After talking with readers, it occurred to me that not a lot of people know about the Egyptian gods and goddesses and the fascinating mythologies on which the Legends of Amun Ra series is based. So I decided to write a few blogs featuring certain gods and goddesses.

A fan recently wrote in asking how much we know about the Egyptian god, Upuaut—we’ll start with him.

wepwawet

As we discussed before, the biggest issue with Egyptian mythology is that the Egyptian gods and goddesses’ names constantly change throughout the history of ancient Egypt (Djehuty is another name for Thoth). Further complicating matters, their powers morph into different manifestations depending on what historical period you are examining (Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, Late Kingdom), and certain gods and goddesses that were once two separate deities become melded into one (i.e. Amun and Ra are separate deities but can become Amun-Ra).

Upuaut is more commonly referred to as Wepwawet. Wepwawet is often confused with Anubis because: (1) both gods have canine animal spirits (Anubis is the jackal; Wepwawet the wolf); and (2) through time, Wepwawet’s responsibilities in the funeral rites became blurred with those of Anubis. Despite this, they are clearly distinct gods.

wepwawet - 2

Wepwawet originated in Upper Egypt (which is actually the southern part of Egypt on a map). The name Wepwawet refers to his job duties, “The Opener of Ways”. Wepwawet’s job is similar to the role of Charon in Greek mythology. Wepwawet literally “opens” the gateway to the Egyptian underworld for the deceased to enter. These duties are mentioned in ancient Egyptian writings, including the famous Book of the Dead and the book That Which Is in the Underworld. Furthermore, in line with the idea of Wepwawet opening a “path,” his job was also to act as a scout for the ancient Egyptian armies.

Like most Egyptian gods and goddesses, Wepwawet is depicted as half-man, half-animal—his animal form is that of a wolf. As featured in the Legends of Amun Ra series, Greek and Egyptian mythologies intertwine. Wepwawet was so revered by the ancient Greeks that they named a town after him, Lycopolis.

Legends of Amun Ra is a seven book fantasy series based in the Egyptian mythology of alchemy, which involved the god of wisdom and magic, Thoth. The ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses are woven into the story to create the fantasy world. If you’re interested in Egyptian gods and goddesses and their mythologies yet want a compelling story full of fantasy, adventure, and romance, please check out the series, which starts with The Emerald Tablet.

Sources: The Gods of the Egyptians, Volumes I and II by E.A. Wallis Budge, 1969, Dover Publications.

About Joshua G. Silverman