MAAT Study Group- Justice


Full moon Cycle of Libra (March 21-April 19)

The full moon cycle of Libra is the first full moon cycle after the Vernal Equinox. The full moon signals the week of Passover for Jews and the first Sunday after this full moon is Easter for the Christians.

For Wiccans and pagans, Ostara/Eostar- the Vernal Equinox signals the rebirth of the earth just as the Winter Solstice signals the rebirth of the sun. During this the time of earth rebirth when the increasing sunlight has awakened the earth, trees begin to show buds, flowers begin to emerge from the dormant ground of winter. The name for the Christian holy day known as Easter has its roots in the pagan holiday Eostar. Eostar the spring equinox was named after the Germanic goddess Ostara, Eostre or Eostar. Eostar's sacred animal is the hare. The hare is associated with fertility and magic. The goddess Eostar whose name means the dawn is also similar to the goddess Ishtar, Babylonian goddess of morning and evening star.

Even today the modern Easter bunny that hides eggs shows the lingering remnants of the goddess Eostar. The egg and the rabbit or hare symbolize the mystery of life that returns from a seemingly dead earth.

The tomb, which becomes the womb, is symbolized by archeological evidence of tombs found throughout ancient Europe in the shape of goddesses. See Habitations of the Great Goddess by Cristina Briaggi published by Knowledge Ideas and Trends Inc. Manchester CT.1994. The idea of shaping a tomb like a woman gives rise to the ancient idea of Earth as mother and the dead being reborn like plant life that reemerges from the dead winter ground in the spring. Life rising from death. Like the egg with emerging chick that symbolizes life rising from a small rock like object.

The symbol of the scales in the zodiac sign of Libra is found in the ancient Egyptian stories of the judgment of souls. In these stories it is Maat the Goddess of Truth and Justice who weighs men's souls against a feather before they can pass on into the next world.

The great hall where the Judgment takes place is called The Hall of the Two Truths. At one end of the hall sits green skinned Osiris, behind him are his wife Isis to his right and Nepthyus to his left with their arms around his shoulders. Before him perched on a lotus stand the four sons of Horus; Mesta (guardian of the liver), Hapy (guardian of the lungs), Tuamutef (guardian of the stomach), and Qebehsenuf (guardian of the intestines).(the 4 elements sit respectively Along the sides of the wall each on separate thrones, are; sun-god Ra/Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut lady of the sky, Horus, Hathor lady of the West, Hu and Saa.

A great Balance stands in the center of the hall, surmounted by Thoth, lord of wisdom, karma and magic, inventor of hieroglyphic writing and Anubis guardian of the tomb and guide of souls. The deceased was given a barrage of questions to judge his innocence. With each question his heart would be weighed against Maat's Feather of Truth and Justice. If the heart weighed equal with TRUTH then, all was well, but if his heart were to weigh heavy it would betray him and he would meet his doom. This fate was to be devoured by Ammut, a monster, her body part hippopotamus, and part lion with the face of a crocodile.

This threat would certainly keep one true to one's heart. In spite of this impressive display of divine Justice, the deceased was found innocent in every case and admitted to the Afterlife without issue.

The Libra moon represents a time for balance between winter and summer. It is the time when Light overtakes Darkness and the winter surrenders to springs warm days. The Libra moon has the attributes of life awakening from death and the weak and oppressed finding liberty and justice from the forces that oppress them. This theme is reflected in the story of Passover, when Hebrew slaves were released from bondage and set free by the pharaoh god-king of Egypt.

As a small child going to Catholic school and attending Catholic mass every morning the words of the Apostles creed and consecration of bread and wine into body and blood were etched into my mind. As an adult woman who has studied ancient Egyptian religious practices I see the world though different eyes. The words "descended into hell and ascended into heaven" * of the apostle's creed pop out at me because of their similarity to the secret initiation rites of ancient Egyptian priests. The Egyptian priests descended into hell and ascended into heaven as well. During their descent into hell the initiate priests faced the horrors known to the goddess Isis who reassembled her dismembered husband Osiris. If the initiate could handle the initiation he was anointed as a priest of Isis with all of its rank and privilege. There is very little known about these initiations as they were veiled in secrecy.

*I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Although Christian legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ's ascension into heaven, this is not the case. The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. This particular verse is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator.

My personal view of the passion of the Christ is that the Jews had become so oppressed by the Romans that they waged a rebellion. The public death and resurrection was necessary to gain political support of the masses during this age of 'god-kings'.

In the Old Testament God was hidden after a veil, and the man was behind the veil... but that "veil" was torn the day of the crucifixion, in Mat.27: 51, and now we can enter into the presence of God at any time, because Christ has laid the way to us. It is Final Judgment (Rom.2:5-11, Mat.25:31-46, Rev.20:11-15).

It seems apparent to me that the timing of a rebellion was critical to the Jews for reasons of sympathetic magic established for them by their history. Although a favorable outcome could not be guaranteed this was the optimum time based on past success commemorated by the Passover holiday to stage such an act. Any rebellion that may have occurred against Rome did not make it into the historical record, however. This rebellion may have been squelched by the Romans as there is not much evidence handed down to the 21st century to prove there even was a rebellion. Only trace evidence like the crucifixion itself, a political act, sending the public a form of warning against political rebellion. There is evidence of a rebellion waged approximately 30 years later that speaks of the continued unrest. The new religion 'of women and slaves' born of this cause was not so easily squelched. This religion became so powerful that the only way for Rome to control it was to adopt it as the state religion some three centuries later. This is when Rome was able to gain back full control over the hearts and minds of the Christian people. As the state religion of Rome, Christianity was given the attributes of the previous state religion Mithraism. 'Jesus the Savior', rebel against Rome, has been put to death every year and will be for as long as the religion exists. One of the most telling and peculiar attributes of the Christian religion is its need for conversion and constant and vigilant quest for members. I feel this behavior is a remnant of the recruitment for the cause and the need for large numbers of rebels to wage a rebellion against Rome.

As a pagan woman I can not help but see the similarity between the ancient scene of Osiris judging souls before the scales of Justice and the Judeo/Christian father god who also judges the dead and to whose right hand Jesus ascended to after he spoke to Mary Magdalene in the garden. Jesus did not let Mary touch him. Is there a connection between the celibacy rules for initiates of ancient rites and the current practice of the priesthood? At this point we can only guess.

Other names: Maat; Mayet; Truth

Attributes: time for initiations; Puberty rites; Tests of Soul and self; Rites of passage; Death and resurrection ceremonies; Divine comedy; harmony; balance; the Law is Love; honesty; light heartedness

Symbols: scales; ostrich feather; hearts; wombs and tombs; life and death; eggs; rabbits; hares

Full Moon in Libra key phrase: "I balance"


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The scale is in balance. The woman seems to be happy by the result of the scale. She also seems to have the last laugh.


Justice was the crossing card in today's spread. I wasn't sure what to make of it, until I understood that by leaving my relationship, I acquired no GUILT. I was feeling guilty about breaking off with my boyfriend (despite provocations to do so), and the guilt was confusing me about my choice.

So Justice was suggesting to me that I've done the right thing, and the challenge is to simply ditch the guilt.

btw - this card is the reason I bought the MAAT tarot. I *love* this card! Of course now that I have it, I have 77 other reasons to keep the deck... :)


sravana said:
Justice was the crossing card in today's spread. I wasn't sure what to make of it, until I understood that by leaving my relationship, I acquired no GUILT. I was feeling guilty about breaking off with my boyfriend (despite provocations to do so), and the guilt was confusing me about my choice.

So Justice was suggesting to me that I've done the right thing, and the challenge is to simply ditch the guilt.

btw - this card is the reason I bought the MAAT tarot. I *love* this card! Of course now that I have it, I have 77 other reasons to keep the deck... :)

I appreciate hearing your thoughts. It deepens the meaning of the card for everyone.




The knife

sravana said:
Thanks, Julie.
I just noticed the BIG knife that Maat is holding - what is the significance of that in the Egyptian myth? Did you put the knife in because Justice is usually holding a sword?

It is a reproduction of a real Egyptian knife, but not significant to Ma'at's mythology that I know of... it is there as you guessed because Justice usually contains the sword of truth.


The Balancing cards

It occurred to me yesterday morning before I even got out of bed that the next logical step in the Study of MAAT Tarot would be to post the balancing card for the card of the week/or month. I couldn't settle on what to call this card at first, whether it should be called the card's opposite or polar card. Then the term "balancing" came through... how very Ma'at.

With the onset of the Spring Equinox we have come to the halfway point in the year from when the deck began at the Autumnal Equinox(the Tower). What began as the month of the Emperor(full moon cycle of Aries) symbolizing our need for self focus due to the constraints of our mortality has now come into balance in the Justice card. The death of the green(man) has found justice and balance in his return.

Balancing Cards
Emperor(Sept.22- Oct 22.)-Justice(March 21-April 19)

Tower (Autumnal Equinox Sept.22)-Fool (Vernal Equinox March 21)
lighting strikes the tower-time of increasing darkness something unexpected forces us to rethink introspection turns into positive growth/we enter into the season of rest when the daylight hours decrease vs. falling off a cliff due to one's own ignorance, increasing light awarness comes from the journey outward.We return to the outside world as the day light hours increase overtaking the nighttime hours

Prince of Swords(Autumnal Equinox)-Prince of Cups(Vernal Equinox)
The villian/warrior vs. The hero/grail knight

Balancing moons of the same sign
2 of Swords(new moon in Libra)-Princess of Cups(full moon in Libra)
the balance of life and death- the wolf that serves to thin the herd. vs. the Bride on the way to her wedding/ symbols of Easter/Ostara and the rebirth of Earth's fertility. The new wife eager to produce her new husband's children.

3 of Swords-( first quarter moon in Capricorn)-4 of Cups(last quarter moon in Capricorn
Heartbreak from loss and heart break from the need to control others spiritually vs. the refusal of an offer/ staying true to yourself

King of Swords(full moon in Aries)-2 of Cups(new moon in Aries)
The maimed King/the Fisher King separated from the grail vs.marriage/partership joining with the grail

4 of Swords(last quarter moon in Cancer)-3 of Cups(first quarter moon in Cancer)
The Ice-man window to the past vs. the 3 fates progression of life, maid/mother and crone

Balancing moons of the same phase
2 of Swords(new moon in Libra)-2 of Cups (new moon in Aries)
balance of life and death, the wolf who cuts disease out of the herd- thinning, removing or separating vs.joining together/ creating partnerships, the joining of two lives to create something new.

3 of Swords(first quarter moon in Capricorn)-3 of Cups (first quarter moon in Cancer)
heartbreak and life's pain and the celebration of life's cycles

King of Swords(Full moon in Aries)-Princess of Cups( full moon in Libra)
the maimed King/thefisher king vs. the Bride carrying the grail

4 of Swords-( last quarter moon in Cancer)-4 of Cups(last quarter moon in Capricorn)
The Ice Man window into the Bronze who was undiscovered for 5,000 years age vs. Lancelot du lac who was discovered asleep by Morgana le Fey and the Four queens.

Your comments, thoughts and additional information welcome,




More on balancing cards

Sravana writes "I don't see these two as opposing, in the general sense. Because of their placement on the wheel, yes - but unless I see the emperor as ruling beyond the law (think the current president and his lack of respect for national and international law), I don't really see it in the usual interpretations of Emperor and Justice."

Hi Julie from TX, thanks for the dialog!
...Maybe not opposing as much as balancing The Emperor representing human laws or the law interpreted by humans and Justice as the universal laws with a bigger scope and more information.

Sravana writes:
"If I think about this one really hard, I can see how the Tower and the Fool could be balance cards. Though I would think of the Fool rather being balanced by Temperance, and the Tower by the same.

Now there's an interesting thought! So they do balance...
Very easy to see this one - though when I see the Prince of Cups, he tends to look like someone who's completely emotionally armored. ;)"

...and the Prince of Swords is emotionally in your face showing no restaint whatsoever.

Talk soon when you have time,


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