The Morrigan – Celtic Goddess of War, Fertility and Sovereignty
The Morrigan goddess is usually thought of as the Celtic goddess of war and sometimes the Celtic goddess of death, but she has strong association with fertility and sovereignty as well. Gifted with the ability to shapeshift, she has the capacity to take many forms, but commonly takes the form of a crow.
She is a complex deity known as the Phantom Queen, who is both a single goddess and also a triple goddess. The triple goddess is composed of the goddesses Badb, Macha and Nemain.
The crow symbol is thought to connect with Badb (meaning crow in Irish). As a crow, she would fly over the battlefield and either encourage or instill fear in the warriors below. She is also said to have the ability to foretell the outcome of battles and predict violent deaths.
Macha is more usually connected with the land and its fertility and is seen as a protector. There is a strong link between Macha and horses, as well as other livestock. It has been suggested that the origin of her name possibly stems from an area used to graze cattle.
The frenzy of battle is connected with the aspect of Nemian. She is said to be responsible for the rage and fury of a battle and her terrifying scream can kill or paralyze a man.
Badb and Nemain were the wives of Neit, the Irish god of war.
According to some versions, the war goddess Morrigan is the wife of the Dagda and they have a special coupling around the feast of Samhain.
She also set her sights on Cú Chulainn and tried unsuccessfully to seduce him. After a series of failed attempts to seek revenge on him, she ultimately correctly prophesied his death in battle.
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