The origins of the Morrigan appear to be directly linked to the megalithic Cult of the Mothers, who usually appeared as triple goddesses. Her role in Celtic legend is similar to that of the Valkyries in Norse folklore in that both used magic to cast fetters on warriors and made the decision regarding who would live and who would die. The Morrigan is also closely associated with horse symbolism and may, on occasion, have been linked with the equine Goddess, Epona.
Another guise of the Morrigan is that of the “Washer at the Ford,” who could usually be found washing the clothes of men about to die in battle. In effect, she is thus choosing those whose lives will be lost in the upcoming conflict. An old English poem entitled “Exodus” also refers to ravens (as previously mentioned, one of the Morrigan’s other chosen manifestations) as choosers of the slain.
In one legend concerning the Morrigan, she appears to the hero Cuchulainn (son of the God Lugh) and offers her love to him. When he fails to recognize her and rejects her, the Morrigan is deeply wounded and informs Cuchulainn that she will hinder him while he is in battle. When Cuchulainn finally perishes, she settles on his shoulder in the form of a crow – the hero’s misfortune being that he never realized the feminine power of sovereignty that the Morrigan offered to him.
The name “Morrigan” is applied to her and all her three sisters–Badb, Macha, and Anann. Badb is the goddess of war, Macha is the goddess of sovereignty, and Anann is the mother of the gods. Thus, the Morrigan, like Brigit, also contains the three functions of Indo-European society: the first function of sovereignty, the second function of the warrior, and the third function of fertility. She can be seen as one Goddess or a covenant of three Goddesses.
What does The Morrigan Bring?
The Morrigan is a Dark Goddess. This means she is generally there to help us when we feel at our lowest. But Dark Goddesses don’t coddle. They generally don’t pat you on the back to make you feel better. They give you tools so that you can find your own strength to lift yourself up and find your own path.
I wrote this meditation years ago – it calls in the Morrigan to help you find your inner warrior. This seems very appropriate for the current happenings in our world. Call on the Morrigan when you need to find your power center – your will and your desire to charge into battle and fight for what you believe in!
The Morrigan Meditation to find your Inner Warrior
Close your eyes, ground and center. Take three deep breaths to relax.
You are sitting on a grassy field, you can feel the earth beneath your feet, the soft grass, the calming energy. You stand up and look all around. Ahead of you is a beautiful valley with flowers, grass and bushes, and behind you, you see a cloudy sky. The clouds are dark, and you see thunder. The clouds are moving towards you. You know in your gut, that these clouds represents the problems you are dealing with now. You know that they bring heartache, strife, tribulations and even sorrow.
The clouds get darker and darker, and start moving faster and faster towards you. The clouds look dark and scary and you look for shelter and see none. You start running down the valley, away from the clouds, looking for something to help – a weapon perhaps, a boulder, a large tree to hide in – but you see nothing. You run faster and faster, and the faster you run, the faster the clouds approach. You feel trapped and powerless!
As you run, you hear a noise above you, and you look up to see a crow flying above. It circles and circles, seeming completely unaware of the dark clouds approaching.
The crow lands on the ground in front of you, and looks you up and down. It stands in your way and as you try to run down the valley it blocks your path. If you run left it goes left, if you run right, it goes right. It will not let you keep going and the clouds are getting closer. The crow traps you between it and the clouds.
The crow finally changes and shifts into a young woman with long black hair, wearing a red cloak and a black tunic. She is a beautiful and strong and looks at you quizzically. She smiles at you and says, “You cannot run, it will follow”. If you attempt to run past the woman she stands in your way again, and once again she repeats, “you cannot run”.
She walks up to you and looks at you in the eye. She looks you up and down and asks, “are you ready to fight?” She looks in your eyes for the answer. Whether you answer her in your words, with a nod or a look, she continues, “You must say, I am ready to fight!”.
You repeat the words back to her.
She shakes her head in disagreement and says, “no, you must say, I am ready to fight!” in a louder voice.
You repeat it louder. She once again shakes her head like you are not doing it right.
She repeats and you repeat and over until you are screaming the words back at her with every ounce and power of your being “I am ready to fight”, you scream! When she is satisfied, she will smile at you and put her hand on your shoulder.
“Then Fight, my child!”
As she touches you, you feel a surge of energy, that permeates your entire being. As you feel that energy and power and is fills you with courage and raw power. You turn around and face the clouds, and as you do, they slow down. You feel so empowered that you start walking towards them. The faster you walk the faster they fade, and your sense of courage and power increases. As you look up, you see the crow fly over you a few times and then fly away. The skies are finally clear in every direction you look. You feel strong and empowered.
Whenever you are ready, open your eyes!
Take three deep breaths to bring yourself back to the physical realm.