DOG GOD, DOG GODS AND DOG MYTHOLOGY
What is a Dog God? What are Dog Gods? Maybe you worship your dog and the unconditional love your dog shows you on a daily basis. Did you know there was such a thing as a real Dog God or real Dog Gods? I thought it would be fun to step away from the dog training topics for today and take a look at the interesting subject of Dog mythology, Dog God and Dog Gods in Dog Mythology throughout different religions, cultures and in ancient mythology.
In doing some research on the subject of Dog God, Dog Gods, and Dog Mythology I found some interesting dogs in mythology. And to be politically correct I also found some Dog Goddess myths as well in ancient mythology. Finally, I looked at different cultural views of dogs in different parts of the world and how different religion of the world look at dogs. I hope you find this both interesting and fun and will share this with all of your dog friends and ancient mythology nerds.
ANUBIS THE EGYPTIAN DOG GOD OF THE UNDERWORLD
Anubis comes from ancient Egyptian mythology and was considered an ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. Anubis was said to have protected and guided sacred dead Spirits. The depiction of Anubis was that of man who had a black jackal like head, or as a black jackal. Many ancient Egyptians, because of this dog-god Anubis, had a spiritual and reverent association with their dogs. It is well known that many Egyptians buried some of their dogs at Saqqara in the catacombs at Anubieion. It was common for Egyptians to consider dogs to be highly sacred animals.
BAU THE MESOPOTAMIAN DOG GODDESS OF HEALING
Bau the goddess of healing is a god of ancient Babylonia. Bau is depicted as a patron deity with a dog head. This ancient dog deity and goddess was worshiped by cults that revered dogs and gave dogs a high position of importance in their culture. Because dogs were considered divine entities, their importance was signified by their use in ceremonies and oath taking. An area around the Ninishina temple in Isin Mesopotamia, had a discovery upon its excavation where dozens of ancient drawings of dogs, many sculptures of dogs, and more than two dozen dog burials were found. The temple was named é-ur-gi7-ra which literally is translated to mean “dog house”.
KERBEROS or CERBERUS FROM GREEK MYTHOLOGY
THE FIERCE DOG GOD GUARDIAN AND WATCHDOG OF HADES
Kerberos is sometimes called Cerberus in ancient Greek mythology. Kerberos was a fierce man eating dog that loyally protected and stood gaurs at the gates Hell and the underworld. Many gods feared Kerberos. Kerberos is depicted in ancient Greek mythology as a dog with three heads, with many snakes on the back of his head, and a tail that resembles that of a dragon rather than a dog. Kerberos was feared and had the job of preventing the living from entering the land of the dead and the underworld. In ancient Greek mythology, Hercules finally overpowered Kerberos, kidnaping him and was said to have brought Kerberos back with him to the land of the living.
FENRIR THE DOG GOD SON OF THE DEMONIC GOD OF LOKI
Fenrir comes from ancient Norse mythology. Fenrir is known in mythology as being the son of the demonic god Loki. Fenrir is also the son of the giant goddess Angerboda. Fenrir was known to have super strength, strength that was even feared by many other gods. In Norse mythology it tells of the story that those feared gods trick Fenrir and used a magical chain to keep Fenrir bound and chained until “Dommsday” or what is also known as the day of Ragnarok. On the day of Ragnarok, Fenrir breaks free from the magical chain that had held him, and Fenrir kills the god Odin who was the chief deity. Fenrir meets his fate when Oin’s son who puts Fenrir to his death avenges him. Another dog in Norse mythology that is also similar to the story of Fenrir is the story of Garmr. Garmr is a blood soaked guard dog that lays guard over the gates of Hell until the day of Ragnarok.
KIMAT THE DOG GOD OF TADAKLAN THE GOD OF THUNDER
Kimat comes from Philippine mythology. Kimat is the dog of Tadaklan. Tadaklan is the god of thunder,by the Tinguian people of central Luzon and lives in the sky with his dog Kimat, is responsible for lightning. During the old times, many people (especially those people of central Luzon) worshiped Tadaklan.
SET THE EGYPTIAN DOG GOD OF STORMS
Set was a storm god. In Egyptian mythology Set is responsible for strange and scary eclipses, thunderstorms, and other geological disturbances that were unknown and scary at the time, such as earthquakes, desert storms of the dark, and the fear and destruction these storms create. Set is often shown as having the head of a dog or jackal, or another animal but the body of a man.
WEPWAWET THE EGYPTIAN DOG GOD PATHFINDER
Wepwawet means “opener of the roads” or “opening a path”. Egyptian mythology says Wepwawet was responsible for leading those that were dead into the underworld and then to watch guard over them on their travels into and through the underworld. In some other Egyptian mythology, Wepwawet was depicted as a military scout who’s job wast to clear a path, opening a way allowing them to go forward into the underworld. Egyptian mythology scholars debate as to whether Wepawet is a jackal, a dog or, a wolf. Many mythology scholars believe Wepawet was a dog because dogs are good at fighting and tracking a path.
XOLT THE AZTEC DOG GOD OF LIGHTNING AND FIRE
Xoltl is the Aztec god of both lightning and fire in ancient Aztec mythology. Xoltl is also know as the god deformities and sicknesses. In some Ancient Aztec Mythology Xoltl is described as a god leading the dead into the afterlife and into the underworld. Xoltl is often depicted in Aztec mythology as a man with a dog head, a monstrous animal with its feet often reversed. Most often Xoltl is depicted as a skeleton. In recent times the Mexican Hairless dog breed, known as the Xoloitzcuintil, comes from the mythical god Xoltl. A little know fact you can impress your dog friends with.
DOGS IN RELIGION AND OTHER CULTURES
Hindus are known to worship dogs as a part of the well-known Tihar festival located in North East India. In Hindu mythology dogs are depicted as ones who guard Heaven and it’s gates, as well as Hell. In general, Hindu people believe that being kind to dogs helps make the way to Heaven.
Although according to the Hindu people mentioned above, the dog is believed to be of a divine nature, many world religions think dogs are bad and they look down upon dogs. In the case of Judaism and Islam, dogs are regarded as unclean animals to be avoided. As with Hinduism, most other religions revere dogs. In Christianity, faithfulness is a positive attribute assigned to dogs. In Asian cultures such as the people of China, Japanese culture and Korean culture, dogs are viewed as kind protectors with most people. We tend to view the Chinese and Korean cultures as being negative towards dogs because of some who sell, cook and eat dogs. Dog’s are one of 12 animals that are revered in Chinese astrology. Did you know that the second day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated as all dogs birthday?