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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Saille/Willow, April 15 – May 12


Divination: Intuition, creativity, fertility, mysticism

 About Saille / Willow

Tree- Willow
Month- February
Color- Bright Colors
Letter- S
Class- peasant
Animals- Hare, cat, hawk
Planet: The Moon
Gemstone: Moonstone
Flower: Primrose
Diety: Morgan le Fay or the Morrigan
Willow: (Saille: SAHL-yuh) Battle of Divination Support/Denial Súil/Séanadh/Resistance. Feminine– The Witches’ Moon; Moon of Balance. The willow is sacred to the triple Goddess, especially Cailleach the old Crone aspect; she represents the dark side and wisdom. The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. Water and tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun’s daily and yearly turnings. In many ways, the Celtic people held women in higher esteem than we do today. In the olde days, the celtic women were allowed to be property owners unlike women in other nations, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. They were also allowed to keep their last names after marriage, depending upon the importance of the family name.

Today, both North America and Europe are home to a large number of the willow species. Two common tree willows are the white willow & the crack willow. The willow is another tree that loves water & the bark also contains a pain reliever called Salicin which is used in the treatment of rheumatic fever, arthritis, headaches, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, edema, and ovarian pain. Salicin is the active constituent from which aspirin was first synthesized. To make the tea, steep 3 teaspoons of bark in one cup of cold water for 2-5 hours, then boil for one minute, and strain. It is also available as a powder. The powder dose is one teaspoon, 3 times a day in tea or capsules. The tincture can be taken in 10-20 drop doses four times a day. The Willow governs the cycles, rhythms, the ebb, and the flux. Magickal Associations: Romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magick for women, and gaining balance. It is said that the willow tree has a healing aura that blesses all that it touches.

Physical:The material world is full of lessons and cycles of ever changing values. Change is necessary for growth, and values are no exception.
Mental: To gain understanding of something, a continued accumulation of knowledge is the foundation that brings it about. You can not take everything into yourself in a single lesson. Repetition is your key to greater knowledge & understanding.
Spiritual: Time to take it easy & relax. Learn to play with the cyclical nature of things.

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 Witch

The Witch

Women have strange powers men do not: the power to bear children and feed them from their own bodies, to bleed without being hurt or sick, and to provoke
erections in heterosexual men. Perhaps these strange beings have even more
remarkable powers.

Or perhaps when the image of a Goddess dwindles until all that remains is the
memory of Her uncanny powers, She becomes a Witch.

Witches have been credited with such magical feats as blasting crops, cursing
people to sickness, lameness or death and causing men to become impotent or
even stealing their penises.

The Renaissance Christian myth of the witch is complex and grotesque. Most
witches were women, the Malleus Maleficarum stated, because “All witchcraft
arises from lust, which in women is insatiable.” Their lust was supposedly for
the Devil, who initiated the witch at the Sabbat and copulated with her often,
according to the accounts of the churchmen.

These witches gathered at mass meetings called Sabbats, to which they flew via
brooms or animal companions. There, the Devil appeared, usually in the form of
a black goat. They kissed his buttocks in greeting. Then they informed him of
all the harmful spells they had done since the last Sabbat. Wild dancing and often sex with gathered demons followed, along with a feast often consisting of
the corpses of babies.

There is no evidence that a real conspiracy of witches who worshipped the Devil
ever existed. But many European clergymen devoutly believed in it during the
great Witch Hunt. Estimates as to how many people, mostly women, were burned or hanged for witchcraft range from a few thousand to nine million.

But the witches of pagan stories had no need for a male Devil. Long before the
great Witch-Hunt, European women were accused of believing that they travelled with the goddess Diana or Signa Oriente or Herodias at night, entering people’s homes and being given food. Roman witches were thought to worship Hecate.

Morgan Le Fay tormented King Arthur and his knights. Circe turned the men who invaded her island into pigs. The volva told Odin how the Aesir gods would
fall. The witches in The Golden Ass can command even the Greek gods with their
spells.

The myths have led to a real Witchcraft religion springing up — one that worships Goddesses, not the Christian’s Devil.

Many other cultures have known the fear of the witch, which may date back to
the Stone Age. Some Native American tribes feared witches, such as the Iroquois
and Navajo (Dina). Certain African tribes believe in female witches who ride
trained hyenas to meetings and cast evil spells.

The urban legends of child-molesting Satanist conspiracies that spring up even
today show how enduring the myth of the witch is. As in Renaissance times, most of the accused are women.

Above: “The Witches’ Sabbat”, by Francis Goya. Below: From a collage.

Further Reading

* Europe’s Inner Demons: The Making of the Great European Witch Hunt. Norman
Cohn.

* Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture. Arthur Evans. Fag Rag Press, 1971.

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

The Witch

The Witch

Women have strange powers men do not: the power to bear children and feed them from their own bodies, to bleed without being hurt or sick, and to provoke erections in heterosexual men. Perhaps these strange beings have even more remarkable powers.

Or perhaps when the image of a Goddess dwindles until all that remains is the memory of Her uncanny powers, She becomes a Witch.

Witches have been credited with such magical feats as blasting crops, cursing
people to sickness, lameness or death and causing men to become impotent or even stealing their penises.

The Renaissance Christian myth of the witch is complex and grotesque. Most
witches were women, the Malleus Maleficarum stated, because “All witchcraft
arises from lust, which in women is insatiable.” Their lust was supposedly for
the Devil, who initiated the witch at the Sabbat and copulated with her often,
according to the accounts of the churchmen.

These witches gathered at mass meetings called Sabbats, to which they flew via brooms or animal companions. There, the Devil appeared, usually in the form of a black goat. They kissed his buttocks in greeting. Then they informed him of all the harmful spells they had done since the last Sabbat. Wild dancing and often sex with gathered demons followed, along with a feast often consisting of the corpses of babies.

There is no evidence that a real conspiracy of witches who worshipped the Devil ever existed. But many European clergymen devoutly believed in it during the great Witch Hunt. Estimates as to how many people, mostly women, were burned or hanged for witchcraft range from a few thousand to nine million.

But the witches of pagan stories had no need for a male Devil. Long before the
great Witch-Hunt, European women were accused of believing that they travelled with the goddess Diana or Sigma Orient or Herodias at night, entering people’s homes and being given food. Roman witches were thought to worship Hecate.

Morgan Le Fay tormented King Arthur and his knights. Circe turned the men who invaded her island into pigs. The volva told Odin how the Aesir gods would fall. The witches in The Golden Ass can command even the Greek gods with their spells.

The myths have led to a real Witchcraft religion springing up — one that
worships Goddesses, not the Christian’s Devil.

Many other cultures have known the fear of the witch, which may date back to the Stone Age. Some Native American tribes feared witches, such as the Iroquois and Navajo (Dina). Certain African tribes believe in female witches who ride trained hyenas to meetings and cast evil spells.

The urban legends of child-molesting Satanist conspiracies that spring up even today show how enduring the myth of the witch is. As in Renaissance times, most of the accused are women.

Above: “The Witches’ Sabbat”, by Francis Goya. Below: From a collage.

Further Reading

* Europe’s Inner Demons: The Making of the Great European Witch Hunt. Norman Cohn.

* Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture. Arthur Evans. Fag Rag Press, 1971.