Ma'at is a kemetic Netjeri, although she is viewed as a Netjeri (goddess) she is more of a concept which represents Love, Truth and Balance, she is often accociated with "the feather of Ma'at" a belief that I will outline later.
How is Ma'at depicted:
Ma'at has the "Sacred Ankh" in her right hand, and a green scepter in her left, I always found it interesting to meditate on her picture, she has an ostrich feather in her head called "the feather of Ma'at"
Ma'at and her family:
Ma'at's consort was Thoth (some accounts) and Ra, was her father.
The feather of Ma'at:
Upon death when you went to Anubis, it was told that your soul was weighed against Ma'ats feather, as she represents love, truth and balance each good qualities she is a good fit to weigh it against.
Ma'at is a goddess, and a concept. She is something to study as she is beautiful.
I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the god.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.
I have made none to weep.
I have not eaten the heart [i.e I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse] .
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have slandered [no man] .
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man.
I have not debauched the wife of [any] man. (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).
I have not polluted myself.
I have terrorised none.
I have not transgressed [the Law] .
I have not been wroth.
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the Spirits of the dead.
I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.
Firstly, Ma'at is a netjer, not a netjeri, and is one of the netjeru. (I really really need to sit down and make my Dictionary of Kebs'/common Kemetic terms.)
A netjeri is a lesser, non-human spirit. Netjeri is an umbrella term, and a very wide one at that. Netjeri is both plural and singular, netjerit or netjeret signifying a female netjeri, and netjeri signifying a male or female, plural or singular.
A netjer is a deity of Kemet. Netjeru is an umbrella term for the massive amounts of deities from ancient Kemet. A netjer is a singular netjeru, and is male or female, netjeru signifies both masculine and feminine groups, and netjeret signifies a singular female netjer.
These are the terms most commonly used among the Kemetic Orthodoxy, but also used by several other non-KO related groups who use similar linguistic techniques. However, I have never seen netjeri described except in terms relating to the concept of them within the Kemetic Orthodoxy, or a specific tool used in embalming.
Usually outside of the Kemetic Orthodoxy, I see the term neter or neteru used, as that is the way Budge translated the name for the gods, and many have used and adopted his works. (Personally, I think Budge put his own opinion, and so got a few things wrong.)
Please, take the time to learn the terms properly before using them, especially in reference to a powerful and important netjer like Ma'at.
Also, Kemetic netjer is a doubled term, as netjer is a term that denotes ~only~ Kemetic gods. Netjeru is a purely Kemetic term, and does not include any other gods such as Loki, Tyr, or anyone else.
Yes, Ma'at represents Truth and Balance, and in that also Love (though she is really not a netjer of love), but she also represents Justice. Ma'at's justice isn't something that can be compared to human justice, but it can involve itself in human justice, and certainly involves itself in humanity. She is a sense of right and wrong that is beyond our concepts of right and wrong. We can be within Ma'at simply by being ourselves. We don't need to be perfectly righteous people, who never do any wrongs. We can screw up, we can curse people, we can do as is within us to do.
But Ma'at will always be there to right any balance we undo.
No, Ma'at isn't karma. Karma (in it's modern ideas) has a right and a wrong attached to it which is understandable by mankind, and is something which slaps you for a slap. Ma'at is not only the slap, but she is the snuggle for a snuggle. She is the good life for the good given. But she is also the good life for those people who are cruel. She gives out balance as it is intended to be, not how we think it should be. She's not a Law of Three or a Law of Attraction either. She's beyond those. She's a concept so out of our ability to understand, that even what I've said, as vague as it all is, is incorrect.
Yes, Ma'at holds the ankh in one hand, and in the other she holds the lily scepter. The ankh is the symbol for life, and Ma'at as the great netjer, wise with magic, and a giver of life to all the righteous, has the right to hold it. Ma'at holds the lily scepter in her hand as she takes the power of a netjeret or a qematet (priestess). She is a netjer who uses heka to perform her duties, and is also a lady of status and of power. The ostrich feather in her headdress (as it isn't actually in her head, but rather attached to the headband), and it is a symbol which is used to represent her and the concepts she embodies.
Yes, I've heard of Ma'at being the consort of several different gods, including Djehuti (Thoth), and that sometimes Re (Ra) was her father. However, that is present in only some of the more common myths, and Ma'at is usually paired up with the current aspect of Creator at the time. So, sometimes this is Ptah, Amun, Re, Re-Horakhty, or even Atem/Atum/Tem. She is often paired up with others she supports or who supports her, such as Aset, Wesir, Set, Heru (in any of the forms of Heru), etc.
She is also shown as an offering to the netjeru, as she is considered such a pure and wonderful gift, for lack of a better word.
Yes, you are weighed against Ma'at's feather, but you are also weighed against Ma'at in the form of her feather, however, you do not weigh against your soul. Your soul (ba) is present at the weighing, but it is your ab (heart) that is weighed. Ab is the seat of the consciousness, the place within all of us which feels right and wrong, what to do and what not to do.
Yes, she's a netjer and a concept, and yes, she is both beautiful and amazing. I kept a statue of her on my shrine next to Khmun. They rest as the Mistress of Truth and the Creator of Mankind. Every day, she reminds me to stay within Ma'at; to continue to be myself, no matter where that may lead me, with the knowledge that life is good as long as I do so.
The 42 Negative Confessions, much like the Maxims of Ptahhotep, are intended to guide a person, not to demand perfection. They are ways to be within Ma'at, but going against them isn't going to hurt you, though it may lead you away from Ma'at. They aren't really to be taken as a rulebook, but more of a guideline at best.
They are, however, more than that. Within the negative confessions, there is also the importance of what is actually going on. You are performing heka by telling the netjeru/netjeri involved that you have not done something, thereby preventing your ab from speaking out against you and from weighing down the scales. You are preventing your heart from being weighed down by your wrongdoings.
Sorry, I just thought I needed to make a few corrections.
Necro, Ma'at isn't part of the "Egyptian wizardry", she/it is a part of the religion of ancient Kemet/Egypt/a ton of other names. The reason I use Kemet instead of Egypt, is that Egypt is a term coming from a Greek root for the modern country, and it describes the modern country, not the ancient country or the peoples. Kemet was the lands directly along the Nile river valley, while anything outside of that (including the djeser aka necropolis) was considered deshret or desert. Lands outside of Kemet and the deshret immediately surrounding were originally considered part of Nun or Uncreation, and it wasn't until later when trade, conquest, and invasions occurred that this slowly changed.
If you would like to learn more about the Kemetic path, I'm free for a mail, and I keep a fairly close eye on the forums if you want to ask there. Lark is also wonderful for Wicca and Kemetic topics (as she is a Wiccan high priestess who works with Sekhmet), and is great for mixes of those two.