Maat and her 42 lawsMaat is the daughter of Ra; the goddess and principle of truth, justice, harmony and cosmic balance. She is recognizable by an ostrich feather and more rarely by symbols of scales. Maat teaches us to be pure, truthful, righteous and orderly within ourself. That means understanding our oneness with the universe, understanding that we are children of the Supreme Being. You are the master of the universe as you exist by Maat.“From the perspective of the traditional African approach to life, Maat can described as the key idea which recurs in most African societies as the influence of right and righteousness, justice and harmony, balance, respect, and human dignity. A way of life practiced everywhere on the continent, long before capitalism, colonialism, and neocolonial activities came to tangle the world.“ – The Kraal Guide to African SpiritualityMaats ideological opposite is Isfet or Asfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil. Isfet and Maat build a complementary dualism: one could not exist without its counterpart. Isfet and Maat balanced each other. Maat was to overcome Isfet, “that which is difficult”, “evil”, “disharmonious”, and “troublesome”. Isfet was to be overcome by good and to replace disunity with unity and disorder with order. It was the Pharaohs duty to establish Maat, which means that she or he had to keep and protect justice and harmony by destroying Isfet.After Maats role in creation and continuously preventing the universe from returning to chaos, her primary role dealt with the Weighting of the Heart that took place in the Duat. Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls (considered to reside in the heart) of the departed would reach the paradise of the afterlife successfully.Maat represents the ethical, moral and spiritual principle that all Kemetic citizens were expected to follow throughout their daily lives. They were expected to act with honor and truth in matters that involve family, the community, the nation, the environment, and the spiritual world.Todays practitioners of Smai Tawi are not only encouraged to do their postures, breathing exercises and meditation but also to follow the 42 laws of Maat. The 42 laws of Maat from the Papyrus of Ani 1. I have not committed sin.2. I have not committed robbery with violence.3. I have not stolen.4. I have not slain anybody.5. I have not stolen grain.6. I have not purloined offerings.7. I have not stolen the property of the gods and goddesses.8. I have not uttered lies.9. I have not carried away food.10. I have not uttered curses.11. I have not committed adultery.12. I have made none to weep.13. I have not eaten the heart (i.e., I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse).14. I have not attacked anybody.15. I am not a person of deceit.16. I have not stolen cultivated land.17. I have not been an eavesdropper.18. I have slandered nobody.19. I have not been angry without just cause.20. I have not debauched the wife of anybody.21. I have not debauched the wife of anybody (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).22. I have not polluted myself.23. I have terrorized none.24. I have not transgressed the Law.25. I have not been wroth.26. I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.27. I have not blasphemed.28. I am not a person of violence.29. I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).30. I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.31. I have not pried into matters.32. I have not multiplied my words in speaking.33. I have wronged none, I have done no evil.34. I have not worked witchcraft against the King or Queen (or blasphemed against them).35. I have never stopped the flow of water.36. I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).37. I have not cursed or blasphemed the gods and goddesses.38. I have not acted with evil rage.39. I have not stolen the bread of the gods and goddesses.40. I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.41. I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god or goddess of my city.42. I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god and goddess.The Assessors of Maat are the 42 deities listed in the Papyrus of Nebseni, to whom the deceased make the 42 Negative Confession in the Papyrus of Ani. They represent the 42 united nomes of Kemet, and are called “the hidden Maati gods and goddesses, who feed upon Maat during the years of their lives;” i.e., they are the righteous minor deities who deserve offerings. As the deceased follows the set formula of Negative Confessions, he* or she* addresses each god or goddess directly and mentions the nome of which the god is a patron, in order to emphasize the unity of the nomes of Kemet.One way to liberate yourself and for Africa to self liberate is to restore maatic thinking. Maat is not only the law that balances and harmonizes a society, Maat protects it. More justice, more peace!If you are interested in learning the Maat posture and the Maat flow, klick here!