Wepwawet and Anubis

Wepwawet (Upuaut, Wep-wawet, Wep-waut, Wepuat, or Ophois in Greek) is a canid Deity like Anubis. He is sometimes considered a jackal, but others believe Him to represent a wolf. He is depicted very similarly to Anubis, but is gray-colored instead of black, or sometimes with a white head. Greek sources say that Wepwawet’s animal is a wolf, but there is no exact comment on this in pre-Greek Kemetic sources.
Like Anubis He is the Opener of Ways, indeed that is what His name means. But Wepwawet is more of a War God, thought of as a scout Who clears the way for the army. He usually is dressed as a soldier and carrying weapons such as a mace and a bow, unlike Anubis. Anubis has never, to my knowledge, been shown carrying weapons (He doesn’t need them). Wepwawet is also shown carrying the standard that led the army, the shedshed. Because of this He is sometimes thought to have led religious processions as well. His city was called was Asyut (Siut) or Atef-Khent, in Upper Egypt, but the Greeks named it Lycopolis, ‘Wolf City’ or “City of Wolves”.
There is very little information about the family of Wepwawet, or if He had any parents at all. He is sometimes the son of Set, or of Anubis Himself. He is sometimes said to be a son of Isis, which may further relate Him to Anubis. Or He could be another foster-son adopted by Isis.

He is a God of the hunt as well, and was in particular thought accompany the Pharaoh on his royal hunts to protect and aid him. In this aspect Wepwawet was called
“the One with the sharp arrow Who is more powerful than the gods.” In certain pyramid texts in later times, Wepwawet is given the title “Ra who has gone up from the horizon,” perhaps meant to be seen as the “opener” of the sky.
Wepwawet was popular in the Old Kingdom, but as Osiris’ myths rose in prominence, He was eclipsed by Anubis as the most popular canid Deity of Egypt. He is also referred to as the “one who has separated the sky from the earth”, an interesting title that He shares with primal Shu, God of Air.
Over time, Wepwawet’s connection to war, and hence to death, led to His roles being expanded to caring for the souls of the dead and opening the way for them to enter the afterlife. This may have come about from Wepwawet’s continuing association with Anubis
Modern Kemetics may see Wepwawet as His own Deity, or an aspect of Anubis. Over time Their names did come to be used interchangeably, or together as Anubis-Wepwawet. I tend to think of Him as either the son of Anubis or as one of Anubis’ aspects.

Go here for an interesting persecptive from a modern Kemetic on their journey with Wepwawet.

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3 Responses to Wepwawet and Anubis

  1. Wepwawet is often identified with Makednos, the eponymous founder of Makedonia, home of the Ptolemies, so he’s long been a figure of interest for me.

  2. Sirius says:

    Wepwawet indeed is a Goddess as confirmed by recent Archaeological discoveries (“Before Egypt: The Maa Confederation” by Clyde A. Winters), wife to Seth. Her animal is the wolf.

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