About the Shrine
Established in 2010, the Shrine of Ma'at seeks to restore our Ancient Afrikan/Kemetic rituals and traditions through intense study, practice, and meditation. There are over 10,000 years of wisdom that we can tap into in order to maintain balance within our lives and our relationships. The shrine intends to provide resources that will assist in the personal and spiritual growth of individuals and the development of the Diasporic Afrikan community using Ancient Kemetic principles. The basic tenets of the shrine include:
Who is Ma'at and why have we chosen to represent this principle?
Ma'at is the personification of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, justice, and reciprocity. Our shrine has chosen to align itself with this principle because Ma'at is the foundation upon which all other principles emerge. Our focus is to restore balance in our community and all of society by following the 42 Laws set forth by our ancestors.
Papyrus of Ani- The Judgment Scene
New Kingdom texts such as the Heru Em Pert Em Heru Em Kher or the Book of Coming Forth to Day from Night (misnamed the Book of the Dead) provide us with a description of the importance of the individual commitment to Ma'at. The state of not living in Ma'at, or isfet, has dire consequences. The paintings on the Papyrus of Ani display the deceased being led before the scales of Ma'at by the Neter Anpu for his final judgement. As his ab (heart) is weighed against the feather of Ma'at; it must be lighter in order for him to enter the Hall of the Ma'ati (doubly righteous). If heavier, his soul is devoured by Amut, and he will cease to exist. If his ab is equal in weight, his fate would be in the hands of the Neteru. In a precursor to the modern Western jury, these Neteru "vote" by raising their ankhs (see top of image below) to signal his justified soul. Justified, Ani is then presented to Ausar, Lord of the Afterlife, by his son, Heru (the symbol of divine rulership on earth).
In addition to underscoring the importance of Ma'at, the Heru Em Pert Em Heru Em Kher also provides us with a helpful set of 42 "Negative Declarations". These "laws" not only seem to be a predecessor of the 8 of the Christian Bible's 10 commandments, but they are a comprehensive description of one of the world's earliest ethical codes. They form the basis of the primary teachings of the Shrine of Ma'at. Listed below, they are edited from "The Book of the Dead" by E.A. Wallis Budge