Updated: Jun 18, 2020
The Morrigan is one of the goddesses assigned to me for the Death Goddess Series coming up on the Macabre Academy. In my last blog, I explained how Hecate had given me strength to face my suicide through my research on Ereshkigal. I offered her my death and depression was reborn into a brighter future. It was such a powerful lesson, I thought for sure that Hecate had nothing left to show me. Oh boy was I wrong. Just when you think you have everything figured out, a Chthonic Deity turns your world on it's head a second time. True spiritual growth is never easy and I had one more price to pay.
I had no personal connection with the Morrigan, just the 400 read pages of 3 different books for research. As much as I love Celtic culture and death deities, nothing in her stories immediately spoke to me until the protests and riots began. What the f*ck did George Floyd have to do with me? I'm a "privileged" white woman and I have never truly known injustice due to the color of my skin. I had known abuse. I did know what it was to be taken advantage of because I was emotional and weak-willed woman. I struggled on what to record for a gentle protest for the #podcastblackout movement and I settled on adapting a prayer from Cyndi Brannen to invoke Hecate and ask that we are all protected in this turbulent time.
Still, What the f*ck did the Morrigan have to do with this? I already found my goddess Hecate and the Morrigan was just a topic for the podcast. Could it even be possible the two were connected? I had already spent so much time writing her myths for an episode and additional episode for Patreons, but there was one more story to tell. "The Morrigan in the Wars of Turlough" lingered in the back of mind since I read it in "The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and Might" by Courtney Weber.
This lore is among the earliest references to the bean sidhe or the "banshee" as we know the term today. The Encyclopedia Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/topic/banshee) says a Banshee or (“woman of the fairies”) are supernatural beings in Irish and other Celtic folklore whose mournful “keening,” or wailing screaming at night was believed to foretell the death of a member of the family for the person who heard it. Their lineage can be traced back through the Morrigan to Tuatha De Dannen. The Morrígan, or “Phantom Queen,” was a fearsome deity and goddess of death, destiny, and battle. Her role often involves premonitions of a particular warrior's violent death, suggesting a link with the banshee of later folklore.
The Myth from book is as follows:
"Over the shore of the bright lake, rose a great, stooped, blue-faced, wretched, hunch-backed, grey-toothed, coarse-furred, crooked-nailed, tall, lean hag. The appearance of that spectral, squinting, watery-eyed, crooked, bent-shanked creatures was like this: she had shaggy, rough stranded, garlanded hair rough as heather, red and gray which resembled sea weed.... (what imagery!)
The Crone had a pile of heads, a load of spoils, and a heap of arms and legs which she scrubbed & firmly washed at the edge of the bank of the lake, so all the water, it's entire course, was full of hair and bloody brains.
When asked her name shes replies, 'My name is [Sorrowful] of Burren, & the Tuatha De Dannen is my noble lineage. This litter is your men's heads, oh noble high king,' said the withered apparation, 'with your own head at the very center; for it is not yours although you wear it. And although you proceed proudly to the site of contention, there is but a short time between you & your misery for all but a few would be slaughtered. (Epstein's War Goddess)"
The king's men consider her words offensive and over zealously try to attack her. Ultimately they are unsuccessful in their attempt thwart death incarnate. As a result, she continues to speak her truth about their destruction. There are versions of this instance where fine garments of gold are being washed to show that wealth couldn't save a person from the tragedy that was to come. What is interesting is that she is death omen, she isn't threatening them at all. Only inevitable truths are leaving her lips and it's uncomfortable news. No one likes being told the truth; it hurts. There ignorance was going to lead to loss of many lives and the king's men didn't want to consider the true weight of their actions.
It's not a coincidence that I found this story at the time that I did. The Morrigan is holding up a mirror to these men's choices and warns us of dangers of mob mentality. It was not ONE man that lashed out her, but the whole group. They felt that their cause was greater then the goddess herself because they had been ordained by a power of manly authority. They tried to silence her words, but she stands her ground as a true symbol of sovereignty no matter how ugly the truth really was. She was the voice of the marginalized and the lives that would be lost in ignorance.
I feel that George Floyd's death is holding up a mirror to the short comings that are still present in our society during these trying times. Maybe that's why I think the the flood of riots and protests are so hard to watch. I think that we forget that segregation still exists in our parents memories. Men are still abusing power, taking a advantage of others, and acting as if they are greater then the powers of the Gods. The truth is that we haven't come as far as we thought and we are crying out that now is a time for change, the real lasting change that only a death goddess can bring. No superficial band-aids here. I hate with every fiber of my being that it took an act of murder to facilitate that change.
When I choose to support the BLM movement on my podcast, I choose to support ALL lives matter. I choose to support peaceful protest and equality for the next generations that would inherit this earth. I called for justice and the safety for ALL people experiencing the growing pains of our country right now. This simple fact was lost on one of my dearest friends, the one who saved my life 10 years when I tried to commit suicide. I am gonna call my friend Sam to protect his real identity, because I want no ill will to befall him.
Sam likes to talk with me about my podcast over Facebook messenger. What was incredibly strange about yesterday, was that Sam had managed to send me a long paragraph of text without a single spelling error. He's notoriously bad at spelling and grammar because he has mild dyslexia. Contained within the text was a long explanation of new rifle training he was receiving due to the fact that hes a first responder for the county's Hazmat team and there are growing tensions in Pittsburgh. I still don't why men trained to clean hazardous chemical spills were given guns. It wasn't adding up. He also explained to me that their intel determined that George was murdered by corrupt police officers because he had agreed to testify in front of a grand jury in a plea deal. He was adamant that I not support the BLM movement because his life was being threatened under false pretenses as he believed it to be.
I laughed at him. No one is trying to kill Sam. My peaceful protest had NOTHING to do with him. I can't count the times my friend had gotten on his soap box criticizing any one who didn't think Trump was a great man, or how current events are centered around outrageous conspiracy theories that general public was too stupid to see right in front of their noses. I feel a lot of the time he disconnects from reality to make himself feel important because he has self esteem issues. So I bite my tongue because generally it falls on deaf ears and it never causes any harm.
Sam got angry at me, which is understandable given the fact he wanted me to take him at his word. I explained that I had already posted my BLM memorial and I had no intentions of taking it down, agree to disagree in my opinion. His conviction was that if I supported this cause, I was encouraging the danger he was perceiving. I told him that NO ONE had the right to take a man's life in the way George was killed, regardless of whether his life was taken over his race or that he was going to speak his truth in a court of law. I whole-heartily didn't believe what he was telling me but I had to acknowledge his version of events out of respect for our friendship. That is when he said I should no longer speak to him or his daughter....
What the literal f*ck. Sam knew that I have loved his daughter like my own since I first changed their diaper 10 years ago. What manipulative ignorant bullshit was this?! For speaking MY truth, which harmed NO ONE, I was going to loose very important people in my life. He had went right for the jugular, where he knew it would hurt me the most. For the first time in my life I didn't dwell on the gravity of his words. We were both going to be causalities to make himself seem more important then he really was. Without a second thought I said, "Fine. I want you to explain to your child why you are throwing away 10 years like it was f*cking garbage."
I immediately went to my Patreon and refunded every penny of the money he gave to fund my podcast. I didn't need that kind of ignorance in my life. I have put everything in the Macabre Academy and supporting it shouldn't be conditional, not after everything we had been through. I didn't want to loose the child I had grown to adore so much, but they were 13 now.
I will call this kiddo Boi because they had recently come out as trans, preferring they/them, and thought that they might be Poly. Everyone is going to face adversity in their lives and I knew first hand this path wouldn't be easy. I have always told Boi to speak their truth and only to present their most authentic self to the world. Never be less then what you are. I had an opportunity here to be a strong role model and not back down from something I passionately believed in just because one person in my life didn't understand. Practice what you preach so to speak. I also don't take kindly to ultimatums.
Sam decided to have Boi contact me, because he realized he "over-reacted" and had intended to quit hazmat if he was going to loose people over BLM. Now he was being a drama queen and trying to victimize himself. This toxic bullshit angered me more. Instead contacting me directly via email (I have 4 of them), he was still using the child I loved to get to me. This is the message I replied:
"I am not going to put you in the middle. That is not fair to you. I love you dearly, but he went too far... You are brave and beautiful and stronger then you think. I never want your heart to feel this kind of rejection, but at some point, someone you love is gonna hurt you and I hope you have the courage to stand up for yourself because you know you deserve better." I also explained that no one should ever use the people you love against you.
What kind of person saves a life only in the interest of self glorification and personal righteousness? Hecate taught me to cut away what is no longer serving me when I climbed that hillside to plunge my steel into that consecrated dirt. I had been empowered by the selflessness and understanding from my new friends. I humbled myself before death to find salvation. Now, the Morrigan had given me the gift of standing my ground in the face of adversity. I had not offered all my pain and all my abuse to let someone manipulate me into silence. Anyone playing that dirty was not my friend and they were not my enemy; they just were not worth any more of my love, care, or attention. My energy is better served elsewhere. All I can do is continue to share my prayer and and use the power of the voice that the Morrigan has given to me. All those oppressed deserve the right to be safely be heard.
Prayer of Devotion and Petition to Hekate
by Cyndi Brannen (with modifications from me)
Blessed Hekate, Great Mother, I am grateful for Your presence in my life.
I implore you, attend this [podcast].
Shine Your Fiery torch on [our workings].
Great Hekate, who spins the web of the stars and governs the spiral of life.
Brimo, Chthonia, ...Enodia, ... Perseis, Propylais,
... Phosphors, Trimorphis,
Soteira, Soteira, Soteira.
Black as night,
Red as blood,
White as stars.
I offer myself to You.
I bow before You,
Hear [these names].
I honor You as She of all forms.
I honor You as the Young Mistress,
And ask that You bestow upon [us] the energy of youth and strength of will.
I honor You as Protectress of Children,
And ask that You send the power of creation and watch over [the] Young.
I honor You as the ageless Cosmic World Soul,
And ask that You provide [us] with wisdom [in these trying times].
I honor you as She who rules over
The underworld, the middle worth and the heavens.
I honor You as the Gatekeeper of All Underworld and Goddess of the Daemon
And petition for solace for our ancestors, the earth bound dead and [the shadows of all of our fear and doubt].
I honor You as the Guardian of the Crossroads of the middle world, the Universal Key Holder,
And [we] seek Your guidance along [our] earth-bound [journies].
I honor You as the Breath of the Universe and the Mother of Angels
And pray for Your assistance along [this] starry road.
I honor You as Sovereign over land, sea and sky.
I honor You as Queen of the Land
And ask that You protect the earth and all Your children: [every] human, animal and plant.
I honor You as Queen of the Sea
And petition for Your cleansing of the waters and of [ourselves].
I honor You as Queen of the Sky
And pray for Your reflection to shine in [all of our lives].
I honor You as the Unconquerable Queen of the vulnerable and marginalized.
I honor You as Torch Bearer,
And ask that Your light shine on those in need.
I honor You as the Key Holder,
And pray that You’ll open doors for the down trodden.
[I also pray that you provide swift justice.]
I honor You as Queen of the Witches,
And ask Your blessing for [all of] us [who] walk this path.
"The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and Might" by Courtney Weber. Find it Here On Amazon
"Oh, What a Night: Prayer of Devotion and Petition to Hekate" by Cyndi Brannen https://www.patheos.com/blogs/keepingherkeys/2017/10/oh-night-prayer-devotion-petition-hekate/
3. George Floyd Memorial Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
Minnesota Freedom Fund https://minnesotafreedomfund.org
Black Visions Collective https://www.blackvisionsmn.org
Reclaim The Block https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/home
Campaign Zero https://www.joincampaignzero.org
Unicorn Riot https://unicornriot.ninja