Celtic Goddess Names - M
(Morrigan)("field, plain") Macha is the Powerful Woman who outran
the King's Horses. This goddess of Ulster was borne in a wicker chariot,
in the company of her battle-raven and her cauldron of prophecy. Irish.
As one of the three Valkyrie-aspects of the Morrigan, Macha feeds on the
heads of slain enemies. She often dominates her male lovers through cunning
or simple brute strength.
The Celtic mother goddess of Gaul.
A Celtic goddess after whom the river Marne is named.
The Celtic Triple Mother. Images showing the mothers holding a baby were
deeply revered by the peasantry throughout Celtic Gaul, Spain, and Britain.
Each of the mothers personifyied nurturance, with bared right breast prepared
("drunk woman") A goddess of war, not one of the Morrigan. Where
the Morrigan use magic, Medb wields a weapon herself. The sight of Medb
blinds enemies, and she runs faster than the fastest horse. A bawdy girl,
Medb needs thirty men a day to satisfy her sexual appetite.
("divine mother") A Welsh goddess, daughter of Avalloc, derived
from the Celtic goddess Matrona. She is regarded as a prototype of Morgan
(from Arthurian Legend).
A Scottish goddess of the hills.
An Irish Celtic goddess of the sea and sun. She is identified particularly
with the setting sun, and is depicted as sitting on a throne.
(Morgen, Morgana, Morrigan, Mara, Fata) A death goddess to whom wells
were sacred. The raven is her bird, the shamrock is her plant. A goddess
of the sea, fate, death and rebirth, a great healer and shapeshifter.
As the final incarnation of the Irish Valkyrie Morrigan, Morgan plays
a critical but ambiguous role in the Arthurian cycle. Portrayed as a mortal
female deeply learned in Magick and Arthur's maternal half-sister, she
is always at odds with Arthur, and is responsible for any of a number
of attempts to drag him down. When Arthur is mortally wounded though,
and his cause seems to an ultimately futile victory, it is Morgan who
appears at his side, nursing him and bringing him to the Isle of Avalon,
to rest until his presence is needed once more. She was one of the the
greatest contributors in the rise of Arthur to the status of hero, to
create an Eternal Champion of Britain.
This notion is supported somewhat by the earlier Morrigan's ambiguous
relationship with CuChulainn, in which she took him up on his desire for
a short but glorious life, and violently opposed him until, at his doom,
she used his blood to nourish the soil of Eire. (Sea-sprites in Brittany
are still called "morgans").
She was vilified as Morgan Le Fay, an evil sorceress, in later versions
of the King Arthur legend.
(The Great One of Munster) A tutulary divinity among a people known as
the Érainn, a Celtic folk inhabiting some parts of Ireland before
the arrival the Goidelic Celts who form the basis for the Classic-age
population, and who may be the basis for tales of the Fomorians and Fir
Bolg. She has solar connections and sovereignty associations, and seems
also to be one basis for the Morrigan triplicity. Mysterious and not well
understood, most tales of her are late accretions from the Middle Ages.
Morrigan is the Irish Celtic goddess of destruction and creation. Oral
tradition says the dying Celtic god Cu Chulainn was met by a beautiful
chariot-mounted goddess, whose eyes and cloak were red. She cursed him
to death, that his blood might fertilize the earth, then transformed herself
into Badb Catha, the Raven of Battle who induces panic in warriors. Morrigan
evolved into Morgana Le Fay, sorceress of Arthurian legend.
A triplicity of Valkyries (see Badb, Macha, and Nemain) who exalted in
battle frenzy, chaos, and the gore of slaughter. She and they have a particular
role in being the Choosers of the Slain; selecting the spirits of fallen
warriors, severing them from the body, and guiding them to the afterworld
. She has many aspects and functions, including water in general, and
rivers in particular. She seems in this latter aspect to be a chooser
of the slain as well, in that she is seen by those whose fate it is to
die in an upcoming battle as a crone, washing their clothing beside a
Goddess of Battle. She sometimes takes the shape of a woman washing a
bloodied piece of clothing at the edge of a ford. The warrior who beholds
her knows that he will soon die. A form of Morrigan.
A minor Irish lake goddess, probably another form of the Morrigan.