Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Morrigan

The Morrigan

Blessed be the Morrighan, the Morrigan, the Morrigu
Blessed be the Phantom Queen, Witches Queen
Blessed be the triple One Ana/Anu /Nemain , Badb, and Macha

Daughters of the Morrighan raise your voice

Chant Her Names in a ryhme

Create a place

A sacred place for you and Her

Listen still and hush thy soul

Listen carefully

You may hear
Her whispers in thy ear.


Resource from CelticPantheons

Name: Morrigan / Morrighan / Morrigu / Morgan / 'Great Queen'/'PhantomQueen'Mor Righ Anu Morrigan or Morrigu Morgan - (MOHR-gahn) from Welsh mor "sea"or mawr "great, big" + can "bright" or cant "circle" or geni "born."
Father: Aed Ernmas
Associated Deities: Fea (Hateful), Badbh (Fury), Nemon (Venomous), Macha(Battle)
Properties: Goddess of War, Life & Death
Totem Bird: The Carrion Crow
Element: Earth
Associated Sites: Battle-Fields
Plain of Muirthemne (near Dundalk, Co. Louth)
River Unshin near Corann (she created the river by urinating)
Realm: The North (Land of the Dead)
Herbs: Mugwort
Trees: Yew : Willow and Blackthorn
Crystals: Clear Quartz
Colors: Red and Black
Offerings: Ale, Crows Feather, Blood {Menstrual Blood} could use raw redmeat and red wine as well

The Morrigan is a goddess of battle, strife, fertility, death, prophecy andpassionate love.Her name translates as either "Great Queen" or "Phantom Queen," and bothepithets are entirely appropriate for her. The Morrigan appears as both asingle goddess and a trio of goddesses. The most common combination who formthe trio are Badb ("Crow"), and either Macha (also connotes "Crow") orNemain ("Frenzy"). Although membership of the triad varies, sometimesincludes Fea, Anann and others.The Morrigan frequently appears in the ornithological guise of a hoodedcrow. She is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann ("Tribe of the goddess Danu") andshe helped defeat the Firbolg at the First Battle of Mag Tuireadh and theFomorians at the Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh.She is usually seen as a terrifying figure, glossed in medieval Irishmanuscripts as equivalent to Alecto of the Furies, or the child-eatingmonster Lamia, from Greek Mythology (in fact, another text glosses Lamia as"a monster in female form, i.e. a Morrígan"), or the Hebrew demoness Lilith.She is associated with war and death on the battlefield, sometime appearingin the form of a carrion crow, premonitions of doom, and with cattle. She isoften considered a war deity comparable with the Germanic Valkyries,although her association with cattle also suggests a role connected withfertility and the land.
Her Role
The 'Phantom Queen,'s role and cult can easily be identified as remains of amatriarchal cult. She has a lot in common with goddesses like Inanna/Ishtar,the Indian Kali or Hecate.The Morrigu is prophetess of all misfortune in battle and has knowledge ofthe fate of humanity. She is also the messenger of death as the darklady/washer at the ford : Morrigan is seen washing bloody laundry prior tobattle by those destined to die.Her personality is associated with the sometimes frightening aspects offemale energy.As a protectress she empowers an individual to confront challenges withgreat personal strength, even against seemingly overwhelming odds. Romanchroniclers reported that Celts went into battle naked, exposing tattoos tosummon their magical forces.
The Morrigan is a Celtic Goddess who has been known as the Great Queen,Specter Queen, Supreme War Goddess and Queen of Phantoms, Great Mother, MoonGoddess, Great White Goddess, Queen of the Fairie, Patroness of Priestessesand Witches, and Goddess of Magick. She is a trifold Goddess, a Goddess inthree parts, a shape shifter, and a warrior. Yet, the Morrigan Herselfseldom actually killed; rather, She used Her power and magick to stir up thewarriors She favored and to weaken those She wanted to lose. It was believedthat She was the washerwoman who would seen by a lake or river washing outtheir clothing; whoever saw Her was going to die.
Basically, She is a Goddess of battle, strife and fertility. But like allthe Celtic Goddesses, She is not totally evil or good. She is a balance.Like the Greek Goddess Athena, the Morrigan often steps in to wagejustifiable war. She is called upon by warriors, and if She agrees withtheir battle and motives, She aids them.
Remember, war was always important to the Celts; they loved nothing morethan a fight, and built whole cities around schools of warfare. They werefierce warriors who even cowed the Romans for a time. Women fought with menat times, and it is reported that Celtic women, when sending their men offto war, told them "Come back carrying your shield or on it." It was thecustom to carry the dead home on their shields if at all possible, so ineffect the women were saying "win or die".
The Celts looked at nature, saw the fields grow cold and empty, all dead inWinter, and then saw the Earth reawaken and the fields come to life in theSpring. They knew death was necessary for rebirth and worshipped theMorrigan as the one who brought honorable death so there could be rebirth.She was the one who led the armies, the one who brought death, but also lifethrough Her aspect as a fertility Goddess; She was a symbol of life, notnever-ending death.
She is not evil, although She is dark. By bringing death, She causes newlife. This death causes fertility--look at the idea of composting, if youdoubt it--and so She also brings fertility.
(Celtic: Welsh) Sea goddess; Triple Goddess. Names: MORGEN/Morgana/Morgan:(mor, sea; of the sea) Correspondences: Moon/Air/Water Morgen of theNinefold Sisterhood rules death, rebirth, fate, and the sea. She is ashape-shifting shaman, a witch, and a healer. She and her eight sisters areexpert in magic, medicine, and the arts. They are a triple version of theTriple Goddess who dwell in Avalon, the winterless Isle of Apples. It was tothem that King Arthur was taken after his final battle.
Legend has it that he remains there with them, still healing. Morgen wasenvisioned with wings, or as a sea sprite, but she may have originated as adeath and otherworld goddess. Some scholars associate her with the MORRIGAN,or with MODRON. Morgen is said to be Merlin's wife, or the Lady of the Lake,in some traditions. During the Christian Era she devolved into Morgan leFay, the manipulative sorceress of Arthurian legends. Invoke Morgen forenchantment, shamanism, witchcraft, healing, youth, immortality, art, music,shape shifting, lunar magic, and herbal cures.

The Morrigan was the High Queen and goddess of the Tuatha De Dannen, who watched over the welfare and warfare of that fairy folk while they against the Firbolg people for the soil of Ireland. The Morrigan was not one goddess, but a trinity. she was a single spirit of fierce intent, possessing at least three different names and a trio of separate selves.
Macha, they called her when she worked magic with the blood of the slain. Badb, they named her when she took a giantess' form and warned soldiers of their fortunes on the eve of war. And they knew her also as the shape-shifting Neman. All three were wont to slide into the flapping black bodies of carrion crows to haunt battlefields, hungry for the morsels they filched from torn and broken bodies when the fray was done.
Sometimes referred to (in her entirety) as an badb catha, meaning "the battle crow."

O Morrigan, we call your nameAcross the dusty years.You speak to us, of blood and lust.You show us all our fears.You are a goddess, old and wise.Of holy power you have no dearth.Beneath your wings: Black, red and white,We learn of death and birth.You walk about, this ancient land,Your hungers raw and clear.You make the crops, grow rich and strong,As well your geese and deer.A flirting maid, a lusty hag,A mother of great girth:Without the touch, of your black wings,We cannot heal the earth.You float upon, a blood red wave,Of swords and spears and knives.Your voice inspires, fear and dread,That you'll cut short our lives.You try the warriors', courage sore,Our inner souls unearth.Without the touch, of your red wings,We cannot know our worth.You fly above, the silver clouds,To Manannan's shining Gate.You lead the dead, along that path,to meet our final fate.The joke's on us, we find within,A land of laughter and of mirth.Without the touch, of your white wings,We cannot have rebirth.

Isaac BonewitsOriginally published in Druid's Progress #3

Badb / BadbhBy: Tameika
Welcome to the Goddess of a 1000 Names, this is BADB, Celtic Goddess of War,if You Hear Her Call Your Name Respond To the Goddess Within.“Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know”~Shakespeare (1564-1616) ~
TRANSLATION OF BADB:The name of this goddess means boiling, battle raven, scald-crow, Raven(Irish), the cauldron of ever-producing life. Signifies rage, fury, orviolence, and imply a witch, fairy, or goddess. BADB translates to hoodedcrow, and Morrigan translates to Raven-woman.
ALSO KNOWN AS:Bibe (Ireland), Bive, Beev, Cath Bodva or Cauth Bodva (Gaul),Cathubodua,Badhbh, Badb Catha (Battle Raven), The Morrigan, Mhorrigan, Mórrígan, TheThree in One, Our Lady, The Lady of War, The Great Queen, The Queen ofSwords, Battle Fury, Lady of Crows, The Maiden, Mother and Crone. As theTriple War Goddess her name is Fea, “the hateful”, or Badb, “the fury”.Associated Deities: Fea, Ana, Neman, Macha, Morrigu.
APPEARANCE:The BADB is depicted as having either blue or blood-red lips, and is knownfor the hideous noise she makes. Her shriek of joy strikes terror throughthe souls of men. It is in the form of birds that certain of the Tuatha deDanann appear as war-goddesses and directors of battle; for this reasonthese birds are generally avoided. Sometimes, as in "Da Choca's Hostel", theBadb appears as a weird woman uttering prophecies. In this case the Badbwatches over Cormac as his doom comes. She is described as standing on onefoot, and with one eye closed (apparently in a bird's posture), as shechants to Cormac this prophecy: "I wash the harness of a king who willperish."
INFLUENCES:War, Battles, Bloodshed, Confusion, The Feminine Principal, Chaos,Cowardice, Treachery, lack of Persistence in the face of insurmountableodds, The Mother of all Fir Cruthen.
GODDESS OF:Goddess of War & Battles, Death, Chaos, Enlightenment, Inspiration, Life,Wisdom, Blessings, Mother Aspect of the Triple Goddess (Ireland), Queen ofthe Witches, Goddess of Magic.
SYMBOLS:Weapon: Sickle, ScytheColors: Metallic Grey, Black, RedActivites: War, Killing in Her Name, Destruction, Creating Tools of War,Defending Her Children.Animals: Black Crow, Carrion Crow, Raven, Wolf, BearHoliday: SamhainLandmarks: All Battlefields, Magh Tuiredh (Moytura)Call On: To aid you with spirit contact and to learn about past lives.
WHO IS BADB?Morrigan is one of the most complex figures in Irish mythology, not theleast due to her genealogy. In the earliest copies of the Lebor GabálaÉrenn, there are listed three sisters, named BADB, Macha, and Anann. In theBook of Leinster version, Anann is identified with Morrigu, while in theBook of Fermoy version, Macha is identified with Morrigan.
Now, if "Morrigan" means "Mare Queen", the identification of Macha withMorrigu would be a logical identification, as Macha usually identified asone of the Celtic horse goddesses, along with Rhiannon and Epona; moreover,the horse goddess is also the goddess of sovereignty and of the land, and itis through marriage to her that the king derives his legitimacy.
We also learn that the three sisters Badb, Macha, and Morrigu are alsosisters to the three goddesses of the land, Eriu, Fotla, and Banba. However,in one text, Anann--here called Ana--is listed as the seventh daughter,identified as the one "of whom are called the Paps of Ana inUrluachair"--the two mountains south of Killarny called "The Breasts ofAnu". In a yet a different version of the second redaction, Anann is againidentified as Morrigan, and for her the mountains are named.
In the third redaction, her genealogy is given as "The Morrigu, daughter ofDelbaeth, was the mother of the other sons of Delbaeth, Brian, Iucharba, andIuchair: and it is from her addtional name "Danann" the Paps of Ana inLuachair are called, as well as the Tuatha De Danann." Now we have Morriganidentified with Danu, mother of the gods, and with Anann, the goddess of thePaps of Ana. This originates in the identification of Anann with Anu and Anuwith Danu. Anu, according to Cormac's Glossary, was mother of the Irishgods; while Danu was originally the goddess of the Danube (Lat. Danuvius).Finally, in The Second Battle of Magh Turedh, she is identified with Badb,the first sister of the trio.
What is most evident is that from the texts, "Morrigan" or "Morrigu" is atitle applied to different women who for the most part seem to be sisters orrelated in some manner, or sometimes it is the same woman with slightlydiffering names in different manuscripts and redactions. We see thatMorrigan is identified with Badb Macha, Anann, and Danann. The first isusually identified with the raven and battle, the second usually identifiedwith the archetypical Celtic horse goddess, the third with the land godesss,and the forth with a mother goddess (though linguistically perhaps with theDanube River of Europe, and thus to the archetypical Celtic river goddess,like Boann).
What do we make of this? The Morrigan--the Mare Queen and the GreatQueen--is the goddess of war and sovereignty, the goddess of the land andits rivers and its animals. Only through appealing to her can a warriorbecome king or an army succeed. Only through her intercession can Ireland betaken by one tribe or another. She is sister of Eriu, but perhaps in anearlier version may have even been identified with Eriu, thus completing herrole as the Goddess of Sovereignty. When we add her role as the Washer atthe Ford, a war goddess--who with her sisters/other selves are called"springs of craftiness/sources of bitter fighting", we must then look to thelater figure of Medb, whose name means mead and who, like Morrigan, does waragainst Ulster.
Now, we see that the name "Morrigan" is applied to all three sisters--Badb,Macha, and Anann--at some point. Badb is the goddess of war, Macha is thegoddess of sovereignty, and Anann is the mother of the gods. Thus, theMorrigan, like Brigit, also contains the three functions of Indo-Europeansociety: the first function of sovereignty, the second fuction of thewarrior, and the third function of fertility.
Now, if we can agree that Morrigan--whoever she is--is the goddess ofsovreignty, her following actions become clear. In The Second Battle of MaghTuredh, meets the Dagda at the river Unis in Connacht, where they copulateon Samhain, ensuring the Tuatha De Danann's sucess over the Fomorians;again, she cheers the TDD to victory over the Fomorians. In the Tain BoCuailnge, she offers Cu Chulainn her aid, but when he rebukes it, he issowing the seeds of his own eventual death. To refuse Morrigan is to rejectthe land and the gods.
And so it is best to classify Morrigan with those other pan-functionaldeities, Lugh and Brigit, as examples of deities who encompass the entireworld of divine function and motive in Irish mythology.
The BADB is not to be confused with BODB, a male deity. BADB is the motheraspect of the Triple Goddess, one of the three Valkyrie-aspects of theMORRIGAN and symbolizes life. Her cauldron boiled with the ever-producingmixture that produced all life. In Irish mythology, Badb was one of thegiantess forms of Morrigan. She was sufficiently tall to place a foot oneither side of a river.
She assumed variously the guises of a beautiful woman, an old hag, and acarrion crow. Her manifestation in the latter form was an omen of death.Before a battle she would appear in anticipation of the carnage, and as thebattle took place, would flit around the heads of the warriors. Afterwards,she would feed on the corpses strewn across the fields. Like the other twobattle-furies, Macha and the Mórrígan, BADB was both sinister and sexual;she prophesied the end of the world, the fall of the gods and an endlessreign of chaos.BADB embodies war as it is – chaotic, glorious, bloodthirsty and heroic.Celtic women used to accompany their husbands into battle, fightingalongside the men. This might explain why there is a female deity associatedwith a typical male domain. She revels in the gore of battle, reigning overthe battlefield (usually in the form of a crow) to aid either side and toentice warriors into battle madness but she doesn’t actually engage in thecombat. It was customary after battle for those still alive to abandon thefield until dawn, so that she could claim the heads as trophies. She isgenerally thought of as a triple goddess figure, however she has moreaspects than three. There is a lot more to her than meets the eye. Under thenames of Nemain (frenzy), Macha (battle), Fea (conflict), BADB (fury), theWasher at the Ford, she shows the aspects of sorcery, motherhood, teachingand prophecy.
She transformed herself into many shapes including the wolf and bear. Sheoften takes the form of a raven/black crow to incite and encourage thewarriors to blood-thirsty acts. Battlefields were called the land of BADB,and while war broke out BADB would confuse and frighten armies by flyingover the battlefield appearing in the form of a miniature woman with tiny,webbed feet, screeching of death and doom. She would confuse the soldiersin order to move the tide of battle to her favored side. Soldiers prayed toBADB, imagining her as a gigantic and beautiful young woman, imploring herto help them cross over streams and overcome their enemies.
The Morrigan, the BADB Macha, Nemain, Fea and Danu are known as the“daughters of Ernmas”. However, the lines between the relationship shared byBADB and the Morrigan (as well as her other counterparts) are fuzzy to saythe least. Some say the Morrigu is the joint connection between them, whilstothers say they are the same deity’s personality traits. BADB, translatesinto “hooded crow” and the Morrigan “raven-woman”, with both the crow andthe raven being the principal carrion birds in Ireland, feasting on the deadafter battle.
The BADB is associated with the death portent faery, the beansidhe


The Morrígan's Prophecy

Peace to (as high as) the sky
sky to the earth earth beneath sky strength in everyone a cup very full a fullness of honey honour enough summer in winter spear supported by shield shields supported by forts forts fierce eager for battle "sod" (fleece) from sheep woods grown with antler-tips (full of stags) forever destructions have departed mast (nuts) on trees a branch drooping-down drooping from growth wealth for a son a son very learned neck of bull (in yoke) a bull from a song knots in woods (i.e. scrap-wood) wood for a fire fire as wanted palisades new and bright salmon their victory the Boyne (i.e. Newgrange) their hostel hostel with an excellence of length (size) blue (new) growth after spring (in) autumn horses increase the land held secure land recounted with excellence of word Be might to the eternal much excellent woods peace to (as high as the) sky be (this) nine times eternal



Valkyrie came from very early Norse legends which changed from the original ghoulish depiction and evolved to a more feminine and beautiful image of the female warriors. The name in Old Norse, valkyrja, means literally, "chooser of the slain." The Valkyrie is related to the Celtic warrior-goddess, the Morrigan. Between the third and eleventh centuries, the Valkyries began to assume much softer and less threatening aspects. Small amulets and pictures on memorial stones had the figure of the beautiful woman welcoming the deceased hero with a horn of mead (early ale or beer) to the afterlife. Valkyries are usually represented as blonde, blue eyed and fair skinned. They wear scarlet corslets and carry shields and spears often riding great winged horses. The Valkyries were suppose to be the daughters of Odin, as foster-daughters, just as the einherjar (the chosen warriors of Odinn) are foster sons . Freyja is said to be the first of the Valkyries, called Valfreyja, "Mistress of the Slain," she pours ale at the feasts of the Aesir .
The Valkyries primary duty was to choose the bravest of those who have been slain, gathering the souls of dying heroes or warriors found deserving of afterlife in Valhalla. They scout the battle ground in search of mortals worthy of the grand hall. If you are deemed by the Valkyries as un-worthy of the hall of Valhalla you will be received after death by the goddess Hel in a cheerless underground world. The Valkyries would visit battlefields and bring dead heroes back to life, and carry them on their winged horses up to Valhalla. Then, each day, the heroes would fight until they were all dead except one, the Valkyries would bring them back to life again, and they'd spend the evening feasting in the great hall. The Valkyries also have duties once back from the battlefield in the great hall. There, having exchanged their armor for pure white robes, they will serve the warriors they have chosen. All this was to get them ready for Ragnarok, the final battle at the end of the world.
Valkyries are also Odinn's messengers and when they ride forth on their errands, their armor causes the strange flickering light that is called the "Aurora Borealis" or more often known as the "Northern Lights". Depending on the writer of the legend the exact number of Odinn's daughters that ride as Valkyries will vary from 3 to 16, and depending on which Norse country the names can vary as well, the best known in most tellings of the story are Freyja and Brunhilda or Brunhilde.
Many Centuries later composer Wagner wrote the Ring Opera, which consisted of 4 Opears one of which was named "The Valkyrie". Wagner's Ring Opera brought back to life the ancient legend of the Valkyrie and wrote a piece that is known by its continual use in modern TV and Movies which is called 'The ride of the Valkyries". Its best remembered in more recent years as background music in the Vietnam War epic, Apocalypse Now. Wagner's part of the Valkyries was based on his interpretation of original Norse Legend of the female warriors on winged horses in the skies over the battlefields.

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE MORRÍGAN AND THE VALKYRIESThe Morrígan's role in the Irish cosmology is quite similar to the role played by the Valkyries in Norse cosmology. Both use magic to cast fetters on warriors and choose who will die.
During the Second Battle, the Morrígan "said she would go and destroy Indech son of Dé Domnann and 'deprive him of the blood of his heart and the kidneys of his valor', and she gave two handfuls of that blood to the hosts. When Indech later appeared in the battle, he was already doomed." (Rees 36)
Compare this to the Washer at the Ford, another guise of the Morrígan. The Washer is usually to be found washing the clothes of men about to die in battle. In effect, She is choosing who will die.
An early German spell found in Merseburg mentions the Indisi, who decided the fortunes of war and the fates of warriors. The Scandinavian Song of the Spear, quoted in Njals Saga, gives a detailed description of Valkyries as women weaving on a grisly loom, with severed heads for weights, arrows for shuttles, and entrails for the warp. As they worked, they exulted at the loss of life that would take place. "All is sinister now to see, a cloud of blood moves over the sky, the air is red with the blood of men, and the battle women chant their song." (Davidson 94)
An Old English poem, Exodus, refers to ravens as choosers of the slain. There are links between ravens, choosing of the slain, casting fetters, and female beings in many sources.
"As the Norse and English sources show them to us, the walkurjas are figures of awe and even terror, who delight in the deaths of men. As battlefield scavengers, they are very close to the ravens, who are described as waelceasega, 'picking over the dead'..." (Our Troth)
"The function of the goddess [the Morrígan] here, it may be noted, is not to attack the hero [Cúchulainn] with weapons but to render him helpless at a crucial point in the battle, like the valkyries who cast 'fetters' upon warriors...thus both in Irish and Scandinavian literature we have a conception of female beings associated with battle, both fierce and erotic." (Davidson 97, 100)


1 comment:

  1. The link above the painting of the Goddess does not compute.

    Blessed be from the deepest brightness