Since it’s Halloween, I thought adding a death goddess to my Goddess Series was fitting!
Ma’at is the Egyptian goddess of truth and order. She spends a lot of time in the Egyptian underworld. According to the Book of the Dead, after you die, the canopic jar that contained your preserved heart (the organ that housed the soul) was set on one side of the Scales of Judgement.
Ma’at then placed her Feather of Truth on the other side. The jackal-headed god Anubis then weighed the two against each other.
If your heart was lighter than the feather (and therefore pure), Anubis sent your soul on to eternal life. If it was heavier, your soul was fed to the crocodile-headed demon Ammut.
Ma’at was sometimes symbolic shorthand for everything that bound together Egypt as a civilization (civil order, natural law, personal morality), and sometimes a personified goddess like this. Either way, you very much wanted her to come down on your side.