March - Ostara

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Morrigan

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 and passionate love.Her name translates as either "Great Queen" or "Phantom Queen," and both epithets are entirely appropriate for her. The Morrigan appears as both a single goddess and a trio of goddesses. The most common combination who formt he trio are Badb ("Crow"), and either Macha (also connotes "Crow") or Nemain ("Frenzy"). Although membership of the triad varies, sometimes includes Fea, Anann and others. The Morrigan frequently appears in the ornithological guise of a hooded crow. She is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann ("Tribe of the goddess Danu") and she helped defeat the Firbolg at the First Battle of Mag Tuireadh and the Fomorians at the Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh. She is usually seen as a terrifying figure, glossed in medieval Irish manuscripts as equivalent to Alecto of the Furies, or the child-eating monster 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 appearing in the form of a carrion crow, premonitions of doom, and with cattle. She is often considered a war deity comparable with the Germanic Valkyries,although her association with cattle also suggests a role connected with fertility 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 dark lady/washer at the ford: Morrigan is seen washing bloody laundry prior to battle by those destined to die. Her personality is associated with the sometimes frightening aspects of female energy. As a protectress she empowers an individual to confront challenges with great personal strength, even against seemingly overwhelming odds. Roman chroniclers reported that Celts went into battle naked, exposing tattoos to summon 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 Priestesses and Witches, and Goddess of Magick. She is a trifold Goddess, a Goddess in three parts, a shape shifter, and a warrior. Yet, the Morrigan Herself seldom actually killed; rather, She used Her power and magick to stir up the warriors She favored and to weaken those She wanted to lose. It was believed that She was the washerwoman who would seen by a lake or river washing out their clothing; whoever saw Her was going to die.

Basically, She is a Goddess of battle, strife and fertility. But like all the Celtic Goddesses, She is not totally evil or good. She is a balance.Like the Greek Goddess Athena, the Morrigan often steps in to wage justifiable war. She is called upon by warriors, and if She agrees with their battle and motives, She aids them.

Remember, war was always important to the Celts; they loved nothing more than a fight, and built whole cities around schools of warfare. They were fierce warriors who even cowed the Romans for a time. Women fought with men at times, and it is reported that Celtic women, when sending their men off to war, told them "Come back carrying your shield or on it." It was the custom to carry the dead home on their shields if at all possible, so in effect the women were saying "win or die".

The Celts looked at nature, saw the fields grow cold and empty, all dead in Winter, and then saw the Earth reawaken and the fields come to life in the Spring. They knew death was necessary for rebirth and worshipped the Morrigan 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 life through Her aspect as a fertility Goddess; She was a symbol of life, not never-ending death.

She is not evil, although She is dark. By bringing death, She causes new life. This death causes fertility--look at the idea of composting, if you doubt 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 the Ninefold Sisterhood rules death, rebirth, fate, and the sea. She is a shape-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 the Triple Goddess who dwell in Avalon, the winterless Isle of Apples. It was to them that King Arthur was taken after his final battle.

Legend has it that he remains there with them, still healing. Morgen was envisioned with wings, or as a sea sprite, but she may have originated as a death 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 for enchantment, 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."


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Newest Deity

A little while ago, during one of my meditations, a new figure emerged for me. Even though she didn't reveal herself to me in a visual sense, I had a strong feeling that I knew who She was: The Morrigan.

I know she has many names (the Morrigan, Morrigu, Morrigan La Fey, etc) and she has been subtly letting me know about her. I would see crows everywhere, even where there shouldn't be any birds. I came upon her when I read The Mists of Avalon, then while reading the Magic Treehouse books for my son, where one of the story's protagonist is Morgan la Fey. *Note* I am still learning about the Deity and her many aspects. I have been a little confused as to who she really is, a Celtic War Goddess or Queen of the Faeries, but I am still trying to decipher all this. For some reason, even though I am getting a lot of references to Morrigan La Fey, I feel a connection to The Morrigan.

Because of this, I have been exploring more about discovering my Shadow Self and performing Dark Moon rituals to banish unwanted things out of my life, as well as meditations to further my knowledge of this Goddess. I find her to be a very helpful Deity for me. I show her the respect she deserves, not using her for my own devices. My study of her is ongoing. As I learn more about her, I will post.

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