Character Development, Egyptian Mythology, Mythological Creature Archive, Writing prompt

Mythological Creature; The Ammit, the Egyptian demoness and concept of ‘dying a second time,’ with writing prompt

According to Wikipedia, Ammit also rendered Ammut or Ahemait, was a demoness and goddess in ancient Egyptian religion and mythology with a body that was part lion, hippopotamus, and crocodile—the three largest “man-eating” animals known to ancient Egyptians.

A funerary deity, her titles included “Devourer of the Dead”, “Eater of Hearts”, and “Great of Death”.

Ammit lived near the scales of justice in Duat, the Egyptian underworld. In the Hall of Two Truths. Anubis weighed the heart of a person against the feather of Ma’at, the goddess of truth, which was depicted as an ostrich feather (the feather was often pictured in Ma’at’s headdress).

If the heart was judged to be unpure, Ammit would devour it, and the person undergoing judgement was not allowed to continue their voyage towards Osiris and immortality. Once Ammit swallowed the heart, the soul was believed to become restless forever; this was “to die a second time”.

Ammit was also sometimes said to stand by a lake of fire. In some traditions, the unworthy hearts were cast into the fiery lake to be destroyed. Some scholars believe Ammit and the lake represent the same concept of destruction. Ammit was not worshipped; instead, she embodied all that the Egyptians feared, threatening to bind them to eternal restlessness if they did not follow the principle of Ma’at. According to ancientegyptonline – although Ammit was referred to as a demon, she was in reality a force for order. Moreover, each person at the very least, was given the chance to defend their life before being condemned to eternal damnation.

Ma’at

Photo Credit: https://tinyurl.com/y5jkvmpv

Wikipedia describes Maat or Maʽat as the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil.

Writing Prompt

The writing prompt is simple. Your grandmother is an ancient Egyptian scholar and their are many books in her office. You are bored one day and so she says that she will teach you what the hieroglyphics mean. That’s when it happens. The name Ammit is spoken and you inadvertently summon her. You can see her name spelled out in hieroglyphics here.

Your grandmother and yourself try to put the Ammit back. How do you get the demoness back into the underworld? Tell us a good story!

If you find this fun and interesting and decide to expand on this story- let me know how this story continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

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8 thoughts on “Mythological Creature; The Ammit, the Egyptian demoness and concept of ‘dying a second time,’ with writing prompt”

  1. I actually have a scene in my novel She Who Comes Forth that incorporates the weighing of a heart. Ammit is there, but fortunately does not get to devour a heart that time. It makes sense that Ammit should be a composite of three dangerous animals Egyptians must have feared. Hippos (although sort of cute, especially that blue faience one called William in the Metropolitan Museum) are apparently quite dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you certainly found some great pictures of Ammit, showing the three creatures she combines. And that’s a beautiful image of Maat. Different versions of the Egyptian Book of the Dead depict the weighing scene, including Ammit, waiting for the heart that fails the test. A compelling situation!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Very- thank you for reaching out to talk about her. It’s a pleasure to chit chat with someone who likes mythology as much as I do Audrey! ❤️🐊🦁🦛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. With something like that possibly waiting to finish one off, heart-wise, you’d think it would have given people an incentive to behave better during life! I can’t press the like button so I’ll print it out…LIKE!!!!!!! SUPER CREEPY INTERESTING!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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