Tuesday 12 October 2010

Samhain Birds & Goddess

First up....of course (who else right) is my Patron Goddess Morrigan...  In Celtic mythology the Goddess is a triple goddess made up of Macha (Battle) , Nemain (Nemon venemous), Badb (Crow, Fury) and sometimes Fae (Hateful).  At Samhain the Morrigan is in her Crone phase, and in her dark aspect she is the Goddess of War, Strife, Fate, and Death.  

ahhh the Morrigan, is a fascinating Goddess because like most Death Goddess (or Gods) she is also a fertility deity, she is a Goddess of rives, lakes, and fresh water; and carries a bit of wealth and land associations as well. She is the Patroness of Priestesses, & (no surprises here) Witches.  Her deep magick can be called on for revenge, magick, prophesy, wisdom, war and peace..

The Morrigan is key in the Tuatha De' Danann stories as she is the Goddess who aides in winning the land for her people.  On Samhain night before the battle with the Formorians, Morrigan straddles the rives Unius (she is believed to have created this river also) where she makes a vow to the Dagda after her tryst with him to aide in the battle. As the battle rages, she doesn't physically become involved, she uses her magic to win the field and then drive the Foromians into the sea, she then makes a prophecy about the end of the world. 

Summer without flowers,
kine without milk,
women without modesty,
men without valour;
captives without a king,
woods without mast,
sea without produce
— (Ó Cuív 37)

She creates a poem in which she talks of battle..  The Morrigan never actively engages in battle, but her magick will drive soldiers into battle frenzy. .

She is Queen of the Fae because her consort is Nuada (of the Silver Hand/.Arm); who is the First King of the Fae, he served for seven years.  He was King during the Battle against the Fir Bolgs who refused to share the land with the Fae, which brought about the battles.  During the battle he loses an arm and must step down as King (the rule of the Fae is no one who is disfigured may rule them), the great healer Dian Cecht fashions an arm of silver for the Nuada, and then his son Miach fashions one of Blood and Flesh (which leads to Dian Cecht killing him), after the arm is restored the Fae restore Nuada as King, and he rules for 20 more years. 

If you didn't know then now you will that the Morrigan, especially Badb Catha is the Battle Crow or Raven. Badb's name literally translates to Crow.  The Crow is a bird that stands out on the Samhain night because its a bird that foretells of death.  When Cuchulain dies on the battlefield after denying the Morrigan, his enemies only accept his death after she lands on his shoulder in this form.  In the old days when bodies were left on the field after the battle "battle birds" would be seen circling these included: Crows, Ravens and Vultures. These birds would pluck the eyes and flesh from the dead. 
She also has the job of ushering souls to the Otherworld on Samhain night, where she meets with the King of Annwn and he mates with her and restores her from Crone to Maiden, she rests here until the Spring where she returns to the land, the child she carries is born on Yule. She is also in certain areas known as the Badhb which means Bean-sidhe (banshee) because she foretells the death of warriors on the field of battle.  In Ogham the Crow is the Elder Tree. 

The Crow is a bird to head when seen. For me they seem to love the wires handing from my windows, and the eaves so that they are right there. Their crowing in the morning is better than any alarm, and they love to sing their words of wisdom (loudly).  It is sometimes considered is an ill-omen, associated with conflict and death. They would leave tons of feathers around my home, i simply see them as a warning of things to come, I associate them with the Goddess and know that she is around me and not fear it.  "The bird is also considered to be skillful, cunning, single minded, and a bringer of knowledge. It is of value when trickery is needed. It also teaches you to learn from the past, but not to hold onto it"(from By Oak, Ash & Thorn"

Check back tomorrow for the other animals of Samhain and their correspondences
Blessed Be

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