Ma’at is one of those goddesses that I rarely acknowledge. The few times I tried to get her to pay attention to me, I got a very distinctive, Oh. That’s nice, dear. And that was the end of the interaction. The lesson, as difficult as it felt at the time (being without other gods or anything to fill the void), was an easy one. She wasn’t interested in what I had to do. At the time, I just assumed that I had to do some serious work on myself, restructure a few things, and then I could get back to honoring her. The restructuring never happened. The actually out-and-out honoring her in some way has never happened. I’ve learned that while she is a goddess and that she does exist – I felt her, at least – she is not my goddess and she does not want any of my ministrations. She doesn’t want offerings and flowers and libations. She doesn’t want me to go out of my way to spend time with her. She’s a busy little goddess and has things to tend to, all of which are patently not me. But, just because she doesn’t have the time and energy for me doesn’t mean I can’t follow in her footsteps, do her work, and pay her homage in some ways.
I can still live in ma’at.
One of the things that I’ve found the most difficult in achieving the ability to live in ma’at is that the concept is not a single codified concept, but that each aspect of ma’at is inherent in the perceptions of every individual. One of the things that we all have run into, from time to time, are the 42 Negative Confessions. These are viewed as a kind of “universal law” system that the Egyptians were to follow throughout their days. However, from each variant of the Book of the Dead this particular spell seems to change from person to person. I’m sure there were general ideas that were followed when each spell was written for individual people, but what you find in the tomb of Joe Blow isn’t going to be what you find in the tomb of the Vizier of the Country. This concept bothers me as I come from a world and time where personal morality is based upon the laws of a country, the laws of Christianity, the laws of our parents, etc. And while the laws of the parents are different from family unit to family unit, and while the laws of Christianity vary depending on interpretation, the concrete laws of the country I live in are concrete…
…and yet the very principle I wish to model my life after isn’t concrete at all.
After being accused of not living my life by ways of ma’at, I was hurt and confused at first. I felt that maybe there was something inherently wrong with what I was doing and what I was thinking. It’s after reading and re-reading the mercurial principles of ma’at though that I have realized my specific concept of it isn’t exactly their specific concept of what living in ma’at actually is. What I think the script calls for isn’t going to be added to everybody else’s specific script for it. This is something that should bother me, but it goes hand-in-hand with my solitary practitioner aspect. It means that how I craft things to work for me isn’t necessary for universal practice. There is no universal practice here. And so, I craft how I live in ma’at and so therefore, how I honor the goddess, Ma’at, to work for me.
Because besides the gods that I honor, who else is more important in this practice besides me?
That’s why this path is my path and no one else’s.