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The Egyptian Goddess Maat: The Personification of Truth and Moral Integrity

Updated on August 11, 2013
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Many people ask why I chose the name “Daughter of Maat” as a screen name. I use it for just about all my online endeavors including video gaming. To me, it’s a tribute to my patron Goddess Maat; I consider myself to be her daughter, so to speak. I even named one of my cats after her.

Maat (pronounced Mot. or Ma'ot) was an integral part of Egyptian culture. Her origins date back to the Old Kingdom where she was described as being “at the nostrils of Ra.”

In later Dynasties, she was known as the daughter of the Sun God. Typically depicted as a woman wearing an ostrich feather (a symbol of truth), Maat was the ultimate judge of the dead.

The heart of the deceased was weighed against the feather of Maat. If the soul was found worthy, it was accompanied to the Underworld by the psychopomp Anubis. If the soul was found to be unworthy, it was fed to the goddess Ammit.

The God of the Underworld, Osiris himself, was known as “Lord of Maat.”

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Maat was the personification of all the elements of cosmic harmony, specifically truth, justice and moral integrity.

Unlike the other Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt, Maat essentially represented an all-encompassing ethical concept in the form of personification. She was a neter, or principle.

Maat also justified the authority of the king. She gave them the authority to govern the people and uphold the laws of the universe. The pharaoh was the keeper of Maat, or order on Earth which included the annual flood of the Nile.

If a pharaoh failed to rule in accordance with Maat, the cosmic harmony Maat provided would be thrown off balance. This applied to individuals as well.

A lack of integrity caused the cosmos to become unbalanced and Egyptians feared they would be punished with famine or other plagues in order to restore that balance.

Maat was the epitome of order and the antithesis of chaos (personified by the God Seth). She was the one who kept the cosmos from slipping into the chaotic abyss surrounding it.

She was also the consort of the Moon-god Thoth who was also known as the “Lord of Time.” Together, Maat and Thoth accompanied Ra on his nightly journey into the Underworld (this was the sun setting).

Thoth was also known as the “Lord of Wisdom.” Because Maat was the wife of Thoth, she was the expression of divine wisdom.

The Goddess Maat

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Since Maat is my Patron Goddess, I use her in quite a bit of spell work. If you decided to call on Maat, make sure your intentions are pure.

Since she is the Goddess of truth and moral integrity, if you have ulterior motives, the spell will backfire.

Maat’s correspondences are:

Candle Colors: black, blue, green, orange, white and yellow

Spells: beginnings, endings, legal matters, power, protection, purification, and transitions

Offerings: gemstones such as emerald; herbs such as aloe; liquids such as galbanum oil; beer or wine; and feathers (especially an ostrich feather)

© Copyright 2012 by Daughter of Maat ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Maat was essentially the personification of truth and justice, although she was typically represented in hieroglyphs as an ostrich feather. I'm surprised there isn't more information available about Maat in Egyptian history since her feather was the one thing the soul was weighted against to determine if it was worthy enough to go to the afterlife.

      I think the Gods and Goddesses were anthropomorphized because the Egyptians held animals in such high regard, similar to the Native Americans. When you think about it, what else do we really have to compare ourselves to but animals? At least that's my take on it. Each God/Goddess is associated with a specific animal that has similar characteristics to the deity itself. For example, Anubis was a black jackal. In the eyes of the Egyptians, jackals were extremely protective and had a high standard of integrity. In fact, jackals typically mate for life, and vehemently protect their young. Anubis himself was given the task of actually weighing the heart, and was given a high standard of integrity because of his association with Maat. I must say, Anubis is one God I would not want to anger.

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      Lesley Charalambides 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      A fascinating hub. I've always been interested in the ancient egyptian religion . I wonder why when so many of the other gods and goddesses were shown as animals, truth and justice had human form? Were the ancient Egyptians trying to say that this concept was a major difference between humans and animals, or was there another reason?

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      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Awe, thanks! :D Good night!!

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      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      lol! :) I had to say hi before I went to bed. :)

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      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @TT Thank you! My secret is out! lol

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      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      DOM! I am seeing you!!! :)

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      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Jlava! I love writing about the Egyptian pantheon, my only problem is which God/Goddess to write about next! :D

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      Jennifer Vasconcelos 5 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Keep em coming! Fascinating reading about your Patron Godess Maat.

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      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you TT!! :D

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      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Another very informative and interesting hub, DOM! Nicely done. VUM! :)

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      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Mama Kim, I agree! :D

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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Well I can understand why you like her so much! She's wonderful.

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      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @OldWitchcraft Thank you! Most people pronounce it Mat. lol

      @Civil War Bob Actually, the 42 negative confessions (which I had to remove because of the duplicate filter... gggrrrr) were similar to the ten commandments. But once you were dead, these were read in your honor (so to speak) and the God Thoth took notes. It was essentially you asserting that you did live a good life. But then the heart was weighed, which verified whether or not you did.

      I found it's probably easier for me to order the Blue Emu from Amazon, finding it in an actual store is proving difficult lol. I'll let you know how it works when I get it!

      @phoenix I'm fascinated by the ancient Egyptian mythology. There's just something about the last magical civilization that spanned 3,000 years. :D

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've only recently become interested in Egyptian mythology and found this hub quite interesting. I'll have to check out you other ones.

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      Civil War Bob 5 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      DoM...great hub! Voted up, useful, and interesting. I learned a ton from it, but now I've got some questions to ask that might push me toward the "troll" category, so I'll not cross that line, but here's one that might be safe enough: How did/does a man/woman get forgiveness from Maat for breaking one of the 42 Negatives; which, given the list, seem impossible to keep continually?

      Thanks for considering this and have a great day. Hey, did you ever find a source for Blue Emu?

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      OldWitchcraft 5 years ago from The Atmosphere

      Very interesting. I didn't realize that's how you pronounce the name. It sounds like the French word for "word" - le mot.

      Accolades and voted up!