char: the morrigan

Actual Friendly Reminder

Feyre’s wish for her sisters to get to learn from Mor will now come true. 

Not only that, but I think we all know if they’re going to find comfort and warmth and kindness from anyone at the Court of Dreams it’s Mor. At this brutal time in their lives, when they’ve been betrayed and violated, they have her to teach her how you can be strong and soft at the same time. 

TL;DR Female characters supporting other female characters. ACOWAR, It’s happening.


O Morrigan, we call your name
Across the dusty years.
You speak to us, of blood and lust. 

anonymous asked:

I've done some research and do you think that anthropologically speaking Morrighan might be more of a title of the head of the Tuatha De Danann at the time in mythology than only a name? its a theory I've had for a while. Can you tag the answer #paganstudygroup so i can find it?

Just to make sure I’m understanding your question, I’m reading it as, “Is it possible that the name of ‘the Morrígan‘ is the title of the leader of the Tuatha De Danann rather than the name of a specific goddess?”

Short answer: Maybe.  There are arguments for and against, some more convincing than others, but ultimately we’ll never know for sure in a way that satisfies most standards of scholarship.

Longer answer: Like you say, the name “an Morrígan“ is indeed a title already, most likely translating to “Great Queen.”  Up to seven names have been identified as na Morrígna (plural, “Great Queens”), specifically Badb Catha, Macha, Anu, Fea, Bé Neit, Nemain, and the Morrígan or Morrígu herself, so we do see “the Morrígan“ actively being used as a shared title.  The third-to-last paragraph in this post about the Gaulish goddess Cathubodua attempts to help explain that.

It’s very difficult to say much about the gods in their pre-Christian context because the pre-Christian Irish were a group of insular communities with their own group identities, their own ways of doing things, and no written records.  By the time the myths were being written down, Christianity was the dominant force of both culture and scholar, and we can see how a lot of what we think we ‘know’ about the gods - family relationships, iconographies, and so on - changed over time by comparing the literature.  If the Morrígan was ever a queen or feminine authority over the Tuatha Dé in pre-Christian polytheism, I don’t think there’s any way to know for sure.

There’s tantalizing tidbits supporting the idea, of course: her name itself, as mentioned, plus the similarity of Anu and Danu.  Anu/Anand is occasionally mentioned as one of na Morrígna, but Danu is a linguistic hypothesis; Mary Jones summarizes this whole controversy here.  I support the idea that “Tuatha Dé Danann” is better translated as “God-peoples of skill” rather than “people of the goddess Danu,” both because of the historical lack of evidence for Danu herself and because it better reflects the gods as a community.

What’s strange is that despite her name, she’s almost never in a position of actually being a queen.  The only exception I can think of is Macha Mong-Ruadh, one of seemingly five different women named Macha, who enforces her right to rule and is one of the Machas who lends her name to the site of Emain Macha (Fort Navan).  Otherwise, all of na Morrígna seem to act primarily as sorceresses, battlefield presences and inciters, sometimes as warriors in physical combat, and especially as facilitators of fate and prophecy.  (Although, to be fair, queenship doesn’t feature as prominently as kingship anyway except in a few notable and beautifully dramatic cases.)

Honestly, I think it’s likelier that the name “Brighid” is the descendant of a title used for those who held more conventional dynamics of power.  It translates to “exalted one” and has a history that stretches back to her continental roots.  (This is absolutely not to say that Brighid is Danu or a mother goddess or anything like that.)  Again, however, that’s pure speculation, as far as I know.

UPG: This is now entirely UPG, so take everything I say here with extra grains of salt and personal opinion.  I suspect that the title of queen is more a reference to the essence of her power as opposed to a more literal meaning of it.  The Morrígan isn’t described as a literal queen the way the Dagda, Nuada, and others are very straightforwardly kings, but she’s still very much a power behind the throne in her role as a sovereignty goddess.  It’s by her will that she ensures the Tuatha Dé’s victory against the Fomorians in the “Cath Maige Tuired,” for example.  She is/they are the deity/deities known for speaking prophecy, for facilitating destinies, for manifesting the consequences of choice both good and bad (even if that looks more like cursing people and stealing cattle than weaving with the skeins of mortal lives, but hey, everyone needs a hobby).

Lora O’Brien, a well-known Irish polytheist and native Irish person whose discernment and knowledge I’ve come to trust, interprets the Morrígan as queen of the Otherworld specifically, I think based heavily on subtext and UPG/SPG and the tales around Uaimh na gCat, with the other Queens having their own sovereign places in, or closer to, the physical world (e.g. Macha and Ulster, Queen Medb and Connacht, etc).  But the title of “queen” seems to describe the…function, or ideal, of queenship rather than a literal royal office that a phrase like “Queen of the Gods” would imply.  It’s possible it simply refers to her function as a Celtic-style sovereignty goddess.

There’s also the question of Badb Catha.  Even though she’s one of the most well-known and commonly referenced names, I personally don’t perceive her acting in the role of sovereignty goddess in the ways that the Morrígan and Macha do, and if I were to line up the Queens on a spectrum she would have the greatest degree of deviation from the mean for me.  But there are many implications to this that would take too long to unpack here and take me further on a tangent, and not all of her worshipers agree on everything about her anyway, so yeah, YMMV.

(I hope this rambling helps in some way.  I have a lot of feelings about my Queen and I try not to be too biased, but she, as well as the rest of the Tuatha Dé, and basically just gods in general, are terribly complex by nature and circumstance.  This is also my last post as a PSG mod, so I’ve just gotta squee over her.  <3)

- mountain hound