Ancient Egypt's lone wolf is top dog. Not only does he scout out Pharaoh's enemies, he also has keys to every door in the universe as the Opener of Ways. Wepwawet's the original jackal god in Egypt—even older than Anubis, though sometimes they're considered brothers or even the same god. We guess when you can be everywhere, you can also be everything?
Wepwawet (Apuat, Ophois)
Opener of the Ways, Who Separates Earth and Sky, Master Chief, More Powerful than the Gods, First Responder
Lycopolis (modern Assiut)
Trickster, Army scout
I learn on the road.
Ra is king
Maybe Ra and Nut, but we're not sure. I do know I was born at the temple of Wadjet. Some think I'm a son of Isis, but I'm a lot older than she is.
I try to see the good in everybody.
"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on."
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag by James Brown
The NeverEnding Story
If you're looking for Wepwawet, you might want to check out the local military re-enactment scene; he's really into those. If you get in the right vicinity, it's hard to miss him, since he has the head of a jackal or a wolf. Sometimes he's actually completely in jackal or wolf form. Bet you're not used to that.
Build: Well-built male with a canine head (jackal or wolf)
Complexion: Reddish-brown (like all ancient Egyptian paintings of men)
Hair Color: A black wig
Facial Hair: Black, brown, or (rarely) grey fur
Jewelry and accessories: A gold collar and bracelets. Sometimes he carries a was scepter (a staff with Seth's head on top, the hieroglyph for "strength"). In full jackal or wolf form, he sometimes carries a battle standard or a flywhisk flail.
Clothing: A white linen or brown leather kilt
Armor: Sometimes, a shirt made of golden scale mail
Type of Weapon: Spears, a curved sword called a khopesh, or maces, if he carries any weapons at all. Sometimes he also carries a long shield.
Other jackal spirits
Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019
Around 3100 BCE, Wepwawet's city was created, almost in the exact center of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians called it Zawty, "Two Protectors," and it belonged to Wepwawet and Anubis. When the Greeks came to Egypt, they renamed it Lycopolis, or "wolf city." It kept this name until the Arabic-speaking Muslims renamed it Assiut, the Arabic version of Zawty. Today, it's a huge industrial city, but it's still the crossroads of Egypt.
Jan 1, 1970
Wepwawet's jackal standard, carried as a war banner by the king's army, appears on the very famous Narmer palette, as well as some ceremonial maces (big, stone war hammers) from Narmer's reign. Since this king united Egypt for the first time, we know he saw some gnarly battles. Good thing he had Wepwawet to guide him.
Jan 1, 1970
The sixth pharaoh of Egypt was buried with lots of bling out at Wepwawet's hangout in the Abydos cemetery. Among the treasures was a pair of royal sandals, complete with an ivory tag with Den's name on it, as well as a nifty drawing of Den swatting an Asiatic chief upside the head with his stone hammer while Wepwawet watches.
Jan 1, 1970
An inscription in the Sinai desert (between Egypt and modern Israel) asks Wepwawet to open the way to victory for Sekhmet's army. During the New Kingdom a thousand years later, the Egyptian army's scout division was named Sabu or "the jackals," in Wepwawet's honor.
Dec 21, 2019
In the Pyramid Texts, old funeral rituals carved inside pharaohs' pyramids, Wepwawet helps the kings prepare to rise from death. At first, he is helpful with the Opening of the Mouth ritual, a job that later ends up Anubis's duty. Then, Wepwawet leads the risen pharaohs to Ra, the sun himself.
Dec 21, 2019 - Jan 1, 1970
Wepwawet is chief guardian of the giant cemeteries at the sacred city of Abydos (Abdju in ancient Egyptian). He's sort of the second-shift god there. Wepwawet took over for an older jackal god named Khentyamentiu, and once the New Kingdom came, watching over Abydos became Osiris's job.
Dec 20, 2019
One of the Egyptian Desert Fathers, early Christian monks who lived in desert caves and were said to have magical powers, was named John. He was from Lycopolis, and like Wepwawet (the god of Lycopolis before Christianity came), John could supposedly see the future, predict who would win battles, and appear to people in dreams.