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

Advertisements

WOTC Extra – IDEAS FROM MERLIN THE ENCHANTER

Celtic & British Isles Graphics

IDEAS FROM MERLIN THE ENCHANTER

1. Be Yourself… if you worry about what others think, then you won’t think for yourself… and if you don’t think for yourself, you may as well be dead!

2. Allow all others to be themselves… just because Joe Blow from kokomo has blue candles on his altar and you use only white ones, that doesn’t mean he is the son of Satan. We must each one be allowed our own Pagan path in freedom, for if we cannot do that, then we have no freedom!

3. Let’s stop all the silliness of who is and is not a Witch, and what one must do to be a witch.

4. Don’t ask for someone’s opinions unless you really want it! More Witch wars are started because someone asked for another’s views and didn’t like the answer they got!

5. Add a dose of good humor (the worst Witches are the ones that take everything so S-E-R-I-O-U-S-L-Y!)

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.

Circle Stones

Circle Stones

Author: Crimson

I never realized the importance of rocks and crystals when I started on my path. Not really. I collected them for all sorts of reasons: they where pretty, or full of energy. Then as the years progressed, in my studies of the stones in the earth I realized each stone had everything from a number to energy to a point of view and sometimes even its own voice. Sounds crazy, the voice part, but when one studies the Druid arts one becomes passionate about listening.

My trial and error use of circle stones started many years ago. Call me an experimenter of sorts. I would simply place them on the altar, use the energy, and go about my business of casting the spell or ritual. Then I tried something within the past five years that got the stones to become part of the circle. I put one at each corner for each guardian, Like an offering, they were there for a specific energy. One night, I forgot my little rocks at their gates and I heard, yes I heard and felt, “you’re forgetting something; you’re forgetting us”. I didn’t think, went about the ritual, and nothing happened. A few more times, same thing: the guardians didn’t answer. Everything went wrong. So I put the stones back in the circle and instead started using colored ones for each gate. I didn’t realize the guardians had blessed those stones for protection. In fact it wasn’t until I got into a nasty bit with an old friend did I realize that my circle stones had hundreds of uses.

For example, in that nasty bit, a person one day psychically attacked me. I was in a whirlwind of mental pain and sick on my stomach. I grabbed up my stones and set them around my room and suddenly it was as though I had an energy circle about me. The guardians were right there to protect me, sending the energy back to where it came from. I have also learned carrying my smaller stones around in my pocket does the same thing. It’s a protective device, a gift from the other realms. There is a sense of calm relief that the gods are right here with me. Whenever I pick up a stone or gem, I can sense the guardian of that gate and the energy flowing through me for a specific need in a ritual.

It’s become a habit now. Whenever I do any ritual or spell work, I put up my circle stones. Although I did not ask for the blessing I realize it’s one of the greater gifts the guardians have given me.

To each gate I put a colored stone first — and glass works just as well sometimes better, because glass sometimes doesn’t have an attitude. (Yes, I’ve had rocks with attitude and they are angry stones that don’t want to be touched. They get hot in the hand, or I get a headache.) For East: citrine and amethyst work great (purple and yellow) . South: it’s carnelian and hematite (reds, golds, fire colors) . West: sodalite, clear quartz, or blue lace agate (blues and aqua) . For North: moss agate, aventurine (earthy colored stones) . Or to make it easy, clear quartz works for every gate. Colors help me remember where to place the stones but simply being sincere goes a long way with the guardians.

In another one of my experiments, I tried putting clear glass stones at the gate and then mixing them up next time I had circle until each guardian had touched it. They thus become part of the circle and the ritual and they will have hundreds of uses. The energy needed will always be there. To clean them, take the stones into the sun. All negativity will wash out and the good energy will stay behind.

Picking a stone, this became my first lesson, and I learned to be very picky with the stones because of the energy fields around me. Taking the stone in the left hand (if your right handed) or right (if your left handed) , pull the stone close to the chest and ask it silently (or out loud) if it wants to go home with you. If your body leans forward, then it’s a yes; if it leans backwards as though the body is pushed away, no. Stones are like fairies; they have simple answers for everything: yes and no. I have been in a stone shop and gone through them all wondering which stone is calling because they all seem to be saying no. It’s simple and fun.

For ritual uses, I learned that sometimes even my favorite stones could say no. The guardians seem to have more than an idea at what’s going on. Like I said, they are there, without my ever drawing down a circle or calling them. This works out great when going out into the wild or if a circle is being casted after dark and I can’t remember which way is east. For this, I use my clear stones and go on about my ritual work.

It’s taken me years to learn the right and wrong way of these small little stones. They want to be apart of the magic. They always have been there. I just didn’t realize when I started my circle work that they could go in more than one place. It really is a gift.


Footnotes:
Love is in the Earth
The big book of Stones
Twenty one lessons of Merlin

Lady Of The Lake

Lady Of The Lake

In the Camelot legends, the Lady of the Lake is a mysterious personage. Foster mother to Lancelot, it was said that she raised him beneath the water, grooming him to become the powerful knight he became. She also gifted Arthur with the magickal sword of Excalibur, at the behest of Merlin, and later took it back when it was thrown into the lake. She was one of the three ladies who lead Arthur to Avalon after his death.

Because she is identified as many different women in various texts, it is argued that “Lady of the Lake” may have been a title instead of a name, used to identify a high priestess. It is further suggested that the lady was a water Goddess or a creature from the fairy realm.

Judging by her actions, we can perceive that the Lady of the Lake’s essence was wise and benevolent and tends to function according to intuition.

Deity of the Day for July 12th is Taliesin (Welsh)

Deity of the Day

Taliesin (Welsh)

A sun deity reincarnated as Taliesin. While tending Ceridwen’s cauldron Gwion Bach savoured 3 drops of inspiration intended for Afagddu, in her rage the sow chased him until in the form of a black hen she swallowed Gwion who had transformed himself into an ear of corn, once she gave birth he was cast adrift to be found by Elphin who named him Taliesin meaning radiant brow. He is identified as a 6th century bard and associated with both Merlin and Amergin. Like Merlin the sun God spent a period of madness in the woods, often he would boast of his poetic and magical skills. Taliesin appears regularly in the Arthurian legends sailing with him to recover the hallows of Britain from Annwn and accompanying Merlin with the wounded Arthur to the Isle of the Blessed. Prince of Song; Chief of the Bards of the West; a poet. Patron of Druids, Bards, and minstrels; a shape-shifter. Writing, poetry, wisdom, wizards, Bards, music, knowledge, magic.

PendragonNotes #5

PendragonNotes #5
 
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE

This happened last week, when there was still a bit of ice in some places. I have a wonderful puppy, Nanna, who was born Jan. 15th. She is at the exploring phase now–and has mastered the dog door so I run in and out checking her often, which I had done. I had not seen Barney and Belle, the two Beagles, for same hours–ends up they must have been napping near the stream–but I did not know this. I was in the kitchen when they both came screaming up to the front kitchen door like they were on fire! I let them in and asked what was up. Before they could answer, they sped, frantically through the room and out the dog door to the back yard. Of course, I followed. Once outside I heard a quavering howling–from the area of…THE SWIMMING POOL! You know the rest! The puppy had fallen into water so cold it had some ice in places. She was hanging onto the side. The water was so cold that it made my fingers ache in 2 seconds. I got her out–and inside–and into a series of warm towels. She stopped shivering only after 30 minutes. Then she was just fine and started playing after a nap. Barney and Belle, unquestionably, saved her life. I had music on and never would have heard her. Even checking on her every 15 minutes or so–it would not have been soon enough. Coming to the kitchen door was not the most direct route for the Beagles to take toward the puppy–they detoured specifically to come get me.

   

“You have good friends who will help you when you need it. Sometimes, they know you have trouble–even before you know it. Listen to them!” A.J.

By Anna James, PendragonDale