Matrilineal/Matriarchal Society

Matrilineal/Matriarchal Society


Herodotus, in 500 BCE, stated: “Of all the nations of the world, Egyptians are the happiest, healthiest, and most religious”. These are the three elements—happy, healthy, and religious—of the ideal society. The reason for such an ideal society is their total cosmic consciousness.

What we consider to be a “political” structure was, for them, a natural aspect of their social structure. In order to achieve perfect universal harmony, the social structure must mirror the same orderly hierarchy of the created universe. Human survival and success require that the same orderly structure be maintained.

As above so below is the only way to achieve order and harmony. As a result, the Ancient Egyptians (and Baladi) adopted the matrilineal/matriarchal system as the social manifestation of planetary laws.

As we have seen earlier, the Divine female principle is that Isis represents the sun and her husband Osiris represents the moon. The light of the moon (Osiris-male) is a reflection of the light of the sun (Isis-female). The Ancient Egyptian social/political system complies with the relationship between the sun (female) and the moon (male).

Isis’ Egyptian name means seat (i.e., authority) and is the principle of legitimacy—the actual physical throne, as depicted in the Ancient Egyptian symbolism with Isis wearing a throne/seat upon her head.

Ausar (Osiris) is written in hieroglyphs with the glyph of the throne and the eye, combining the concepts of legitimacy and divinity.

Throughout Egyptian history, it was the queen who transmitted the solar blood. The queen was the true sovereign, keeper of the royalty, and guardian of the lineage’s purity. Egyptian kings claimed a right to the throne through marriage to the eldest Egyptian princess. By marriage, she transmitted the crown to her husband, but he only acted as her executive agent.

The pharaohs, as well as the leaders of smaller localities, adhered to this matriarchal system. If the pharaoh/leader had no daughters, then a dynasty ended and a new dynasty began, with a new revered maiden woman as a new seed for a new dynasty.

Since women were the legal heirs to the throne, they played an important part in the affairs of state, performing as a kind of power broker. The queens of Egypt wielded exceptional influence as advisers to the pharaohs.

Surviving records from the Middle Kingdom (2040–1783 BCE) show that the nomes (provinces) of Egypt passed from one family to another through heiresses; thus, he who married the heiress would govern the province.

The matrilineal practices in Egypt also applied to the whole society, as evident from the funerary stelae of all kinds of people throughout the known recorded history of Egypt, where it is the usual custom to trace the descent of the deceased on the mother’s side and not on that of the father. The person’s mother is specified, but not the father; or if he is mentioned, it is only incidentally.

This tradition is still enduring secretly (because it is contrary to Islam) among the Baladi Egyptians.

[For more information about the matrilocal communities in Egypt, read Ancient Egyptian: Culture Revealed, Second Edition by Moustafa Gadalla]

[An Excerpt from Egyptian Cosmology: The Animated Universe, Third Edition by Moustafa Gadalla]


Ancient Egyptian: Culture Revealed, Second Edition by Moustafa Gadalla