Mythology Part II - Duat and Ma'at

di , venerdì giugno 28, 2019
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Mythology Part II - Duat and Ma'at

Duat and Ma'at - A look at Egyptian myths

"Have you gotten so lazy that you've forgotten that every god's life is a journey? — Ra in Gods of Egypt (2016)

 

 

The persistent case with Egyptian mythology — which is deeply embedded in its religion — is that you will find different versions of a myth, depending on the region it comes from. As you will find out, if Horus and Seth tickle your imagination, is that in some texts they are presented as nephew and uncle, Seth being Osiris’ brother, while in other versions Seth and Horus are brothers.

There are many other inconsistencies between these texts, but the good news is that those inconsistencies can become the door towards weaving that golden thread that is the core of your story. Anything is possible in-between one version and the other.

But just like the Greeks, Egyptians, too, had a thing to say about how everything came to.

Even though there are different versions of the myth of creation, the texts seem to agree on one thing: the world was born from these formless, lifeless waters of chaos, which were called Nu. If you think about it and about the fact that the Nile flooded every year, leaving in its wake fertile land, you would realize that this myth makes sense. It is based on something tangible for people even if the myth, then, proceeds to describe this pyramid-shaped mound that was the first thing to have emerged from these waters.

I believe that we are all familiar with the term ‘primordial soup’, right? From which life emerged and evolved into what you see today. Yes, I know, it should’ve stayed at the stage of soup. But life always finds a way. Or was that nature?

Well. Life. Nature. Aren’t they the same thing, really?

I have a feeling that more extensive research into every culture on earth will reveal a lot of things in common about how earth was created and various important mythological or biblical characters that have been used to explain things.

Perhaps one of the most famous myth is the one that has as protagonists Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Horus. The one where Osiris is killed (dismembered, actually) by Seth and Horus avenges his father’s death by fighting Seth. It is a brutal account, especially when in one episode of their long battle, Seth resorts to sexual abuse in order to deprive his enemy of power. The intriguing part is that Seth asks Horus to sleep with him and Horus agrees, but only if Seth gives him some of his strength.

This sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, as far as Wikipedia goes, it seems that Egyptians believed that semen was like poison between male partners. Now Horus’ condition makes sense. It also makes sense why Horus agreed to this when in one version Isis helps Horus by putting Horus’ semen on lettuce leaves which Seth eats. A golden disk appears on Seth’s forehead afterwards which marks Seth’’s defeat.

Considering how the twists many myths have across cultures, it makes you realize how tame the stories we create nowadays are. Maybe it’s because we are too obsessed with political correctness or maybe we consider too many things taboo which hinders us when it comes to stories.

Ancient Egyptians were concerned with the afterlife— as we all are. But their afterlife, called Duat was constructed as a journey that the soul needed to take in order to reach the weighing of the heart. This is where the souls were judged by weighing the heart of the deceased against the feather of Ma’at. Ma’at (or Maat) was the goddess of truth, balance, order, morality and law. It was the counterpoint of Isfet who embodied chaos, violence, and evil.

But for a better visualization of this, I suggest you watch (or rewatch) Gods of Egypt (2016). If not for the plot, then watch it for the aesthetics and the supernatural elements.

May the muse be with you!

Another blog where you could take inspiration from for the Mythology writing competition.

 

Thanks to DeeundDrang for authoring this awesome blog post :)

 

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