In another story, she lures away the bull of a woman named Odras. The Morrígan or Mórrígan, also known as Morrígu, is a figure from Irish mythology. This leads to a confrontation with Cúchulainn, who insults her. Máire Herbert, "Transmutations of an Irish Goddess", in Miranda Green & Sandra Billington (ed. Thanks!  Membership of the triad varies; sometimes it is given as Badb, Macha and Nemain while elsewhere it is given as Badb, Macha and Anand (the latter is given as another name for the Morrígan). The name is Mór-Ríoghain in Modern Irish, and it has been translated as "great queen" or "phantom queen". Nine loosened tresses were on her head. Táin Bó Cúalnge (complete translation) He beheld the woman in Unius in Corann, washing herself, with one of her two feet at Allod Echae i. e. Echumech, to the south of the water, and the other at Loscuinn, to the north of the water. Now it is that Brígh who invented a whistle for signalling at night. Leave it to the Morrigan to come up with a battle-cow. So that then for the first time crying and shrieking were heard in Erin. (The Morrigan also lost a son, Mechi, who was killed by Mac Cecht. Very “madonna/whore”, I agree to having both. Odras then follows the Morrígan to the Otherworld, via the cave of Cruachan, which is said to be her "fit abode." She shrieked at first, she cried at last. The Morrígan's reply is difficult to interpret, but involves pursuing, destroying and subduing. Wright, Brian 2009: Brighid: Goddess, Druidess, Saint, the History Press. A third goddess, Boand, is also connected with cows, as her name means “white cow”, and she shares elements of both Brigit’s connections with plenty (cows as wealth) and the Morrigan’s magic, as she defies a prohibition on a magical well to gain knowledge, and pays with her life. She is one of the great mothers of the Celts. There is a burnt mound site in County Tipperary known as Fulacht na Mór Ríoghna ("cooking pit of the Mórrígan").
The Morrígan is often considered a triple goddess, but this triple nature is ambiguous and inconsistent.
I think it was John Lancaster who said that while novels concentrate on love, they have little to say about children and work. The word Lamia, as a gloss on Morrigan, is a reference to the child-devouring demoness of Greek myth. My latest is an analysis of the Njord – Skadi myth, from Avalonia Books. She incites warriors to battle and can help …
, "Morrigan" redirects here.  In this story, the Morrigan is called the Dagda's envious queen, fierce of mood. In Britain and Ireland, the snowdrops are out, the new lambs are being born, and the first stirrings of nature can be seen. 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.  Sometimes she appears as one of three sisters, the daughters of Ernmas: Morrígan, Badb and Macha. When Odras falls asleep, the Morrígan turns her into a pool of water that feeds into the River Shannon. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. She oversees the land, its stock and its society. O hOgain, Daithi 1991: Myth, Legend and Romance: An Encylopedia of Irish Folk Tradition, MacMillan. ‘Not hard to say’, quoth she.
I have been having some doubt about venerating both the Morrigan and Brighid.
Log in, Wave 4 – The Settling of the Manor of Tara, Wave 5 – Cú Chulainn: Romantic Cultural Hero, Wave 7 – Amhairghin and the Arrival of the Sons of Mil, Culture meets Myth – the Living Tradition, Wave 1 – Birth and Boyhood Deeds of Fionn MacCumhail.
Two very different goddesses? The Morrígan is mainly associated with war and fate, especially with foretelling doom, death or victory in battle. , The Morrígan is often described as a trio of individuals, all sisters, called "the three Morrígna". Great article, thanks. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Morgan first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini in the 12th century. According to Geoffrey Keating's 17th-century History of Ireland, Ériu, Banba, and Fódla worshipped Badb, Macha, and the Morrígan respectively.. Links: The Morrígan also appears in the Cath Maige Tuired ("The Battle of Magh Tuireadh"). , The earliest sources for the Morrígan are glosses in Latin manuscripts and glossaries (collections of glosses). First Battle of Moytura (Mary Jones Collective)
, 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).
Daughter of the Daghda and the Morrigan the Goddess Brigid was born on the 1st day of February which became her sacred day of Imbolg. The rest of the story of the Second Battle of Moytura shows her egging on the warriors, singing prophetic or inciting songs, and describing to Lugh the powers she will bring to the battle (the manuscript has unfortunately been damaged here): ‘And thou, O Morrígan’, saith Lugh, ‘what power wilt thou wield?’.
, However, while the creators of the literary character of Morgan may have been somewhat inspired by the much older tales of the goddess, the relationship ends there. 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. D’Este, Sorita and David Rankine 2005: The Guises of the Morrigan – The Irish Goddess of Sex & Battle, Avalonia.
The fulachtaí sites are found in wild areas, and are usually associated with outsiders such as the fianna, as well as with the hunting of deer. ‘The Bed of the Couple’ is the name of the stead thenceforward. '" As the armies gather for the final battle, she prophesies the bloodshed to come. Unlike the bloodthirsty goddess who urges men on to war, Brigit has to deal with the aftermath, weeping over her dead son. W. M. Hennessy's The Ancient Irish Goddess of War, written in 1870, was influential in establishing this interpretation.  A gloss explains this as "a monster in female form, that is, a morrígan.
, The Morrígan also appears in texts of the Mythological Cycle. 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".
References: , The Morrígan is mainly associated with war and fate, and is often interpreted as a "war goddess".
‘ What I shall follow I shall (hunt): what I shall strike has been " Likewise, Maria Tymoczko writes, "The welfare and fertility of a people depend on their security against external aggression," and notes that "warlike action can thus have a protective aspect. It’s very hard to picture a St Morrigan, although I wonder what she would be patron saint of…). Máire Herbert argues that "war per se is not a primary aspect of the role of the goddess." It’s nice to see a compare/contrast of both. It has also been suggested that she was closely linked to the fianna, and that these groups may have been in some way dedicated to her. Sometimes I imagine that Irish goddesses were invented by someone heavily into Winnicott and Klein, and the theory that babies imagine their mothers as all-powerful beings that they alternately love and hate/fear. This blog allows me to explore ideas and get reactions and suggestions from readers. After the battle, she chants another poem celebrating the victory and prophesying the end of the world.. She also represents an alternative; her marriage to Bres was an attempt at a peaceful solution. The good thing about being polytheists is that we can recognise and acknowledge both.  Her role often involves premonitions of a particular warrior's violent death, suggesting a link with the banshee of later folklore. People need gods who are close to their concerns as much as they need outsider gods to deal with war, magic, monsters and other non-everyday stuff. , The first three daughters of Ernmas are given as Ériu, Banba, and Fódla.  This is the derivation generally favoured in current scholarship. Later in the story, mortally wounded, Cúchulainn ties himself to a standing stone with his own entrails so he can die upright, and it is only when a crow lands on his shoulder that his enemies believe he is dead. There have been attempts by some modern researchers and authors of fiction to link Morgan le Fay with the Morrígan. Her shape-shifting is an expression of her affinity with the whole living universe. This makes sense given their broader nature: Brigit is a peaceful, nurturing goddess who loves peace and cares for the young, while the Morrigan is a fierce goddess of war and magic, who rules over the adolescent/young adult phase of testing boundaries, sexuality, and learning to be a warrior. Finally, she appears to him as an old woman milking a cow with three teats, to trick him into healing her wounds from their three battles.
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