Feather of Ma’at

The ostrich feather is the emblem of the Egyptian Goddess embodying justice, Ma’at. Egyptians believed that at the time of death, the feather was weighed against the heart of the deceased.

A heart made heavy by sin outweighed the feather and was devoured by the monster Ammit, but a light heart meant the individual was free from sin and entitled to join Osiris in the underworld. (The origin of the phrase “light hearted.”)

The feather of Ma’at was adopted as a personal emblem of rock musician Robert Plant for use on the Led Zeppelin album “Four.”

Related Symbols:
TyetThrone of isis


Dave Mowers February 25, 2013 at 5:26 am

I would like to say that ancient Egyptians, like Sumerians see also Queen Pu-Abi, had a similar skin tone, dress and early mythology to Native American Indians. Take away the hieroglyphs (“sacred glyphs”) which are really just logograms and this woman is a Native American Indian. Oh, and the god’s name is Apophis, Apepi or Apollyon, Abaddon. The heart is weighed against the 42 laws of Ani where unlike the modern “civilized” world the richest man, king, leader was the one beholden to laws and not the poor. Native Americans and Ancient Egyptians make our modern existence seem shameful.

Ross Martini February 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I would like to point out what seem to be a falsity in your rendering of The Scene of Weighing the Heart of the Dead. Am-mit, “The Eater of the Dead”, stood ready to devour ones heart if was found to be too light. The heart was never expected to be heavier than the Feather of Ma’at; instead the two should be equal in weight. This can be seen by the careful scrutiny Anubis (or in some texts Ma’at herself) applies to the tongue of the balance, ensuring that they are exactly the same. Please refer to “The Judgment” chapter from The Egyptian Book of the Dead.

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