I have a huge affinity with all things ancient Egyptian, especially that pertaining to the magical. I have had recall of a past life related to ancient Egypt with a remarkable degree of clarity. I even remembered a name which allowed me to research the life of the person in question, which verified my recalled information, much to my amazement. The name I remembered was the name of my sister, Henutawy. My name was Meritamen.
When I read books about ancient Egypt, it’s as though I already know it, I want to shout out, “Yes! I know this!” with every new piece of information. It feels like I’m waking up deep memories rather than learning new facts.
One of the most fascinating deities to me is Maat. She is a Goddess, also a principle, a force, a concept of justice, truth and balance. And truth is my subject of the week, so it seems reasonable to explore a little of what Maat has to teach.
In the ancient Egyptian world, everyone is a part of the cosmos. As living beings, we have the ability to receive solar energy through the heart, to transform it and send it back out again. One of the main ways people emit solar energy is through speech. The ancient Egyptians believed that a harmonious flow of solar energy, when transformed into words, creates growth on many levels; inner growth and happiness and outer growth through physical and material prosperity. They also believed that an obstruction of this flow of energy would mean a crisis; destruction, illness, misery and even death.
Disease is a symptom of an imbalance in the life force energy, a substance produced by internal processes, created by the relationship between the individual’s Ba (personality/ego) and its Ka (soul), in other words by how freely the life energy called Maat enters and leaves the heart. From the heart extend channels that link all the parts of the body. Good health depends on the free flow of Maat and disease results from a blockage, whatever the cause.
The ancient Egyptians, like other ancient peoples, understood the importance of the proper flow of thought. They also understood how physical, as well as non-physical exchanges bring wealth into our lives, in every sense of our being and energies.
Maat is the divine force or energy that manifests through the sun and flows through the world. Maat is the spirit of beauty and order. Maat also represents truth and justice when, through people, she becomes the conscious exercise of faith in the transcendent creative power embodied in the solar disc. Because Maat breathes life into everything, the more someone opens their heart, the healthier and happier they are as circumstances seem to magically to favour them.
If a person suffers a head wound in a car collision, for example, the damage may be too great for their body to survive, which is different from illnesses caused by imbalance. Stress created by fear has stopped many a heart that refused to listen to the calming reassurances of its soul. And remember, fear is anything that isn’t love.
Life, health and strength depends upon the unobstructed flow of Maat through the heart. The heart receives cosmic energy and returns it in a mysteriously enhanced form to its divine source through the breath of enlightened speech. That’s why it’s so important to know one’s truth and speak one’s truth. People who are true of voice are healthier than those who lie, thereby blocking the circulation of Maat through their hearts and, as a result, through the world. We may think we know when we are lying, but is that always so? Much of the time, we are lying to ourselves in every sense, about who we are, who everybody else is and what the world is. We are simply so oblivious of the fact, we think we live in truth when we don’t, and then are unable to account for all our ailments, misery and misfortune. To live in truth is to live in love, there is no fear, no doubt, no worry, nothing but love. We are love, that is our true nature, that is our truth.
When Hatshepsut became Pharoah, she chose for herself her Royal name, as was the custom. She chose the name Maatkare. This name means ‘Truth is the Soul of the Sun’. The information about Maat written above is taken from a wonderful book, one of my favourites. By Maria Isobel Pita, it’s about Hatshepsut and called ‘Truth is the Soul of the Sun’.
This beautiful image of Maat, with her symbol, the single ostrich feather tied to her head with a simple leather cord, is photographed by Sandro Vannini, Getty Images.