Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess Gallery Presents...
The Morrigan

Sovereign Queen Goddess


“The Morrigan”

Used with kind permission from Jason Juta


Hymn to the Morrigan1

by Isaac Bonewits

O Morrigan, we call your name across the dusty years.
You speak to us, of blood and lust. You show us all our fears.
You are a goddess, old and wise. Of holy power you have no dearth.
Beneath your wings: Black, Red and White, We learn of death and birth.

You walk about, this ancient land, Your hungers raw and clear.
You make the crops, grow rich and strong, As well your geese and deer.
A flirting maid, a lusty hag, A mother of great girth:
Without the touch of your black wings, We cannot heal the earth.

You float upon a blood red wave, Of swords and spears and knives.
Your voice inspires, fear and dread, That you’ll cut short our lives.
You try the warriors’ courage sore, Our inner souls unearth.
Without the touch of your red wings, We cannot know our worth.

You fly above the silver clouds, To Manannan’s shining Gate.
You lead the dead along that path, To meet our final fate.
The joke’s on us, we find within, A land of laughter and of mirth.
Without the touch of your white wings, We cannot have rebirth.


A powerful shapeshifting Goddess, the Morrigan (sometimes spelled Morrigu) presents to us the faces of all stages of womanhood:  Maiden, Mother, Queen, Crone; from a voluptuous young woman to an old, bony Hag.  As Queen, She teaches us to gain and maintain our own sacred sovereignty and challenges us to take decisive action in our own life’s battles. 

The Morrigan’s origins extend all the way back into the Chalcolithic period (a.k.a., the Copper Age) when She appears all over Europe as the Great Mother Goddess, often depicted as a triple-form Goddess.   Coru Cathobodua, a dedicated Priesthood of the Morrigan, says “Though literature referencing Her only exists in Irish, and to a lesser extent British and Scottish sources, the archaeological record indicates that She was known and worshiped in Gaul as well, suggesting that we have in Her a pan-Celtic Goddess.”2 

In Early Ireland, the Morrigan was a Goddess of the Sacred Land, a tribal deity identified with sovereignty, territory, Queenship, fertility, and war.  Again from Coru Cathobodua, “…Her war-bringing and martial functions arise[ing] out of this sovereignty function when the territorial integrity of the tribal land was threatened.” 3 She is often associated and conflated with Her Sister-Goddesses; and they are often regarded as other aspects of Her:  Badb Catha, “battle crow,” Macha, “a plain,” and Nemain, “frenzy and terror,” amongst others.

As the Washer at the Ford, the Morrigan cleans the clothes and weapons of those warriors who are about to die in battle.  By choosing who—and what—will die, she assists souls and ideas into the Cauldron of Rebirth, a place of transformation and rest before reincarnation. Death is but one part of the great Cycle of Life:  Birth, Death, and Rebirth.  Death is a natural part of life.

The Morrigan is the embodiment of the patriarchy’s fear of women’s innate powers:  prophesy, magick, sensuality, passion, and the Sacred Dark. She advises us to live our Truth with authenticity and integrity, from a place of power-within.  She reminds us that the Dark is just as important as the Light; that chaos is just as necessary as order.  She prompts us to flow with life, relying on our inner strength to withstand any test, every battle.  She sets right what is wrong and brings empowerment to all Her people.

Her Correspondences include:

Animals:  Cows, Eels, Horses, Hounds, Jackals

Appellations:  Battle Raven, Dark Death Goddess, Great Queen, Lady of Magick, Phantom Queen, Prophetess of Battle, Queen of Battle, Queen of Shadows, Raven Mother, Sun of Womanhood, the Washer at the Ford

Attributes and Powers:  Battle; Birth, Death, and Rebirth: the Cycle of Life; Fate; Fertility; Magick; Prophesy; Queenship; Regeneration; Renewal; Sacred Land; Shapeshifting; Sorcery; Sovereignty; Territory; Transformation; War

Birds:  Crow or Raven, which She shapeshifts into to engage with the battlefield and/or guide souls at birth and death as a Psychopomp; a Falcon who guides a Healer or Priestess-Shaman through Initiation; Vultures; Owls

Colors:  Red and Black

Elements:  Earth, Fire, and Water (especially freshwater lakes and rivers)

Foods: Ale, Apples, Mead, Milk, Red-colored foods, Red wine, Water, Whiskey

Herbs and Plants: Belladonna, Blackthorn, Dragon’s blood, Henbane, Juniper berries, Mugwort, Nightshades (all), Rosemary, Thyme, Willow, Yew

Lunar Phase:  All, but especially the Dark Moon

Seasons:  All, but as Queen, the Autumn, the time of reaping and harvest

Stones: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Jet, Moonstone, Obsidian, Quartz, Ruby

Symbols: Arcs, Blood (especially menstrual blood—a symbol of both life and death), Chevrons, Coils, Interlinking triangles, Inverted triangle (Earth Element glyph), Skulls, Three interlinking lines, a V

Time of Day:  All, but especially the Night

Weapons: Athame, Knife, Shield, Spear, Sword

Sisterhood of the Moon’s Sisterhood of the Sacred Veil “Dark Moon of the Morrigan” Ritual, April 2015

Picture courtesy of Priestess Sabrina Moon


A Dark Moon Ritual for Sovereignty

Ritual Intent 

I am valuable, powerful, and courageous.  I willingly release those things that no longer serve me, stepping easily and effortlessly into my power-within as a sovereign being, Queen of my own realm.


Use a black cloth for the base.  In the West, place a red cloth to symbolize the Washer at the Ford.  Set a large bowl filled with water upon the red cloth.  Then, place Her Sacreds near the center of the altar: in the East: sword, in the South: spear, in the West: cauldron, in the North: stone.


Materials needed:

·        Sage (or another purifying herb that you prefer)

·        A black feather (ideally from a Crow or Raven)

·        A black candle

·        Your Journal and something to write with

·        A large bowl with water

·        A red candle

·        Cakes and Ale (i.e., something small to eat and drink); have a libation ready in your ritual chalice (water, red juice, red wine, or mead)


Ritual Outline

·        Purification 

Light the sage to purify yourself and your ritual space.  Use the black feather to waft the smoke around, and say, I bless this place in the name of the Great Queen.  In the Morrigan’s name let all energies that do not serve me tonight depart!


·        Ground, Center, and Cast your Circle


  Invoke the Morrigan:

Great Queen, Battle Raven, Lady of Magick!
  I, Your Daughter, call to you—
  You are inside me

You Who are birth and life and death

You Who are rebirth and renewal
  You Who are transformation and regeneration
I call You here tonight for guidance, for wisdom, for assistance
  Teach me how to let go,
To wash away those things that no longer serve
Take those things that keep me from stepping up fully—
  Into my Whole Self, into my Full Power, into my Sovereignty
Help me to ascend the Throne as Queen of my own life
  Sun of Womanhood, Battle Raven, Healer Queen!
Help me to accept the challenge of this transformation
  Shape-shifter—Help me to flow like Your sacred waters,
  to make the changes that need to be made
  Help me to become my Full, Whole, Queen Self
Great Lady, I call You on this Dark Moon night
I call You from my heart.
Come to me, come to me, come to me
  Be here now!

·        Between the Worlds

Allow yourself to sense the presence of the Morrigan.  Breathe with Her.  Visualize Her blood running through your veins.  Know that you are a part of Her; you are Goddess.  Feel your power-within, your strength, your courage.  When you are ready, stand. 


Speak your intentions to the Morrigan from your heart and conclude by saying, I light this candle to you, O Morrigan.


·       Contemplation

Sit comfortably at your altar and consider:  All parts of us are right and valid, whether we consider and define those parts as Dark or Light.  However, sometimes we outgrow and no longer need certain roles and qualities.  Now, spend some time contemplating your roles and the qualities you exhibit in them.  What would you change?  What would you keep the same?  What aspects of yourself do you love?  What aspects do you dislike?  What roles and reactions are you ready to set down as no longer serving you?  What qualities do you love about yourself?  What qualities do you dislike?  What qualities that you exhibit are not the real, authentic you?  Journal your answers.


·        Banishing

You now become the Morrigan in Her guise as the Washer at the Ford.  As the Washer, you choose what will die.  Decide now what parts of you must transform in order for you to be reborn as Sovereign Queen of your own life.


Dance, sing, and drum around your altar, around the Cauldron of Rebirth. Call out loud those roles you no longer wish to play, those roles you wish to change.  Call out those aspects of yourself that you wish to transform.  Call out those qualities within that no longer serve you.  You may wish to sing this song by ALisa Starkweather, which can be heard here:


Fire transform me,

Bring me to my passion4


·        Washing

Now go to the West and bathe your hands in the bowl like the Morrigan as Washer Woman.  Wash away those things that do not serve your Queen-Self.  Put into the water those things that you wish to put to death, to be transformed and reborn. As you are washing, sing this song, adapted from ALisa:


Water transform me,

Bring me to my passion

When you are ready, dry your hands on the red cloth.


·       Calling Forth/Filling the Void

The Morrigan is the source of life, death, and transformation, regeneration and renewal. Call out now those things you admire, like, and love about yourself.  Name your powers!  Own your Queenship!  After naming aloud each quality or thing, chant loudly:  I AM!  Now, light your red candle to illuminate your way into the transformations you willingly chose.  Aloud, witnessed by Goddess, name yourself as Queen of your own realm.


·       Cakes and Ale

Cakes:  Take up your cake and bless it, asking for Morrigan’s gifts to become manifest in you.

Ale: Take up your chalice and speak aloud the Blessing of the Morrigan: 


Peace to the sky

Sky to the Earth

Earth beneath sky

Strength in all of us

So mote it be!


·       Opening the Circle/Giving Gratitude to the Morrigan and the Elements

Open your Circle, ground, and spend a few moments sending healing loving energy into the Sacred Earth that sustains us. 

It is done; it is done; it is done, done, done!


Sisterhood of the Moon’s Sisterhood of the Sacred Veil “Dark Moon of the Morrigan” Ritual, April 2015

Picture courtesy of Priestess Sabrina Moon


Sources Cited:

 1:  Ár nDraíocht Féin:  A Druid Fellowship (ADF):
2:  Coru Cathobodua:  A Morrigan Priesthood:
3:  Ibid
4:  ALisa Starkweather—Priestess, Teacher, and Red Tent Temple Movement founder:
Additional Sources Consulted:
Feminism and Religion (affiliated with the Women’s Studies and Religion program at Claremont Graduate University):
MBAS - Senistrognata - Celtic Reconstructionism:
The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids:
Wood, Gail:  Sisters of the Dark Moon:  13 Rituals of the Dark Goddess.   Llewellyn Publications, 2001.

This page is the intellectual and creative property of Lady Jesamyn Angelica.


June 2015