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Anubis, Companion to Osiris (Cont)

By Lee McGiffen

Anubis and Upuaut

Anubis as Upuaut, the "Opener of the Ways", may be so called because he sits at the prow of the celestial barque, cutting through the waters of the night. The name Anubis is itself related to the name Upuaut. Upuaut was originally Up-Uat, meaning Opener of the Waters, the Uat being the waters, the well-watered field, the marsh, the field of reeds, the oasis, the land of plenty, the Elysian fields of the afterlife, all metaphors of the starry sky. Up-Uat was the Opener of the Sky.

Specifically, the watery fields were that part of the sky that was permanent, the circumpolar stars. Up-Uat is the Opener of the polar region of the sky. Anubis is originally An-Up, meaning Fish-Opener. We sometimes see the fish as part of Anubis' name in hieroglyphics. This refers to the fish from whose mouth the waters of creation were said to have flowed. Anup may originally have been Nup, a form of Nu-Up, meaning Water-Opener or Sky-Opener. So An means fish, the produce of the waters, life in abundance, and means the same as Uat. In Sanskrit, oddly enough, anupa means "a watery country".

The mound of earth at the beginning of creation opens the Uat, the waters. The land of the waters is the Ta-Uat, or Tuat. The land in the waters is the island in the sky, the mound in the sky, the mountain in the sky, the topmost part of the sky, that is - in ancient astronomical code language - the celestial pole.

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