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In Egyptian mythology, Maat is the goddess of order, the world's balance, equity, peace, truth and justice. It is the antithesis of Isfet (the god of chaos, injustice, social disorder).
Maat is an entity symbolizing the universal standard: a balance established by the Creator, which allows Justice to act according to the law, truth, honesty and trust.
Unlike most Egyptian gods which were depicted with animal features, Maat is always anthropomorphic, and like most abstract concepts is personified as a woman, usually sitting on her heels, or standing. Maat is usually depicted as dressed in the long tight-fitting dress of the goddesses and as wearing the jewelry of the gods. In drawings Maat is often shown holding the sign of life. The element of Maat is Air and the color of her skin is yellow ocher.
Maat is the first divine dimension: she is the mother of Ra but she is also the daughter and wife of Ra and the mystical sister of the Pharaoh. She ensures the cosmic balance and it is thanks to her that the world works seamlessly. She is also the light that brings the world Ra.
Thus, Maat is fundamentally linked to the Pharaonic institution: the first duty of the pharaoh is to enforce the law of Maat throughout Egypt. This is why on the walls of temples, pharaoh is represented as offering Maat to a divinity, symbolizing that his actions meet the requirements of the goddess. Thus, when Seti I is depicted in the temple of Abydos, as offering Ma'at to the principal gods in the form of a statuette of the goddess, he is symbolically demonstrating his proficiency at administering the law of Maat, and in the return the gods provide him life and domination (Osiris) and force victorious (Horus).
The mission is Pharaoh is to uphold the balance and order of Maat (by organizing the country and ensuring its unity) and to fight against the forces of chaos, personified by Isfet.
In the afterlife, Maat presided over the "Hall of Two Truths:" one truth, is the decree that leads to a happy life after death, and the other is a verdict that leads to damnation. Accompanied by Anubis, the soul of the deceased was called upon to appear before a tribunal and his heart was weight against the feather of Maat. Only a sinless person can enter into the afterlife.
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