Why I do not worship the Morrígna

Original Post

I must be one of the few people in the Irish polytheism community that does not worship the Morrígna is some way.  In fact, not giving her offerings is so important to me that we made it a rule within my group, that we would not allow anyone to make offering to any of the Morrígna in our group rituals.  Being one who has been involved in warriorship for most of my adult life, it confuses my peers when I tell them of
my total opposition to the worship of the battle goddesses known as Nemain, Badb and Morrigu  (I am leaving Anand and Macha out of this for now.) I was spurred to write this entry after reading about a
Temple of the Morrigan at Pantheacon run by a group known as Coru Cathubodua, the idea of a temple to these goddesses being established at a Neopagan gathering of hundreds of people actually scares me a little.
There are plenty of blogs out there written by people who I respect a great deal that go into all the reasons they worship the Morrígna, you can read one of them, Shadow of the Hooded Crow.  I am
going to focus on the reasons why I do not worship her and won’t be part of any ritual that does, except under a very specific circumstance.
The very first thing that must be understood is that I have seen war, rather I have seen the effects war has on people’s lives, psyche and most importantly their body.  During my time as a medic in the United States Air Force I was often pulled to a unit know as am aeromedical squadron.  These teams were the ones that transported patients from around the world back to the United States for treatment.  On a few
occasions this included Somali’s who were injured during their clashes.  All of the wounds we were  treating were either from gunshots or explosives, inflicted on men, women and children.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than helping a kid who has an arm blown off to eat.
Then there was the American helicopter pilot that had a phosphorous round explode in the cockpit.  Out of everyone on the crew, he survived…in a way.  I say that because when he came back to the United States he was still alive, but with +90% 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  We kept him in a coma so that he would not have to be in pain.  I saw his dressing change.  You simply cannot imagine what that looked like, or how it would make you feel if you saw it up close.
Finally, there is my friend.  He carried a ‘saw’ while deployed in Iraq.  The fact that his gun is called a ‘saw’ should give you a pretty good visual of what this gun can do.  During one patrol his squad came upon a kid no older than 14 with an AK-47 in his hands and walking towards the squad.  While the entire squad screamed and yelled for the kid to drop the weapon, he raised it to his shoulder.  My friend has a recurring dream of this incident, each bullet hitting that kid in slow motion.  It’s not a dream.  It’s a fucking nightmare.
That is war. War at a distance at that because I saw them all cleaned up or in the case of my friend learned of it second hand.  Imagine seeing those wounds fresh, or witnessing the events as they occured.  This is what the Morrígna want, they want death and blood and slaughter.  Even when making prophecy it is death and war that they prophesize.  No, they are to be respected and feared but I give them no offerings and I won’t be part of any ritual that does.A few years ago, I would be trying to convince people to think as I do on this topic and I tended to avoid having close relationships with people who did worship them (I no longer do this, nor think it is appropriate).  Even Alexi Kondratiev would on occasion try to explain why it is a bad idea to “invite them into your home”, his term was “psychopath”.  As it is, I know some very nice people who worship one or more of the Morrígna and none of them have died a horrible death…yet.  So now my position is simple – Not in my house.  Easy to enforce and doesn’t step on anyone’s beliefs.
Addendum March 25, 2014.Dear reader, based on responses in other forums I feel it necessary to make this statement.  This blog post is about my experiences.  I understand that in the lore and your practices there is more to the Morrígna than just being a blood thirsty goddess of war but this is not a blog about her it is a blog about my experiences. Want to know all about her there are plenty of places to go, I suggest starting with http://caithream.blogspot.com/
Addendum August 17, 2014.
The discussion with Alexi Kondratiev in which he used the term ‘psychopath’ to describe the Morrigan occurred at the Chesapeake Pagan Community Gathering in 2008.  I no longer try to convince people it’s a bad idea to worship any of the Morrígna (it is rude and inappropriate). And the comment about people not being killed by her “yet” is meant as a joke.  Lighten up.

10 thoughts on “Why I do not worship the Morrígna

  1. To the degree that I have had a relationship with Her [Them], it has been that She [They] sends me students.

    Those students have been people who were very badly abused by someone they trusted – often more than one. They became alienated from their support systems, and were usually contemplating suicide by the time they got to me.

    In other words, my experience of The Morrigan is as a goddess who cares for those who have unbearable PTSD and have nowhere left to turn. Why or how they got PTSD doesn't seem to matter as much, although the ones She sends *my* way tend to have been abused on a personal level. There do seem to be others She cares for who acquired it via military experience.

    The Morrigan, in one form or another, reached them, prevented them from being able to die for the wrong reasons, sent them my way for help, and set them on a path where they could use all that pain and anger for something fruitful. One became an environmental advocate, another advocates for animal rights. It varies. What exactly they pour their passion into depends on what inspires them, of course, but so far it's been non-violent causes. Not necessarily what I would ever have expected from children of The Morrigan, if you'd asked me before it all began.

    Mind you, I'm not dedicated to Her. I belong to the Vanir – Freyja and Freyr. I'm not really sure why She sends them my way, other than that I do seem to be able to help this particular sub-set of people. If it works, so be it.

    I can totally see – and respect – where you're coming from on this, and I would never disrespect your wish to avoid Her, or avoid invoking Her in your space. You have every right to make that choice, and I don't question that, or your reasoning, at all.

    I just don't think that's *all* there is to see of Her in today's practice, and I think that's why there are so many who can address Her in relative safety, despite the grislier aspects of Her history.


  2. Snert. In my effort to make my perspective clear, I left out what prompted me to leave a comment at all (aside from that your post is well written, and thank you for sharing it.)

    I appreciated the temple space for the Celtic powers (it wasn't just for The Morrigu, it held many others, including Brighid, Lugh, Eire, Fion MacCumhail…) because I felt it was good to go and offer thanks to Herself for helping those students, and for honoring me by sending them my way.

    Dangerous though She may be to seek out, I would think it's even more dangerous to ignore Her when She prompts one to attend.


  3. Thanks for the comment Ember.

    What you describe is not consistent with the mythology of the Morrígna. Which leads into a conversation I had with my wife about the nature of the gods and wondering if they change to fit the modern world. A BIG question for a polytheist.

  4. Well written and a point of view that many would not consider or understand. I'm a tad concerned because it appears the Morrigan have tapped my daughter and at her age I would like her to continue working with Brigid and Rhiannon (for Who I named her). I will be following your blog as I find your posts informative and thought provoking.

    Raven Odinsdottir

  5. In my contacts with The Morrigan, She (They) always lead me to another Goddess. In one case it was Freyja (and I started the Vanic conection that I have until the present), and in the other case it was Nabia (and that was the time that I started a serious study of the Celtiberian Goddesses and Gods from my region). In both cases, She (They) spent some time with me before very bad times and then showed me the way to the others. I think that, in some way, She (They) protect me from a worse damage, because She (They) made me take more effort with some trainings that I needed in the future for the bad events.
    I don't know if that something very similar to the things that the Lore says about Her (Them), but it's my experience.
    Carmen (Saevor)

  6. Wow, I feel a lot better as a Gaelic polytheist after reading this! I've always wondered about her popularity (felt there some kinda gothic Dark Goddess mystique mentality going on)I've done enough reading to know she's one I'd rather stay away from. I'm a borderline pacifist personally (though I respect veterans- I just don't want to create more of them!), so I already felt the odd one out, good to see this from an actual warrior!

  7. Wow, I feel a lot better as a Gaelic polytheist after reading this! I've always wondered about her popularity (felt there some kinda gothic Dark Goddess mystique mentality going on)I've done enough reading to know she's one I'd rather stay away from. I'm a borderline pacifist personally (though I respect veterans- I just don't want to create more of them!), so I already felt the odd one out, good to see this from an actual warrior!

  8. I highly recommend Mary Condren's The Serpent and the Goddess for an examination of shifting meanings and associations within Irish discourse. The Goddesses in question, and the historically shifting associations about them, are discussed there.

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