Ma’at the Goddess that represents truth, law, order and harmony

Ma’at represents law, order and love. In the kemetic philosophical view law was not about force and punishment. Instead it is the natural outcome of love which is, in the words of Ra Un Nefer Amen , the expression of our oneness with each other and with God. (source)

For the beginner, it is a little difficult as I sift through all the material to digest who or what Ma’at is. In some texts it is clear that she is a Ancient Egyptian Goddess. In other texts she is hardly mentioned, and only referred to as a concept. I believe her omnipresence throughout ancient Egyptian life confounded some western anthropologists, who diminished her role as a Goddess. Most books on Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses in new-age bookstores don’t even list her. However, it is clear that as all Gods are associated with concepts, and looking at the omnipresence of Ma’at in Ancient Egyptian lives to realize her importance as an Ancient Egyptian Goddess. Even though many consider her to “merely be a concept”

  • Ma’at was thought to come into existence at the moment of creation, having no creator and made the order of the entire universe from the pandemonium.(source)
  • The Goddess Ma’at was most cherished by the rulers of ancient Egypt, and most of them were referred to as “Beloved of Ma’at.” Pharaohs would carry an effigy of Ma’at seated as a sign that he represented her regime. (source)
  • Every pharaoh agreed to uphold the laws of order known as ma’at. (source)
  • Ma’at is seen as the substance on which gods live, they nourish themselves with Ma’at. Order and justice are the responsibilities of the gods and they can perform them only when they are “full” of Ma’at. (source)
  • Ancient egyptian sages and scribes clearly saw themselves as officials serving Ma’at
  • The amulet of Ma’at is worn around the neck by high officials
  • The concept of Ma’at unites all of life in Egypt. Ma’at is at the core of religious, political, and social values. Because it is the center of ritual activity, it is necessary for navigating the afterlife.
  • Because it is the center of ethics, its performance and internationalization in the heart of the individual are weighed at the final judgment against the cosmic standard, which is Ma’at herself.
  • Thus achieving Ma’at is the goal of life and is key to eternal blessing in the afterlife
  • Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. (source)

It appears that over time Ma’at was represented by Thoth:

“In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science,and the judgment of the dead.”[wikipedia]

Later, as a goddess in other traditions of the Egyptian pantheon, where most goddesses were paired with a male aspect, her masculine counterpart was Thoth, as their attributes are similar.[wikipedia]

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Other sources

  • http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/kemetic-neteru/13431-complex-concept-maat-kemetic-philosophy.html
  • http://www.ashtarontheroad.com/maattruthlove.htm
  • http://www.crystalinks.com/maat.html
  • http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/maat.html#.V6CM3JMrL-Y
  • http://www.hermes3.net/thoth2.htm

 

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