Author of the Month
Anubis, Companion to Osiris (Cont)
By Lee McGiffen
Anubis as A Polar Constellation
The adze that Anubis puts into the mouth of Osiris is Ursa Minor, as Borchardt claimed, not Ursa Major as other Egyptologists have claimed. None of the stars of Ursa Major were ever pole stars. I cannot understand this fascination with Ursa Major. (It is a blind that attracts the blind!)
Another object that Anubis inserts into the mouth is the fishtail knife. Astro-mythologically, the fishtail knife is the same as the adze - Ursa Minor. Called the pesesh-kef, it was like two curved slicers joined together. The priest stood over the mummy and ritually broke the knife in two and inserted the two slicers or mini-adzes inside the wrappings of the mummy. In the mythology, Anubis, Upuaut or a "Son of Horus" uses the double-knife as a wedge, or the adze (as a single knife), to prize open the mouth of Osiris.
These two slicers may represent the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) which surround the north celestial pole. (The pesesh-kef was found in the Queen's Chamber northern airshaft, which is pointed at the culmination point of Kochab in 2450 BCE. Kochab is a bright star in Ursa Minor.) These two adzes in the sky so closely resemble each other that they were regarded as the Twins of heaven. At various times they have been thought of as two bears, two 'dippers', two ploughs, two wagons, twin brothers, etc. The "fishtail" flint knife was carried over from the Archaic and Old Kingdom pesesh-kef wand and it was normally attached to a staff.
Wands, staffs and poles are emblems of royalty, and they symbolize the place at which the King of Heaven sits - the celestial pole, because the sky revolves around this point.
Anubis' was sceptre, like other staffs, wands and poles, is emblematic of the World Axis. The World Axis isn't the axis of the world at all. It is of course the axis of the sky, the celestial pole. The tip of the was sceptre resembles the "backbone" or arc of Ursa Minor. At other times it resembles a jackal's head, but the jackal's head is made in the shape of the arc of Ursa Minor.
The World Axis is also depicted in many other traditions as the Tree of Life that extends from the navel of the world to the Throne of God in the sky. The Djed column, known as the backbone of Osiris, is another figure of the World Axis, the celestial pole. The four bars that cross the column represent the four colures.
The adze is a token of Anubis. Both the adze and Anubis signify Ursa Minor.
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