Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Egyptian goddess Maat is one of the earliest Neters (Divine
Principles) to be recognized, depicted, and worshipped in Ancient
Egypt. Maat is also the original primal essence upon which nearly
all of the other Neters (gods and goddesses) relied upon for their
stability and sustenance.
Maat is a feminine Neter portrayed wearing an ostrich Feather atop
her head. As a feminine Neter, Maat depicts a feminine aspect of
Maat is the Symbolic representation of Stability, Balance, Justice,
Order and Truth upon which the cosmos, and everything contained
within the cosmos, including the material realm, relies.
Maat, therefore, Symbolizes cosmic, universal, and celestial
Harmony. She is the True, Stable essence of Creation which governs
the Rules of Eternity.
As Maat is the one Stable essence of all cosmic order, She was also
referred to as the "bread" of the gods. A concept later referred to in
Christianity as the "bread of the angels".
Although Maat is depicted as wearing an ostrich Feather atop her
head, this was not always the Symbolism used to portray Maat.
A very ancient Symbol for Maat was a short, wide Pedestal upon
which the other Neters would stand when exercising their Duty.
The straight, flat surface of a Pedestal is Symbolic of two Divine
Principles: Straightness and Elevation.
Elevation Symbolizes authority and superiority. Straightness, or
flatness, Symbolizes unwavering and constant.
When a Neter stood upon the Pedestal of Maat this not only elevated
that particular Neter to a position of authority and superiority, it also
provided the straightness and flatness that was necessary to insure
that this particular Neter would not wobble, waver, or risk being
unsteady when performing their Divine Duty.
When Maat is depicted wearing an ostrich Feather atop Her head,
She represents a different, and more visual way, to view Her
feminine Divine Nature.
The Feather is a Symbol for the lightest, most minuscule, Weight.
However, the Feather is also a part of a wing, and a wing is part
of a bird. Both birds and wings were ancient Egyptian Symbols
for Spirit. Therefore, in addition to Symbolizing a minuscule Weight
in the physical realm, the Feather also Symbolizes a Spiritual
Weight and essence in the higher, Unseen Realms.
The fact that the Feather of Maat comes from an ostrich is
perhaps based upon the even length, and symmetry, of the ostrich
Feather. This would be an allusion to Order and Constancy.
In addition, it is also perhaps based upon the fact that the ostrich
appears to bury its head in the sand. This could be another
allusion that the ostrich does not concern itself with the illusion
of what it appears to "see" with its physical eyes, but to what it
intuitively "sees" and understands with its spiritual Inner-Eye.
For Truth, Balance, and Harmony cannot be seen, they must
be intuitively understood; they simply are.
The Feather of Maat also played an important role in the ancient
Egyptian Ceremony called the Weighing Of The Heart. A
Ceremony in which the Heart of the Pharaoh, who is Symbolic
of all of us, is placed upon the Scales of Justice and Weighed
against the Feather of Maat. The Pharaoh's heart represented the
earthly deeds performed by the Pharaoh during his, or her, recently
When the ancient Egyptians indicated that someone had Maat,
they meant that that person was in Balance with, and perfectly
attuned to, cosmic Harmony.
This cosmic Harmony has always been, and will always be,
available to each one of us. However, we must first make the
effort to understand cosmic Harmony. Once we are able to
intuitively understand this Divine Principle, we too will find
ourselves standing upon the stable platform of Maat and our
unwavering, and un-wobbling, Thoughts and Actions will
insure that when our Heart is finally placed upon the Scales
of Justice, at the end of our earthly Voyage, it will Weigh less
than the Feather of Maat.
"The Feather As A Symbol"
"Egyptian Weighing of the Heart"
"Justice - And Its Symbolism"
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© copyright Joseph Panek 2010