Deities Associated with Tuesday – The Morrighan, Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignty

Beautiful Blessings

The Morrighan, Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignty

In Celtic mythology, the Morrighan is known as a goddess of battle and war. However, there’s a bit more to her than this. Also referred to as Morrígu, Morríghan, or Mor-Ríoghain, she is called the “washer at the ford,” because if a warrior saw her washing his armor in the stream, it meant he was to die that day. She is the goddess who determines whether or not you walk off the field of battle, or are carried off upon your shield.

In later Irish folklore, this role would be delegated to the bain sidhe, who foresaw the death of members of a specific family or clan.

The Morrighan often appears in the form of a crow or raven, or is seen accompanied by a group of them. In the stories of the Ulster cycle, she is shown as a cow and a wolf as well. The connection with these two animals suggest that in some areas, she may have been connected to fertility and land.

In some legends, the Morrighan is considered a triune, or triple goddess, but there are a lot of inconsistencies to this. She often appears as a sister to the Badb and Macha.

In some Neopagan traditions, she is portrayed in her role as destroyer, representing the Crone aspect of the Maiden/Mother/Crone cycle, but this seems to be incorrect when one looks at her original Irish history. Some scholars point out that war specifically is not a primary aspect of the Morrighan, and that her connection to cattle presents her as a goddess of sovereignty. The theory is that she can be seen as a deity who guides or protects a king.

In modern literature, there has been some linking of the Morrighan to the character of Morgan Le Fay in the Arthurian legend. It appears, though, that this is more fanciful thinking than anything else. Although Morgan le Fay appears in the Vita Merlini in the twelfth century, a narrative of the life of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth, it’s unlikely that there’s a connection to the Morrighan. Scholars point out that the name “Morgan” is Welsh, and derived from root words connected to the sea. “Morrighan” is Irish, and is rooted in words that are associated with “terror” or “greatness.” In other words, the names sound similar, but the relationship ends there.

Author
Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Morrigan, Raven Queen

morrighan

Morrigan, Morrigan, three times three,

Hear the words I ask of thee.

Grant me vision, Grant me power,

Cheer me in my darkest hour.

As the night overtakes the day,

Morrigan, Morrigan, light my way.

Morrigan,Morrigan, Raven Queen,

Round & round the Hawthorn green.

Queen of beauty, Queen of Art,

Yours my body, Yours my heart.

All my trust I place in thee,

Morrigan, Morrigan, Be with me.

~ Luna’s Grimoire ~

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Deity of the Day – The Morrighan

Deity of the Day – the morrighan

 

The Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignity

By Patti Wigington, About.com 

In Celtic mythology, the Morrighan is known as a goddess of battle and war. However, there’s a bit more to her than this. Also referred to as Morrígu, Morríghan, or Mor-Ríoghain, she is called the “washer at the ford,” because if a warrior saw her washing his armor in the stream, it meant he was to die that day. She is the goddess who determines whether or not you walk off the field of battle, or are carried off upon your shield. In later Irish folklore, this role would be delegated to the bain sidhe, who foresaw the death of members of a specific family or clan.

The Morrighan often appears in the form of a crow or raven, or is seen accompanied by a group of them. In the stories of the Ulster cycle, she is shown as a cow and a wolf as well. The connection with these two animals suggest that in some areas, she may have been connected to fertility and land.

In some legends, the Morrighan is considered a triune, or triple goddess, but there are a lot of inconsistencies to this. She often appears as a sister to the Badb and Macha. In some Neopagan traditions, she is portrayed in her role as destroyer, representing the Crone Aspect of the Maiden/Mother/Crone cycle, but this seems to be incorrect when one looks at her original Irish history. Some scholars point out that war specifically is not a primary aspect of the Morrighan, and that her connection to cattle presents her as a goddess of sovereignty. The theory is that she can be seen as a deity who guides or protects a king.

In modern literature, there has been some linking of the Morrighan to the character of Morgan Le Fay in the Arthurian legend. It appears, though, that this is more fanciful thinking than anything else. Although Morgan le Fay appears in the Vita Merlini in the twelfth century, a narrative of the life of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth, it’s unlikely that there’s a connection to the Morrighan. Scholars point out that the name “Morgan” is Welsh, and derived from root words connected to the sea. “Morrighan” is Irish, and is rooted in words that are associated with “terror” or “greatness.” In other words, the names sound similar, but the relationship ends there.

There’s an excellent page with plenty of scholarly information on the Morrighan from Reverend Gwynarion Elessacar at http://www.elessacar.com/the_morrighan.php.

The Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignity

The Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignity

By , About.com

In Celtic mythology, the Morrighan is known as a goddess of battle and war. However, there’s a bit more to her than this. Also referred to as Morrígu, Morríghan, or Mor-Ríoghain, she is called the “washer at the ford,” because if a warrior saw her washing his armor in the stream, it meant he was to die that day. She is the goddess who determines whether or not you walk off the field of battle, or are carried off upon your shield. In later Irish folklore, this role would be delegated to the bain sidhe, who foresaw the death of members of a specific family or clan.

The Morrighan often appears in the form of a crow or raven, or is seen accompanied by a group of them. In the stories of the Ulster cycle, she is shown as a cow and a wolf as well. The connection with these two animals suggest that in some areas, she may have been connected to fertility and land.

In some legends, the Morrighan is considered a triune, or triple goddess, but there are a lot of inconsistencies to this. She often appears as a sister to the Badb and Macha. In some Neopagan traditions, she is portrayed in her role as destroyer, representing the Crone aspect of the Maiden/Mother/Crone cycle, but this seems to be incorrect when one looks at her original Irish history. Some scholars point out that war specifically is not a primary aspect of the Morrighan, and that her connection to cattle presents her as a goddess of sovereignty. The theory is that she can be seen as a deity who guides or protects a king.

In modern literature, there has been some linking of the Morrighan to the character of Morgan Le Fay in the Arthurian legend. It appears, though, that this is more fanciful thinking than anything else. Although Morgan le Fay appears in the Vita Merlini in the twelfth century, a narrative of the life of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth, it’s unlikely that there’s a connection to the Morrighan. Scholars point out that the name “Morgan” is Welsh, and derived from root words connected to the sea. “Morrighan” is Irish, and is rooted in words that are associated with “terror” or “greatness.” In other words, the names sound similar, but the relationship ends ther

Great Mother Goddesses

Great Mother Goddesses

Gods/Goddesses– Bel, the Dagda, Don, the Dagda, Bel, Cronus, Uranus, Zeus, Jupiter, Saturn, Amen, Osiris, Ra, Pachacamac, Cerridwen, Danu, Macha, Morrigu, Brigit, Anu, Badb, Rhianon, Demeter, Hera, Rhea, Hecate, Aphrodite, Gaea, Juno, Venus, Ceres, Ops, Bona Dea, Cybele, Isis, Mut, Nut, Coatlicue, Kuan Yin, Ishtar, Astarte, Inanna, Cerridwen, Danu, Morrigu, Anu, Margawse, Growth, Demeter, Gaea, Boreas, Eurus, Ceres
Color– Indigo, Black
Incense/Oil– Holly, Juniper, Yew, Myrrh, Cypress
Animals– Goat
Spirits– Dragon
Stones– Onyx, Jet
Metal– Lead
Plants– Reeds, Solomon’s Seal, Oak, Yew, Beech, Comfrey, Elm, Holly, Ivy, Horsetail, Juniper, Mullien
Wood– Oak
Planet– Saturn
Tarot Cards– Four Queens, Four Threes
Magickal Tools– Sword, Wand
Direction– West
Rituals– Stabilization of Thought and Life, Help with Groups, Comfort, Goddess Power, Developing Power of Faith

The Morrigan, Phantom Queen

The Morrigan

The Phantom Queen

The Morrígan (“phantom queen”) or Mórrígan (“great queen”), also written as Morrígu or in the plural as Morrígna, and spelt Morríghan or Mór-ríoghain in Modern Irish, is a figure from Irish mythology who appears to have been considered a goddess, although she is not explicitly referred to as such in the texts.

The Morrígan is a goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty. She sometimes appears in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors, and in the Ulster cycle she also takes the form of an eel, a wolf and a cow. She is generally considered a war deity comparable with the Germanic Valkyries, although her association with a cow may also suggest a role connected with wealth and the land.

She is often depicted as a trio of goddesses, all sisters, although membership of the triad varies; the most common combinations are Badb, Macha and Nemain, or Badb, Macha and Anand; Anand is also given as an alternate name for Morrigu.

There is some disagreement over the meaning of the Morrígan’s name. Mor may derive from an Indo-European root connoting terror or monstrousness, cognate with the Old English maere (which survives in the modern English word “nightmare”) and the Scandinavian mara and the Old Russian “mara” (“nightmare”); while rígan translates as ‘queen’. This can be reconstructed in Proto-Celtic as *Moro-rīganī-s. Accordingly, Morrígan is often translated as “Phantom Queen”. This is the derivation generally favoured in current scholarship.

In the Middle Irish period the name is often spelled Mórrígan with a lengthening diacritic over the ‘o’, seemingly intended to mean “Great Queen” (Old Irish mór, ‘great’; this would derive from a hypothetical Proto-Celtic *Māra Rīganī-s). Whitley Stokes believed this latter spelling was a due to a false etymology popular at the time. There have also been attempts by modern writers to link the Morrígan with the Welsh literary figure Morgan le Fay from Arthurian romance, in whose name ‘mor’ may derive from a Welsh word for ‘sea’, but the names are derived from different cultures and branches of the Celtic linguistic tree.

Invocation of Morrigan

Morrigan Morrigan Three times Three,

Hear the words I ask of Thee.

Grant me vision, Grant me power,

Cheer me in my darkest hour.

As the night overtakes the day,

Morrigan Morrigan Light my way.

Morrigan Morrigan Raven Queen

Round and round the Hawthorn Green.

Queen of beauty, Queen of Art,

Yours my body, Yours my heart.

All my trust I place in thee,

Morrigan Morrigan Be with me…

Morrigan As The Triple Goddesss

The Morrígan is often considered a triple goddess, but this triple nature is ambiguous and inconsistent. Sometimes she appears as one of three sisters, the daughters of Ernmas: Morrígan, Badb and Macha. Sometimes the trinity consists of Badb, Macha and Anann, collectively known as the Morrígna. Occasionally Nemain or Fea appear in the various combinations. However, the Morrígan can also appear alone, and her name is sometimes used interchangeably with Badb.

The Morrígan is usually interpreted as a “war goddess”; W. M. Hennessey’s “The Ancient Irish Goddess of War”, written in 1870, was influential in establishing this interpretation. Her role often involves premonitions of a particular warrior’s violent death, suggesting a link with the Banshee of later folklore. This connection is further noted by Patricia Lysaght: “In certain areas of Ireland this supernatural being is, in addition to the name banshee, also called the badhb“. Her role was to not only be a symbol of imminent death, but to also influence the outcome of war. Most often she did this by appearing as a crow flying overhead and would either inspire fear or courage in the hearts of the warriors. There are also a few rare accounts where she would join in the battle itself as a warrior and show her favoritism in a more direct manner.

It has also been suggested that she was closely tied to Irish männerbund groups (described as “bands of youthful warrior-hunters, living on the borders of civilized society and indulging in lawless activities for a time before inheriting property and taking their places as members of settled, landed communities”) and that these groups may have been in some way dedicated to her. If true, her worship may have resembled that of Perchta groups in Germanic areas.

However, Máire Herbert has argued that “war per se is not a primary aspect of the role of the goddess”, and that her association with cattle suggests her role was connected to the earth, fertility and sovereignty; she suggests that her association with war is a result of a confusion between her and the Badb, who she argues was originally a separate figure. She can be interpreted as providing political or military aid, or protection to the king—acting as a goddess of sovereignty, not necessarily a war goddess.

There is a burnt mound site in County Tipperary known as Fulacht na Mór Ríoghna (‘cooking pit of the Mórrígan’). The fulachtaí sites are found in wild areas, and usually associated with outsiders such as the Fianna and the above-mentioned männerbund groups, as well as with the hunting of deer. The cooking connection also suggests to some a connection with the three mythical hags who cook the meal of dogflesh that brings the hero Cúchulainn to his doom. The Dá Chich na Morrigna (‘two breasts of the Mórrígan’), a pair of hills in County Meath, suggest to some a role as a tutelary goddess, comparable to Anu, who has her own hills, Dá Chích Anann (‘the breasts of Anu’) in County Kerry. Other goddesses known to have similar hills are Áine and Grian of County Limerick who, in addition to a tutelary function, also have solar attributes.

Morrigan Poem

by Anne-Christine Johnson 

 When the crows shriek thier frightening warnings,       

When autumn ends, and Winter falls,  

You will see a Lady a wondering,

weeping through the saddened fields.       

She is turning the Silver Wheel of the seasons.


When the crows heed their endless calling,  

Look to the Moon to see a Lady, dancing in the blackened clouds,

And when at night you see her coming, fall in wonder of what  

beauty she possesses, and shed your tears.  

The Great Queen is walking her footsteps once again.    

Morrighan, Morrighan, you’ll call her by name.


When the old earth opens from beneath your feet,   

crows will catch you before you fall and place you in

Her cauldron,  where rebirth waits and death awakens,   

your prophecy you will find. What you see is Her,

walking the shadows and howling to the Universe,  

forewarning Her arrival.


Black hair falling to Her feet, fill the ocean and become the waves,

Her legs become the forest; Her breasts become the mountains.     

Her womb becomes your ancient home.

Morrigan

by Danielle Dee
The Morrigan is a goddess of battle, strife, and fertility. 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 other deities who form the trio are Badb (“Crow”), and either Macha (also connotes “Crow”) or Nemain (“Frenzy”). 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.

Origin

The origins of the Morrigan seem to reach directly back to the megalithic cult of the Mothers. The Mothers (Matrones, Idises, Disir, etc.) usually appeared as triple goddesses and their cult was expressed through both battle ecstasy and regenerative ecstasy. It’s also interesting to note that later Celtic goddesses of sovereignty, such as the trio of Eriu, Banba, and Fotla, also appear as a trio of female deities who use magic in warfare. “Influence in the sphere of warfare, but by means of magic and incantation rather than through physical strength, is common to these beings.” (Ross 205)

Eriu, a goddess connected to the land in a fashion reminiscent of the Mothers, could appear as a beautiful woman or as a crow, as could the Morrigan. The Disir appeared in similar guises. In addition to being battle goddesses, they are significantly associated with fate as well as birth in many cases, along with appearing before a death or to escort the deceased.

There is certainly evidence that the concept of a raven goddess of battle was not limited to the Irish Celts. An inscription found in France which reads Cathubodva, ‘Battle Raven’, shows that a similar concept was at work among the Gaulish Celts.

Valkyries in Norse cosmology. Both use magic to cast fetters on warriors and choose who will die.

During the Second Battle, the Morrigan “said she would go and destroy Indech son of De 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 Morrigan. 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. In all these sources, ravens, choosing of the slain, casting fetters, and female beings are linked.

“As the Norse and English sources show them to us, the walkurjas are figures of awe an 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 Morrigan] here, it may be noted, is not to attack the hero [Cu Chulainn] 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)

The Morrigan and Cu Chulainn She appeared to the hero Cu Chulainn(son of the god Lugh) and offered her love to him. When he failed to recognize her and rejected her, she told him that she would hinder him when he was in battle. When Cu Chulainn was eventually killed, she settled on his shoulder in the form of a crow. Cu’s misfortune was that he never recognized the feminine power of sovereignty that she offered to him.

She appeared to him on at least four occasions and each time he failed to recognize her.

  1. When she appeared to him and declared her love for him.
  2. After he had wounded her, she appeared to him as an old hag and he offered his blessings to her, which caused her to be healed.
  3. On his way to his final battle, he saw the Washer at the Ford, who declared that she was washing the clothes and arms of Cu Chulainn, who would soon be dead.
  4. When he was forced by three hags (the Morrigan in her triple aspect) to break a taboo of eating dogflesh.

Encyclopedia Mythica

The Morrigu

 by J. Laskey 

She haunts you in your dreams

When you wake you can’t even scream

You hear the wind in the midnight sky

Upon which the Morrigu shall fly

She is justice and everything right

Look out for more than dreams tonight…

Between both worlds the crow awaits

This perfect twist of fate Life or death, living or dead

You can’t escape the places you’ve tread

Mark my words, make no mistake

It’s only everything she will take…

Morrigan’s Image Representation

“The Mare-Queen” is often shown as a black raven or hooded crow, who feeds on the killed warriors after battle. She appears also as a caillech, one-eyed old woman. As a shape shifter, she would often appear as a raven or red cow. But sometimes when she is hot and looking for love she is also an attractive young lady.

Morrigan’s Role

The origins of the Morrígan seem to reach directly back to the megalithic cult of the Mothers. The Mothers (Matrones, Idises, Dísir, etc.) usually appeared as triple goddesses and their cult was expressed through both battle ecstasy and regenerative ecstasy.

The Morrigu is prophetess of all misfortune in battle and has knowledge of the 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.

Morrigan’s Signs & Symbols

Sacred animal: Cow and Mare, Raven and Crow

Ford of a river

The Colors RED and BLACK.

Weapons like spears,swords and shields.

Blood

Blackthorn

Additional Information on Morrigan

Attributes: archetypal Goddess of war, death and passionate love.

Representation: as a black raven or crow, who feeds on the killed warriors after battle.

Relations: Wife or Lover of Dagda, Daughter of

Offerings: Blood sacrifice

“Shrine of the Forgotten Goddesses”

Is There a Right Time to Curse?

Is There a Right Time to Curse?

Author: Sleeping Moon

First off, I want to get something straight that even pagans seem to misunderstand. Or have been misguided into believing. (Not all, mind you, but most.) Hexes are NOT curses! Hexes are painted signs posted on barns down in the south to promote positive influences over the property and those that live there.

Curses are quite different. From the Wikipedia (on-line dictionary) the definition is: A curse (also called execration) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity—one or more persons, a place, or an object. In particular, “curse” may refer to a wish that harm or hurt will be inflicted by any supernatural power, such as a spell, a prayer, an imprecation, an execration, magic, witchcraft, a god, a natural force, or a spirit. In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result.

They claim that a curse holds no power unless the recipient believes in it. I don’t believe that’s necessarily true. A curse has merit no matter what. It’s a solid form of magick just as a spell is. It has its purpose and has a place. They exist for a reason and if used correctly, they can be a force of nature to be reckoned with.

There are a few pagans who have called a dark deity as their matron/patron. Kali, The Morrigan, Calliach, Hecate, Badb, Skatha, Nemisis, Morgana, Innana and Lilith, Hades, Anubis, Setesh, Hoder, just to name a few.

What’s the difference with calling one of these dark deities and a curse? There are many forms of magic to use in calling forth the dark deities, but all in all, the dark deities are: Dark. You wouldn’t call on Kali or The Morrigan to cast a love spell. They are more for revenge and war than love and laughter.

In the beginning I would never have even thought about cursing any one. For any reason whatsoever. Many years later, my logic has changed.

I feel that there is a time to curse and a time to use another approach. If harm befell upon your loved one, for example if he/she was raped, shot, or killed, (these being the more serious offenses) , I can agree that a curse is more of an appropriate form of magick than to send that person ‘peace and love’. The damage has been done and is irrevocable so in my opinion, a curse is warranted and justifiable. Surrounding yourself with protection and that loved one (whether living or not) is always a positive take, but you would want to see that person get the justice he/she deserves. Right? You wouldn’t want that person to be able to harm other folk, right? You’d do every thing with in your capable means (with in the law) to get what they deserve.
So why not a curse?

I understand that Wiccans, the traditional ones, wouldn’t condone such a notion because of the three-fold law. But, as I stated beforehand, the damage HAS been done, so there is no further harm. Every thing in life has a good and bad side to it, just as it does in magick. No matter what we do in magick, we are taking something from some one else. That extra energy we use to cast a spell could be used for some one fighting a serious illness. In the air we breathe, we are taking that air from some one else. We use a candle to focus. We use that source of light from some one that may need it during a power outage or in a third world country that has no power what so ever. The list could go on and on. It’s a nice rule, but it’s an oxy moron. It doesn’t fit. Not technically.
Of course I would never agree to a curse just because I didn’t like some one. The damage that would warrant a curse from me would have to be severe.

Curses have a long history. It dates back to ancient Egyptian times. Probably dates back to the cave men, but for theory’s use, I will stick to then.

In Haiti, curses are called getting “crossed”. In Voodoo it’s called a jinx as well as a form of foot track magic. The “evil eye” is thought to stem from the Middle Eastern and the Mediterranean areas.

In Greece they are called katadesmoi and in Rome, tabulae defixiones. In Ireland there are many known forms of curses such as curse stones or egg curses, New Year curses and milk curses. Chinese peoples have them. The Indonesians, the Indians (not with the feather!) the Europeans, the Brits and the Scottish people have curses in their history. Even Native Americans.

The Native American people of the southern plains called these types of witches Skin Walkers. Skin Walkers where as nasty as one witch or wizard could possible get with the use of black magick. These beings are supposed to be able to extract revenge upon the help less victim by placing an animal skin over their human bodies and thus shape shifting into the form of that animal. While in the guise of the animal they choose, they can wreck havoc upon the poor soul they choose to victimize.

Even in the bible there are curses hidden within. God himself placed a curse upon the snake “You are cursed more than all cattle”, (Genesis 3:14) . As a result of Adam and Eve disobeying God, the ground is also cursed: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” (3:17) . Cain is cursed from the earth, “So now you are cursed from the earth”, (4:11) . In the New Testament Paul sees curses as central to the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. In Galatians 3:13 he says: “Christ redeems us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…”. He refers to Deuteronomy: ” anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.” (21:23 RAEDM)

So if even God himself used them, they are credited aren’t they? Why can’t we use them if the damage has been done?

I wish the world were all frilly and white. But, it’s not. There are lines of grey that border on crossing over to black; there are lines of grey that border on crossing over to the lines of white. That’s the way life works. It’s the way Nature lives and the way humans are bred. Nature is neither cruel nor loving, it just is. And magick is the same, in my book.

Again, if the damage has been done, why can’t a curse be warranted?

Today We Honor The Goddess Morrigan

The Goddess Morrigan

The Morrígan (“phantom queen”) or Mórrígan (“great queen”), also written as Morrígu or in the plural as Morrígna, and spelt Morríghan or Mór-ríoghain in Modern Irish, is a figure from Irish mythology who appears to have once been a goddess, although she is not explicitly referred to as such in the texts.

The Morrigan is a goddess of battle, strife, and fertility. She sometimes appears in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors, and in the Ulster cycle she also takes the form of an eel, a wolf and a cow. She is generally considered a war deity comparable with the Germanic Valkyries, although her association with cattle also suggests a role connected with fertility, wealth, and the land.

She is often depicted as a triple goddess,although membership of the triad varies; the most common combination is the Badb, Macha and Nemain, but other accounts name Fea, Anann, and others.

The Morrígan is often considered a triple goddess, but her supposed triple nature is ambiguous and inconsistent. Sometimes she appears as one of three sisters, the daughters of Ernmas: the Morrígan, the Badb and Macha. Sometimes the trinity consists of the Badb, Macha and Nemain, collectively known as the Morrígan, or in the plural as the Morrígna. Occasionally Fea or Anu also appear in various combinations. However the Morrígan also frequently appears alone, and her name is sometimes used interchangeably with the Badb, with no third “aspect” mentioned.

The Morrígan is usually interpreted as a “war goddess”: W. M. Hennessey’s “The Ancient Irish Goddess of War”, written in 1870, was influential in establishing this interpretation. Her role often involves premonitions of a particular warrior’s violent death, suggesting a link with the Banshee of later folklore. This connection is further noted by Patricia Lysaght: “In certain areas of Ireland this supernatural being is, in addition to the name banshee, also called the badhb“. Her role was to not only be a symbol of imminent death, but to also influence the outcome of war. She did this by most often appearing as a crow flying overhead and would either inspire fear or courage in the hearts of the warriors. There are also a few rare accounts where she would join in the battle itself as a warrior and show her favortism in a more direct manner.

It has also been suggested that she was closely tied to Irish männerbund groups (described as “bands of youthful warrior-hunters, living on the borders of civilized society and indulging in lawless activities for a time before inheriting property and taking their places as members of settled, landed communities”) and that these groups may have been in some way dedicated to her. If true, her worship may have resembled that of Perchta groups in Germanic areas.

However, Máire Herbert has argued that “war per se is not a primary aspect of the role of the goddess”, and that her association with cattle suggests her role was connected to the earth, fertility and sovereignty; she suggests that her association with war is a result of a confusion between her and the Badb, who she argues was originally a separate figure. She can be interpreted as providing political or military aid, or protection to the king—acting as a goddess of sovereignty, not necessarily a war goddess.

There is a burnt mound site in County Tipperary known as Fulacht na Mór Ríoghna (“cooking pit of the Mórrígan”). The fulachta sites are found in wild areas, and usually associated with outsiders such as the Fianna and the above-mentioned männerbund groups, as well as with the hunting of deer. The cooking connection also suggests to some a connection with the three mythical hags who cook the meal of dogflesh that brings the hero Cúchulainn to his doom. The Dá Chich na Morrigna (“two breasts of the Mórrígan”), a pair of hills in County Meath, suggest to some a role as a tutelary goddess, comparable to Danu or Anu, who has her own hills in County Kerry. Other goddesses known to have similar hills are Áine and Grian of County Limerick who, in addition to a tutelary function, also have solar attributes.

Wikipedia

Is There a Right Time to Curse?

Is There a Right Time to Curse?

Author: Sleeping Moon

 First off, I want to get something straight that even pagans seem to misunderstand. Or have been misguided into believing. (Not all, mind you, but most.) Hexes are NOT curses! Hexes are painted signs posted on barns down in the south to promote positive influences over the property and those that live there.

Curses are quite different. From the Wikipedia (on-line dictionary) the definition is: A curse (also called execration) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity—one or more persons, a place, or an object. In particular, “curse” may refer to a wish that harm or hurt will be inflicted by any supernatural power, such as a spell, a prayer, an imprecation, an execration, magic, witchcraft, a god, a natural force, or a spirit. In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result.

They claim that a curse holds no power unless the recipient believes in it. I don’t believe that’s necessarily true. A curse has merit no matter what. It’s a solid form of magick just as a spell is. It has its purpose and has a place. They exist for a reason and if used correctly, they can be a force of nature to be reckoned with.

There are a few pagans who have called a dark deity as their matron/patron. Kali, The Morrigan, Calliach, Hecate, Badb, Skatha, Nemisis, Morgana, Innana and Lilith, Hades, Anubis, Setesh, Hoder, just to name a few.

What’s the difference with calling one of these dark deities and a curse? There are many forms of magic to use in calling forth the dark deities, but all in all, the dark deities are: Dark. You wouldn’t call on Kali or The Morrigan to cast a love spell. They are more for revenge and war than love and laughter.

In the beginning I would never have even thought about cursing any one. For any reason whatsoever. Many years later, my logic has changed.

I feel that there is a time to curse and a time to use another approach. If harm befell upon your loved one, for example if he/she was raped, shot, or killed, (these being the more serious offenses) , I can agree that a curse is more of an appropriate form of magick than to send that person ‘peace and love’. The damage has been done and is irrevocable so in my opinion, a curse is warranted and justifiable. Surrounding yourself with protection and that loved one (whether living or not) is always a positive take, but you would want to see that person get the justice he/she deserves. Right? You wouldn’t want that person to be able to harm other folk, right? You’d do every thing with in your capable means (with in the law) to get what they deserve.
So why not a curse?

I understand that Wiccans, the traditional ones, wouldn’t condone such a notion because of the three-fold law. But, as I stated beforehand, the damage HAS been done, so there is no further harm. Every thing in life has a good and bad side to it, just as it does in magick. No matter what we do in magick, we are taking something from some one else. That extra energy we use to cast a spell could be used for some one fighting a serious illness. In the air we breathe, we are taking that air from some one else. We use a candle to focus. We use that source of light from some one that may need it during a power outage or in a third world country that has no power what so ever. The list could go on and on. It’s a nice rule, but it’s an oxy moron. It doesn’t fit. Not technically.
Of course I would never agree to a curse just because I didn’t like some one. The damage that would warrant a curse from me would have to be severe.

Curses have a long history. It dates back to ancient Egyptian times. Probably dates back to the cave men, but for theory’s use, I will stick to then.

In Haiti, curses are called getting “crossed”. In Voodoo it’s called a jinx as well as a form of foot track magic. The “evil eye” is thought to stem from the Middle Eastern and the Mediterranean areas.

In Greece they are called katadesmoi and in Rome, tabulae defixiones. In Ireland there are many known forms of curses such as curse stones or egg curses, New Year curses and milk curses. Chinese peoples have them. The Indonesians, the Indians (not with the feather!) the Europeans, the Brits and the Scottish people have curses in their history. Even Native Americans.

The Native American people of the southern plains called these types of witches Skin Walkers. Skin Walkers where as nasty as one witch or wizard could possible get with the use of black magick. These beings are supposed to be able to extract revenge upon the help less victim by placing an animal skin over their human bodies and thus shape shifting into the form of that animal. While in the guise of the animal they choose, they can wreck havoc upon the poor soul they choose to victimize.

Even in the bible there are curses hidden within. God himself placed a curse upon the snake “You are cursed more than all cattle”, (Genesis 3:14) . As a result of Adam and Eve disobeying God, the ground is also cursed: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” (3:17) . Cain is cursed from the earth, “So now you are cursed from the earth”, (4:11) . In the New Testament Paul sees curses as central to the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. In Galatians 3:13 he says: “Christ redeems us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…”. He refers to Deuteronomy: ” anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.” (21:23 RAEDM)

So if even God himself used them, they are credited aren’t they? Why can’t we use them if the damage has been done?

I wish the world were all frilly and white. But, it’s not. There are lines of grey that border on crossing over to black; there are lines of grey that border on crossing over to the lines of white. That’s the way life works. It’s the way Nature lives and the way humans are bred. Nature is neither cruel nor loving, it just is. And magick is the same, in my book.

Again, if the damage has been done, why can’t a curse be warranted?

Is There a Right Time to Curse?

Is There a Right Time to Curse?

Author: Sleeping Moon

First off, I want to get something straight that even pagans seem to misunderstand. Or have been misguided into believing. (Not all, mind you, but most.) Hexes are NOT curses! Hexes are painted signs posted on barns down in the south to promote positive influences over the property and those that live there.

Curses are quite different. From the Wikipedia (on-line dictionary) the definition is: A curse (also called execration) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity—one or more persons, a place, or an object. In particular, “curse” may refer to a wish that harm or hurt will be inflicted by any supernatural power, such as a spell, a prayer, an imprecation, an execration, magic, witchcraft, a god, a natural force, or a spirit. In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result.

They claim that a curse holds no power unless the recipient believes in it. I don’t believe that’s necessarily true. A curse has merit no matter what. It’s a solid form of magick just as a spell is. It has its purpose and has a place. They exist for a reason and if used correctly, they can be a force of nature to be reckoned with.

There are a few pagans who have called a dark deity as their matron/patron. Kali, The Morrigan, Calliach, Hecate, Badb, Skatha, Nemisis, Morgana, Innana and Lilith, Hades, Anubis, Setesh, Hoder, just to name a few.

What’s the difference with calling one of these dark deities and a curse? There are many forms of magic to use in calling forth the dark deities, but all in all, the dark deities are: Dark. You wouldn’t call on Kali or The Morrigan to cast a love spell. They are more for revenge and war than love and laughter.

In the beginning I would never have even thought about cursing any one. For any reason whatsoever. Many years later, my logic has changed.

I feel that there is a time to curse and a time to use another approach. If harm befell upon your loved one, for example if he/she was raped, shot, or killed, (these being the more serious offenses) , I can agree that a curse is more of an appropriate form of magick than to send that person ‘peace and love’. The damage has been done and is irrevocable so in my opinion, a curse is warranted and justifiable. Surrounding yourself with protection and that loved one (whether living or not) is always a positive take, but you would want to see that person get the justice he/she deserves. Right? You wouldn’t want that person to be able to harm other folk, right? You’d do every thing with in your capable means (with in the law) to get what they deserve.
So why not a curse?

I understand that Wiccans, the traditional ones, wouldn’t condone such a notion because of the three-fold law. But, as I stated beforehand, the damage HAS been done, so there is no further harm. Every thing in life has a good and bad side to it, just as it does in magick. No matter what we do in magick, we are taking something from some one else. That extra energy we use to cast a spell could be used for some one fighting a serious illness. In the air we breathe, we are taking that air from some one else. We use a candle to focus. We use that source of light from some one that may need it during a power outage or in a third world country that has no power what so ever. The list could go on and on. It’s a nice rule, but it’s an oxy moron. It doesn’t fit. Not technically.
Of course I would never agree to a curse just because I didn’t like some one. The damage that would warrant a curse from me would have to be severe.

Curses have a long history. It dates back to ancient Egyptian times. Probably dates back to the cave men, but for theory’s use, I will stick to then.

In Haiti, curses are called getting “crossed”. In Voodoo it’s called a jinx as well as a form of foot track magic. The “evil eye” is thought to stem from the Middle Eastern and the Mediterranean areas.

In Greece they are called katadesmoi and in Rome, tabulae defixiones. In Ireland there are many known forms of curses such as curse stones or egg curses, New Year curses and milk curses. Chinese peoples have them. The Indonesians, the Indians (not with the feather!) the Europeans, the Brits and the Scottish people have curses in their history. Even Native Americans.

The Native American people of the southern plains called these types of witches Skin Walkers. Skin Walkers where as nasty as one witch or wizard could possible get with the use of black magick. These beings are supposed to be able to extract revenge upon the help less victim by placing an animal skin over their human bodies and thus shape shifting into the form of that animal. While in the guise of the animal they choose, they can wreck havoc upon the poor soul they choose to victimize.

Even in the bible there are curses hidden within. God himself placed a curse upon the snake “You are cursed more than all cattle”, (Genesis 3:14) . As a result of Adam and Eve disobeying God, the ground is also cursed: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” (3:17) . Cain is cursed from the earth, “So now you are cursed from the earth”, (4:11) . In the New Testament Paul sees curses as central to the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. In Galatians 3:13 he says: “Christ redeems us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…”. He refers to Deuteronomy: ” anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.” (21:23 RAEDM)

So if even God himself used them, they are credited aren’t they? Why can’t we use them if the damage has been done?

I wish the world were all frilly and white. But, it’s not. There are lines of grey that border on crossing over to black; there are lines of grey that border on crossing over to the lines of white. That’s the way life works. It’s the way Nature lives and the way humans are bred. Nature is neither cruel nor loving, it just is. And magick is the same, in my book.

Again, if the damage has been done, why can’t a curse be warranted?