On the other side, the Divine Arbiter awaits. Perhaps scared, perhaps confused, perhaps at peace, but certainly aware of its change from life to death, the soul approaches Him. The Arbiter has many faces, ever changing: a jackal with a warrior’s gaze, a black haired child with an old man’s wise eyes, a strong man with a jackal’s cunning face. He becomes what they need to lead the way, showing them through the halls of death.
His presence is for then as a guide, that psychopompic deity leading the way for the newly deceased. Perhaps the presence of the Jackal brings comfort to the dead, or maybe a sense of dread for the wrong doings of their past. They walk on together in easy silence, contemplating the life one left behind, pouring over each action and inaction that filled the heart inside the ghost’s insubstantial chest. For seventy days they walk, watching Sopdet – Sirius – the Dog Star – rise they do.
They come to the Hall of Truths, where they stand before the King of the Dead and His royal court. The Arbiter’s role is realized, and He takes the fragile heart from the soul’s hands. As the scale begins to tip and balance, Yinepu, judge of the dead, knows in His heart the final action of that heart: its own judgement of its mortal life.
I am sworn to four syncretic gods. Of these, the Jackal – Who is Wepwawet AND Yinepu, as He so chooses – is the one I know least about. Not just in terms of historical knowledge (and posts related to reconstructionism will be forthcoming), but also in terms of personal insights. Wepwawet is not forthcoming with comfort and visions and contact, at least, not for me. I reach out to Him and though He does reach back, He merely brushes me with what I need.
Little did I expect this very primal god – servant of Kings and protector of the Dead – to be so incredibly true to His title of “Master of Secrets.” His role in my life has been as a guide. Wepwawet points me in the right direction when I am lost. Should I be in need of some important thing – money for an overdue bill, texts for an upcoming semester – He opens the way for me to receive it. I have to work for these opportunities – both in duties to the human folk who help me and in duties to Him – but Wepwawet has made them possible. He is starting to lead me to live in ma’at and develop my own views, slowly and steadily.
This is just my experiences with the Jackal. Sobeq and Zat and Benzen all see Him in their own lights, and have written about Him on their respective blogs. In addition, Benzenwepwy is a curator of all things Jackal and has published a great deal of her personal research to her website Per-Sabu: the House of Jackals. I encourage you to check out these resources – both of personal insights and of research – if you are interested in learning more about Him.
Hail Wepwawet, who opens the way! May we all be blessed on our journeys with strength as Yours.
Hail Yinepu, Master of Secrets! May You guide us in Your wisdom when we examine our hearts.