In ancient Egyptian mythology, Maat is both a goddess and a concept associated with the goddess. The goddess represented truth, justice and divine order. She was shown in artistic representations with an ostrich feather in her hair, and it was she who gave the Pharaoh authority to rule over the Egyptian people.
She was also present when the decision was made as to whether a dead person was worthy of going to paradise. Providing the scales remained balanced when the heart of the deceased was weighed against an image of Maat, they were deemed worthy.
Maat as a concept was definite and unchanging, and it was because of this that the ancient Egyptians didn't like change. This is evident in their art, which changed less over the centuries than that of any other culture. Natural disasters were thought to be an upset in the normal course of maat, and were seen as signs that the people weren't pleasing the gods as they should, be it through prayer or offerings.
|The goddess Maat (Source: Wikimedia Commons)|