Talk:The Morrígan

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Morgana le Fay[edit]

Ack, there is no relationship between the Morrígan and Morgan/Morgana/Morgain le Fay. It is in fact not possible, linguistically, to relate the names; Morgain's name goes back to the Muir/Mor root having to do with the sea. The idea that they were related was last argued by Lucy Allen Paton in her 1960 book on fairies in Arthurian literature, but she didn't really read Old French, and had neither Irish nor Welsh. Rachel Bromwich in Triodd Ynys Prydain, and Angelique Gulermovich have both demonstrated fairly thoroughly that the two figures are not related. As to the members of the Morrigau triad . . . there are four, depending on the text you read; Nemain is sometimes attached as a sobriquet of Macha, and sometimes, of Badb. And then, just to make things really interesting, there are either three or four Machas . . .

The entry's text continues to read "There have been attempts to link the Arthurian witch, Morgan le Fay, with Mórrígan," which slyly preserves the air of Wikipedian neutrality, while undercutting the alleged connection. A neutral disambiguation of the situation, in the form of a report on the conclusions of named mythographers (not just our various personal preference) would be very welcome in this entry. Keep the reader in mind. --Wetman 04:24, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

RE: Morgana: I don't believe that I am quite as well-read as all of you on the subject, but as I understand it Morgan le Fey was a mortal, Arthur's half-sister. It seems a bit silly to even make the comparison between one of the old gods and a character who was born around the same time as Arthur himself. A more likely Arthurian link might be Queen Mab. --Solacium Christiana 14:09, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

That seems fairly reasonable, but don't forget that an ignorant Angle might confuse the two names, and so they could became interrelated very easily. Also, Nimue sounds like Nemhain and Vivian like Bedb. Just playing the devil's advocate. ---G.T.N. (talk) 18:35, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I recall that Carlo Ginzburg mentions a Morgan le Fay / Fata Morgana link between Celtic literature and Sicilian folklore. Without the book in front of me I can't say for certain, but I seem to remember he was citing this as a well-known oddity of cultural dispersion, since it is known that Sicily had almost no direct contact with the Celtic world over a very long time period. I seem to remember though that he stated this connection between the two names was well-established, and that folkloric similarities surrounding the names meant it could not be put down to coincidence; this was, rather seen as evidence of early, perhaps proto-Celtic dispersion.
I hope I haven't misrepresented Ginzburg too badly; he definitely discusses these names, though. Somewhere in Ecstasies. Fuzzypeg 22:47, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I haven't heard that, but it would make sense. There's quite a bit of evidence of the British Celts coming from Iberia, and that's not too far from Sicily. Also, there was a lot more long-distance travel in the ancient world than the ancients are often given credit for. Let me know when you find the reference. ---G.T.N. (talk) 20:13, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Morrigan Aensland[edit]

Recommend that it be expanded and turned into its own article. Most of the Darkstalkers characters have their own pages, and aside from the name, Morrigan Aensland has no real connection with the historical/mythological Morrigan.--Mitsukai 17:38, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I have revised my etymological entries regarding the name of this deity by making them more concise and citing all my 7 academic sources within the two sentences of the paragraph. I am glad others are starting to notice the subjectivity of this page. It would be better, I think, to say that x, y and z hold that Morrigan is parallel with Morgana than to say Morrigan = Morgana To all those with tendencies toward druidic animistic philosophy, I say: may the Nightmarish Queenly Spirit possess us all when we do battle! Sincerely: User:GeoffMGleadall.

Do we have to have the convoluted and ultra-linked sentence elucidating systematic diachronic phonological sound change in Celtic proto-linguistics complete with six external links, on every page with an etymology? --Nantonos 3 July 2005 16:35 (UTC) Yes, Valley God, we do. How else I am to concisely substantiate my edits with authoritiative sources? Style is a personal thing, isn't it? User:GeoffMGleadall I'm certainly not complaining about citing references, quite the opposite. My comment was about the unnecessarily convoluted wording. (-on- btw is not restricted to theonyms) --Nantonos 13:05, 17 July 2005 (UTC) In fact I am seeing similar language on other pages: a combination of over-linked verbiage (summary: linguistics exists, yes we know) coupled with a lack of specifics of the actual etymology (summary: entries in a list tell me that...). It would be better to cite the specific roots.

The Old English derivation for an Old Irish name is totally bogus. --Nantonos 22:20, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

It's not an Old English derivation, it's a proposed Indo-European derivation illustrated with an Old English cognate. --Nicknack009 09:15, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Both spellings "Morrígan" and "Mórrígan" appear in Old Irish. I believe they occur about equally in frequency, but even if not, accent marks are far from consistently applied in the Old Irish period. Why then assert that the spelling "Mórrígan" is "less accurate"? Is this done simply because "Phantom Queen" is currently the more popular explanation of the meaning of the theonym? Croman mac Nessa 10:56, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

This would be really worthwhile information to add to the article. Can you cite some sources so I can add it in?  Fuzzype talk  23:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Hallo, Fuzzypeg. I'm not as active on the internet as I used to be, so I have only just found your comment on my Talk page (mirrored here); gabh mo leisgeul. By all means, DIL gives a number of examples with references, and attributes the "Phantom Queen" etymology to Whitley Stokes (Revue Celtique xii, 128, published 1891) and Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville (ibid. xxix, 125, published 1908). As I noted previously, this is the more popular etymology at present (amongst Old Irish scholars, at least), but "more popular" does not always equal "more accurate," and academia seems to change preferred theories on various subjects every two decades or so. From the way DIL puts it, it might seem that the spelling "Mórrígan" dates only from the Middle Irish period, but two of the Middle Irish texts referenced for this spelling include Lebor Laignech, which features both spellings, and Lebor na hUidre, which is the oldest extant surviving manuscript in any form of Irish (Old, Middle, or otherwise). I would also suggest consulting the scholars of OLD-IRISH-L for further information, as they will have access to resources I currently do not have access to (I'm no longer subscribed to that list, since, as I noted above, I'm not as active on the net as I once was --- although I readily admit that I do miss being active on that list and interacting with some of the people there). Croman mac Nise / Crommán mac Nessa / Cromán mac Neasa (talk) 15:30, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've tried to incorporate the sources you supply into the article. You might want to have a look and see how I went... Fuzzypeg 03:05, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

"MORRHIGWEN" (Mor-rhig-uan)'Mighty River Lady' trible place Glen Morrhiguan-(south wales,the river seven).She had three daughters "BETH" the deity of Life (as in Clan Mac Beth),"NANAIN" or "MEATH" the deity of Love,"FEA" the deity of Death (the wife of "Ossain" or "Odin" the posible association that "Morrhiguan" has with war).The crow (BADB) or the ravan (BREN) is the trible emblem. User:Taran Morrhigwen Uicć 11:15am, 17 August 2007. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The meaning of a name will depend on what languege you speek or write in e.g Gaelic "Ogham" ( the Beech tree! ) or Nordic "Runes" ( NUIN the Ash tree or LUIS the Rowan tree! ).In the past when some one has carved words into wood or stone spelling mastakes are difficult to remove.{ "!*?'!" } User:Tyran Morrhigwen Uicć 2:30pm, 17 August 2007. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Other Names[edit]

There really are a lot of names attached to "Morrígan". Is there any consensus on how best to approach this? The article should note at least some of the alternate names attested in the early modern literature, such as "Anann", "Bé Néit", and so forth. Whateley23 11:19, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

It seems to me that, as "Morrígan" is currently seen by most scholars as the older and more accurate name, that this article should be retitled "Morrígan", with the "Mórrígan" spelling redirecting here. --Kathryn NicDhàna 02:13, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Go for it. I'd also remove "otherworld queen" as a translation - the *mor element is about scariness, nothing to do with the "otherworld", and the Morrígan as a character is not particularly associated with the "otherworld" in any of the stories. --Nicknack009 09:33, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Just checked - Morrígan already exists as a redirect page, so the move function wouldn't work. There's probably a way of doing it, but I don't know what it is. I removed the "otherworld queen" translation and made a few minor tweaks to the text. --Nicknack009 10:00, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I thought that Clark listed "otherworld queen" as one of the meanings, but I looked today and could not find it. Sorry for the brain-glitch. That'll teach me to edit from memory only, late at night. I'll look into some other way of switching which page is the main and which is the redirect. --Kathryn NicDhàna 23:50, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

OK, the move and redirects seem to be working. This is the first time I've moved and redirected, though, so a more experienced Wikipedian may want to make sure I didn't screw any of it up. --Kathryn NicDhàna 00:06, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

They must have changed things since I last tried to do something like that. Hopefully it'll last. --Nicknack009 13:09, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Merger[edit]

The Guises of The Morrigan seems to be about a specific book, while the Mórrígan page is about the deity which is the subject of that book. A redirect or merger would not, therefore, seem appropriate. However, general material from the book could be cited on the Mórrígan page and The Guises of The Morrigan should link to Mórrígan for further information about the subject matter. --Nantonos 13:05, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

The stuff before Etymology[edit]

This stuff needs to be radically changed or deleted, as it is completly baffling to one who is not well versed in this subject, and it is not in the proper style for wikipedia. (For instance: "The "War-Goddess" confusion probably stems from early scholastic Classicist ideology from over 130 years ago in one article written by Hennesey, which was imposed upon non-Classical Gods. There is, quite simply, no unquestionable evidence, or documentation, in which She can be claimed to be a "War-Goddess" par excellence. If She were, in fact, the War-Goddess par excellence, one would correctly expect to find the Badb, Macha, Nemhain trio as a mandate, without exception! But, this is not the case. In fact, we note many discrepencies between the "sisters" associated with this Goddess."

This is not good. This not NPOV. This uses jargon (What is a 'mandate' in this sense?). Moreover it goes on for seven paragraphs, far too long for what should be an introduction.

But that is just my opinion. Since I am not well versed in this subject I will leave it for two weeks for people more knowledgeable to defend it, fix it, or whatever. After that week I will take matters into my own hands. Furius 04:06, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I've replaced the introduction (an incoherent lot of nonsense added by an anonymous user) with a briefer one and added a section on her narrative appearances. I've tried to keep interpretation to a minimum and offer plain facts as far as possible. There may be no "unquestionable evidence" that the Mórrígan was a war goddess (in fact there's no unquestionable evidence she was a goddess at all) but aside from Keating's association of her with Ériu, Banba and Fódla I can't think of any reason to regard her as an "earth goddess", a genius loci or a sovereignty goddess, and the anonymous writer offers no evidence or argument from the sources, but merely asserts it in line with his/her opinion that all "Celtic goddesses" were "earth goddesses", which is completely insupportable. I haven't removed the cleanup tag yet: probably best to wait for any reactions. --Nicknack009 09:13, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

WiccanWade, I assume you're the same person as the anonymous user who first added the stuff I rewrote. I'll say again, what you've written is both wrong in lots of ways and incoherently written. You've written it as an indignant response to a statement you've removed, with the effect that it doesn't make sense and is heavily POV. An encyclopedia article cannot be written as one side in a dispute, the other side being absent. The arguing goes on on the talk page.

Now for some criticism of the content. It is simply false to say that all Celtic goddesses are earth goddesses, and wrong again to conclude from that the Morrigan is also an earth goddess. Both assertions, I assume from your username, stem from modern/Wiccan interpretations that bear little relation to the medieval sources. The only connection I can think of between the Morigan and the earth is that two places, Armagh and Emain Macha, are named after Macha, who is closely associated with the Morrigan in the texts. The Morrigan does not confer kingship and therefore is not a sovereignty goddess; such goddesses are plentiful, but the Morrigan is not one of them and has nothing in common with them other than being female. She is not (unlike Macha) associated with a particular place and is therefore not a genius loci.

You discount the Morrigan's apearance in the Tain as a clerical redaction, but what else is there? The only evidence we have for her is clerical, and the Tain is, as far as I can tell, the earliest narrative text in which she appears. The Tain Bo Regamna takes place earlier in narrative terms, but is a later text than the Táin Bó Cuailnge, and in fact the Morrigan's threats in TBR are based on her actions in TBC. The two texts are of a piece.

You also can't say that, because the supposed triple nature of the Morrigan is inconsistent, she can't be a war goddess. That's a complete non sequitur. I addressed that inconsistency in my rewrite, which you've wiped. Where we may have some common ground is that it's impossible to take any Irish mythological figure and sum them up in a simple phrase like "war goddess". All you can do is say they appear to be a god or goddess and note the activities and functions they are associated with, and in the Morrigan's case war is clearly one of them.

The Morrigan is associated in many of the texts, as you have quite rightly, if incoherently, added, with cattle. However, as you also point out, cattle raiding was the main form of warfare. She is also associated with war and with death on the battlefield. She can change her appearance. She is associated most strongly with the Badb, with whom she is virtually interchangeable in most of the texts, who is a deification of the carrion crows who feed on the dead after a battle. She is also associated with Nemain, also a war deity. It is frankly absurd to say the only reason the Morrigan is considered a war goddess is an article by Hennessy - all you have to do is read the sources.

I'm going to rewrite this again, to restore NPOV as far as possible and to improve the quality of writing. If you disagree with any of my alterations, come here and discuss it. If you simply revert it without a word I will report you to the admins as a vandal. --Nicknack009 09:30, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

That was quick! Thank goodness! Furius 10:04, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Don't speak too soon. I've tried to accommodate "earth goddess" interpretations in my latest rewrite (for NPOV purposes, although I think they're wrong), but WiccanWade may simply revert it to his version again. --Nicknack009 11:22, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

What'd I tell you? I've reverted and referred the matter for a third opinion. I've also restored the "cleanup" tag and added an "NPOV" one. With a bit of luck that'll bring a few more people into this discussion. --Nicknack009 22:22, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Nicknack009: I am new to Wikipedia, and am getting a handle on the "Editing" business, and have merely discovered this discussion formus. Please note that it would be an unfortunate mistake were you to delete it, based upon the unsupported War-Goddess model that far too many people have leached on to. Now, I am a modern Pagan, pure and simple, and my purpose here is to correct a bit of "irony,m" if you will. Here's a generic occurance that I all-to-often observe: Many modern Pagans reject, out of hand, any recent academic research re: the Goddess which sinks the out-dated War-Goddess model. However, they foirget that it was one scholar, over 130 years ago, who made her such a Goddess to begin with! Quite ironic, wouldn't you agree?
Anyway, I do not state what I have, lightly. And, if you would only reference to the sources I cite before drawing a conclusion. It is also paramount that you understand that history, and mythoilofy, is not really made up of facts at all, but of interpretations! And, that it what I have relied upon: the most recent academic research in their field by noted Irish scholars.
The Celtic Gods cannot be boxed in to Classical moulds as the Greek and Romans Gods are. Indeed, Celtic inter-tribal religion seems to revolved around that between the Tribal-God and the Land-Goddess, according to scholars (see Cunliffe, particularly). Indeed, according to other scholars, such as Anne Ross and Miranda Green, all "Celtic Goddesses were essentially Earth-Goddesses and had fecundity functions, etc.
No, my friend, my assertion that She is an Earth-Goddess does not stem from my religious pursuasions, but from academia: She is often identified AS (rather than equated with) the Irish Mother-Goddess Anann, in many texts, as well as having a pair of hills named after Her breasts, Da Chich na Morrigna. Even Her aspect as the Badb, as a known Irish Banshee, is definately linked with the Earth-Goddess tradition, according to scholar Patricia Lysaght, alongside others such as Aine. The Classicist imposition, so prevailent amopngst many in the English-speaking world, is a modern one.
RE: Her Sovereignty-function, it is generally inteprated as so in the mating with the King of the Truatha de Danann, the Daghdha, as well as in Her changing from youth to Hag, to be brief. Indeed, the Sovereign-Goddess function is also an out-growth of Her as an Earth-Goddess, as many, many, other Irish Goddesses were (see Green, Clark, Herbert, Lysaght and Ross for further research).
RE the Genius Loci: Aside for the hills named for Her breasts, She is named for a great many places, such as: Gort na Morrigan [the Garden of the Morrigan], there is a well named after the Badb, and Her home is a famous cave in Roscommon known as "the Cave of the Cat". There are also two places around the Boyn Valley knwon as "the Bed of the Couple" and "the Comb & the Caskett of the Dagda's Wife". These are merely to name very few.
RE the TBR: According to Irish prof. of early & Medieval Irish, Maire Herbert, "What we [read in the TBC], however, seems to be merely derivative narrative, the verbal conflict of the previous tale [the TBR] rewritten for heroic effect." Indeed, the TBR is accepted amongst academia as what is known as a "Fortale".
Nicknack009 writes, "You also can't say that, because the supposed triple nature of the Morrigan is inconsistent, she can't be a war goddess. That's a complete non sequitur." Actually, I can, as prof. Maire herbert has. And, she makes a good point. After all, if She truly *were* a War-Goddess par excellence, one would assume that Her "sisters" would be rather stationary, rather than noting so many various discrepancies. Indeed, to quote prof. Herbert, "If we accept the Lebor Gabala verson of their relationship [as alledged Goddess of War], we should then expect to find these three supernatural females featuring together in other sources. Yet this is not the case. Their association as a triad occurs only in one late, and evidently derivative, narrative."
Now, as far as functions are concerned, no, war does not appear to be one of the Morrighan's functions, absed upon recent academia. Her main function, while I am thinking about it, would be fertility, as an Earth-Goddess.
Yes, the Morrighan is associated with Cattle [the Irish concept of wealth, etc.], but as far as that is concerned, She is generally not re: as a Goddess associateed with the Cattle-Raid. That honour goes to Medb, Whom should be associated as the War-Goddess par excellence above all. It is methodologically inexcusible to refer to the Morrighan as a "War-Goddess" (period). This belies the complexity of Her nature and function. Nor as Memain's "War-Goddess" status been proven. This is usually as a result of the etymology of Her name, which cannot be interprated on severe phonological reasons. Indeed, the only reason the Morrighan is considered to be a War-Goddess is due to Hennesey's article! Indeed, the terminology os most frequent use by modern scholars seems to be "Tutelary-Goddess" rather than the blanket statement, and undefined term, "War-Goddess". Can you imagine how scholars might concieve of Her had the earliest scholars had defined Her as a Tutelary-Goddess rather than War-Goddess? That's a siple expercise in quantum philosophy.
- Copyright 2005 —Preceding unsigned comment added by WiccanWade (talkcontribs) 18:23, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

Glad to see you're discussing matters now, and I hope we can come to a satisfying consensus. As I've said, I think there's more to the war interpretation than Hennessy's article, which I haven't read, but I agree that the Mórrígan is too complex to sum up in one line as a "war goddess" (something that applies to all Irish presumed gods, and, I think, classical gods as well - can Zeus be summed up as a "thunder god"?). However I think an association with war is a valid interpretation of the texts and a widely held opinion, and shouldn't be removed or dismissed because the scholars you prefer disagree. If there's a difference of opinion, report all sides and try and retain a neutral point of view. I've tried to represent the "earth goddess" interpretation in the article, but because I disagree with it I probably haven't done it justice - perhaps you'd like to make adjustments to ensure your side of the argument is better represented? --Nicknack009 23:31, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Actually, it would be inaccuate to Classify all Irish Gods as War-Gods. Generally, it is more respectible to define Them as Tutelary-oddesses and Gods. Indeed, this seems toi be the current scholastic consensus, these days.
Indeed, the Dumzilian Indo-European tripartite system, which concieves of a War-God/dess as one of three functions, has had his fallacious methods and reasoning soundly refuted by one Momigliano for over 20 years, as I recall.
Also, it should be understood that these are not just the scholars I prefe, but also scholars widely acknowledged as experts in their field, and have even been widely regarded by other noted Celtivc scholars, such as Miranda Green, whom dited the book in which their article appears.
Unfortunately, nuetrality is probably not as possible as you hope, simply due to the theoretical nature of the subject matter at hand, my friend (theories and all *G*). --WiccanWade
- Copyright 2005 —Preceding unsigned comment added by WiccanWade (talkcontribs) 20:37, August 7, 2005 (UTC)
It is not obvious to me why this page needs cleanup (in fact, it strikes me as a particularly good article as it now stands). Nor does there seem to be any particular POV problem. If the entire disagreement is over the label "war goddess", I'd suggest that the disputed tag be used instead. Some inline citation is already in use in the article, so one course of action may be to cite inline references for (and against) such an interpretation, thereby removing the need for any tag whatsoever. Jkelly 07:02, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

I have a question why is this passage in Morrigan's article?

>In a 9th century manuscript containing the Latin Vulgate translation of the Book of Isaiah, the word Lamia is used to translate the Hebrew Lilith.[1]

I would like someone tell me how this has to do with Morrigan? I can see the first sentence, about Morrigan's Latin translation, but Lamia is Greek,(A monster in Greek mythos that is compared to the Demon Lilith, still nothing that is Morrigan.) Lilith a Hebrew demon. And when I saw the refrence it was to something of Lilith's, a passage in Isaiah referring to her, not a mention of Morrigan.

Xuchilbara 03:49, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

The sentence immediately following the one you've quoted answers your question. --Nicknack009 12:56, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

"Former" Goddess?[edit]

Pardon my ignorance, but is this really correct? Does not sound entirely correct, but I may be missing something. --Mceder 04:40, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

The Mórrígan was no longer considered, or worshipped as, a goddess by the time her stories as we have them were written down. Reading between the lines, she almost certainly was one in earlier times, but we've no record from those earlier times. In most cases in Irish mythology, deciding who was and who wasn't a deity is a matter of interpretation and inference. --Nicknack009 09:04, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

That's because the people who wrote down the stories were Christian monks, not pagans. However, at the time the stories, for example the Tain, take place in, she would still have been a deity, and does in fact exhibit god-like powers during the course of the narrative. She has not diminished into a non-divine folk figure the way Welsh Rhiannon or Russian Baba-Yaga have. Personally, I think referring to her as a former goddess just confuses things. All gods who are part of a dead religion become "former" gods by your definition, take Odin for example. He is no longer worshipped and was not worshipped at the time when the myths surrounding him were recorded, but no one refers to him as being a "former" diety.Celsiana 05:28, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Exactly - but those stories written by Christian monks are the only sources we have, and have to be interpreted. There is no certainty in Irish mythology. There are some (eg TF O'Rahilly) who would claim that characters depicted as entirely mortal like Cormac mac Airt were gods, and others who insist that the Tuatha Dé Danann were not gods, but mortals with magical powers from a "golden age", or Danes, or the Biblical Tribe of Dan. I think it's best to represent what the texts say and keep interpretation to a minimum and clearly marked as such. I agree that the Morrígan's appearances in the texts show all the signs of divinity, but they don't call her a goddess - unlike Odin, who is described and treated as a god in surviving Norse texts. --Nicknack009 09:28, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
in Tochmarc Emire, we are told that the Morrígan is the wife of Néit, and that "úair is inand Néid 7 día in chatha" ("for Neit is the same as God of Battle"). as Epstein says (pp.52-53 of the electronic edition), "It is worth noting that while this text is fairly late, tenth century at the earliest, when the Irish would have been Christians for at least four hundred years, she is clearly depicted as a deity of their past." similarly, Cormac's Glossary gives us, "Néid .i. día catha la geinti Góideal. Nemon uxor illius .i. a ben sin." ("Néit, i.e. a god of battle the pagan Irish have. Nemain is his wife.") Nemain, of course, is identified with Morrígan in numerous contexts. further, Danann, whose name is also associated with Morrígan (Anann and Danann are two variants of a name given to her in some texts) is the "mother of the gods", where "gods" here specifically refers to Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharba. she could hardly be mother of gods if she weren't one herself. so, while the term is not specifically applied to her in any extant text, it seems overly pedantic to insist that this means that she wasn't seen as a goddess (albeit a "false" one) by the Christianized monks writing about her. Whateley23 00:57, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. I think it would be appropriate to list her as a goddess. --Kathryn NicDhàna 03:46, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Then how do you explain Badb, Macha & Nemain? And not all parts in the article are edited to "former Goddess" status.Xuchilbara 03:13, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Just noticed this in a different connection, but Seathrún Céitinn apparently lists Badhbh, Macha, and Móirríoghan as goddesses[1] (can't quote the Irish version, because apparently CELT's ftp server's down). It's a late source of course, but still "a text"... Q·L·1968 10:24, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the "never referred to as a Goddess" part at the beginin, someone just above here quotes part of "Tochmire Emire" but leaves out the part before what he or she quotes the whole line is: "H-i Ross Bodbo .i. na Morrighno, ar iss ed a ross-side Crich Roiss & iss i an bodb catha h-i & is fria id-beurur bee Neid .i. bandee in catæ, uair is inann be Neid & dia cathæ." My understanding is that "bandee" translates as "goddess." Also in stanza 5 of poem 500 in The Metrical Dindshenchas "Moch dia m-boí 'na codlud Odras groc-dub gnóach, dosrocht ben in Dagda, ba samla día sóach." is translated as "As busy dark-wrinkled Odras was sleeping in the early morning the Dagda's wife found her: in this wise came the shape-shifting goddess" although it seems "dia" would be "god" not "goddess" usually? Epstein does quote these both as evidence that she was considered to have been a goddess. Also that in Rennes Dindshenchas 111 Magh mBregh shows the only reference where she is prayed to. So I may be wrong but I think the first paragraph should say that there were two references to her being a goddess. I've got no clue as to how to edit references or even if I'm doing this right her but I figured it was safer to stick to the talk page and let those with experience decide anyway. Foxshadow (talk) 06:13, 16 December 2009 (UTC)


First thing: according to most modern, reputible, scholars, the most accurate translation of her epithet is "Great Queen"; proto-Irish linguistics make the "Phantom Queen" or "Nightmare Queen" etymologies untenible. Then, I have had to ommit the claim that there was no evidence for The Morrighan being referred to as a Goddess-- this is simply ignorant! She is frequently designated as such more than once throughout the insular narrative literature; there is also ample, identical, evidence for her having been a figure of both worship and prayer. Such a reductionist stance is equally as untenible as the prior. Sorry...but, that's the way the bough breaks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by MacMorrighan (talkcontribs) 21:22, November 2, 2006

Nonsense. If you have any cites proving the "phantom" interpretation "untenible" then cite them. If she's she's exlicitly called a goddess (small g) or shown as the object of worship and prayer in the texts, then cite them. Otherwise, you are just declaring wishful-thinking neo-pagan dogma, which is POV and has no place here. --Nicknack009 22:22, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Wade, you have previously devoted yourself to trashing Wikipedia articles, and numerous message boards, with your POV (contributions as WiccanWade). Do not think you can start a similar campaign here again just because you're doing it under a new account. --Kathryn NicDhàna 22:47, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

In every Pagan book I've read she's listed as goddess, even in a Celtic Shamanism one that has little to do with or nothing to do w/ Neo Paganism. I think there's evidence for her worship. there's a least for her "sister" Badb and their names were sometime used interchangibly. Xuchilbara 03:16, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

If there's evidence, then cite it. Otherwise it's just interpretation, and modern reconstructions of Celtic belief are full of interpretation. The evidence of the glosses and glassaries which I've added (and cited), suggests that in earlier times the name "morrígan" referred to a kind of supernatural being, not an individual, and therefore perhaps not a goddess but something more like the Norse Valkyries, or the later Irish banshees. An interpretation that she was not a goddess is possible from the evidence and has been explored in scholarly works, so it deserves to be here. Modern religious reconstructionsist opinions are not the only ones. --Nicknack009 13:06, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Nick, I agree that modern interpretations can vary considerably, even among the most well-intentioned. I personally regard An Morrígan as a goddess; however, I think it's quite possible, even probable, given the many names associated with An Morrígan, that the name was initially (and still is) just a title, and it's only later that all the myths became associated with a figure who metaphorically or metaphysically contained them all. While I think it's acceptable to regard "An Morrígan" as a name of a particular (multifaceted) being, that interpretation has to coexist with the understanding that it is a title/category. I think this is particularly seen in the work of Lysaght and others who point out that "Badb" is also a common name for many diverse Banshees.
And a point of clarification: (just to have more fun with semantics ;-)) The people doing "Celtic Shamanism" are not Celtic Reconstructionists. All the ones my colleagues and I have encountered are just your standard, newage, Harnerite, neoshamanick types, tacking on Celtic symbolism to what is actually "Core shamanism", not actual Celtic historical practices. [2] [3] --Kathryn NicDhàna (?) 20:18, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Yep Kathryn nailed it, I never said anything about Celtic reconstruction. Well from research i see she, herself, may be a former Goddess, but the triad doesn't seem to be... I don't want to include the Matres cult with the Morrigan, since the cult seemed provelent in other places. [4] [5] The triad is the key here, it was sacred to the Celts. Badb has some goddess claim, it's likely she is the same as the worsipped Gaulish Catubodua, most include her as the same deity. we can probaly at least establish that the Morrigan is a triad of Goddesses, therefore include morrigan as one since she's included in some versions of the Triad and it's named after her. Of course this name could mean only these Goddess in tripilicty. Somewhere, which i have no citation for at the moment, it said that Badb and Morrigan's name were sometimes used interchangilbly and seemed to be the same deity, which would make some sense as they are a part of a Triad togather.

Everywhere I looked I yelded no signs of any former Goddess title, or that she could be just a supernatural being. I found some intresting info. [6] all I could say about beansidhes sometimes being referred to as Badb, etc. It seems to be simiar to I've read, even though we have one Lilith in some cases we see liliths, not to refer to the Lilith herself, but sometimes her children. As opposed to lilim. Or may have a similar connection like Hecate and her Children the Lamia.

Morrigan is referred to as a daugter of a Goddess: Ernmas, not saying it constitutes her explicitly as a Goddess herself though. But I keep seeing a indenfictaion with the Goddess Anann, or that they are referred to as the same person more than once. In one passge it seems she's refered to has Anann and Annan and her are refered to as Danu.[7] Even if Anann is Morrigan, the question becomes if Annan is a goddess herself (which seems so), and if Morrigan is name to refer to several Goddesses at once or Annan's other name or both. This would make her a Goddess in a way.

Xuchilbara 04:09, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

You said "Pagan books". All pagan books are modern reconstructions, whether they subscribe to a belief with the title "Reconstructionist". The sources are the medieval texts, and they are ambiguous, because they were written by Christians several centuries after pagan worship had almost entirely died out. The Christian bias of the writers combined with the unstable nature of oral tradition confuses matters, and it would be factually inaccurate to to claim one interpretation as absolute when others are possible. I'm not arguing she wasn't a goddess, only that the sources are ambiguous. --Nicknack009 19:01, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

none of the sources I cited online in my last statement had anything to do with pagan books or what not, and some of them had to do with evidence such has with Badb and the Mothers cult. true, some sources were written by christian monks but not all, some were written by various conqouers of the Celts or by cultures surrounding them, such as the Romans & vikings. the celtic book i read cited sources that weren't all Christian. Not to mention that some places still have some of their beliefs retained, such has Ireland. since Christianity came relitively late there. It can be seen with the Celtic goddess Brighid to St.Brigid.

Saying that a certin book is not accurate is one thing, making the assumption that ALL celtic books rather they be for spiritual purposes or not, are wrong because of you assuming they all come from Medieval texts is incorrect.(Not saying your'e bashing other Celt sources, just the more spiritual ones true I have read inaccurate celtic books, but the one I am tallking about is not one of them.) I rememeber it talking about the cultures that influenced the diffrent celts.

I would say we know about the Irish Celts probaly more than the British,Gaulish, and Spanish ones. As i've said before christianity came late there and was not easily well recieved, try as they might, the Christians could not snuff out every pagan belief, some beliefs stayed the same while others evolved with the new religon.

Also, the Viking religion and the Celtic one(or some aspects of the Celtic one) are very similar or have some parrells.

We've discovered some things about the Celts, and we are always uncovering new things, like we found out that recently that Stone Henge not only has Solar purposes, but Lunar ones as well & we've also recently found evidence for a sun & moon cult in Europe. Not that it has anything to do with Celts, just a intresting note.

Like I said look at the diffrent Celtic cults, the Matres, the Water cult, and another one I can't rememebr at the moent, there's all archæological evidence for this, but we also take accounts from the Roman empire on these cults among other sources, that are not medieval.

Oh and Roman sources aren't any better than the medieval ones, like human sacrifaces? There's not any evidence of it. Also, comparing Roman gods to Celtic ones is a bit questionable, seeing as opinion varies on the subject.

Xuchilbara 22:40, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Sex goddess?[edit]

"Originally she was a sex goddess." So.. what happened that changed her from a sex goddess to a war goddess? I'm going to put up a fact tag next to it, just because it sounds incredibly out of place with nothing to back it up. Disinclination (talk) 23:47, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I have removed the sex goddess claim as it is out of place and unsourced. Remember to be agressive with your edits. Such a clearly unsourced and unrelated claim should not be tagged, but removed. Feel free to re-insert it with a source in tow.Astraeos (talk) 08:01, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree completely. Our very concept of sex is a modern phenomena, that arouse, sssorry, arose sometime in the 1800s. In Stone Age, and especially the Bronze Age, copulation was intrinsicly connected to reproduction. The theory of Morrigan as a "sex goddess" reminds me of the "theory" that Sheila Na Gigs and Venus figurines were Stone Age porn, due to their extremely dominating vulvas, that Stone Age man used them to ... yes, right, MASTURBATE to! The "sex goddess" thing is very popular among Gardnerian Wiccas, since Alex Gardner introduced the moon-nakedness rituals, something that you do not find anything similiar to in ANY current Stone Age culture (Pacific, Aboriginal, Native American etc.). All DRESS UP for their gods. It is simply an urban myth, but I'm sure the Wiccans, the more Puritan their surrounding society is, find it very rewarding. But to claim that it has soemthing to do with the old Celts, is unfortunately pretty far fetched. Dandru13 20:26, 12 September 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


Since we're talking about a goddess, I fail to see how a glob vaguely resembling a raven (even if the raven is special to the goddess) is really an appropriate picture. Now I am neither a fan of the painter or the type of painting, but it's hardly a clear visual representation of a goddess, which is most important. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Feyre (talkcontribs) 23:48, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

This is not a pagan encyclopedia, and we are not here to provide iconography. The image is relevant to the article and available for use according to Wikipedia's copyright rules. If you have a better one, feel free to add it. --Nicknack009 (talk) 02:20, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The moon[edit]

What I find peculiar about the Morrigan article is the fact the the word MOON is not even mentioned.

Now, first, I must say that I find the constant return to or even fixation on iconoclastic sources when interpreting Pre-Christian times, almost annoying. One supposes that Christian monks around year 800-1300 got it right. Sure, from secretive pagans, that maintained an hierarchy of knowledge (the initiated filli, who went to "bardic school" for 12 years before they could call themselves druids, when they had insight into the nature of the God/desses), and the Celts were probably more secretive than others, and they also considered Christianity their enemy?

What's more, Christianity took over Northern Europe after war, liquidation etc. Leaders and scholars were killed. Much of the iconoclastix was based on "ordinary folks" interpretation of the Celtic lore.

One must also remember that while women had a very strong standing in the Celtic culture, based on the simple fact that Celtic history is full of queens and female deities. In addition The Dark, in a general sense (viz. the blond Jesus, that Africans went from the Norse blåmann (Blue man) to svart (black man)) was bad, light was good, or even in dualism Light was God and Darkness was Satan. Certain things were incomprehensible to the Christian monks, other stuff was unheard of, you simply could not mention it, it was more or less taboo. E.g. it is extremely taboo within a number of Islamic schools to even mention the Pre-Islamic female deity Allāt, simply because she "does not exist", one of the three (yes) goddesses that ruled Mecca.

We must also remember that all other religions were by Christianity compared to their religion, they had a comparative approach. But while the Bible is chronological and tells the story of mankind, the myth as such is to a large degree metaphorical, many myths are on the same level as Genesis, however, the Pagan lore was by Snorri, The Irish monks etc. interpreted as a chronology. That no academic of significance has yet to launch a comprehensive theory that says that there was originally a God/dess, which people were named after (a large percentage of Spain's male population today is called Jesus, and Moslems in general are named after saints and holy men, Ibrahim, Mohammad etc.), is a complete mystery to me. It would certianly change our entire perception of the Celtic lore as "enigmatic" and "inconsistent".

If we remember this, before we start interpreting the Celts in a Christian light, so much the better, and especially if we are talking about The Morrigan, who is female and maybe even of the dark (crows are grey/black or black).

Now, there is general concensus that The Morrigan is a very old goddess, that she may be as old as the stone age, i.e. we are talking perhaps 11 500 years ago. At the time, i.e. the epoch of tribal, nomadic, hunter/gatherer societies, the concept of WAR was an unknown phenomena. Aye, if we look to The Book of Invasions and the landing of the Tuatha de Danaann, battles, at least there and then, were fought between champions, just one man against the other.

Furthermore, I do not subscribe to the mumbo-jumbo of C.G. Jung and his "archetype" concept, I do not believe in any "collective unconsciousness". BUT - is is a fact, however, that today's stone age people (e.g. in the Pacific, intact Native American religions etc.) have a rather small number of gods. They are usually ("primary" or "spontanous" gods:) The Sun, The Moon, The Sea, The Earth, The Forest, The Wind, The River etc.

So IF The Morrigan is an old Stone Age goddess, she simply cannot be a war goddess. I find it much more credible to conclude that the war aspect is of late or even "recent" origin.

IF she is an old goddess, it is thus very likely that she is a "primary" goddess. The article (THE Morrigan) is another indicator of age, btw.

Now, what does the number three signify? Surely it must have some meaning, it must be related to some kind of reality? The fact that The Morrigan is a "triple" goddess, what does it mean? Well, all old Pagan religion are nature religions, noone questions that. That so very few scholars so far have not even bothered to "check" any god or goddess "up against" nature, is therefore another complete mystery to me.

So where do we find the number three in nature? Well, I can't think of anything else but the moon, the Full, the New and the Dark. Ok, I may be wrong, but I am not talking atoms and particles here, I am loking for something that may have been a "spontanous" religious perception, say 5000 BC.

And am I the only one that has noticed the symptomal absence of the moon in (iconoclastic interpretation of) the Norse or the Celtic? Sure, the sun and the day is light and Jesus, the moon and the dark is when all bad things come out, remember that in the fanatiscism of medieval Christianity you could end up on a stake if you were too much out in the dark, sniffing about. So the pre-Christian Pagans did not care about the moon, it was inconsequential to them? I find that very, no extremely hard to believe. Show me a native American tribe that has NOT the moon included in their mythology!

I am therefore inclined to conclude: The Morrigna was a not only a Moon Goddess, she was the moon, and her three aspects were Morrigan (full), Babh (the dark?) and Macha (the new?). She was the Hekate of the North, but because that touches so many Christian iconoclastic taboos, the fact has been missed by most/all scholars.

It explains the grey/black or grey crows and the late war goddess aspect, when she appears as three warrior Goddesses, because which is the first bird to start nibbling on dead bodies? Yes, the crows (and ravens and magpies), they were her birds, coming to "claim what's hers". She became manifest as a war goddess because her birds were right on the job as soon as the battle was over. But that was later, several thousand years probably.

Now, I want reactions on this first before I write in anything, but I give you all a month, hehe a moon! and then I will write in the theory. I am tempted to rewrite the whole article, but I agree on the principle of concensus here, so I can settle for it at least being mentioned.

Dandru13 (talk) 15:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

This is completely unfounded wishful thinking, incoherent circular reasoning, and original research. You simply want the Morrígan to be stone age moon goddess, even though there is no evidence whatsoever of this. The Morrígan is a figure who is first attested in medieval Irish texts. These texts were written by Christians, who removed any original pagan religious connotations. However, we do not know what those religious connotations were. What you have done is to make up some religious connotations and claim that's what the Christians removed. Doesn't work like that. --Nicknack009 (talk) 02:16, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Nicknack. Well, that is another discussion. You are discussing whether the theory is valid or not. What I reacted against was the fact that it was not at all mentioned as a theory. If I were to make a critique of the theories that are written in the article, I might end up with "unfounded wishful thinking, incoherent circular reasoning, and original research" as well, right? As the Morrigan article right now is just as speculative? I simply think that the theory should be introduced. If you find it absurd, fine. But it's not like I am launching a radical new theory here. A quick google, gives you this:

Discuss the matter with you, I'll gladly do, but it was the imbalance I reacted to.

BUT if we shall discuss the matter, I think you should refrain from guessing my intentions. Or should I start guessing yours or questeoning them as dubious? We don't want that, do we?

But I have a macro-point of view that I may rephrase: I think that a general re-read and re-understanding of much of the interpretations of mythology of Northern Europe is necessary. Because I believe that the iconoclastic element prevails still. Until 1950 Snorri told the "truth" about the Vikings, T.S. Rolleston is still quoted by some as an authority etc. So I am much more open to comparative history of religion (including contemporary elements) and analysis of text as text. What does it mean? The question for me is therefore not whether Morrigan was a triple goddess, but why? The word barbarian has been deconstructed. Linguistics is a science. Myths are not random mumbo-jumbo. The Celts were not idiots. Dandru13 (talk) 11:35, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I know we're supposed to assume good faith, but to dismiss a researched, sourced and cited article as "unfounded wishful thinking, incoherent circular reasoning, and original research" while offering up nothing more than a Google search with a Myspace page as its first entry, convinces me you're nothing but a troll. I have no doubt, based on your style and obsessions and complete inability to argue rationally, that you are the same person who has previously posted as WiccanWade and MacMorrighan. Leave this article alone. --Nicknack009 (talk) 18:09, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I see nothing to indicate that this poster is a troll. He's advancing what happens to be original research, and is thus inadmissible to the article, but he's doing so in good faith, based on what is clearly consideration and research. He's not being disruptive or insulting, or anything other than humble. He's also arguing rationally, something that is not always appropriate in wikipedia, where rational arguments presented in an article are considered synthesis.
Regarding Wade MacMorrighan, I have been rather shocked to see how he has been lampooned and made into a laughing-stock in various pagan forums. From everything I've seen, he's a sincere and widely read researcher trying to make sense of what is, you ought to agree, still a controversial and rapidly changing area of historical research. I can't speak for all of his research, but I know that certain areas he's studied cross over with areas I've studied, and while not toeing the party line, (generally Ronald Hutton's party line), he's come to some of the same conclusions I have.
I believe what has happened is that some years back he fell foul of a group of rather caustic Morrighan worshippers who took it upon themselves to make his life hell (probably thinking that because they worship a "war goddess", they're supposed to be misanthropists); since then he has been the celebrity laughing stock of that class of Pagan who treat history as a religion rather than a science and will brook no dissent from the particular dogma they adhere to, and who have no basic sense of honour or shame. This is schoolyard politics, not rational debate. I'm reminded of a friend of mine, a quite famous witch in New Zealand and a very wise woman: "I'm not a pagan!" she says; "I'll never call myself a Pagan. Throughout all the years I've been doing my thing, I've been persecuted by those bloody Pagans. The Christians have been fine, it's the Pagans who are the nasty ones." (paraphrasing a bit).
I'm not expert on the Morrighan, but although she may be first attested (by that name) by medieval Christians, she has been connected with other figures and ideas such as Morgan le Fay and the fata morgana. Carlo Ginzburg mentions such appearances in both Ireland and Sicily as being indicative of a very old mythological idea, since it is known with a high degree of certainty that there was almost no influx of Celtic culture to Sicily for a very long time. I don't believe this is Ginzburg's original idea, but I haven't followed his chain of research any further on this one, the Morrighan not being my particular area of interest. I would suggest, though, that it is possible to have a civil conversation about the possibility of the Morrighan being an ancient goddess. Not here, of course, unless it's discussing published theories of reliable sources, but it's still possible to be civil. The assume good faith policy does not automatically get waived for Wade MacMorrighan, and he's as welcome to make comments here as anyone else. Fuzzypeg 23:30, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Wade writes on the Morrígan without any reference to the texts in which she appears, claims that because Christians removed her religious significance then what he imagines must be what they removed, and dismisses articles based on those texts and on published analyses of them as of less worth than his unfounded opinions, and you call him "humble".
Good faith is not being waived "automatically" because of his activities elsewhere, which I have no knowledge of. It's being finally abandoned based on his track record editing this one article. Read the talk page. I've tried reasoning with him. I've tried meeting him halfway. I've tried to incorporate his viewpoints into the article where cites can be found, and encouraging him to provide more - a section on how modern pagans view the Morrígan might be a worthwhile addition to the article. But he just goes away for a while, comes back under a new sockpuppet username and continues as before, removing cited material he doesn't like and replacing it with uncited speculation. All opinions are not equal. --Nicknack009 (talk) 09:36, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, well, there's a simple rule here, that all information has to be verifiable. That provides an easy response to any edits he attempts to make without providing supporting citations. And if he discusses his own ideas on the talk page without mentioning any supporting references, you can politely tell him that this is not a forum, and original research should be discussed elsewhere. I've dealt with some really persistent and purposely disruptive editors, and I know it's a pain. But from what I've seen, his purpose is not to be disruptive; he just hasn't quite realised that original thought (even if it seems really obvious to him, and even if it's based on well established facts) is not appropriate in Wikipedia, not even on the talk pages. All we discuss here is what the published theories are. If he has some citable information then it may be worth adding to the article. For instance, he says "there is general consensus that The Morrigan is a very old goddess, that she may be as old as the stone age, i.e. we are talking perhaps 11 500 years ago". If he has a source for this it would be an important addition to the article. The rest of his theory is not suitable for including in the article, of course, being original research. Fuzzypeg 23:23, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

The name sounds the Tamil diety Murugan[edit]

This may sound odd to many, but Muruga or Murugan is an ancient Tamil God praised by Tamils for more than 2500 years. I firmly believe there is a lot of connection between Early European and Tamil languages, I collected so many word similarities and listed here, may be it will be usefull for some.English and Tamil similar words. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Malarmisai (talkcontribs) 16:30, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Tuatha de[edit]

Why does this article keep referring to the Tuatha de, instead of the Tuatha de Danann? Tuatha de translates as people of, while Tuatha de Danann, translates as Peoples of the goddess Danu. If you're going to refer to them in short, refer to them as Tuatha, not Tuatha de, which is incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

It's not Tuatha de Danann, it's Tuatha Danann - being genitive of día, god or goddess. Tuatha Dé means "Peoples of the Goddess", which is how they are often referred to in the texts. --Nicknack009 (talk) 17:31, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually in the texts Tuatha Dé means the "People of God" and refers to the Jewish people. The actual creation of the name Tuatha Dé Danann is perhaps not what it has been thought of either: see John Carey, “The Name ‘Tuatha Dé Danann.’” Éigse, Vol. 18 (talk) 00:20, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
That same article points out that Tuatha Dé is a common way of referring to the Tuatha Dé Danann as well, though; as the poster above you says, dé can be interpreted to mean god or goddess. Beurlach (talk) 17:30, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes. The Gods are Irish, not French ;) - Kathryn NicDhàna 20:27, 6 February 2012 (UTC)