Maat: Egyptian Goddess of Truth Justice and Harmony

Maat is a rather special Egyptian goddess. She is generally considered to be the daughter of the sun god Ra, although according to some myths she is the daughter of Tefnut and Shu. Maat is the goddess of truth, justice and harmony.

Her most important function is to rule over the judgement of the dead in the throne room of Osiris. The dead has to appear before 42 judges and declare whether they are innocent or guilty of any crimes. The soul of the dead are then weighed on a scale against Maat, represented as a single feather. If the heart is weighed down by crimes and the scale tips, the monster Ammut devours the dead person. However if the dead person lived with Maat in his heart he becomes a spirit and lives with the gods. Maat's consort, the moon god Thoth, records the verdict.

Maat's symbols are the feather, used on the scales of judgement, and the Ankh, the symbol of life. She also has a red rose and the Aloe as symbols. The rose is sweet smelling and the Aloe bitter, both attributes associated with justice.

Maat is more than a goddess, it is a philosophy of truth and honour, a way of living, and thus the phrase "living in Maat".