Weighing the Heart Against the Feather of Truth

weighing of the heart against the feather of truth

Ma’at, Anubis, and Thoth preside over an ancient Egyptian death ritual of judgement: the weighing of the heart against the feather of truth. An anointed heart scarab encourages a favorable outcome, while additional sanctified amulets assist in the transition to eternal life.

I created this piece for an art show for Light Grey Art Lab Gallery called The End is Nigh; about all manners of the human experience of (and fascination with) death. LGAL also created a book from the show that should be released any day now. Not sure if they are still taking orders, but you can take a look here and see; it’s going to be extremely beautiful and interesting – so many wonderful artists’ works within – and I’m terribly honored to be among them! I may release more prints of this for sale at some point. Let me know if you’d be interested!

As it was considered the seat of the soul and stored the entirety of one’s memories and thoughts, our departed’s heart has been placed back into the body cavity. Ma’at (goddess of harmony and balance), Anubis (jackal-headed god of mummification) and Thoth (ibis-headed scribe of the gods) preside over the weighing of the heart against Ma’at’s white feather of truth

A special, magically anointed, gold-adorned, large scarab amulet is placed over the heart – appealing to the heart not to testify against the dead to the keeper of the balance. Additional sanctified amulets lie within the mummification wrappings offering protection, guidance, healing, regeneration, and life eternal.

For fans of Moon Knight, you may recognize much of this piece, and be familiar with many elements of it. I’ll admit, I really didn’t know about the comic before creating this. Collective energy at play perhaps? My creation of this would have fallen right around the time of the series’ creation (though I’d heard nothing of it until quite later). Interesting how these things happen. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of the series now, and falling in love with the comic as well. I guess I’m not the only illustrator who has a history of fascination-bordering-on obsession with Egyptian mythology. And who felt compelled to create a narrative inspired by the weighing of the heart. But I do find it so interesting that so much of what and how I chose to represent it has shown up in the Moon Knight series! Times like this it’s hard to deny a collective conscious of sorts…

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