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Ancient Egyptian Gods
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Ma’at (Mayet)

The goddess of truth

Symbols: ostrich feather, scales

Depiction: Depicted as a seated or standing woman, Ma’at held an ankh in one hand and a specter in the other. She wore an ostrich feather in her hair. Some depictions showed Ma’at as a woman with an ostrich feather for a head or with wings attached to her arms.

Mythology: A positive force in the life of the ancient Egyptians, Ma’at was the goddess of truth, order, and Egypt’s physical and moral law. Ma’at had eight children with Thoth; one of these children was the god Amon. Together with Ammut, Ma’at judged the souls of the dead in the "Hall of the Two Truths,” Maaty. Before a soul could enter the afterlife it had to pass judgment. To judge whether a soul was worthy of entering the afterlife, the deceased’s heart was placed on one side of the Scales of Truth and the feather of Ma’at on the other side. If the heart, where the Egyptians believed the soul dwelled, was heavy with sins and out weighed Ma’at’s feather, Ammut ate the soul, dooming it to eternal death. If the heart weighed equal to Ma’at’s feather the soul earned eternal life in the Duat. The ancient Egyptian word ma’at means truth.

Ma’at served as a guide to Re, the sun god, as he made his journey across the sky in his boat. Ma’at guided the Egyptian pharaoh’s in their journey through life having been set in place as principles to live by when the world was formed. If a pharaoh failed to uphold the truth, ma’at, then the chaos that existed before Ma’at would return and the world would be destroyed.

 


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