Modern Egyptian Ritual Magick

Contents Neteru (The Gods) Maat (Philosophy) Heka (Magick) Netra (Magickal Writings) Resources Community

Ma'at as a Metaphysical System

After a few years of study, one may begin to discern patterns running through the rich tapestry of mankind's collective metaphysical speculation. The continuum of ideas that presents itself reflects our attempt to make some sort of sense of the fact that we are able to conceive of a highly developed praeternature all around us, even while we dwell in a world that is primarily material.

Metaphysics is a construct assembled over the centuries by masters of the ancient art of holography. Its collective hologram is universally recognized and clearly visible to all peoples of the world. All cultures seem to agree on its most notable characteristics: the origin of Universe is chaos, shaped in the beginning by alien and orderly hands into a world; the world is peopled by mortal beings; these beings are involved in a constant struggle between morality and banality. Cultures are defined by their own opinions of who or what those hands of creation were, why they created the world, and what the fate of the mortal beings (humans) can, should, or will be. This hologram is evident in all world religions, including science, and could very well be the framework upon which systems such as dreams, theology, personality, and so-called racial memory are based.

The essential and exclusively human struggle between morality and banality is probably the easiest facet of the metaphysical hologram to approach. Much research has been devoted to proving this struggle to be at the heart of the phantasms of good and evil with whom we populate our mythologies, personal and cultural. We know no world other than our own, no selves outside ourselves, and therefore are incapable of maintaining a worldview that does not reflect the struggle that defines us. In this we are the quintessential solipsists.

So it seems that the concept of morality, the single most important distinguishing characteristic of humanity, lies at the heart of personal and cultural identity. We have built grand systems to define morality and govern ourselves in its name. The peoples of the Orient developed dharma and karma to cope with the dilemna of morality; the Hebrew race, the Torah and the Qabala; the Christians, a system of salvation and damnation governed by the Church. For the ancient Egyptian, however, there was simply Ma'at.

In the earliest times Ma'at, like all other extrahuman conceptualizations, took the form of a divine incarnation. Until their collective culture could reach the level of sophistication capable of mathematically pursuing abstractions, it was necessary to manipulate moral and praeternatural concepts through personification and storytelling. Thus the gods began as the divine action figures of Egypt's cultural childhood, only later becoming capable of bearing the weight both of worship and metaphysical experimentation. The pantheon of Egypt was especially useful as a vocabulary for algebraic speculation on the physics of Universe, as it formed a sacred language that escaped being dulled by daily usage.

Ma'at herself, most often depicted as a woman bearing the Feather of Truth and sometimes blindfolded, was universally worshipped and accepted by the people of Egypt, no matter what religious and political fad was about at the time. Whilst other gods and goddesses enjoyed increased favor only when certain Pharoanic lines or powerful temples were in power, Ma'at was always recognized as one of the great and true powers of nature.

This is in part due to the fact that Ma'at was easily worshipped as a goddess but even more easily understandable as the underlying truth that made existence worthwhile. The truth of Ma'at attained a level of saturation within the Egyptian psyche that only increased as the culture matured, permeating all personal and cultural strata.

Whereas the Qabala remained a closely guarded secret passed only from father to son, and even the complete scriptural tenets of the Christian Bible were carefully meted out by the Church in the days before the printing press, Ma'at was an open spiritual dialogue that was rooted in the very core of Egyptian society. It touched every aspect of life and civilization, including law, the family, the caste system, the work ethic, the political sphere, commerce, and of course the metaphysical and existential makeup of the people.

Its universal scope and the ease with which its tenets could be applied to life and living distinguish the concept of Ma'at from its brethren schools of morality in other times and places. There is no evidence extant of mystery cults or tight-lipped priesthoods to guard Ma'at from the eyes of the profane. Indeed, it was to a large extent so universally accepted that it was nearly taken for granted as the essential justification for all models of behaviour.

As such, it can be difficult from our chronologically removed perspective to assemble a clear impression of what Ma'at really entails. I hope to explore the implications of this simple, elegant, and yet most mysterious manifestation through the essays and exercises within this section of the site. It is my sincere desire to illuminate both you and myself through this work in progress, and to share with others my conviction that the ancient concept of Ma'at, and the perfect structures which crystallize around its framework, can provide a level of metaphysical inspiration unrivalled by the Qabala or any other school of mysticism.

All materials copyright 2003, Rev. Dr. Corey Bantik