great inscriptions

The Side Look of a Barcelonese #883 : Untitled © Di Emerson :

The Side Look of a Barcelonese #883 : Untitled © Di Emerson :

anonymous asked:

how much do you think Catubodua and the Morrígna can be considered the same class of entities? would it make sense to treat her as one of the group alongside Macha and Anu, or at least as an alternate name for one ore more of the Queens?

Well, they’re all goddesses, so in that sense they’re the same class.  They also share roots in function and name.  Otherwise, this is a really complicated question and I’ll do my best, but I’m not an Irish Studies scholar and most of what I say probably has contradicting evidence, not to mention some UPG, so YMMV and I invite other people to add/correct.

It can be argued either way, depending on the reasons you’re grouping them together.  I personally don’t think it would make sense to consider her one of the Queens in quite the same way as those like Macha and Anu because:

  • Cathubodua is Gaulish while the others are Irish, so an Irish-language title wouldn’t necessarily make sense for her, imo
  • Cathubodua is also older (or at least has been known to humankind for longer) so technically it’d be more accurate to ask if na Morrígna are alternate names for her, ha
  • Given the progression of the Celtic-speaking peoples’ histories and how they diverged, I consider them very separate entities that served/serves distinct purposes for their specific group of people, and so I wouldn’t use her name interchangeably, no

On the other hand, she isn’t not one of the Queens, considering she’s a predecessor and there’s a strong linguistic tie between Cathubodua and Badb Catha specifically. Cathubodua’s name is partially reconstructed, attested once in western France, although there’s a potentially related attestation to a “Victoria Cassibodua” honored “from a nearby Germanic location” (Ravenna 128). “According to some scholars, the names of deities such as Baduhenna and Cathubodua will have been recognizable by members of both Celtic and Germanic tribal groups well into the late Iron Age, and represent evidence of parallel cult development of cultural diffusion between neighboring tribes.”   Morpheus Ravenna also writes in The Book of the Great Queen, “Several inscriptions have been found in Gaul and Britain dedicated to Goddesses by names meaning ‘Great Queen’ or variants on this theme” (124).

Thing is, the Celtic-speaking people on both the continent and the isles tended to localize their deities.  A war goddess for one group of people might be similar to another group’s war goddess but could have a different name and even different lore inspired by changing geographic, political, economic, and social pressures.  Are they manifestations of the same deity worshiped by the groups’ shared ancestors, or are the different names, lore, and rituals enough to make them separate goddesses?  Or maybe they’re separate spirits but both come from a collective of spirits to which we humans give singular names, not unlike the way a single company is composed of multiple departments and employees operating under a single mission statement?  If that makes sense.  But this comes down to your own understanding of polytheism; I’m a hard polytheist and I experience the Queens as separate individuals, not aspects of one, but others feel the opposite.

For practical purposes, when discussing function, I would consider Cathubodua a kind of Morrígan.  It’s not an accident that many devotees of one of the Morrígna have encountered her, and she is a predecessor.  But I wouldn’t add her to the list of names like the Morrígan/Morrígu, Badb Catha, Macha, Fea, Anu, Nemain, or Bé Neit, all of whom are specific to Ireland, nor would I consider her interchangeable with any of them.  I do feel that there’s…something there between Cathubodua and Badb Catha, as though Cathubodua is on one end of a spectrum, the other Queens on the other side, and Badb is somewhere in between.  Unfortunately I’m not sure how to qualify that in a clearer way and it relies a lot on my own UPG, so.

I hope this answers your questions adequately.  D:  @thebloodybones has a tag for her a GaulPol page that might be useful, and the Coru Cathubodua Priesthood has a short paragraph about her on their site here.