For ancient people feathers had a special connection with the heavens. Feathers were symbolic of the powerful sky forces of thunder, air and wind. When clothed in feathers a tribal leader could transcend the earthly plane and enter an ethereal realm. Native Americans present feathers as a sign of respect and honor to one who has reached a personal accomplishment or achieved something great for the tribe. In Christianity feathers represent the virtues of charity, hope and faith. Feathers have been related to spiritual ascension through many nations. Prominently involved in holy ceremony, feathers have been worn by Native American chiefs to signify their ability to communicate with the Spirit. The feather is often linked to the powers of the sky, including rain, thunder, and wind. The Egyptian sky goddess Ma’at was believed to weigh the hearts of the dead against a feather to determine the value of his or her soul. The feather expresses virtue, earth, and passage.