All about the 42 Laws of Ma’at

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Ancient Egyptian Goddess Ma'at

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The 42 Laws of Ma'at is also known as “The Negative Confessions” or “The Declaration of Innocence“.

About Goddess Ma'at

The ancient Egyptian goddess Ma’at from The Old Kingdom played a significant role in the law, religion, and cosmology of ancient Kemet (Egypt). Traditionally, Ma’at is depicted as feminine with an ostrich feather on her head and sometimes with wings. Her ostrich feather represents truth, morality, justice, balance, and harmony. Ma’at is the principle governing all aspects of life, society, and the Universe. She is the daughter of the Sun God Ra and the wife of Thoth, the God of Wisdom. The ancients believed Ma’at was the force keeping the universe balanced and by doing this; society, the Pharaoh’s ruling of the land, and the afterlife were all able to function properly.

Ma'at and the Feather

According to ancient Kemetic beliefs, once a person dies, their heart is weighed against the feather of Ma’at at the afterlife judgment. If the heart was lighter than the feather, they would be admitted to the paradise of the afterlife. If a person’s heart weighed more than a feather, a beast named Ammut (or Ammit), consumed the heart banishing them from the afterlife. A light heart was considered joyous and good-spirited. A heavy heart was considered chaotic and evil-spirited. Ma’at was intimately linked with the Pharaoh, as it was the Pharaoh’s duty to preserve Ma’at and uphold order within society. Pharaohs paid homage to Ma’at by performing rituals aimed at securing Egypt’s prosperity and stability.


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The Ancient Egyptians transcribed a set of Divine laws known as The 42 Laws of Ma’at around 2925 B.C.E. These laws were written in hieroglyphics on the Papyrus of Ani and were discovered in Luxor, Egypt. Chapter 125 of The Egyptian Book Of The Dead contains The 42 Laws Of Ma’at.

The 42 Laws of Ma’at

  1. I have not committed sin.
  2. I have not committed robbery with violence.
  3. I have not stolen.
  4. I have not slain men or women.
  5. I have not stolen food.
  6. I have not swindled offerings.
  7. I have not stolen from God/Goddess.
  8. I have not told lies.
  9. I have not carried away food.
  10. I have not cursed.
  11. I have not closed my ears to truth.
  12. I have not committed adultery.
  13. I have not made anyone cry.
  14. I have not felt sorrow without reason.
  15. I have not assaulted anyone.
  16. I am not deceitful.
  17. I have not stolen anyone’s land.
  18. I have not been an eavesdropper.
  19. I have not falsely accused anyone.
  20. I have not been angry without reason.
  21. I have not seduced anyone’s wife.
  22. I have not polluted myself.
  23. I have not terrorized anyone.
  24. I have not disobeyed the Law.
  25. I have not been exclusively angry.
  26. I have not cursed God/Goddess.
  27. I have not behaved with violence.
  28. I have not caused disruption of peace.
  29. I have not acted hastily or without thought.
  30. I have not overstepped my boundaries of concern.
  31. I have not exaggerated my words when speaking.
  32. I have not worked evil.
  33. I have not used evil thoughts, words, or deeds.
  34. I have not polluted the water.
  35. I have not spoken angrily or arrogantly.
  36. I have not cursed anyone in thought, word, or deeds.
  37. I have not placed myself on a pedestal.
  38. I have not stolen what belongs to God/Goddess.
  39. I have not stolen from or disrespected the deceased.
  40. I have not taken food from a child.
  41. I have not acted with insolence.
  42. I have not destroyed property belonging to God/Goddess.

The Seven Principles of Ma’at

1. Truth
2. Justice
3. Harmony
4. Balance
5. Order
6. Reciprocity
7. Propriety

The 42 Ideals of Ma’at

The 42 Ideals of Ma’at were written by High Priestesses in the modern day as positives to the 42 Laws of Ma’at.

  1. I honor virtue
  2. I benefit with gratitude
  3. I am peaceful
  4. I respect the property of others
  5. I affirm that all life is sacred
  6. I give offerings that are genuine
  7. I live in truth
  8. I regard all altars with respect
  9. I speak with sincerity
  10. I consume only my fair share
  11. I offer words of good intent
  12. I relate in peace
  13. I honor animals with reverence
  14. I can be trusted
  15. I care for the Earth
  16. I keep my own council
  17. I speak positively of others
  18. I remain in balance with my emotions
  19. I am trustful in my relationships
  20. I hold purity in high esteem
  21. I spread joy
  22. I do the best I can
  23. I communicate with compassion
  24. I listen to opposing opinions
  25. I create harmony
  26. I invoke laughter
  27. I am open to love in various forms
  28. I am forgiving
  29. I am kind
  30. I act respectfully
  31. I am accepting
  32. I follow my inner guidance
  33. I converse with awareness
  34. I do good
  35. I give blessings
  36. I keep the waters pure
  37. I speak with good intent
  38. I praise the Goddess and the God
  39. I am humble
  40. I achieve with integrity
  41. I advance through my own abilities
  42. I embrace the All


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