Ma’at and Balance

The Ancient Egyptians were known for their rich religion, filled with symbolism, a deep love for their gods and the will to be united with them through ceremony.

Ma’at is the lady of the judgement hall. She  is cosmic order, and truth itself  (The Way of Egyptian Wisdom). As such she is the upholder of divine law and perfect truth.

Her symbol is the feather, often an Ostrich feather, which the heart was weighed against in the judgement hall by Anubis.

To the Egyptians she personified both physical and moral laws and as the great regulator of truth, she also regulated the path of the sun, stars, seasons and all cosmic events.

Some of her Epithets were:

“Beloved Daughter of Ra”, “She of the beautiful face”, “Controller of seasons”, “Food of the gods”, “Lady of Heaven” ,”Queen of Earth”, “Mistress of the Underworld”,”Eye of Ra” (Egyptian Revenge Spells).

As the Cosmic law, Ma’at is balance.

Balance is important to me it is what I strive for. But what is balance? To me balance is the balance of the elements, the balance that comes out of the chaos of the primordial waters of Nun and living a life of perfect love and perfect trust in as far as I can.

A balance within the self, is one of the most important things in my system, and it is not always an easy pursuit. To me the universe is a balance between Chaos and order, and as such chaos is constantly threatening the carefully constructed walls of our lives, and as such balance is a pursuit of many lifetimes.

Ma’at herself was seen as an aspect of the creator. Ma’at created order out of chaos, and in our own lives we act as priests and priestesses of Ma’at striving to create order out of chaos.

According to the Anubis oracle Ma’at is beyond right and wrong. This makes sense to me as truth is beyond right and wrong, and sits somewhere rather abstractly often out of our own reach. It also suggests that morality is something that fluid and ever-changing.

Thoth is the husband of Ma’at and reads the judgement in the judgement hall. He is considered to be the material principle of Ma’at.  The judgement hall to me is how we judge the balance in our lives, out of balance, chaos ensues and we might spiral completely out of control unable to create magic. I believe that magic comes out of the balance of all of the elements.

There are many ways of bringing Ma’at into our lives. One of these ways is to work with the elements, all of them, not just the ones that some people think embody who they are. It is about working closely with nature and working with gods, honouring them and communing with them, through nature and ritual, something that the Egyptian’s practiced continuously.

Ma’at was also known as “The food of the gods” and was considered the nourishment of the gods, “Maat was offered to the main gods in their temple rituals, along with the offerings of food, drink and incense” p150 (Egyptian Paganism). Thus when offering food to Ma’at, during the reversion of the offerings, when we, as priests and priestesses partake of the offering, we are eating that which was blessed by Ma’at and thus bringing her into our lives.

To work with Ma’at as a goddess, offerings include, emerald, amethyst, platinum, orris, frankincense, papyrus, aloe, beer, wine and feathers.

Good workings that Ma’at can help with, are beginnings, endings, power, protection, purification, transitions, astrology, divinatory arts, fair judgement in legal cases and attaining justice.

Invocation from Egyptian Paganism p 143-

Hymn to Maat in the temple of Amun at el-hibis, translation by John L Foster

Praise to you, Maat, daughter of Ra,

consort of god, whom Ptah loves,

The one who adorns the breast of Thoth, who

fashioned her own nature,

foremost of the souls of Heliopolis;

Who pacified the two falcon gods through  her good will,

filled the per-wer shrine with life and dominion;

Skilled one who brought forth the gods herself

and brought low the heads of enemies;

Who herself provides for the house of the All-Lord,

brings daily offerings for those who are on duty.

Magnificent her throne before the judges-

and she consumes the enemies of Atum

 

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Photo on Unpslash

References

The Sacred Magic of Ancient Egypt- Rosemary Clark

Egyptian Paganism- Jocelyn Almond and Keith Seddon

Egyptian Revenge Spells- Claudia R Dillaire

The Anubis Oracle- Nicki Scully and Linda Starr Wolf

Shamanic Mysteries of Ancient Egyptt- Nicki Scully and Linda Starr Wolf

The Way of Egyptian Wisdom- Naomi Ozaniec

Recommended Links

Disclaimer: This is my take on Ma’at and balance,  but is based on knowledge that I’ve gained from books. I’m not a Kemetic Recontructionist, so my view is probably a bit different.

All blog content is Copyright © 2012 of Nightshade thepurplebroom.wordpress.com unless otherwise stated

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4 thoughts on “Ma’at and Balance

  1. Thanks for the description of Ma’at and the reflections concerning balance. The artworks of souls standing in the judgement hall watching their hearts being weighed are among my favorite works from Ancient Egypt (the scroll of Hunefer is a famous example),

  2. Pingback: Shavout/Pentecost and Sephirot/Sefirot 2011 | Moshebarabraham2013's Blog

  3. Pingback: Full Harvest Moon of the Autumn Equinox | 13 Moon Mysteries of the Goddess

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