9/14/09

Goddess of the Week: Morrigan

The Hounds of the MorriganImage via Wikipedia

Love and beauty are all good and fine, but sometimes you want to go a little goth. When that happens, the goddess for you is Morrigan, the Celtic goddess of battle, strife and fertility.

When Cuchulainn fought Queen Medb's army, Morrigan was so entranced by the Ulster hero's great hair and his sexy derring-do that she offered him her love. Like many a hero before him, unfortunately, Cuchulainn did not know a good thing when he saw it and he rebuffed Morrigan, thinking her some common trollop. Then, just to make sure she got the point, he went and stabbed her. But that's heroes for you. Give a guy a dimpled chin and a way with a sword and he thinks he owns the world.

What could Morrigan do? She a had reputation as a kick ass goddess to protect! She had to seal his fate. And his fate was death.

Cuchulainn goes down to a ford in the river where he finds this old washer woman. She says to him, "I'm washing Cuchulainn's battle clothes." Turns out, a washer woman at a ford is a total symbol of imminent death! And everybody even knows that Morrigan assumes the figure of a washer woman at a ford when she chooses who will die in battle. So if a washer woman at a ford says she's washing your clothes, you're totally doomed.

Cuchulainn, however, is clueless. He's all, "Oh, well, thanks. Make sure you get the mud out." Which is making me think that while Cuchulainn may have known his way around a sword, he was using his head more as a boulder than a quick-thinking stratagem tool.

So Cuchulainn goes to battle. And he's fighting and killing and maiming, and he's doing all the things he loves, and he's feeling really good about things, when some warrior guy impales him. Morrigan, who has transfigured herself into a crow, which she often did, and has been watching the whole scene, lands on Cuchulainn's shoulder. She's giving him the evil crow eye, telling him how he totally blew it, and he's dying and moaning and gurgling up blood, and he sees this crow -- and he still doesn't know who the hell it is. He still doesn't know that he lost his chance to win -- to live -- the moment he rejected Morrigan. Cause all is fair in love and war, and if you're a warrior and you don't even recognize your own goddess, you totally don't deserve her protection.

Channel this goddess: When it's no more Mr. Nice Guy time, when people are always expecting you to step in and fight their battles and they give you nothing in return, when you need to find your inner tough girl and you need to kick some butt. Or when it's time for laundry!

Mandie: Here is your goddess. Hope you approve.

Need a goddess: Tell me your need or even a goddess you'd like featured. I can't wait to hear from you.


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20 comments:

Bree said...

I need this goddess, too! Thank you!

... daisy... said...

... well that's it! This happens to men who think with their "sword" and not with their heads (or heart... as sometimes the head is the same as the "sword" if you know what I mean). Great post! I had to pay attention 'cause I almost laughed my head off... ;-)))
By the way when I went to Ireland I had this "Celtic Tour" and the guide told us the Cuchulainn's story... fascinating. But it's nothing compared to your way of telling us!!! We even went into an ancient (something 3000 yrs bc. thing) tomb... amazing. Ireland is amazing! :-)

pasadenaadjacent said...

I do love those hot ginger haired goddesses of the north. No b.s...... "love me or die".

I've met a few boulder heads over the years but I never got to kill one.

Mandie said...

Thank you! Now I have the perfect version of the tale to tell to my daughter, who I named after Morrigan the goddess (NOT Morgan LeFay, who I can't stand!). Your way with words is truely something to admire.

Margaret said...

Bree: I think we all need this one from time to time.

Daisy: I envy you. I've never been to Ireland and have always wanted to go.

PA: Love me or die is right. Talk about your fatal attractions.

Mandie: I'm so glad you approve. Your daughter is lucky to be named after a powerful goddess who knew her mind.

Jean Spitzer said...

Like this chick. And love the story you've created.

Petrea said...

I like her too, and I want her outfit.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Morrigan for goth, battle, strife fertility, doing de laundry, & to kick butt?

Are Morrigan & Finnegan somehow related?

gaelikaa said...

Those Celtic (Gaelic!) warriors were a rough lot and no mistake. Cuchulain's Red Branch Knights lacked the courtly gentility of their successors of later ages. Poor Cuchulain. Battle prowess or not, the guy lacked basic wisdom. He did not know that if you are going to reject the advances of a female, particularly one as powerful and capricious The Morrigan, you had better do it tactfully. Or not at all. I guess they didn't cover that subject at warrior school. He paid the price. Timeless wisdom: strength without wisdom is useless. The Morrigan might have learnt something too. She might have learnt that just because you are a goddess, not every guy is attracted to you. Some modern goddesses need to know this piece of timeless wisdom too!

... daisy... said...

Oh... if you can, go! It's so beautiful... I fell in love with Ireland the very moment I got off the plane... It's in the air...
I think I was Irish in one of my past lives... I just felt at home and when leaving my heart almost broke... :-)
It's a magical place!

Shell Sherree said...

When will these men learn!

altadenahiker said...

Shell beat me to it. I had been planning to say -- Will you boys never learn? Don't piss of a goddess.

Terrific yarn.

Margaret said...

Jean and Petrea: She's pretty impressive, and she does have a great dress.

CP: We're both Irish, but I'm not quite so vindictive.

Gaelikaa: Well, of course, I love hearing your perspective because you are from Ireland and probably know much more than I. I'm curious, does she generally take the article "the" as part of her name?

Daisy: I bet is was wonderful. I really would like to go. Sigh.

Shell and AH: The thick-headedness certainly does seem to be a theme in many myths. I think it relates to two things. One: hubris is always bad. Two: Dont' judge a book by its cover. It's easy to be nice to the beautiful princess, but how about the washer woman? How you treat her is the real indication of who you really are.

... daisy... said...

I'm sure you will! :-) maybe we will even meet there! ;))) that'd be nice!

Cafe Observer said...

I assume SS & KB are simply asking rhetorical questions.

Lisa said...

Margaret - I'd love a goddess for an easy birth and/or new motherhood. My first baby's due in 2 weeks!

: )

Margaret said...

Lisa: Oh my goodness, that puts you to the head of the queue.

gaelikaa said...

Yes, Margaret. I don't know why that is, but I've always only ever heard her referred to as 'The Morrigan'. This emphasises her prominence, I suppose!

Linda Dove said...

I predict that Morrigan is the next Madison in the great name game. It's got everything going for it.

Italo said...

I need a goddess. It's also for men? What do you think dear Margaret, which God can be good for me?