Ma’at the Goddess of Justice

Ma'at the Goddess of Justice

In the ancient Egyptian worldview, Ma’at was a concept representing truth, justice, and order in the universe. It formed the basis of morality that every Egyptian citizen had to follow and every Pharaoh had to uphold. Sometimes the Egyptians would represent Ma’at as a goddess wearing an ostrich feather under her headband. This feather was a symbol of truth against which the hearts of the dead would be weighed on a scale; only if the heart weighed less than the feather could the dead enter the afterlife.

Hathor

Hathor

Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, takes a stroll amidst the fields of Aaru (which was essentially the Egyptian conception of heaven). The staff she’s carrying is called a was-scepter, and it’s believed to represent power and authority. Both gods and kings could be portrayed as wielding the was-scepter in Egyptian art.

Blasian War Goddess

Blasian War Goddess

This ferocious war goddess is supposed to represent a theological fusion between the Egyptian Sekhmet (known for her big cat motif) and the Hindu Kali. To go along with this, her ancestry would be a mixture of African and Southeast Asian, or “Blasian” (Black/Asian). If the ancient Egyptian religion were to spread into Southeast Asia and intermix with the local Hindu-influenced faith, they might imagine a war goddess very similar to this.

Wrath of Sekhmet

rage-of-sekhmet

Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war, has just gone through a destructive rampage. One Egyptian story claims that the sun god Ra sent Sekhmet down to punish some mortals who conspired against him, but when her rampage went out of control to the point of nearly destroying humanity, Ra had to get her drunk with beer dyed red to look like blood. As would have befitted her role, Sekhmet had as her animal totem the lioness, which would have been among the most formidable predators known to the ancient Egyptians.

Rite of Bastet

rite-of-bastet

Bastet, the ancient Egyptian goddess of music, is perfectly at home performing this ritual dance. I wanted the background to look like a nighttime celebration, with the flames coming from something like a village bonfire. If this piece had a soundtrack, I imagine it would be intense and jubilant drumming.

Three Goddesses

Three Goddesses

This is a digitally inked and colored version of those three goddesses I doodled earlier. From left to right, the goddesses are Isis of Egypt, Athena of Greece, and Nuwa of China. Accompanying each goddess is a symbol of my own design, though each incorporates elements of iconography native to each culture. Isis’s symbol is based off an ankh, Nuwa on the Yin/Yang, and Athena on the so-called “Panhellenic Star” (the last being used as a symbol by the Greco-Macedonian forces under Alexander the Great).

Three Goddess Doodles

Three Goddess Sketches

Each of these pencil doodles depicts a goddess from a different culture’s mythology, each accompanied by a symbol of my own design. From left to right, they are Isis from Egypt, Athena from Greece, and Nuwa from China. Although most people have heard of Isis and Athena, Nuwa isn’t so well-known, but in Chinese mythology she was the goddess who created human beings (hence why I labeled her a “goddess of creation” in my doodle).

One of the challenges when drawing these doodles was giving each goddess a skin tone that was distinct from the rest. They’re all supposed to be “women of color” with darker skin than northern Europeans, but their exact shades of color differ between them. Isis, as an African goddess, should of course be the darkest of the bunch; Athena is supposed to be a Mediterranean tan; and Nuwa is supposed to have the light brown color of a southern Chinese (since I wanted her to be darker than the “pale geisha” stereotype). I think the difference in skin tone between them would appear more obvious if I were to digitally color this sometime.