The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess

The Morrigan: Celtic Godess

The Morrigan is a Celtic Triple Goddess, The Goddess of Magick & Might, The Goddess of War & Battle, Queen of the Otherworld, Phantom Queen, Dark Goddess, The Great Queen, Faerie Queen & others that refer to Her and/or her sister(s). She rules birth, rebirth, death, transformation, change, balance, the light & the dark, shadow work, circle of life, fertility, protection, sovereignty, witches, Magick, and more.

The Morrigan is the term given to Goddess Morrigan, one of the triple Goddesses in Celtic mythology. She ialso a singular goddess. She represents the circle of life and is associated with both birth and death. Her name translates to “great queen” or “phantom queen”. She was a shape-shifter and looked over the rivers, freshwater, and lakes. She is also described as being the patroness of revenge, magic, priestesses, night, prophecy, and witches.

To truly gain a more insightful understanding of who Morrigan is, it is important to understand the Celtic culture of that era. The Celts idolized warfare, and women were warriors up until 697 CE, often fighting in battle or helping the wounded. Protecting their families and their land (viewed as female) was a dominant aspect of the Celts’ pride and was reflected in the Morrigan.

She is often a triple goddess but this varies by source. In Celtic mythology, the number three has incredible significance. At times, Morrigan is featured as one of three sisters while other times she is a singular figure.

Depicted as The Triple Goddess in Maiden, Mother, and Crone form. The Celtic Goddess is mysterious and dangerous and chooses who she aids carefully, and accountability is expected. With shapeshifting and prophetic abilities, The Morrigan is a modern beloved goddess of magic and witchcraft. And just like any powerful seeress, she has a mischievous nature.

Badb

Badb is associated with the crow and was said to take its form. Her Goddess aspect would be the Crone. Badb would be seen on the battlefield before the war as a harbinger of the fate to come and would take an active part in the battle, striking fear into the hearts of her enemies. She would create confusion amongst the soldiers and feed off the resulting chaos. The battlefield was referred to as the ‘Garden of Badb’, and her arrival could mean ruin for whole armies, or for one specific person.

Badb would scream and wail to terrify her enemies, in a similar way to the Beansidhe or Banshee, and was known to appear as a ‘washer at the ford’, washing the armor of those who would fall in battle.

Badb by herself is the Goddess of war, chaos, & death. One of the most telling links between the Morrigan and the banshee is the way the fairy is depicted in nearby Scotland.

As an omen of death and bloodshed, the Morrigan may have served as the inspiration for one of the most iconic creatures of later Irish folklore. From the Old Irish ben sidhe, the word banshee can be translated as “woman of the fairy mound.” These mounds, the sidhe, were said to be where the Tuatha Dé Dannan made their homes after the arrival of the Gaelic kings.

The mythologies and folklore of Scotland and Ireland are closely related, so the Scots have their own version of the banshee. There she is sometimes known as the bean nighe or bean nigheachain.

The bean nigheachain of Scotland appears as a washerwoman scrubbing the clothes and armor of those who are about to die in battle. This is the same form the Morrigan takes in one of her most well-known Irish myths as sister Badb.

Némain

After the defeat of Macha, alongside the Morrigan and Badb sisters, Némain appears. She, with the sound of her voice, led the soldiers into battle. But not only that, her songs also accompanied the fallen towards the kingdom of the dead. Often, Némain and Badb were seen as the same deity. In general, these charming Irish goddesses, thanks to their similar characteristics, have often been confused with each other; this made it difficult to be able to delineate their distinct and mysterious figures.

Macha

Macha is another aspect of the Triple Goddess the Morrigan. She is the other sister that is the goddess of fertility, motherhood, strength, vengefulness, feminine power, success, protection, & death.

Shortly after Cruinniuc’s wife died, she simply showed up at his house and started taking care of the family and the household. Not long after, Macha got pregnant. She promptly warns her new husband not to tell anyone about her real identity if he wants her to stay and raise a normal family with him. As luck would have it, though, Cruinniuc ran his mouth during a chariot race and boasted that his wife could run faster than all of the king’s horses combined. Upon hearing this, the king summoned Macha and forced her to compete with the royal horses, even though she was very much pregnant at the time. She pleaded to the king to postpone the bizarre race until after she’d given birth, but the man wouldn’t budge. Despite her situation, Macha ended up winning the race but suffered great pain because of it. As soon as she reached the finish line, she wailed in pain while giving birth to twins: a boy named ‘True’ and a girl named ‘Modest.’

Humiliated and hurt, Macha cursed the men of Ulster nine times nine generations thereafter to suffer the pain of childbirth in their time of worst peril. In effect, none of the Ulstermen, aside from the demigod Cuchulainn were able to resist the invasion of Ulster.

The story shows that the goddess Macha can be vengeful when disrespected, and how unworthy kings inevitably face short, disastrous reigns.

Symbols for Macha include the color red, horse, crow/raven, acorns

Morrigan

It is difficult to find the exact origin of Morrigan in existing texts. Some say that she was the wife of Dadga. Many say that she was part of the Tuatha de Danann or the tribe of the Goddess Danu. The tribe was a mythical race living in Ireland and were descendants of the goddess Danu. Her son, Dadga, was a powerful leader. Morrigan often helped to protect the people from invading armies by blowing a layer of fog over the land and decreasing visibility.

The Fairy Morgan

Morrigan, thanks to the late medieval culture, has become the great Fairy Morgan in the Arthurian or Breton cycle. Morgana, Arthur’s half-sister and rival of Guinevere and the Wizard of Merlin, is the priestess of Avalon, endowed with superhuman abilities, including that of being able to change her appearance.

The Myth of Cu Chulainn

Cu Chulainn was a warrior and Morrigan fell deeply in love with him. She tried to seduce the warrior but he rejected her. Unable to deal with the rejection, she set out to seek revenge.

She tried to use her magic to increase his inner strength but needed him to be still and near her in order to do so. Because she was a shape-shifter, she appeared to him for the first time as a bull. She told him to run but he refused and kept on his path.

The next time, she appeared to the warrior as an eel. She tried to trip him in an effort to use more magic on him but she was unable to. She tried again, this time changing into a wolf, and attempted to scare cattle so that they would run and stop his journey but again, this didn’t work. On her final attempt, she took the shape of an elderly woman. She was milking a cow and when Cu Chulainn saw her, he finally recognized her. Morrigan gave the warrior three drinks of milk, which immediately made him stronger.

Cu Chulainn was riding his horse one day when he noticed Morrigan by the river. This would be the moment in which she would seek her revenge on the warrior for rejecting her love. She was washing his armor, which was considered to be a death omen. The next time he was in battle, he was critically wounded. He knew that he would die and he tied himself to a large stone and propped himself up so that he would die in an upright position. A crow landed on his shoulder and it was at this moment that everyone knew he had passed.

Samhain

Morrigan met Dagda, the King of the Tuatha de Dananna, at Samhain. The Dagda had a home in the north and he was told to meet a woman there before the battle. He found the woman washing herself in the river Unis of Connacht, which flowed just to the south of his home. She had nine loosened tresses on her head and captivated the king instantly. The Dagda spoke with her and they slept together. Morrigan then told Dagda that he should summon Erin’s men to meet her and that the Fomorians would land at Mag Scetne. She aided the Tuatha de Danann in their battle and once they had won, she proclaimed the victory to the royal heights of Ireland.

Correspondences

Colors: Black, Red

Animals: Ravens/Crows, Horses, Serpents, Dragons

Foods: Red Meat/Juices/Red Wine/Mead/Apples/Pomegranate/Milk

Herbs/Plants: Mugwort, Yew, Rowan, Clove, Sage

Incense: Dragon’s Blood, Sage

Sabbat: Samhain

Zodiac: Scorpio

Moon Phases: Dark Moon, Waning Moon

Symbols/Items: Sword, Knife/Athame/Boline, Triskele, Triquetra, Triple Moon, Storm Water, The number 3, crow feathers

Crystals/Stones: Bloodstone, Jet, Clear Quartz, Obsidian

How do you know that Morrigan is calling you?

  • If you feel the need to win your fights
  • If you feel strong and empowered right after having evoked her
  • If you dream of a crow or see crows, especially in 3s
  • If you see the number three showing up over and over again

How do you honor Morrigan?

  • Create an altar for her
  • Use a crow image to honor her
  • Try to win your fights
  • Try to defeat your inner demons and be successful (shadow-work)
  • Cast protection spells
  • Place a statue of Morrigan on your altar

I thoroughly enjoy learning about her & reading all that I can find. I have a statue on my altar with a black rose that stands beside it. I use a black & red candle when I am honoring her & have made up incense that uses Dragon’s Blood resin, Mugwort, Rose, & Cloves when I light Her candles. The candle holder has a Triquetra & the matching holder has a Pentacle on it. They are both made from cast iron.

I’m transitioning from Brigid to the Morrigan. It’s a slow-developing relationship but I feel like it will be a significantly strong one for my life going forward. I have learned so much about her that it is really hard to put it all in 1 posting. I have included the links & names of books that I have gone through for information related to Her.

Spells8/Infinite Roots

Lessons: Goddess Morrigan
Prayer to the Morrigan at Sunset
Witch, Hekate, & Morrigan… Oh My! (Oil Recipes)
Bean Sí :scream: A Herald of Death

External Web Links

Celtic Goddess of War
The Morrigan
Morrigan’s Sister Goddess Badb
Morrigan’s Sister Goddess Macha
The Morrigan Irish Goddess of Battle
Morrigan Irish War Goddess
Morrigan: Prayers, Symbols, Books & More

Meditation (Guided)

Guided Meditation to Meet the Morrigan

Books (Further Reading)

Pagan Portals: The Morrigan Meeting the Great Queen by Morgan Daimler
Pagan Portals: Raven Goddess: Going Deeper with the Morrigan by Morgan Daimler
The Morrigan: Goddess of Magick & Might by Courtney Weber
Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess: Invoking the Morrigan by Stephanie Woodfield

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Wow. This was great! Thank you for sharing this information!

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You’re welcome! She’s been hanging around me for over a month. I finally decided to honor her on my altar. It feels good to know more about what I’m going into though.

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You did a great job!

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Beautiful information!! Thank you! I’ve always wanted to learn more about Her but now I have. You did a great job :relaxed:

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Great information. Thank you for your hard work!

I can add a guided meditation for Macha
You can tell this is an older video as it has my ‘old’ intro and outros. I like the new ones much better! LOL
:laughing:

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Me too lol the music reminds me of an Irish song that I used to step dance with.

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Oh yes please do @SilverBear! The meditation I added is nothing like yours! Thank you! :blush:

I worked on this for a bit yesterday before I posted it. I wanted to make sure I put what I knew & could support in the post.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the Morrigan :heart:

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I know you’ve been learning more about the Morrigan lately, @Siofra- what a delight to see the result of all your hard work and dedication! :raised_hands: This is a beautiful piece about Her and a really valuable resource for anyone hoping to begin working with this deity. Great work and thank you so much for sharing! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Found this vid this weekend and thought you might like it!

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Thank you @Amethyst! I will definitely watch the whole thing once I drop off Peanut at school.

@TheTravelWitch thank you, I wanted to make it something that had information about her & resources for anyone that wants to look into her. I know a few people mentioned wanting to learn more about her.

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Oh goodness! Such a timely and useful post for me, thank you!

Morrigan entered my life a few months ago but didn’t know who it was initially. Seeing this little gem was a flash of light and I knew it was Morrigan.

My desk altar -

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Oh, that is quite the gem! Great find!

I hope the information helps you too! :two_hearts: She has been hanging around me for a little over a month now. I have learned so much & I’m always looking to learn more about Her it seems.

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