An Old Dog Can Teach You New Tricks


He’s a very different character to the entity that had come through previously. The power and sense of presence are stronger. I’m not sure what to make of this new relationship. He was offered as a gift, one that I couldn’t possibly refuse. The sculptor who fashioned him was a friend, now ‘walking with the ancestors’. A new statuette of the Opener has entered my life and the old intuition is telling me a life change is on its way. Forgive me for rattling my bag of bones and muttering dark and terrible things. Or not. The soothsayer has consulted the bones and pronounced their findings in typical cryptic fashion. It’s a form of divination performed by the casting of bones and has been practiced by humans for a very long time. The origin of bone oracles has been attributed to many locations including Africa, China and Central Asia. At this point there is no sense in debating its origins, much like shamanistic practices this topic could end up filling several pages. I suspect this may not be to everyone’s liking. What of the Jackal God? Anpu is an entity with strong shamanistic overtones, a being bearing roles of Psychopomp, God of the Dead, Initiator and the Opener. Perhaps they’re titles that are significant only to me. The archetype of the jackal god and indeed guardian dogs has ancient beginnings. The canine’s relationship with humans is long-lived and I suspect will continue to be so. In its role of guardian it has watched over its human charges and portals leading to realms both sacred and infernal.


The guardian dog also watches over the doorway between the conscious and subconscious. The traveller seeking passage through such portals must know the words of power in order for the guardian to allow entry. We must be very sure of our purpose for going through such doorways. Such incursions into the depths of the psyche and passage from life to death will bring about deep transformations. Death in this instance is that of the old Self and possible rebirth of a new one. I cannot possibly speak of the passage from life to death and beyond, yet. My years spent in the funeral profession have given me an insight into only one facet of the great cycle of Life and Death. My volunteer activities providing bereavement support (including facing the death of my father) have shed light on another aspect. A third facet of this journey waiting to be revealed soon. I jokingly refer to His Nibs waiting in the shadows watching until he has another task for me to perform. Seems like the joke’s on me now! His appearances seem to coincide with important and deeply transformative periods in my life. At such times I’m forced to reassess who I am and confront my Shadow. I have yet to embrace and integrate it fully. Light and Dark can co-exist, we cannot know one without the presence of the other. Chaos must be faced and overcome if we are to move forwards; much like Set defeating Apep in the Underworld in order for the Solar barque to continue its journey.

Chaos must be faced and overcome if we are to move forwards. That’s not to say we must bring ourselves down to its level. Our strength and focus must come from a place of balance and calm. ‘Don’t feed the fear, don’t fear what’s within’ He says quite loudly. An important point. We’re living in a world now where there are daily occurrences of death through violence, grief, sorrow and anger. Fear and ignorance are making people behave in uncharacteristic ways, almost as if they feel they’ve been given permission to act out. The energies are chaotic and it’s difficult maintaining a sense of stability and serenity. Our current beliefs and systems are being challenged robustly. Ossified perceptions are being rocked by huge seismic activity in our psyche. This doesn’t make for comfortable living. We cannot know the depth of our courage and strength until faced by challenges and adversity. Setian energies have been loosed in the world; therefore we must stand and face all that is difficult. Hard letting go of a lifetime’s conditioning and beliefs which no longer serve us.

Temple of Seti I at Abydos (p)

The Walker between the Worlds scrutinises me closely in the Hall of Judgement as I reflect on the 42 negative confessions or Laws of Maat. My reverie is soon interrupted by His Nibs asking me what I want of the bone oracle. Bone oracle? He opens his right hand and throws bones on the sandy floor of a simple mud hut. ‘Well Oracle, what do the bones say?’ I ask him curiously. He just raises an eyebrow. The answer always lies within but the journey to the source of wisdom may be of more importance. ‘Be self aware, the Oracle can only point the way’ his deep voice reminds me. It seems I’ve come full circle. The Jackal God raises his hands and lifts off his head, that doesn’t sound right. It’s a mask and quite a realistic depiction.   His eyes reflect the light of Sothis, brilliant and mysterious. All this from a statuette you question. The Seeker has met the Walker between the Worlds at the portal, she must decide on when to walk through it. He has all the time in the world, holds all the time in the world.  Whereas I do not. Time to make new footprints and learn a few new tricks.

photo credit: <a ref=”″>Temple of Seti I at Abydos (XVI)</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;


2 comments on “An Old Dog Can Teach You New Tricks

  1. stevetanham says:

    Enjoyed that, Jan x

    Liked by 1 person

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