The Morrigan in Celtic Mythology

The Morrigan was a renowned Celtic goddess associated with war, destiny and fertility. She first appeared in the Ulster Cycle, one of four collections of Irish mythology. Legends were peppered with stories of her shapeshifting powers, as both a single and triple goddess. 

Most commonly associated with transforming herself into a raven, she was said to have battled with the fearsome warrior, Cú Chulainn in the forms of a heifer, an eel and a female wolf. When Cú Chulainn eventually realised that he had been mortally wounded, he tied himself to a large stone so that he could die standing up, face to face with his enemies. There he remained for three days, still capable of striking fear into his foes. No one dared approach him. It was only when the Morrigan, in the form of a raven, perched on Cú Chulainn's shoulder that his enemies knew he had finally passed away.

Oweynagat (The Cave of the Cats) at Rathcroghan in County Roscommon features in many Celtic stories and was said to be the home of the Morrigan as well as the link to the Otherworld...it was a particularly busy thoroughfare around the festival of Samhain (Hallowe'en)!

A common thread that weaves its way through the legends was the Morrigan's formidable strength and power.  It was believed she could inspire warriors to call upon their own inner strength, to conquer fear and to achieve greatness. 

 

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