Pagan Kemetic Federation & Faith

Paganism Kemetic Pagan Federation home of the Kemetic faith.

 

 

 

What is the concept of Ma at?

Ma´at

Ma'at Ma'at

Ma´at is best understood as a concept, rather than a goddess, but she is central to the kemetic faiths understanding of the universe and our place within it. The name Ma´at is generally translated as "that which is straight" or "truth" but also implies "order", "balance" and "justice". Thus Ma´at personified perfect order and harmony. She came into being when Ra rose from the waters of Nun (Chaos) and so she is often described as a daughter of Ra. She is sometimes considered to be the wife of Thoth because he is a god of wisdom.

The Kemetic faith  believes that the universe is ordered and rational. The rising and setting of the sun, the flooding of the Nile and the predicable course of the stars in the sky reassure us that there is permanence to existence which is central to the nature of all things. However, the forces of chaos are always present and threaten the balance of Ma´at. Each person is duty bound to preserve and defend Ma´at and the Pharaoh is perceived as the guardian of Ma´at. Without Ma´at, Nun would reclaim the universe and chaos would reign supreme.

The Kemetic faith also has a strong sense of morality and justice. We feel that the good should prosper, and that the guilty must be punished. We praise those who defended the weak and the poor and place a high value on loyalty especially to ones family. However, we also understand that it is not possible to be perfect, just balanced. Ma´at transcendes specific ethical rules (which differed according to different times and different peoples) and instead focuses on the natural order of things. That being said, certain actions are clearly against Ma´at as they increase the effects of chaos and have a purely negative effect on the world.

Each persons soul is judged in the Hall of Ma´at (depicted in the book of the dead and book five of the book of gates) when they die. Their heart (conscience) is weighed against the feather of Ma´at (an ostrich feather) on scales which represente balance and justice. If their heart is heavier than the feather because they have failed to live a balanced life by the principles of Ma´at their heart is either thrown into a lake of fire or devoured by a fearsome deity known as Ammit. If, however, their heart balances with the feather of Ma´at they will pass the test and gain eternal life. At certain times it was Osiris who sat as judge in the ritual, and many other deities were involved in the ceremony, but the scales always represente Ma´at.

The Kemetic faith  also has a well developed  system to ensure that Ma´at was preserved in daily life. The Priests of Ma´at are involved in the guidence system as well as tending to the needs of the goddess.

All rulers respected Ma´at, but Akhenaten in particular emphasised his adherence to Ma´at, despite (or perhaps because of) his rather unconventional approach to the gods. Hatshepsut also emphasised her reverence for Ma´at by taking the throne name Ma´atkare (justice is the soul of re), again possibly because as a female ruler she needed to show that her position was in line Ma´at. She also built a small temple to Ma´at within the precinct of Montu in Karnak.

Ma´at is depicted as a woman wearing a crown with a single ostrich feather protruding from it. She is occassionally depicted as a winged goddess. Her totem is a stone platform representing the stable foundation on which order is built and the primeaval mound which first emerged from the waters of Nun (chaos).

So as you can see this is one of our main goals as followers of the kemetic faith which we can achive through the guidence of our Pharaoh & the priests of our temples who pass on the lessons that we have lernt from the great life stories of the Gods.