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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.



By Jezibell




Black land, soft and rich,
Fertile ribbon 'round the gift of the Nile.
Crops growing green and lush,
Food for many people.

Red land, bitter desert,
Wild wailing wind and sterile sand,
Barrier against invasion and emigration,
Guarding and girding the gift of the Nile.

This duality created Egypt -
The convergence of black land and red land,
The balance of order and chaos,
Personified as Ma'at, Goddess of Truth.

Ancient Egyptians ate figs and honey
In celebration of Ma'at,
To remind themselves that truth is sweet.

Egypt, both abundant and barren,
Blend of wet and dry, rich and poor, light and shadow,
Honored as the Goddess Ma'at,
Who sits by a golden scale,
Weighing the hearts of the dead against the feather of truth,
And judging the balance for the afterlife.




About this Poem

The unique geography of Egypt — a fertile river valley surrounded by desert — helped to shape its magnificent culture. Ancient Egyptian religion was centered around the maintenance of Ma'at, the way of balance and truth; the word was the name of the Goddess and also referred to the ideal concept of life — somewhat equivalent to the Asian tao. For more information about Ma'at, see The Goddesses Of Ancient Egypt elsewhere on this web site. Jezibell




Other Poems by Jezibell on this Site



About the Poet

Jezibell is a poet, actress, bellydancer, teacher, and Wiccan High Priestess who lives and works in New York City.

Jezibell has been writing poetry for most of her life as a form of both catharsis and creative expression. Her insights and imagery flow out of her spiritual life, her dance, and her wide-ranging studies of ancient history, culture and mythology, especially of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece. Her work has appeared in such diverse publications as Nomad's Choir, Perceptions, Xenophilia, Our Pagan Times, and Circle Network News.

Special events have given Jezibell opportunities to combine her multi-faceted interests in poetry, dance, and spirituality. Her dance performances sometimes include brief introductions with poetry to set the mood for the flowing movements of her innovative choreography. For example, she has done readings of her Isis poems, this one and Invocation Of The Priestess [also on this web site], followed by a sublime dance using ethereal, life-size golden wings. She also dances with a sword, demonstrating extraordinary balance, and does a haunting performance in a darkened room while holding candles that cast an exotic glow on her every gesture and motion. Further, she uses her dance and poetry skills in ritual and Goddess circles, as well as in her role as a teacher of Paganism at Enchantments, a well-known source of Goddess information and materials.




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