Today’s post isn’t a guest post……this time I am posting. I chose Ma’at as I have done some work with her as a Justice Goddess. The Ancient Egyptians very much believed in a Heaven, Hell, and Judgement Day (although Judgement doesn’t come on one day for all but occurs once they pass on). Their Judgement Day was a bit scarier, in my humble opinion. Upon death an individual stood before Anpu (Anubis) to await judgement. Anpu would take their heart and place it on scales along with Ma’at’s feather. If the heart was light with sin than it would not outweigh the feather and the soul could move on to Heaven. But. If that heart was heavy with sin it would outweigh the feather. At that point it would more than likely be fed to Ammut (an alligator god). Ammut eating the soul would erase it from all existence. Meaning it would be as if one never existed.
Along with Ma’at comes what is known as Negative Confessions. They are professions of the sins that you have not committed, it is part of the process of judgement. One would stand before Anpu and profess the sins that they had not committed. This comes well over 2000 years before the more popularly known 10 Commandments.
1. I have not done falsehood against men.
2. I have not impoverished my associates.
3. I have done no wrong in the Place of Truth
4. I have not learn that which is not.
5. I have done no evil
6. I have not daily mad elabor in excess of what was due to be done for me.
7. My name has not reached the offices of those who control slave.
8. I have not deprived the orphan of his property.
9. I have not done what the gods detest.
10. I have not calumniated a servant to his master.
11. I have not caused pain.
12. I have not made hungry.
13. I have not made to weep.
14. I have not killed.
15. I have not commanded to kill.
16. I have not made suffering for anyone.
17. I have not lessened the food offerings in the temples.
18. I have not destroyed the loaves of the gods.
19. I have not taken away the food of the spirits.
20. I have not copulated.
21. I have not misbehaved.
22. I have not lessened food supplies.
23. I have not diminished the aroura.
24. I have not encroached upon the fields.
25. I have not laid anything upon the weights of the hand balance.
26. I have not takien anything from the plummet of the standing scales.
27. I have not taken the milk from the mouths of children.
28. I have not deprived the herds of their pastures.
29. I have not trapped the birds from the preserves of the gods.
30. I have not caught the fish of their marshlands.
31. I have not diverted water at it’s season.
32. I have not built a dam on flowing water.
33. I have not quenched the fire when it’s burning.
34. I have not neglected the dates for offering choice meats.
35. I have not withheald cattle from the gods’-offerings.
36. I have not opposed a god in his procession.
It is fitting that Ma’at, being a goddess of justice, would be at Judgement. It is after all the final chance of making sure that all justice has been served. And given her association with death, wouldn’t it be honorable to acknowledge Her at Samhain when we are acknowledging our ancestors and recently deceased?
Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, translated by Raymond O. Faulkner (Chapter 125 covers the Negative Confessions)
The website I trust most for the Ancients is The House of Netjer