Finding the Morrigan

by Morgan Daimler

"Badb and Macha, greatness of wealth,
Morrigu — springs of craftiness,
sources of bitter fighting
were the three daughters of Ernmas."
- Lebor Gabala Erenn, third redaction

morriganThe Morrigan is a Goddess who fascinates many people. In the modern world she is found in many guises and is said to rule over a diverse array of things; in the ancient world she appeared in certain forms and was associated with specific activities and qualities. The picture of the ancient Goddess does not always line up with the modern image embraced by so many, creating a shifting mist that a follower of the Morrigan must wander their way through. It can be a great challenge to find this powerful and vital Goddess in our modern world, so disconnected from the ancient one that the Morrigan comes from. Those who seek her are seeking for something solid yet often find only shadow and dream, but are drawn on in their quest by the sound of ravens calling.

The complexity of the Morrigan begins with her nature. She appears in mythology as one individual Goddess, but her name is also a title applied to her two sisters, Badb and Macha, her nieces Fea and Nemain, as well as several other Irish Goddess at later points. She is the Morrigan, but so sometimes are they; there is no hard and firm boundary, no easy line to draw to separate one from the others. We also see the three sisters, Morrigu, Badb, and Macha, referred to collectively as the tri Morrignae, or three Morrigans. So the first step in finding the Morrigan is beginning to understand the fluid nature of the title, and the difference between the title when applied to other Goddesses and Morrigan as an individual. For some people she will always be one Goddess with several names, one core being who can be expressed in different aspects. For others she is the Morrigu but there are also other Morrigans who are similar to her in nature and power but are uniquely individual beings. It is impossible to say which view is correct; we can only seek to find our own understanding of her. What is the Morrigan in your view? How do you understand her nature? Continue reading "Finding the Morrigan"