, one at time, to incorporate and blend them.

Burn to rid the area of unwanted spirits. If burning indoors, open all the windows.

 

About The Author

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.

Published on Exemplore

 

Samhain Spirit-Drawing Incense

Spirit-Drawing Incense

This is a great incense if you are seeking to commune with spirits this season.

CAUTION: Make sure you are really ready to draw spirits before burning it.

1 part sandalwood powder

1 part ground wormwood

1 part lavender

Ground and blend in your mortar and pestle and then sprinkle on lighted incense coals. You can also throw a handful onto a burning fire, such as in your fireplace or an outdoor balefire. You can burn it to draw your ancestors, while using a divination tool, during meditation/trance work, or before sleep to promote contact during dreams.

 

About the Author

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.

Published on Exemplore

 

Samhain Goddesses – Hel – Norse

Hel

 

In the Poetic EddaProse Edda, and Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of the realm of Niflheim. In the same source, her appearance is described as half blue and half flesh-colored and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. The Prose Edda details that Hel rules over vast mansions with many servants in her underworld realm and plays a key role in the attempted resurrection of the god Baldr.

Scholarly theories have been proposed about Hel’s potential connections to figures appearing in the 11th-century Old English Gospel of Nicodemus and Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, that she may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali or that Hel may have become a being only as a late personification of the location of the same name.

Domain

The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda’s hall. They cast her in the underworld, into which she distributes those who are sent to her; the wicked and those who died of sickness or old age. Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, Home of the Dead. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as “tardy”). She has a knife called “Famine”, a plate called “Hunger”, a bed called “Disease”, and bed curtains called “Misfortune”.

Etymology

The Old Norse feminine proper noun Hel is identical to the name of the location over which she rules, Old Norse Hel. The word has cognates in all branches of the Germanic languages, including Old English hell (and thus Modern English hell), Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Old High German hella, and Gothic halja. All forms ultimately derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic feminine noun *xaljō or *haljō (‘concealed place, the underworld’). In turn, the Proto-Germanic form derives from the o-grade form of the Proto-Indo-European root *kel-, *kol-: ‘to cover, conceal, save’.

The term is etymologically related to Modern English hall and therefore also Valhalla, an afterlife ‘hall of the slain’ in Norse Mythology. Hall and its numerous Germanic cognates derive from Proto-Germanic *hallō ‘covered place, hall’, from Proto-Indo-European *kol-.

Related early Germanic terms and concepts include Proto-Germanic *xalja-rūnō(n), a feminine compound noun, and *xalja-wītjan, a neutral compound noun. This form is reconstructed from the Latinized Gothic plural noun *haliurunnae (attested by Jordanes; according to philologist Vladimir Orel, meaning ‘witches’), Old English helle-rúne (‘sorceress, necromancer’, according to Orel), and Old High German helli-rūna ‘magic’. The compound is composed of two elements: *xaljō (*haljō) and *rūnō, the Proto-Germanic precursor to Modern English rune. The second element in the Gothic haliurunnae may however instead be an agent noun from the verb rinnan (“to run, go”), which would make its literal meaning “one who travels to the netherworld”.)

Proto-Germanic *xalja-wītjan (or *halja-wītjan) is reconstructed from Old Norse hel-víti ‘hell’, Old English helle-wíte ‘hell-torment, hell’, Old Saxon helli-wīti ‘hell’, and the Middle High German feminine noun helle-wīze. The compound is a compound of *xaljō (discussed above) and *wītjan (reconstructed from forms such as Old English witt ‘right mind, wits’, Old Saxon gewit ‘understanding’, and Gothic un-witi ‘foolishness, understanding’).

Attestations

Poetic Edda

The Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, features various poems that mention Hel. In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, Hel’s realm is referred to as the “Halls of Hel.” In stanza 31 of Grímnismál, Hel is listed as living beneath one of three roots growing from the world tree Yggdrasil. In Fáfnismál, the hero Sigurd stands before the mortally wounded body of the dragon Fáfnir, and states that Fáfnir lies in pieces, where “Hel can take” him. In Atlamál, the phrases “Hel has half of us” and “sent off to Hel” are used in reference to death, though it could be a reference to the location and not the being, if not both. In stanza 4 of Baldrs draumar, Odin rides towards the “high hall of Hel.”

Hel may also be alluded to in Hamðismál. Death is periphrased as “joy of the troll-woman” (or “ogress”) and ostensibly it is Hel being referred to as the troll-woman or the ogre (flagð), although it may otherwise be some unspecified dís. The Poetic Edda also mentions that travelers to Hel must pass by her guardian hound Garmr.

Prose Edda

Hel is referred to in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In chapter 34 of the book Gylfaginning, Hel is listed by High as one of the three children of Loki and Angrboða; the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jörmungandr, and Hel. High continues that, once the gods found that these three children are being brought up in the land of Jötunheimr, and when the gods “traced prophecies that from these siblings great mischief and disaster would arise for them” then the gods expected a lot of trouble from the three children, partially due to the nature of the mother of the children, yet worse so due to the nature of their father.

High says that Odin sent the gods to gather the children and bring them to him. Upon their arrival, Odin threw Jörmungandr into “that deep sea that lies round all lands,” Odin threw Hel into Niflheim, and bestowed upon her authority over nine worlds, in that she must “administer board and lodging to those sent to her, and that is those who die of sickness or old age.” High details that in this realm Hel has “great Mansions” with extremely high walls and immense gates, a hall called Éljúðnir, a dish called “Hunger,” a knife called “Famine,” the servant Ganglati (Old Norse “lazy walker”), the serving-maid Ganglöt (also “lazy walker”), the entrance threshold “Stumbling-block,” the bed “Sick-bed,” and the curtains “Gleaming-bale.” High describes Hel as “half black and half flesh-coloured,” adding that this makes her easily recognizable, and furthermore that Hel is “rather downcast and fierce-looking.”

In chapter 49, High describes the events surrounding the death of the god Baldr. The goddess Frigg asks who among the Æsir will earn “all her love and favour” by riding to Hel, the location, to try to find Baldr, and offer Hel herself a ransom. The god Hermóðr volunteers and sets off upon the eight-legged horse Sleipnir to Hel. Hermóðr arrives in Hel’s hall, finds his brother Baldr there, and stays the night. The next morning, Hermóðr begs Hel to allow Baldr to ride home with him, and tells her about the great weeping the Æsir have done upon Baldr’s death. Hel says the love people have for Baldr that Hermóðr has claimed must be tested, stating:

“If all things in the world, alive or dead, weep for him, then he will be allowed to return to the Æsir. If anyone speaks against him or refuses to cry, then he will remain with Hel.”

Later in the chapter, after the female jötunn Þökk refuses to weep for the dead Baldr, she responds in verse, ending with “let Hel hold what she has.” In chapter 51, High describes the events of Ragnarök, and details that when Loki arrives at the field Vígríðr “all of Hel’s people” will arrive with him.

In chapter 5 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Hel is mentioned in a kenning for Baldr (“Hel’s companion”). In chapter 16, “Hel’s […] relative or father” is given as a kenning for Loki. In chapter 50, Hel is referenced (“to join the company of the quite monstrous wolf’s sister”) in the skaldic poem Ragnarsdrápa.

Heimskringla

In the Heimskringla book Ynglinga saga, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Hel is referred to, though never by name. In chapter 17, the king Dyggvi dies of sickness. A poem from the 9th-century Ynglingatal that forms the basis of Ynglinga saga is then quoted that describes Hel’s taking of Dyggvi:

I doubt not
but Dyggvi’s corpse
Hel does hold
to whore with him;
for Ulf’s sib
a scion of kings
by right should
caress in death:
to love lured
Loki’s sister
Yngvi’s heir
o’er all Sweden.

In chapter 45, a section from Ynglingatal is given which refers to Hel as “howes’-warder” (meaning “guardian of the graves”) and as taking King Halfdan Hvitbeinn from life. In chapter 46, King Eystein Halfdansson dies by being knocked overboard by a sail yard. A section from Ynglingatal follows, describing that Eystein “fared to” Hel (referred to as “Býleistr’s-brother’s-daughter”). In chapter 47, the deceased Eystein’s son King Halfdan dies of an illness, and the excerpt provided in the chapter describes his fate thereafter, a portion of which references Hel:

Loki’s child
from life summoned
to her thing
the third liege-lord,
when Halfdan
of Holtar farm
left the life
allotted to him.

In a stanza from Ynglingatal recorded in chapter 72 of the Heimskringla book Saga of Harald Sigurdsson, “given to Hel” is again used as a phrase to referring to death.

Egils saga

The Icelanders’ saga Egils saga contains the poem Sonatorrek. The saga attributes the poem to 10th century skald Egill Skallagrímsson, and writes that it was composed by Egill after the death of his son Gunnar. The final stanza of the poem contains a mention of Hel, though not by name:

Now my course is tough:
Death, close sister
of Odin’s enemy
stands on the ness:
with resolution
and without remorse
I will gladly
await my own.

Gesta Danorum

In the account of Baldr’s death in Saxo Grammaticus’ early 13th century work Gesta Danorum, the dying Baldr has a dream visitation from Proserpina (here translated as “the goddess of death”):

The following night the goddess of death appeared to him in a dream standing at his side, and declared that in three days time she would clasp him in her arms. It was no idle vision, for after three days the acute pain of his injury brought his end.

Scholars have assumed that Saxo used Proserpina as a goddess equivalent to the Norse Hel.

 

Source

Mythology Wikia

 

Samhain Gods – Yama – Hindu

Yama


Yama or Yamarāja is a god of death, the south direction, and the underworld, belonging to an early stratum of Rigvedic Hindu deities. In Sanskrit, his name can be interpreted to mean “twin”. In the Zend-Avesta of Zoroastrianism, he is called “Yima”.

According to the Vishnu Purana, Yama is the son of sun-god Surya and Sandhya, the daughter of Vishvakarma. Yama is the brother of Sraddhadeva Manu and of his older sister Yami, which Horace Hayman Wilson indicates to mean the Yamuna. According to the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, and is called “Lord of the Pitrs”.

Mentioned in the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism, Yama subsequently entered Buddhist mythology in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka as a Dharmapala under various transliterations. He is otherwise also called as “Dharmaraja”.

Hinduism

In Hinduism, Yama is the lokapala (“Guardian of the Directions”) of the south and the son of Surya. Three hymns (10, 14, and 35) in the 10th book of the Rig Veda are addressed to him. In Puranas, Yama is described as having four arms, complexion of rain cloud with wrathful expression, surrounded by garland of flames, protruding fangs, dressed in red, yellow or blue garments, holding noose and mace or sword, and riding a water-buffalo. He wields a noose with which he seizes the lives of people who are about to die.

According to Hindu itihasa, Yama is the son of Surya and Saranyu. He is the twin brother of Yami, brother of Shraddhadeva Manu and the step brother of Shani. His wife was Goddess Dhumorna and his son was Katila.

Buddhism

In Buddhism, Yama (Sanskrit: यम) is a dharmapala, a wrathful god or the Enlightened Protector of Buddhism that is considered worldly, said to judge the dead and preside over the Narakas (“Hell” or “Purgatory”) and the cycle of rebirth.

The Buddhist Yama has, however, developed different myths and different functions from the Hindu deity. In Pali Canon Buddhist myths, Yama takes those who have mistreated elders, holy spirits, or their parents when they die. Contrary though, in the Majjhima Nikaya commentary by Buddhagosa, Yama is a vimānapeta – a that has a mixed state.

In other parts of Buddhism, Yama’s main duty is to watch over purgatorial aspects of Hell (the underworld), and has no relation to rebirth. His sole purpose is to maintain the relationships between spirits that pass through the ten courts, similar to Yama’s representation in several Chinese religions.

He has also spread widely and is known in every country where Buddhism is practiced, including China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and United States.

China

In Chinese texts, Yama only holds transitional places in Hell where he oversaw the deceased before he, and the Generals of Five Paths, were assigned a course of rebirth. Yama was later placed as a King in the Fifth Court when texts led to the fruition of the underworld that marked the beginnings of systemizations.

Japan

Yama can be found in one of the oldest Japanese religious works called Nipponkoku Genpō Zenaku Ryōiki, a literary work compiled by the Monk Keikai in 822. Yama was introduced to Japan through Buddhism, where he was featured as a Buddhist divinity. He holds the same position title as other works depict him – a judge who imposes decisions on the dead who have mistreated others.

Naraka (Hindu)

Naraka in Hinduism serves only as a temporary purgatory where the soul is purified of sin by its suffering. In Hindu mythology, Naraka holds many hells, and Yama directs departed souls to the appropriate one. Even elevated Mukti-yogyas and Nitya-samsarins can experience Naraka for expiation of sins.

Although Yama is the lord of Naraka, he may also direct the soul to a Swarga (heaven) or return it to Bhoomi (earth). As good and bad deeds are not considered to cancel each other out, the same soul may spend time in both a hell and a heaven. The seven Swargas are: Bhuvas, Swas (governed by Indra), Tharus, Thaarus, Savithaa, Prapithaa, and Maha (governed by Brahma).

Naraka (Sikhism)

The idea of Naraka in Sikhism is like the idea of Hell. One’s soul, however, is confined to 8.4 million life cycles before taking birth as a human, the point of human life being one where one attains salvation, the salvation being sach khand. The idea of khand comes in multiple levels of such heavens, the highest being merging with God as one. The idea of Hell comes in multiple levels, and hell itself can manifest within human life itself. The Sikh idea of hell is where one is apart from naama and the Guru’s charana (God’s lotus feet (abode)). Without naama one is damned. Naama is believed to be a direct deliverance by God to humanity in the form of Guru Nanak. A Sikh is hence required to take the Amrit (holy nectar/water) from gurubani, panj pyare (khanda da pahul) to come closer to naama. A true Sikh of the Gurus has the Guru himself manifest and takes that person into sach khand.

Naraka (Buddhist)

Naraka is usually translated into English as “hell” or “purgatory”. A Naraka differs from the hells of western religions in two respects. First, beings are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment and punishment; second, the length of a being’s stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually very long. Instead, a being is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her previous karma(actions of body, speech and mind), and resides there for a finite length of time until his karma has exhausted its cumulate effect.

East Asian mythology

Mandarin Diyu, Japanese Jigoku, Korean Jiok, Vietnamese Địa ngục literally “earth prison”, is the realm of the dead or “hell” in Chinese mythology and Japanese mythology. It is based upon the Buddhist concept of Naraka combined with local afterlife beliefs. Incorporating ideas from Taoism and Buddhism as well as traditional religion in China, Di Yu is a kind of purgatory place which serves not only to punish but also to renew spirits ready for their next incarnation. This is interchangeable with the concept of Naraka.

In Japanese mythology, Enma-O or Enma Dai-O judges souls in Meido, the kingdom of the waiting dead. Those deemed too horrible are sent to Jigoku, a land more comparable to the Christian hell. It is a land of eternal toil and punishment. Those of middle note remain in meido for a period awaiting reincarnation. Others, of high note, become honored ancestors, watching over their descendants.

Related concepts

Yama and Ymir

In a disputable etymology, W. Meid (1992) has linked the names Yama (reconstructed in Proto-Indo-European as *yemos) and the name of the primeval Norse frost giant Ymir, which can be reconstructed in Proto-Germanic as *umijaz or *jumijaz, in the latter case possibly deriving from PIE *ym̥yos, from the root yem “twin”. In his myth, however, Ymir is not a twin, and only shares with Yama the characteristics of being primeval and mortal. However, Ymir is a hermaphrodite and engenders the race of giants.

In Iranian mythology

A parallel character in Iranian mythology and Zoroastrianism is known as Yima Xšaēta, who appears in the Avesta. The pronunciation “Yima” is peculiar to the Avestan dialect; in most Iranian dialects, including Old Persian, the name would have been “Yama”. In the Avesta, the emphasis is on Yima’s character as one of the first mortals and as a great king of men. Over time, *Yamaxšaita was transformed into Jamšēd or Jamshid, celebrated as the greatest of the early shahs of the world. Both Yamas in Zoroastrian and Hindu myth guard hell with the help of two four-eyed dogs.

It has also been suggested by I. M. Steblin-Kamensky that the cult of Yima was adopted by the Finno-Ugrians. According to this theory, in Finnish Yama became the god cult Jumula and Joma in Komi. According to this hypothesis, from this cult, the Hungarians also borrowed the word vara which became vár ‘fortress’ and város ‘town’. (ibid)

In Javanese culture

There is Yamadipati in Javanese culture, especially in wayang. The word adipati means ruler or commander. When Hinduism first came to Java, Yama was still the same as Yama in Hindu myth. Later, as Islam replaced Hinduism as the majority religion of Java, Yama was demystified by Walisanga, who ruled at that time. So, in Javanese, Yama became a new character. He is the son of Sanghyang Ismaya and Dewi Sanggani. In the Wayang legend, Yamadipati married Dewi Mumpuni. Unfortunately, Dewi Mumpuni fell in love with Nagatatmala, son of Hyang Anantaboga, who rules the earth. Dewi Mumpuni eventually left Yamadipati, however.

In Buddhist temples

In the Buddhism of the Far East, Yama is one of the twelve Devas, as guardian deities, who are found in or around Buddhist shrines (Jūni-ten, 十二天). In Japan, he has been called “Enma-Ten”. He joins these other eleven Devas of Buddhism, found in Japan and other parts of southeast Asia: Indra (Taishaku-ten), Agni (Ka-ten), Yama (Emma-ten), Nirrti (Rasetsu-ten), Vayu (Fu-ten), Ishana (Ishana-ten), Kubera (Tamon-ten), Varuna (Sui-ten) Brahma (Bon-ten), Prithvi (Chi-ten), Surya (Nit-ten), Chandra (Gat-ten).

 

 

Source

Wikipedia

Samhain Goddesses – The Morrigan – Celtic

The Morrígan

The Morrígan or Mórrígan, also known as Morrígu, is a figure from Irish mythology. The name is Mór-Ríoghain in Modern Irish. It has been translated as “great queen”, “phantom queen” or “queen of phantoms”.

The Morrígan is mainly associated with war and fate, especially with foretelling doom, death or victory in battle. In this role she often appears as a crow, the badb. She incites warriors to battle and can help bring about victory over their enemies. The Morrígan encourages warriors to do brave deeds, strikes fear into their enemies, and is portrayed washing the bloodstained clothes of those fated to die. She also has some connection with sovereignty, the land and livestock. In modern times she is often called a “war goddess” and has also been seen as a manifestation of the earth- and sovereignty-goddess, chiefly representing the goddess’s role as guardian of the territory and its people.

The Morrígan is often described as a trio of individuals, all sisters, called ‘the three Morrígna’.  Membership of the triad varies; sometimes it is given as Badb, Macha and Nemain while elsewhere it is given as Badb, Macha and Anand (the latter is given as another name for the Morrígan). It is believed that these were all names for the same goddess. The three Morrígna are also named as sisters of the three land goddesses Ériu, Banba and Fódla. The Morrígan is said to be the wife of The Dagda, while Badb and Nemain are said to be the wives of Neit.

She is associated with the banshee of later folklore.

Etymology

There is some disagreement over the meaning of the Morrígan’s name. Mor may derive from an Indo-European root connoting terror or monstrousness, cognate with the Old English maere (which survives in the modern English word “nightmare”) and the Scandinavian mara and the Old East Slavic “mara” (“nightmare”); while rígan translates as ‘queen’. This can be reconstructed in the Proto-Celtic language as *Moro-rīganī-s.   Accordingly, Morrígan is often translated as “Phantom Queen”. This is the derivation generally favoured in current scholarship.

In the Middle Irish period the name is often spelled Mórrígan with a lengthening diacritic over the o, seemingly intended to mean “Great Queen” (Old Irish mór, ‘great’; this would derive from a hypothetical Proto-Celtic *Māra Rīganī-s). Whitley Stokes believed this latter spelling was due to a false etymology popular at the time. There have also been attempts by modern writers to link the Morrígan with the Welsh literary figure Morgan le Fay from the Matter of Britain, in whose name mor may derive from Welsh word for “sea”, but the names are derived from different cultures and branches of the Celtic linguistic tree.

Sources

Glosses and glossaries

The earliest sources for the Morrígan are glosses in Latin manuscripts, and glossaries (collections of glosses). In a 9th century manuscript containing the Vulgate version of the Book of Isaiah, the word Lamia is used to translate the Hebrew Lilith. A gloss explains this as “a monster in female form, that is, a morrígan“. Cormac’s Glossary (also 9th century), and a gloss in the later manuscript H.3.18, both explain the plural word gudemain (“spectres”) with the plural form morrígna. The 8th century O’Mulconry’s Glossary says that Macha is one of the three morrígna.

Ulster Cycle

The Morrígan’s earliest narrative appearances, in which she is depicted as an individual, are in stories of the Ulster Cycle, where she has an ambiguous relationship with the hero Cú Chulainn. In Táin Bó Regamna (The Cattle Raid of Regamain), Cúchulainn encounters the Morrígan, but does not recognise her, as she drives a heifer from his territory. In response to this perceived challenge, and his ignorance of her role as a sovereignty figure, he insults her. But before he can attack her she becomes a black bird on a nearby branch. Cúchulainn now knows who she is, and tells her that had he known before, they would not have parted in enmity. She notes that whatever he had done would have brought him ill luck. To his response that she cannot harm him, she delivers a series of warnings, foretelling a coming battle in which he will be killed. She tells him, “it is at the guarding of thy death that I am; and I shall be.”

In the Táin Bó Cúailnge queen Medb of Connacht launches an invasion of Ulster to steal the bull Donn Cuailnge; the Morrígan, like Alecto of the Greek Furies, appears to the bull in the form of a crow and warns him to flee. Cúchulainn defends Ulster by fighting a series of single combats at fords against Medb’s champions. In between combats the Morrígan appears to him as a young woman and offers him her love, and her aid in the battle, but he rejects her offer. In response she intervenes in his next combat, first in the form of an eel who trips him, then as a wolf who stampedes cattle across the ford, and finally as a white, red-eared heifer leading the stampede, just as she had warned in their previous encounter. However Cúchulainn wounds her in each form and defeats his opponent despite her interference. Later she appears to him as an old woman bearing the same three wounds that her animal forms sustained, milking a cow. She gives Cúchulainn three drinks of milk. He blesses her with each drink, and her wounds are healed. He regrets blessing her for the three drinks of milk which is apparent in the exchange between the Morrígan and Cúchulainn, “She gave him milk from the third teat, and her leg was healed. ‘You told me once,’ she said,’that you would never heal me.’ ‘Had I known it was you,’ said Cúchulainn, ‘I never would have.'” As the armies gather for the final battle, she prophesies the bloodshed to come.

In one version of Cúchulainn’s death-tale, as Cúchulainn rides to meet his enemies, he encounters the Morrígan as a hag washing his bloody armour in a ford, an omen of his death. Later in the story, mortally wounded, Cúchulainn ties himself to a standing stone with his own entrails so he can die upright, and it is only when a crow lands on his shoulder that his enemies believe he is dead.

Mythological Cycle

The Morrígan also appears in texts of the Mythological Cycle. In the 12th century pseudohistorical compilation Lebor Gabála Érenn she is listed among the Tuatha Dé Danannas one of the daughters of Ernmas, granddaughter of Nuada.

The first three daughters of Ernmas are given as Ériu, Banba, and Fódla. Their names are synonyms for Ireland, and they were married to Mac Cuill, Mac Cécht, and Mac Gréine, the last three Tuatha Dé Danann kings of Ireland. Associated with the land and kingship, they probably represent a triple goddess of sovereignty. Next come Ernmas’s other three daughters: Badb, Macha, and the Morrígan. A quatrain describes the three as wealthy, “springs of craftiness” and “sources of bitter fighting”. The Morrígu’s name is also said to be Anand, and she had three sons, Glon, Gaim, and Coscar. According to Geoffrey Keating‘s 17th century History of Ireland, Ériu, Banba, and Fódla worshipped Badb, Macha, and the Morrígan respectively.

The Morrígan also appears in Cath Maige Tuired “Battle of Mag Tuired”. On Samhain, she keeps a tryst with the Dagda before the battle against the Fomorians. When he meets her she is washing herself, standing with one foot on either side of the river Unius. In some sources she is believed to have created the river. After they have sex, the Morrígan promises to summon the magicians of Ireland to cast spells on behalf of the Tuatha Dé, and to destroy Indech, the Fomorian king, taking from him “the blood of his heart and the kidneys of his valour”. Later, we are told, she would bring two handfuls of his blood and deposit them in the same river (however, we are also told later in the text that Indech was killed by Ogma).

As battle is about to be joined, the Tuatha Dé leader, Lug, asks each what power they bring to the battle. The Morrígan’s reply is difficult to interpret, but involves pursuing, destroying and subduing. When she comes to the battlefield she chants a poem, and immediately the battle breaks and the Fomorians are driven into the sea. After the battle she chants another poem celebrating the victory and prophesying the end of the world.

In another story she lures away the bull of a woman named Odras. Odras then follows the Morrígan to the Otherworld, via the cave of Cruachan. When Odras falls asleep, the Morrígan turns her into a pool of water that fed into the Shannon River.

Nature and role

The Morrígan is often considered a triple goddess, but this triple nature is ambiguous and inconsistent. These triple appearances are partially due to the Celtic significance of threeness.[1] Sometimes she appears as one of three sisters, the daughters of Ernmas: Morrígan, Badb and Macha. Sometimes the trinity consists of Badb, Macha and Anand, collectively known as the Morrígna. Occasionally Nemain or Fea appear in the various combinations. However, the Morrígan can also appear alone, and her name is sometimes used interchangeably with Badb.

The Morrígan is mainly associated with war and fate, and is often interpreted as a “war goddess”. W. M. Hennessy’s “The Ancient Irish Goddess of War”, written in 1870, was influential in establishing this interpretation. Her role often involves premonitions of a particular warrior’s violent death, suggesting a link with the banshee of later folklore. This connection is further noted by Patricia Lysaght: “In certain areas of Ireland this supernatural being is, in addition to the name banshee, also called the badhb“. Her role was to not only be a symbol of imminent death, but to also influence the outcome of war. Most often she did this by appearing as a crow flying overhead and would either inspire fear or courage in the hearts of the warriors. In some cases, she is written to have appeared in visions to those who are destined to die in battle by washing their bloody armor. In this specific role, she is also given the role of foretelling imminent death with a particular emphasis on the individual. There are also a few rare accounts where she would join in the battle itself as a warrior and show her favouritism in a more direct manner.

The Morrígan is also associated with the land and animals, particularly livestock. Máire Herbert argues that “war per se is not a primary aspect of the role of the goddess”. Herbert suggests that “her activities have a tutelary character. She oversees the land, its stock and its society. Her shape-shifting is an expression of her affinity with the whole living universe”. Patricia Lysaght notes that Cath Maige Tuired depicts the Morrígan as “a protectress of her people’s interests” and it associates her with both war and fertility. According to Prionsias Mac Cana, the goddess in Ireland is “primarily concerned with the prosperity of the land: its fertility, its animal life, and (when it is conceived as a political unit) its security against external forces”.[10] Likewise, Maria Tymoczko writes “The welfare and fertility of a people depend on their security against external aggression” and notes that “Warlike action can thus have a protective aspect”.[5] It is therefore suggested that the Morrígan is a manifestation of the earth- and sovereignty-goddess, chiefly representing the goddess’s role as guardian of the territory and its people. She can be interpreted as providing political or military aid, or protection to the king—acting as a goddess of sovereignty, not necessarily of war.

It has also been suggested that she was closely linked to the fianna and that these groups may have been in some way dedicated to her. These were “bands of youthful warrior-hunters, living on the borders of civilized society and indulging in lawless activities for a time before inheriting property and taking their places as members of settled, landed communities”. If true, her worship may have resembled that of Perchta groups in Germanic areas.

There is a burnt mound site in County Tipperary known as Fulacht na Mór Ríoghna (‘cooking pit of the Mórrígan’). The fulachtaí sites are found in wild areas, and usually associated with outsiders such as the fianna, as well as with the hunting of deer. There may be a link with the three mythical hags who cook the meal of dogflesh that brings the hero Cúchulainn to his doom. The Dá Chich na Morrigna (‘two breasts of the Mórrígan’), a pair of hills in County Meath, suggest to some a role as a tutelary goddess, comparable to Anu, who has her own hills, Dá Chích Anann (‘the breasts of Anu’) in County Kerry. Other goddesses known to have similar hills are Áine and Grian of County Limerick who, in addition to a tutelary function, also have solar attributes.

Arthurian legend

There have been attempts by some modern authors of fiction to link Morgan le Fay with the Morrígan. Morgan first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth‘s Vita Merlini “The Life of Merlin” in the 12th century. In these Arthurian legends, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Morgan is portrayed as an evil hag whose actions set into motion a bloody trail of events that lead the hero into numerous instances of danger. Morgan is also depicted as a seductress, much like the older legends of the goddess and has numerous sexual encounters with Merlin. The character is frequently depicted of wielding power over others to achieve her own purposes, allowing those actions to play out over time, to either the benefit or detriment of other characters.

However, while the creators of the literary character of Morgan may have been somewhat inspired by the much older tales of the goddess, the relationship ends there. Scholars such as Rosalind Clark hold that the names are unrelated, the Welsh “Morgan” (Wales being the source of the Matter of Britain) being derived from root words associated with the sea, while the Irish “Morrígan” has its roots either in a word for “terror” or a word for “greatness”.

 

 

Source

Wikipedia

Samhain Gods – Osiris – Egyptian

Osiris

Osiris the god of the afterlife, the underworld, and rebirth in ancient Egyptian religion. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned deity with a pharaoh’s beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive atef crown, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. (He was one of the first to be associated with the mummy wrap. When the brother cut him up into pieces after killing him Isis, his wife, found all the pieces and wrapped his body up.) Osiris was at times considered the eldest son of the god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, meaning “Foremost of the Westerners”, a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. As ruler of the dead, Osiris was also sometimes called “king of the living”: ancient Egyptians considered the blessed dead “the living ones”. Through syncretism with Iah, he is also the god of the Moon.

Osiris was considered the brother of Isis, Set, Nephthys, and Horus the Elder, and father of Horus the Younger. The first evidence of the worship of Osiris was found in the middle of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt, although it is likely that he was worshiped much earlier; the Khenti-Amentiu epithet dates to at least the first dynasty, and was also used as a pharaonic title. Most information available on the myths of Osiris is derived from allusions contained in the Pyramid Texts at the end of the Fifth Dynasty, later New Kingdom source documents such as the Shabaka Stone and the Contending of Horus and Seth, and much later, in narrative style from the writings of Greek authors including Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus.

Osiris was the judge of the dead and the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He was described as “He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful” and the “Lord of Silence”. The Kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death – as Osiris rose from the dead so would they in union with him, and inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Osiris at death, if they incurred the costs of the assimilation rituals.

Through the hope of new life after death, Osiris began to be associated with the cycles observed in nature, in particular vegetation and the annual flooding of the Nile, through his links with the heliacal rising of Orion and Sirius at the start of the new year. Osiris was widely worshipped until the decline of ancient Egyptian religion during the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

Etymology of the name

Osiris is a Latin transliteration of the Ancient Greek Ὄσιρις IPA: [ó.siː.ris], which in turn is the Greek adaptation of the original name in the Egyptian language. In Egyptian hieroglyphs the name appears as wsjr, which some Egyptologists instead choose to transliterate ꜣsjr or jsjrj. Since hieroglyphic writing lacks vowels, Egyptologists have vocalized the name in various ways as Asar, Yasar, Aser, Asaru, Ausar, Ausir, Wesir, Usir, Usire or Ausare.

Several proposals have been made for the etymology and meaning of the original name; as Egyptologist Mark J. Smith notes, none are fully convincing. Most take wsjr as the accepted transliteration, following Adolf Erman:

  • John Gwyn Griffiths (1980), “bearing in mind Erman’s emphasis on the fact that the name must begin with an [sic] w“, proposes a derivation from wsr with an original meaning of “The Mighty One”. Moreover, one of the oldest attestations of the god Osiris appears in the mastaba of the deceased Netjer-wser (from nṯr-wsr “Powerful God”).[citation needed]
  • Kurt Sethe (1930) proposes a compound st-jrt, meaning “seat of the eye”, in a hypothetical earlier form *wst-jrt; this is rejected by Griffiths on phonetic grounds.
  • David Lorton (1985) takes up this same compound but explains st-jrt as signifying “product, something made”, Osiris representing the product of the ritual mummification process.
  • Wolfhart Westendorf (1987) proposes an etymology from wꜣst-jrt “she who bears the eye”.
  • Mark J. Smith (2017) makes no definitive proposals but asserts that the second element must be a form of jrj (“to do, make”) (rather than jrt (“eye”)).

However, recently alternative transliterations have been proposed:

  • Yoshi Muchiki (1990) reexamines Erman’s evidence that the throne hieroglyph in the word is to be read ws and finds it unconvincing, suggesting instead that the name should be read ꜣsjr on the basis of Aramaic, Phoenician, and Old South Arabian transcriptions, readings of the throne sign in other words, and comparison with ꜣst(“Isis”).
  • James P. Allen (2000) reads the word as jsjrt but revises the reading (2013) to jsjrj and derives it from js-jrj, meaning “engendering (male) principle”.

Appearance

Osiris is represented in his most developed form of iconography wearing the Atef crown, which is similar to the White crown of Upper Egypt, but with the addition of two curling ostrich feathers at each side (see also Atef crown (hieroglyph)). He also carries the crook and flail. The crook is thought to represent Osiris as a shepherd god. The symbolism of the flail is more uncertain with shepherds whip, fly-whisk, or association with the god Andjety of the ninth nome of Lower Egypt proposed.

He was commonly depicted as a pharaoh with a complexion of either green (the color of rebirth) or black (alluding to the fertility of the Nile floodplain) in mummiform (wearing the trappings of mummification from chest downward).

Early mythology

The Pyramid Texts describe early conceptions of an afterlife in terms of eternal travelling with the sun god amongst the stars. Amongst these mortuary texts, at the beginning of the 4th dynasty, is found: “An offering the king gives and Anubis”. By the end of the 5th dynasty, the formula in all tombs becomes “An offering the king gives and Osiris“.

Father of Horus

Osiris is the mythological father of the god Horus, whose conception is described in the Osiris myth (a central myth in ancient Egyptian belief). The myth describes Osiris as having been killed by his brother, Set, who wanted Osiris’ throne. His wife, Isis finds the body of Osiris and hides it in the reeds where it is found and dismembered by Set. Isis retrieves and joins the fragmented pieces of Osiris, then briefly brings Osiris back to life by use of magic. This spell gives her time to become pregnant by Osiris before he again dies. Isis later gives birth to Horus. As such, since Horus was born after Osiris’ resurrection, Horus became thought of as a representation of new beginnings and the vanquisher of the usurper Set.

Ptah-Seker (who resulted from the identification of Creator god Ptah with Seker) thus gradually became identified with Osiris, the two becoming Ptah-Seker-Osiris. As the sun was thought to spend the night in the underworld, and was subsequently “reborn” every morning, Ptah-Seker-Osiris was identified as king of the underworld, god of the afterlife, life, death, and regeneration.

Ram god

Osiris’ soul, or rather his Ba, was occasionally worshipped in its own right, almost as if it were a distinct god, especially in the Delta city of Mendes. This aspect of Osiris was referred to as Banebdjedet, which is grammatically feminine (also spelt “Banebded” or “Banebdjed“), literally “the ba of the lord of the djed, which roughly means The soul of the lord of the pillar of continuity. The djed, a type of pillar, was usually understood as the backbone of Osiris.

The Nile supplying water, and Osiris (strongly connected to the vegetable regeneration) who died only to be resurrected, represented continuity and stability. As Banebdjed, Osiris was given epithets such as Lord of the Sky and Life of the (sun god) Ra, since Ra, when he had become identified with Atum, was considered Osiris’ ancestor, from whom his regal authority is inherited. Ba does not mean “soul” in the western sense, and has to do with power, reputation, force of character, especially in the case of a god.

Since the ba was associated with power, and also happened to be a word for ram in Egyptian, Banebdjed was depicted as a ram, or as Ram-headed. A living, sacred ram was kept at Mendes and worshipped as the incarnation of the god, and upon death, the rams were mummified and buried in a ram-specific necropolis. Banebdjed was consequently said to be Horus’ father, as Banebdjed was an aspect of Osiris.

Regarding the association of Osiris with the ram, the god’s traditional crook and flail are the instruments of the shepherd, which has suggested to some scholars also an origin for Osiris in herding tribes of the upper Nile. The crook and flail were originally symbols of the minor agricultural deity Andjety, and passed to Osiris later. From Osiris, they eventually passed to Egyptian kings in general as symbols of divine authority.

Mythology

Plutarch recounts one version of the Osiris myth in which Set (Osiris’ brother), along with the Queen of Ethiopia, conspired with 72 accomplices to plot the assassination of Osiris. Set fooled Osiris into getting into a box, which Set then shut, sealed with lead, and threw into the Nile. Osiris’ wife, Isis, searched for his remains until she finally found him embedded in a tamarisk tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician coast. She managed to remove the coffin and retrieve her husband’s body.

In one version of the myth, Isis used a spell to briefly revive Osiris so he could impregnate her. After embalming and burying Osiris, Isis conceived and gave birth to their son, Horus. Thereafter Osiris lived on as the god of the underworld. Because of his death and resurrection, Osiris was associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with the yearly growth and death of crops along the Nile valley.

Diodorus Siculus gives another version of the myth in which Osiris was described as an ancient king who taught the Egyptians the arts of civilization, including agriculture, then travelled the world with his sister Isis, the satyrs, and the nine muses, before finally returning to Egypt. Osiris was then murdered by his evil brother Typhon, who was identified with Set. Typhon divided the body into twenty-six pieces, which he distributed amongst his fellow conspirators in order to implicate them in the murder. Isis and Hercules (Horus) avenged the death of Osiris and slew Typhon. Isis recovered all the parts of Osiris’ body, except the phallus, and secretly buried them. She made replicas of them and distributed them to several locations, which then became centres of Osiris worship.

Worship

Annual ceremonies were performed in honor of Osiris in various places across Egypt. These ceremonies were fertility rites which symbolised the resurrection of Osiris. E.A. Wallis Budge stated “Osiris is closely connected with the germination of wheat; the grain which is put into the ground is the dead Osiris, and the grain which has germinated is the Osiris who has once again renewed his life.”

Death or transition and institution as god of the afterlife

Plutarch and others have noted that the sacrifices to Osiris were “gloomy, solemn, and mournful…” (Isis and Osiris, 69) and that the great mystery festival, celebrated in two phases, began at Abydos commemorating the death of the god, on the same day that grain was planted in the ground (Isis and Osiris, 13). The annual festival involved the construction of “Osiris Beds” formed in shape of Osiris, filled with soil and sown with seed.

The germinating seed symbolized Osiris rising from the dead. An almost pristine example was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter.

The first phase of the festival was a public drama depicting the murder and dismemberment of Osiris, the search of his body by Isis, his triumphal return as the resurrected god, and the battle in which Horus defeated Set.

According to Julius Firmicus Maternus of the fourth century, this play was re-enacted each year by worshippers who “beat their breasts and gashed their shoulders…. When they pretend that the mutilated remains of the god have been found and rejoined…they turn from mourning to rejoicing.” (De Errore Profanorum).

The passion of Osiris was reflected in his name ‘Wenennefer” (“the one who continues to be perfect”), which also alludes to his post mortem power.

Ikhernofret Stela

Much of the extant information about the rites of Osiris can be found on the Ikhernofret Stela at Abydos erected in the 12th Dynasty by Ikhernofret (also I-Kher-Nefert), possibly a priest of Osiris or other official (the titles of Ikhernofret are described in his stela from Abydos) during the reign of Senwosret III (Pharaoh Sesostris, about 1875 BC). The ritual reenactment of Osiris’s funeral rites were held in the last month of the inundation (the annual Nile flood), coinciding with Spring, and held at Abydos/Abedjou which was the traditional place where the body of Osiris/Wesir drifted ashore after having been drowned in the Nile.

The part of the myth recounting the chopping up of the body into 14 pieces by Set is not recounted in this particular stela. Although it is attested to be a part of the rituals by a version of the Papyrus Jumilhac, in which it took Isis 12 days to reassemble the pieces, coinciding with the festival of ploughing. Some elements of the ceremony were held in the temple, while others involved public participation in a form of theatre. The Stela of I-Kher-Nefert recounts the programme of events of the public elements over the five days of the Festival:

  • The First Day, The Procession of Wepwawet: A mock battle was enacted during which the enemies of Osiris are defeated. A procession was led by the god Wepwawet (“opener of the way”).
  • The Second Day, The Great Procession of Osiris: The body of Osiris was taken from his temple to his tomb. The boat he was transported in, the “Neshmet” bark, had to be defended against his enemies.
  • The Third Day: Osiris is Mourned and the Enemies of the Land are Destroyed.
  • The Fourth Day, Night Vigil: Prayers and recitations are made and funeral rites performed.
  • The Fifth Day, Osiris is Reborn: Osiris is reborn at dawn and crowned with the crown of Ma’at. A statue of Osiris is brought to the temple.

Wheat and clay rituals

Contrasting with the public “theatrical” ceremonies sourced from the I-Kher-Nefert stele (from the Middle Kingdom), more esoteric ceremonies were performed inside the temples by priests witnessed only by chosen initiates. Plutarch mentions that (for much later period) two days after the beginning of the festival “the priests bring forth a sacred chest containing a small golden coffer, into which they pour some potable water…and a great shout arises from the company for joy that Osiris is found (or resurrected). Then they knead some fertile soil with the water…and fashion therefrom a crescent-shaped figure, which they cloth and adorn, this indicating that they regard these gods as the substance of Earth and Water.” (Isis and Osiris, 39). Yet his accounts were still obscure, for he also wrote, “I pass over the cutting of the wood” – opting not to describe it, since he considered it as a most sacred ritual (Ibid. 21).

In the Osirian temple at Denderah, an inscription (translated by Budge, Chapter XV, Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection) describes in detail the making of wheat paste models of each dismembered piece of Osiris to be sent out to the town where each piece is discovered by Isis. At the temple of Mendes, figures of Osiris were made from wheat and paste placed in a trough on the day of the murder, then water was added for several days, until finally the mixture was kneaded into a mold of Osiris and taken to the temple to be buried (the sacred grain for these cakes were grown only in the temple fields). Molds were made from the wood of a red tree in the forms of the sixteen dismembered parts of Osiris, the cakes of ‘divine’ bread were made from each mold, placed in a silver chest and set near the head of the god with the inward parts of Osiris as described in the Book of the Dead (XVII).

Judgment

The idea of divine justice being exercised after death for wrongdoing during life is first encountered during the Old Kingdom in a 6th dynasty tomb containing fragments of what would be described later as the Negative Confessions performed in front of the 42 Assessors of Ma’at.

With the rise of the cult of Osiris during the Middle Kingdom the “democratization of religion” offered to even his humblest followers the prospect of eternal life, with moral fitness becoming the dominant factor in determining a person’s suitability.

At death a person faced judgment by a tribunal of forty-two divine judges. If they led a life in conformance with the precepts of the goddess Ma’at, who represented truth and right living, the person was welcomed into the kingdom of Osiris. If found guilty, the person was thrown to a “devourer” (such as the soul-eating demon Ammit) and did not share in eternal life.

The person who is taken by the devourer is subject first to terrifying punishment and then annihilated. These depictions of punishment may have influenced medieval perceptions of the inferno in hell via early Christian and Coptic texts.

Purification for those who are considered justified may be found in the descriptions of “Flame Island“, where they experience the triumph over evil and rebirth. For the damned, complete destruction into a state of non-being awaits, but there is no suggestion of eternal torture.

Divine pardon at judgement was always a central concern for the ancient Egyptians.

During the reign of Seti I, Osiris was also invoked in royal decrees to pursue the living when wrongdoing was observed, but kept secret and not reported.

Greco-Roman era

Hellenization

The early Ptolemaic kings promoted a new god, Serapis, who combined traits of Osiris with those of various Greek gods and was portrayed in a Hellenistic form. Serapis was often treated as the consort of Isis and became the patron deity of the Ptolemies’ capital, Alexandria. Serapis’s origins are not known. Some ancient authors claim the cult of Serapis was established at Alexandria by Alexander the Great himself, but most who discuss the subject of Serapis’s origins give a story similar to that by Plutarch. Writing about 400 years after the fact, Plutarch claimed that Ptolemy I established the cult after dreaming of a colossal statue at Sinope in Anatolia. His councillors identified as a statue of the Greek god Pluto and said that the Egyptian name for Pluto was Serapis. This name may have been a Hellenization of “Osiris-Apis”. Osiris-Apis was a patron deity of the Memphite Necropolis and the father of the Apis bull who was worshipped there, and texts from Ptolemaic times treat “Serapis” as the Greek translation of “Osiris-Apis”. But little of the early evidence for Serapis’s cult comes from Memphis, and much of it comes from the Mediterranean world with no reference to an Egyptian origin for Serapis, so Mark Smith expresses doubt that Serapis originated as a Greek form of Osiris-Apis’s name and leaves open the possibility that Serapis originated outside Egypt.

Destruction of cult

The cult of Isis and Osiris continued at Philae until at least the 450s CE, long after the imperial decrees of the late 4th century that ordered the closing of temples to “pagan” gods. Philae was the last major ancient Egyptian temple to be closed.

 

Source

Wikipedia

Samhain Gods – Anubis – Egyptian

Anubis

 

Anubis is the Greek name of a god associated with mummification and the afterlife in ancient Egyptian religion, usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head. Archeologists have identified Anubis’s sacred animal as an Egyptian canid, the African golden wolf.

Like many ancient Egyptian deities, Anubis assumed different roles in various contexts. Depicted as a protector of graves as early as the First Dynasty (c. 3100 – c. 2890 BC), Anubis was also an embalmer. By the Middle Kingdom (c. 2055 – 1650 BC) he was replaced by Osiris in his role as lord of the underworld. One of his prominent roles was as a god who ushered souls into the afterlife. He attended the weighing scale during the “Weighing of the Heart,” in which it was determined whether a soul would be allowed to enter the realm of the dead. Despite being one of the most ancient and “one of the most frequently depicted and mentioned gods” in the Egyptian pantheon, Anubis played almost no role in Egyptian myths.

Anubis was depicted in black, a color that symbolized both rebirth and the discoloration of the corpse after embalming. Anubis is associated with Wepwawet (also called Upuaut), another Egyptian god portrayed with a dog’s head or in canine form, but with grey or white fur. Historians assume that the two figures were eventually combined. Anubis’ female counterpart is Anput. His daughter is the serpent goddess Kebechet.

Name

“Anubis” is a Greek rendering of this god’s Egyptian name. In the Old Kingdom (c. 2686 BC – c. 2181 BC), the standard way of writing his name in hieroglyphs was composed of the sound signs jnpw followed by a jackal over a ḥtp sign:

i n
p
w C6

A new form with the “jackal” on a tall stand appeared in the late Old Kingdom and became common thereafter:

i n
p
w E16

Anubis’ name jnpw was possibly pronounced [a.ˈna.pʰa], based on Coptic Anoup and the Akkadian transcription 𒀀𒈾𒉺<a-na-pa> in the name <ri-a-na-pa> “Reanapa” that appears in Amarna letter EA 315. However, this transcription may also be interpreted as rˁ-nfr, a name similar to that of Prince Ranefer of the Fourth Dynasty.

History

In Egypt’s Early Dynastic period (c. 3100 – c. 2686 BC), Anubis was portrayed in full animal form, with a “jackal” head and body.  A “jackal” god, probably Anubis, is depicted in stone inscriptions from the reigns of Hor-Aha, Djer, and other pharaohs of the First Dynasty.  Since Predynastic Egypt, when the dead were buried in shallow graves, “jackals” had been strongly associated with cemeteries because they were scavengers which uncovered human bodies and ate their flesh. In the spirit of “fighting like with like,” a “jackal” was chosen to protect the dead, because “a common problem (and cause of concern) must have been the digging up of bodies, shortly after burial, by jackals and other wild dogs which lived on the margins of the cultivation.”

The oldest known textual mention of Anubis is in the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom (c. 2686 – c. 2181 BC), where he is associated with the burial of the pharaoh.

In the Old Kingdom, Anubis was the most important god of the dead. He was replaced in that role by Osiris during the Middle Kingdom(2000–1700 BC). In the Roman era, which started in 30 BC, tomb paintings depict him holding the hand of deceased persons to guide them to Osiris.

The parentage of Anubis varied between myths, times and sources. In early mythology, he was portrayed as a son of Ra. In the Coffin Texts, which were written in the First Intermediate Period (c. 2181–2055 BC), Anubis is the son of either the cow goddess Hesat or the cat-headed Bastet. Another tradition depicted him as the son of Ra and Nephthys. The Greek Plutarch (c. 40–120 AD) stated that Anubis was the illegitimate son of Nephthys and Osiris, but that he was adopted by Osiris’s wife Isis:

For when Isis found out that Osiris loved her sister and had relations with her in mistaking her sister for herself, and when she saw a proof of it in the form of a garland of clover that he had left to Nephthys – she was looking for a baby, because Nephthys abandoned it at once after it had been born for fear of Seth; and when Isis found the baby helped by the dogs which with great difficulties lead her there, she raised him and he became her guard and ally by the name of Anubis.

George Hart sees this story as an “attempt to incorporate the independent deity Anubis into the Osirian pantheon.” An Egyptian papyrus from the Roman period (30–380 AD) simply called Anubis the “son of Isis.”

In the Ptolemaic period (350–30 BC), when Egypt became a Hellenistic kingdom ruled by Greek pharaohs, Anubis was merged with the Greek god Hermes, becoming Hermanubis. The two gods were considered similar because they both guided souls to the afterlife. The center of this cult was in uten-ha/Sa-ka/ Cynopolis, a place whose Greek name means “city of dogs.” In Book XI of The Golden Ass by Apuleius, there is evidence that the worship of this god was continued in Rome through at least the 2nd century. Indeed, Hermanubis also appears in the alchemical and hermetical literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Although the Greeks and Romans typically scorned Egypt’s animal-headed gods as bizarre and primitive (Anubis was mockingly called “Barker” by the Greeks), Anubis was sometimes associated with Sirius in the heavens and Cerberus and Hades in the underworld. In his dialogues, Plato often has Socrates utter oaths “by the dog” (kai me ton kuna), “by the dog of Egypt”, and “by the dog, the god of the Egyptians”, both for emphasis and to appeal to Anubis as an arbiter of truth in the underworld.

Roles

Protector of tombs

In contrast to real wolves, Anubis was a protector of graves and cemeteries. Several epithets attached to his name in Egyptian texts and inscriptions referred to that role. Khenty-imentiu, which means “foremost of the westerners” and later became the name of a different wolf god, alluded to his protecting function because the dead were usually buried on the west bank of the Nile. He took other names in connection with his funerary role, such as tpy-ḏw.f “He who is upon his mountain” (i.e. keeping guard over tombs from above) and nb-t3-ḏsr “Lord of the sacred land”, which designates him as a god of the desert necropolis.

The Jumilhac papyrus recounts another tale where Anubis protected the body of Osiris from Set. Set attempted to attack the body of Osiris by transforming himself into a leopard. Anubis stopped and subdued Set, however, and he branded Set’s skin with a hot iron rod. Anubis then flayed Set and wore his skin as a warning against evil-doers who would desecrate the tombs of the dead. Priests who attended to the dead wore leopard skin in order to commemorate Anubis’ victory over Set. The legend of Anubis branding the hide of Set in leopard form was used to explain how the leopard got its spots.

Most ancient tombs had prayers to Anubis carved on them.

Embalmer

As jmy-wt “He who is in the place of embalming”, Anubis was associated with mummification. He was also called ḫnty zḥ-nṯr “He who presides over the god’s booth”, in which “booth” could refer either to the place where embalming was carried out or the pharaoh’s burial chamber.

In the Osiris myth, Anubis helped Isis to embalm Osiris. Indeed, when the Osiris myth emerged, it was said that after Osiris had been killed by Set, Osiris’s organs were given to Anubis as a gift. With this connection, Anubis became the patron god of embalmers; during the rites of mummification, illustrations from the Book of the Dead often show a wolf-mask-wearing priest supporting the upright mummy.

Guide of souls

By the late pharaonic era (664–332 BC), Anubis was often depicted as guiding individuals across the threshold from the world of the living to the afterlife. Though a similar role was sometimes performed by the cow-headed Hathor, Anubis was more commonly chosen to fulfill that function. Greek writers from the Roman period of Egyptian history designated that role as that of “psychopomp”, a Greek term meaning “guide of souls” that they used to refer to their own god Hermes, who also played that role in Greek religion. Funerary art from that period represents Anubis guiding either men or women dressed in Greek clothes into the presence of Osiris, who by then had long replaced Anubis as ruler of the underworld.

Weighing of the heart

One of the roles of Anubis was as the “Guardian of the Scales.” The critical scene depicting the weighing of the heart, in the Book of the Dead, shows Anubis performing a measurement that determined whether the person was worthy of entering the realm of the dead (the underworld, known as Duat). By weighing the heart of a deceased person against Ma’at (or “truth”), who was often represented as an ostrich feather, Anubis dictated the fate of souls. Souls heavier than a feather would be devoured by Ammit, and souls lighter than a feather would ascend to a heavenly existence.

 

Source

Wikipedia