Celtic Goddess of War: 8 Ways to Work With The Morrigan
The Phantom Queen on the battlefield. The crow that soars above the wreckage and ruin. The seeress, the warrior, the protector. The Celtic Goddess of War, The Morrigan, has become a popular pagan deity again in modern times. And with good reason. She is both light and dark. Life and death. War and love. Here you’ll find 8 unique ways to work with The Morrigan.
Who is The Morrigan?
The Morrigan is the Celtic Goddess of war, shapeshifting, death, crows, motherhood, sex, birth, shadows, destruction and love. How can the goddess of war also be a goddess of motherhood and love? Celtic women often fought alongside their husbands in battle and were considered fierce protectors of their land and family. Henceforth, it’s no surprise a war goddess is also a goddess of mothers and love. Sacred polarity plays into this Goddess’ unique characteristics.
The Morrigan in Irish Myth
The Morrigan is featured in one of Ireland’s oldest mythic tales: The Ulster Cycle. She has an interesting relationship with the hero of the story Cu Chulainn. The hero Cu Chulainn denies her advances then suffers her attacks. But in the end, he learns a lesson from her attacks and dies in dignity with The Morrigan escorting him to the other side. She appears in other tales, a crow that flies above the battlefields, waiting for the carnage. She’s an omen of impending death and is also seen as one of Ireland’s Washers at the Ford (see our article on the Bean-sidhe or banshee).
The Morrigan’s Characteristics
The Morrigan may be a triple goddess or may be three goddesses noted together. The three names associated with The Morrigan are Badb, Macha and Nemain. In Modern Wicca, she’s sometimes depicted as The Triple Goddess in Maiden, Mother and Crone form. The Celtic Goddess of War is mysterious and dangerous, and chooses who she aids carefully. With shapeshifting and prophetic abilities, The Morrigan is a modern beloved goddess of magic and witchcraft. And just like any powerful seeress, she has a mischievous nature.
8 Ways to Work With The Morrigan, Celtic Goddess of War
If The Morrigan is calling to you, you should be prepared for a long, harrowing journey. One that will break down your old ways of life but then lift you up as high as the heavens. The Morrigan brings destruction, but from the ruin comes creation – a new life. Here are 8 ways to work with The Morrigan.
1. Study The Morrigan
The first thing I always recommend to get to know a deity is to study them. Research all of the stories The Morrigan is a character in and read them. Study her characteristics and lessons in each. Keep pages in your grimoire dedicated specifically to the Celtic Goddess of War. Take notes on your thoughts and experiences.
2. Altar Space for the Phantom Queen
Set up an altar space for The Morrigan. Include items that reflect her Irish Celtic heritage. A statue or drawing of The Morrigan as a representation of her. Red and black candles and altar cloth. Decorative crows and deer. A cup or bowl of water. Etc.
3. Shapeshifting Rituals
If you’ve never attempted a shapeshifting ritual, now is the time. Shifting is one of The Morrigan’s many abilities, one which she does often for various reasons. To honor her and deeply connect with her, try a few shapeshifting meditations or shamanic drumming rituals. Some people are naturally gifted at shifting, while others need practice. Enjoy the journey.
4. Crow Magic
The Morrigan is intricately linked to the Crow. It is one of her sacred animals. She shifts into the crow and is almost always depicted with crow familiars around her. Make friends with the crows in your local area. Feed them if you’d like. Invite them to your yard or garden. Study their behaviors and call on the crow spirit in magic and ritual.
5. Shadow Work
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about goddesses who embody sacred polarity, it’s this: through destruction comes new life. Shadow work, in which one dives deep into emotional wounds and trauma, etc., is more powerful with the help of The Celtic Goddess of War. She will guide you into the deepest, darkest chasms of yourself, then lift you up on her wings. Shadow work is scary and painful, but it’s necessary for healing and soul retrieval. All things The Morrigan knows well.
6. Sex Magic
The Morrigan is also a goddess of sacred sex. She stands over a river on Samhain Eve and engages in the sacred rite: ritual sex with the All-Father, The Dagda. If you so choose, try sex magic in honor of The Morrigan and her sacrifice for rebirth and creation.
7. Sacred Offerings for the Celtic Goddess of War
On The Morrigan’s altar, leave offerings for her on a regular basis. Offerings to deities show appreciation and also feed them with energy they may need to aid you in your intentions. The Morrigan’s offerings could include: mead, red wine, storm water, crow feathers, a knife or boline, red foods, traditional Irish foods, milk, honey, artwork and poetry.
8. Invoke Her
Call on The Morrigan during ritual. You’ll feel her presence. If you develop a relationship with The Morrigan, she will be there for you when you need her. Call on her in times of need, when you need her to go to battle for you. Call on her when you need healing, protection, and love. She is a protector of women, children, and animals.