Thursday, April 9, 2009

Priestess of the Morrigan

Stand in the North (home of the Morrigan). Say the following while you anoint yourself with oil:
Blessed be my feet, that have brought me to the gates of Lir
Blessed be my knees, that kneel at the sacred altar of the Morrigan
Blessed be my womb, which brings (hath brought) life into the world
Blessed be my heart, may it beat in wisdom and strength
Blessed be my arms, that shall wield the power of the Morrigan
Blessed be my lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names and speak only the truth
Close your eyes, raise your arms with palms out and say:
Hail, great Goddess Morrigan, Queen of the Sildhe, ruler of the Uindimagos
I of the realm of Fal salute thee in adoration
The Guardians of the Four Cities lay down their treasures before thee
But all I can offer is my love and trust in you.
Draw an invoking pentagram in the air. Again close your eyes, raise your arms with palms out, and say:
I call upon thee, O Great Morrigan,
Threefold Goddess of Power
From the depths of Lir, from the world of man,
From the reaches of Uindimagos
Do I call on thee
To descend upon my body
Thy servant and priestess
And lend your energies to me this day
As I walk in the human world
Ever seeking balance
Morrigu, I feel you here, Tonight. Caught between My waking mind
And my hollowness You’re drowsy And loose Ready to toss back Another good day
To be alive. Morrigu, I could wait for you If you told me You were coming I would be old then And in my bones, But you’d still be Lounging with crows And laughing Like a good woman.
Morrigu, I can smell your hair Something like blood And the wind That rushes over The lakes of Killarney. It’s so tantalizing Just to take a breath.
Anand, I can feel your heart beat Somewhere at the core Of the Universe. The sound is women singing And harps are playing All whispering to me About the night, When we first met Somewhere, Beyond eternity. Heather M.

How I long to dance with the Morrigan
Encircled by the winds of change
To dance with the Great Queen
Beneath Her darkened wings
How I long to dance with the Morrigan
Her sword peircing me through
Melting my heqart
My blood drains into Her chalice
Filling it to full
A sacrifice complete
How I long to dance with the Morrigan
My spirit now free to fly with Her
On the wings of the Morrigan.....
Hail, MorriguEvoe Macha ...... Ecco Badb
Caaw ..... Caaw
Triple imaged Morrigan, triple named Morrigan, Mighty Queen, Badb and Macha - it was You who protected the Tuatha De Danann by a cover of fog and rain and cloud so that the people of Danu could land safely upon the coast of Ireland. You are three parts in One, You are the three phases of the silver moon, waxing, full, and waning. You are one of the Three Mothers, The Divine Matronae who sit side by side with cornucopias of abundance upon Your laps.
You are often seen as the vengeful crone, cackling in delight at spilled blood upon a battlefield, drowning enemy princes beneath Your white waves, battling to protect those of the tribe of Danu. You have also appeared as a young woman dressed in brightly colored clothes embroidered with threads of glistening gold. Changing shape and form is but play to You, Mighty Goddess - and poetry and prophesy are Your natural tongue. As the Great Mother you watch over your people. As Queen you guard your tribes.
Loud is Your war cry; sharp are Your spears; powerful are Your enchantments; true are Your grim prophesies - as You fly across battlefields black as the sleek raven, making Yourself visible only to those whose life would soon be over, Your raven caw filling hearts with dread, as death's call slides from Your widespread wings. Welcome, Her, women. Sit and listen as I tell you of stories. For it is not through bloodshed that She battles, but by Her magic does She frighten, confuse, and dismay those who have aroused Her wrath.
How filled with anger were You when the lad named Odras used Your sacred bull to mate with his cow. Gathering up both bull and cow, You took them through the oak woods of Falga and brought them to a cave not far from the river Shannon, where one might enter the Otherworld. Desiring to retrieve his cow, Odras followed as fast as his legs would move but as the fleet footed Morrigan, even with the burden of bull and pregnant cow, You soon outdistanced the exhausted fellow - arriving at the cave while Odras was still far behind. When You later came upon him in the woods, his eyes closed deep in the sleep of his fatigue, You laid a magic spell upon him so that he changed into a pond, his captive spirit in the water of the oak woods of Falga until this very day.
But it was the warrior of Ulster, the arrogant Cu Chulainn, who most aroused the anger of the Mighty Morrigan. Some say that Your feud with him first began on the day that You had watched him bathing by a river bank and upon seeing his bared body, desired him to lay down beside You. It was then that You approached him in Your finest robes, embroidered with all the colors of the rainbow. Though all the other soldiers could hardly look upon You, so filled were they with awe and admiration, Cu refused Your suggestion that he lie with You in love, claiming that he was too weary from the day's battle. Still, it was not this refusal that angered You. You showed much patience and concern for the man that You desired, for You then suggested that You would help him in the battle and with the energy that He would save by Your conquests in the fighting, he would be able to accept Your offer of a loving bed. But he responded to this second offer with great disdain, "the very idea of a woman helping in the battle", and it was his reply that aroused Your wrath - thus making Cu an enemy of the powerful Daughter of Eternity.
Sitting alone in naked puzzlement, he saw another wagon approach, this one drawn by a single bright red horse that was walking upon three legs. Alongside the horse walked a footman, a forked wand of hazel in his hand. And upon the high seat of the wagon sat a woman whose hair and thick brows were the color and brilliance of flame, Your long cloak of blood color spread out about You - as if You sat upon a throne. Ever more puzzled and confused, Cu asked Your name and purpose. But he found that the riddles that he received as answers were far beyond his ken. As he added questions to his questions, the riddles grew in sarcasm so that his confusion soon became frustration. Just as he realized what a fool he must seem, sitting naked and unarmed in his own wagon, puzzled by words of his own language, holding the reins, but ignorant of his intended destination - all disappeared except the woman, who suddenly became a great black bird, cawing in laughter at his plight as Your wings slid off into the morning air!
But You were not satisfied to have shown the man a fool. No! When next the warrior fought upon a battlefield, You gathered fifty white heifers and linking them together with a perfect silver chain, You took the form of a heifer without horns, thus leading the herd across the fields and waters - until the confusion they had caused among the troops gave the advantage to his enemy. You then made Yourself into a long black eel and twisted about the arms and legs of Cu so that he was unable to move in the waters. Just as he was almost able to pull the eel from his body, You became a sharp toothed wolf, cutting deep and painful gashes on his arms.
In this way You battled, until the dark of evening began to cover all. Then You left him on the battlefield - knowing that he would make his way towards home to heal his cut and broken body. You, too had been badly hurt, especially about the face and eyes. Realizing that You could best be healed by the one who had caused the wounds, if You could win three blessings from him, You soon devised a plan. So it was that on the next day, You became an old woman with a milking pail, sitting with a cow by the side of the road, the path that he would have to take upon his journey to his home. When he came along the road, as You knew that he must do, his body, as dry and tired as You suspected, You called out the offer of a cup of milk, suggesting that it might be pleasant to feel the wetness upon his throat.
Not knowing who You were, he came gratefully to Your side and drank the creamy liquid from the cup, blessing You for Your kindness as he took the empty cup from his mouth. When You poured a second time, again he drank and blessed you and yet a third time did he do the same until - thrice blessed - You were healed. Cu Chulainn was startled as You then spread Your raven wings, and more so when You disappeared and the large raven that took Your place perched itself upon a nearby bramble.
It was then that he heard the shrill cawing prophesies of the future, grim and short in time, and watched as the wide black wings of The Morrigan disappeared into the distance - as he stood earthbound and fearful of Your wrath and magical powers.
Women, today the role of Morrigan is different than it was for our ancestors. Most of us are not involved in life or death struggles on a daily basis. The Morrigan is a wonderful Goddess for strong, independent women, especially those on a warrior path. The Morrigan used magic to change her appearance to "one of terror" and caused confusion to help her warriors win their battles through cleverness rather than bloodshed.
Should you wish The Morrigan to come to your aid, She asks that you have a shrine to honor Her. Place upon it a raven or crow feather or a piece of red cloth. She is honored by a sacrifice of your menstrual blood, which is a perfect symbol of both life and death, fertility and war. Offer yourself to Her service, for She will come to your aid when you have need.
Published by Beacon Press, 1979
For an excellent telling of Morrigan please visit
The Tuath De Danannon
Name: Tuatha Dé Danann/ Danaan / Men of Dea
Origin: The Islands of the North - Lochlann (Norway)?
Original Cities: Failias, Gorias, Findias, & Murias
Associated Sites: Magh Tuiredh (Moytura), Brugh na Boinne (Newgrange), Teltown, Co. Meath
Kings: Nuada of the Silver Arm Bres Mac Elatha Lugh the Long-handed, Dagda Bodb Derg
Associated Deities: Danu Medb
Druid: Dagda
Warrior: Oghma
Arts & Crafts: Lugh
Medicine: Dian Cécht
Smithcraft: Goibhniu
Poet: Cairpre son of Oghma
Brazier: Credne
Wright: Luchtaine
Harper: Cas CorachThe Tuatha Dé Danann (which means the people of Danu) arrived in Ireland bearing with them their stone of destiny called the Lia Fail which they placed on the mound of Tara and ever after the rightful kings of Ireland were chosen when it called out. They also brought the spear of Lugh which ensured victory to whoever wielded it, The Sword of Nuada from whom none could escape and the Cauldron of the Dagda from which none would go unsatisfied.
There is a story that they came to Ireland in flying ships but could not land as the Fomorians had set up a great energy field that they could not penetrate. So they had to circle Ireland nine times before finding a breach in the energy field and setting down on Sliabh an Iarainn (The Iron Mountains) in Co. Leitrim.
They clashed with the Fir Bolg (the men of the bags or pot-bellied ones) who they defeated at the first battle of Magh Tuiredh (Moytura) and routed towards the West of Ireland where they allowed them to stay. After defeating the Fir-Bolg they were challenged by the Fomorians and had to fight another battle this time in Co. Roscommon, which became known as the second battle of Magh Tuiredh, they defeated the great Fomorian warrior Balor, and so laid undisputed claim to the land.
They prospered under their two great heroes Nuada of the Silver Arm and Lugh of the Long Arm. They were eventually defeated by the Milesians at Teltown. As they were a magical people they decided to go underground into another dimension of space and time the entrances to which are at many sites around Ireland; one of the most famous being Brugh na Boinne (Newgrange).
It was reputed that only iron weapons could injure them. They became like gods to the later Celtic people and were worshipped as such. They became known as the people of the Sidhe (mounds) and there are many Faery Mounds in existence in Ireland today.
Traditionally, a banshee is a messenger of death who roams Ireland and nearby Islands…so if you’re traveling to those parts, and you hear a piteous moan late at night, beware, especially if you have an Irish heritage. According to legend, every Irish family has their very own banshee that warns them of an impending death.
But do banshee’s really exist or are they mere myth? Well people throughout history have sworn that they are real. Tales of banshees can be traced to the early eighth-century, and even today, belief in banshees is widespread in Ireland. In fact, some pictures were recently taken of a supposed "real" banshee, and I’ve added them to this webpage. However, the person who sent them to me wishes to remain anonymous, and whether they’re the real thing or not remains unknown.
But like in the pictures, the banshee has often been described as a small woman with long white, blond or auburn hair. Normally, she appears in the vicinity of the birthplace of the soon to be deceased. She’s generally seen in the common cl othes of a country woman, usually white, but sometimes grey, brown or red.
According to legend, she’s often seen combing her hair as she laments, but truth be told, she’s heard more often than seen.
The wailing begins as she approaches the home of soon-to-be deceased, and generally occurs late in the evening or during the early morning.
Sometimes the banshee will even perch on a windowsill like a bird, where she’ll remain for several hours or even days—until death comes to call. Often, as the banshee escapes into the darkness witnesses have described a bird-like fluttering sound. Thus, many have thought of banshees as a birdlike creatures.
Of course the banshee also wails in other areas such as in the wood, rivers, and rock formations. In Waterford, Monaghan, and Carlow, there are wedge-shaped rocks which are referred to as "banshee's chairs."
The "bean-si" or Galic, "bean-sid he" actually means, a female dweller of a sidhe, or fairy mound, which implies some sort of fairy being. However, the banshee is very different from what one might think of as a fairy and would more aptly be defined as a ghostly spirit. All alone and wary of human beings, the banshee searches endlessly for the next soul to pass into heaven. But in mythology, the banshee was linked to the fairies as being part of the mystical race Tuatha De'Dannan, which the fairies descended from.
It just shows that though the banshee is a commonly known figure, the familiar spectre remains steeped in mystery, and there are several theories to account for banshee sightings.
Some even speculate that the banshee is some type of a devil or demon-like creature who wails for the souls that are lost to her as they ascend to heaven. It has even been suggested that banshees are familial guardian angels or souls of unbaptized children or even the souls of women who committed the sin of pride in life.
Another outlandish theory is that banshee’s are the spirits of the "keeners," old women who were paid in drink to weep at the graveside of eminent figures in the community during earlier times. Though=2 0the Church didn’t approve of being associated with these women, the keener’s employment was necessary nevertheless, since a person’s status and respect was measured by how much the deceased was mourned after death.
It is thought that these keeners might have been so dutiful, that they followed the family they mourned for even after their own death.
But it’s important to remember that as fearful as the banshee is, she also has a good purpose—to assist the close family through the grieving process by allowing them to accept the upcoming death of a loved one.
Generally, the banshee is heard only by non-relatives and friends, not close family members of the dying. Even friends from a far could hear the dire mourn and could thus travel a great distance to support the family.
Some of the Irish families that emigrated to the USA, seem to have brought their family banshee along with them. However, for the most part, banshee sightings have been limited to Ireland where th e banshee still grieves for the family member near the traditional family home even in that person’s absence.
The Irish aren’t the only ones who have these ghastly harbingers of death. In Scotland, the folks dreaded the feared "bean-nighe," a spectral washing woman, though to have died in childbirth. In death, the poor soul is often seen near bodies of water, washing the shrouds of those who are soon to die. Though, like the Irish banshee, the bean-nigh is a frightful apparition who sings sad dirges and wails hideously, it will also tell passersby who it’s waiting to take to the afterlife if questioned. However, like the banshee, it would be unwise to pester or bother the bean-nighe, and this would lead to horrible misfortune. Well, it they look anything like the spirit depicted in these pictures, who’d dare?

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