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The Kalevala – The Epic Finnish Saga

The Kalevala is truly a gem of Finnish culture, folklore and literature which is one I have been fascinated with for years. It is also perhaps the most famous and republished piece of literature to come out of Finland. The Kalevala is a collection of tales from the creation of the world, stories of Finnish gods and goddesses as well as other figures of the folklore of Finland. I wanted to contribute by sharing this utterly amazing Finnish literature with my readers and explore deeper into its importance and tales. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The first edition of the Kalevala came out in 1835. Elias Lönnrot compiled it from folk poetry recorded into notebooks during his collection trips among poetry singers in 1828–1834. At the time of publication of the Kalevala, Finland was an autonomous grand duchy, and before that, until 1809, Finland was part of the Swedish Kingdom. Especially for Finnish intellectuals, the Kalevala became a symbol of the Finnish past, the Finnish language and Finnish culture, a foundation on which they started to build the fragile Finnish identity. It also aroused much interest abroad, and brought a small, unknown people to the awareness of other Europeans.

The effect of the Kalevala on Finnish culture, arts and sciences has been significant. It has left its mark on the fine arts, literature, theater, dance and music. It lives on in popular culture, films, comics, games and commercials. During different periods, the Kalevala has been significant in different ways, and has given birth to different, strong interpretations. SOURCE (Finnish)

This is my personal copy I have in my library which is beautifully done with fantastic illustrations. Highly recommended.

Not so long ago, in the tiny, isolated villages of Finland, where prolonged summer days gave way to endless winter nights, people would pass the time by singing the many adventures of their favorite heroes: the mighty, magical men and women of ancient days.

They sang of old Vainamoinen, greatest of sages and magicians, who helped create the world but never could find a woman to wed him.

They sang of his friend and ally Ilmarinen, first among craftsmen, the blacksmith who forged the dome of the heavens.

They sang of Louhi, the ancient lady of Northland, whose crafty wit and magical powers made her a worthy opponent for Vainamoinen himself.

And they sang of Aila, Louhi’s lovely daughter, who captured the hopes of the two old friends and drew them as rivals to the shores of Northland.

And while these songs could still be heard, there came along a doctor, a scholar, who gathered and wove them together in a book he called the Kalevala. And so he created for Finns a national epic, and for the rest of the world, a work of wonder.

The songs endure, the heroes live. . . .

– from The Songs of Power: A Northern Tale of magic. Retold by Aaron Shepherd from the Kalevala

Further Resources

Full text of “The Kalevala : the epic poem of Finland”

The Kalevala – The Beginning of Beer in the Finnish Epic Saga

Tolkien and the Kalevala

Kalevala is Finland’s national epic. Compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the 1800s, it consists of epic poems of creation, magic, lust, vengeance and death. A story of the sons of Kaleva, the forefather of Finns, it takes the reader to a mythical ancient land filled with monsters and magic, and even to the realm of the dead. Be sure to check more from Antti Palosaari.
Veera Voima is a Finnish folk singer who specializes in rune singing. Her project “Myths of Making” is based on the birth myths of Kalevala. This is a short version of her song “Raudan Synty” (The Origin of Iron).
The Kalevala: the Epic Poem of Finland (Crawford Translation) by Elias LÖNNROT (1802 – 1884), translated by John Martin CRAWFORD (1845 – 1916) Genre(s): Poetry, Sagas Part 2 and Part 3
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Hyrrokkin the Wolf Riding Jötunn

During the funeral of the Norse God Baldur, The Gods had great difficulty in dragging the funeral ship “Hringhorni” into the sea. Knowing this level of strength could only be accomplished by a Jötunn (Giant) it was then the Giantess Hyrrokkin was summoned to Asgard to accomplish this task. It is said that when she arrived and began dragging the massive ship to the sea she did with such ferocity it cause the rollers under the ship’s keel to create sparks of fire. This enraged Thor so much he reached for his Mjölnir to strike her down but due to her getting the ship launched into the sea, the Gods asked he give mercy.

Hyrrokkin ‘the one who has withered from fire‘ is only mentioned in the Skáldskaparmál where it is said she is killed by Thor and in the list of Troll-wives in the Nafnaþulur. Much like Jarnsaxa, Hyrrokkin also rides a large Wolf and it is believed that she is the actual mother of Sköll and Hati which are sons of Fenrir.

The giantess Hyrrokkin riding a wolf and using snakes for reins while on her way to Baldr‘s funeral. This scene is from Louis Moe’s Ragnarok: En Billeddigtning.

Snorri’s Edda, Gylfaginning 49: “The Æsir took the body of Baldr and brought it to the sea. Hringhorni is the name of Baldr’s ship: it was greatest of all ships; the gods wanted to launch it and make Baldr’s pyre thereon, but the ship would not stir. Then word was sent to Jötunheim and in response, came a giantess named Hyrrokkin (Fire-smoked). She rode up on a wolf with a serpent for a bridle, and leapt off the steed. Odin called four berserks to subdue it; but they were not able to tame the steed until they had felled it.  Hyrrokkin went to the prow of the ship and thrust it out on the first push, with such force that fire burst from the rollers and all lands trembled. Thor grew angry and clutched his hammer, and straightaway would have broken her head, had the gods not prayed for peace for her.” SOURCE

The death of Baldur is a pivotal moment in Norse Mythology that signaled the first step towards Ragnarok. Baldur was a beloved Norse God that met his fate as a result of a piece of mistletoe and the trickster God Loki. The death of Baldur is a classic tale from Nose Mythology. Credit: Raconteur – Mythology & History
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Jarnsaxa – The Wolf Riding Jötun

There are a lot of lesser known Goddesses and Þurs, Giants and Giantesses which I consider Gods and Goddesses as well, in the tales of Norse Mythology. One of my favorites is the tale of Jarnsaxa, lover of Thor and mother of Thor’s son, Magni the Norse God of strength. Now many would argue that she is not a Goddess and only a Jötun from the realm of Jötunheimr. However I have always said that all of the Þurs are indeed Gods and Goddesses because of the complex and close relations they have with the tribes of the Vanir and Æsir but we can leave that for a future blog post. So now let us dive into Jarnsaxa and her lesser known great importance within the Norse pantheon.

Jarnsaxa or Iarnsaxa was mother of Magni and Modi (Refer to Note 1), by the Aesir Thor. Not much is known about Jarnsaxa, except that she was Sif’s rival for Thor’s love. All references to Jarnsaxa have to do with either Thor being her lover or Magni being her son. Her parents are unknown. Her name means “iron sax”. Her name appeared in Sturluson’s list of giantesses, and in a couple of Eddaic kennings.

Every difficulty increases Jarnsaxa’s wind in Olaf’s father, so that praise is due. Here, Jarnsaxa’s wind means “courage”. He reddened with gore the chops of the dark-looking steed of Jarnsaxa…. In this kenning, the dark-looking steed of Jarnsaxa indicates her steed was a wolf. SOURCE

NOTE 1: Some believe that Modi is actually the some of Sigyn but it is also said that his mother is unknown.

We know a little bit about her and what she does. Her name is a portmanteau of the Swedish words for iron, axe, and scissors (jarn, yxa, and saxa, respectively). In the Poetic Edda (considered one of the oldest texts of Norse culture), we learn that she is one of The Nine Mothers (Refer to Note 2) of Heimdall. These Wave-Maidens were responsible for turning the mill which runs the wind and the waves. After Heimdall leaves his mothers to seek his fortune, Jarnsaxa disappears from the Eddas for a while.

She reappears as Thor’s lover. Like before, as a Wave-Maiden, she is a giantess. We learn that she is a Jotun, the same race as Loki. She is also the mother of Thor’s sons, Magni and Modi [Refer to Note 1](respectively named for physical strength, and the desire to fight and kill). It is prophesied that Modi and Magni will eventually inherit Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer, when it is thrown at the end of Ragnarok (the Old Norse apocalypse). We also know from other places in the Eddas that Thor’s official wife is Sif, the goddess of fertility. Read full blog post HERE.

NOTE 2: There are actually two theories on who the “Nine Mothers” of Heimdall are and the other is that his nine mothers are actually the Nine Daughters of the sea Goddess Rán. I will expand on this in a future blog post.

Járnsaxa “Iron-cutlass” is often depicted riding her giant Wolf and carrying a sword. Credit: Artist unknown

Further Resources:

Jarnsaxa the lesser known Giantess

SKÁLDSKAPARMAL

The Nafnathulur in English Translation (Nafnaþulur)

Trollkvinna

Völuspá: The Völva’s ProphecyA Study Guide

The parentage of Magni and Modi with brief mention of Jarnsaxa by Norse Magic and Beliefs
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Nehalennia: Dutch Goddess of the North Seas

A couple of years ago I learned about the little know Dutch Goddess of the North seas, Nehalennia. Since my main deities are Gods and Goddesses of the seas I had to dive into who this Goddess is and her importance. Nehalennia is the Goddess of the North seas, Sailors, fortune at sea, safe passage at sea and sometimes considered a Goddess of life and death. She is also considered to be a Mothergoddess. So in many ways you can see similarities between Nehalennia and the Norse God Njordr, Ægir and the Goddess Rán. I always like to give lesser known Gods and Goddesses the spotlight they deserve and Nehalennia definitely deserves such honor.

In 1645 a large part of the Zeeland Dunes in Domburg were eroded due to a huge storm. What they found were altarstones or votive stones dedicated to the Goddess Nehalennia. These stones dated back to the second and third century BC. They also find the remains of a Temple. Which suggests that there once was a Temple dedicated to Nehalennia there. Although it is still not known whether this Goddess was Celtic or Germanic, it is known that the Romans in the area worshipped this Goddess. The texts on the votive stones are in Latin. Therefore it is thought that Nehalennia is the name the Romans gave to the Goddess. The stones found in Domburg were displayed in the church, which turned into a sort of museum. However in 1848 lightning struck the church tower, burning it to the ground. Most stones were destroyed.

In 1970 a fisherman at Colijnsplaat in Zeeland noticed four large stones in his fishing net. He decided to take them to shore and showed them to a lot of people. They recognized the name Nehalennia, which was still readable on one of the stones. In the years after this discovery they excavated more of these votive stones, together with pieces of building materials. Suggesting that here too, once a Temple dedicated to the Sea Goddess stood. SOURCE.

Nehalennia Dutch Goddess Statue, Colijnsplaat. Date
ca. 100 CE–ca. 250 CE
Nehalennia, a Dutch Goddess Kindle Edition
by Ingrid de Haas

Further Resources:

Nehalennia (Celtic: “she of the sea”): ancient goddess, venerated in the Roman age at the mouth of the river Scheldt.

A Dutch Goddess, Nehalennia

Nehalennia – the ‘Cailleach’ of Zeeland?

Nelahennia is a native Dutch Goddess

Ancient Goddesses Indigenous to The Netherlands: Nehalennia, Hludana and Tanfana

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Njordr: Norse Sea God of Wealth and Sailors

Being a man of the sea myself I have always felt my strongest connections to the Gods and Goddesses of the sea and one specifically I wanted to feature today is Njordr (Njörðr in Old Norse). Njordr is the sea God of wealth (specifically at sea), the sea and seafarers. Still to this day in such places as Iceland where fishing is very much an essential part of life, Njordr is considered a very important God of the sea. Njordr is well know in the Eddas for his relationship with Skadhi. I have always felt Njordr is not discussed as much as he should so I compiled in my opinion the best online resources for you to explore.

Njorð is of the race of Vanir and is the father of Freyr and Freyja. He is the god of the sea. He calms storms, aids ships in distress, and causes favorable winds to blow. As with the other Vanir, Njorð is a fertility god, capable of providing good fortune in the form of safe sea voyages, wealth, and land.

When hostages were exchanged at the end of the war between the Æsir and the Vanir, Njorð and his two children came to live in Ásgarð with the Æsir. The mother of Freyr and Freyja was probably Nerthus, Njorð’s sister. Æsir disapproval of such practices prevented her from coming to Æsir with the rest of the family. Later, Njorð married a second time. Snorri Sturluson tells the story in Skáldskaparmál.

When Þjazi, the giant who kidnapped Idun, did not return home after giving chase to Idun and her rescuer Loki, Þjazi’s daughter Skadi began to worry for his safety. Soon, she realized that he must be dead. Swearing vengeance, she took up her father’s arms and traveled to Ásgarð.

Heimdall saw her approach and sounded a warning. Several of the gods went out to meet her. Having no wish to prolong the feud, the gods asked if she would accept wergild (gold as payment for her father’s death).

Skadi said she would settle instead for a husband of her choice from amongst the gods. The gods agreed, provided that Skadi chose her husband by looking only at his feet. Continue reading HERE.

Njörd’s desire of the Sea (1908) by W. G. Collingwood
Njord Sea God Norse Mythology

Ship Herd

The gulls bring word of you who widely fares

to tell the fishes where to find our net;

they’ve come from Noatun to claim their shares,

like you at home both in the dry and wet.

Within your waters play the Sisters Nine

who bask in rising Sunna’s brilliant blush,

as waves frolic in the golden shine

until the purple nightfall’s gentle hush.

O tranquil Lord of seven surging seas,

send wind to fill our sails, and grant us all

to pass to our ports with grace and ease

over the depths of Ran’s and Aegir’s Hall.

And let us in the midst of storms be stout,

firm as an anchor in the shifting sands,

that change and stay the same, tide in, tide out,

beneath your briny realm that bounds the lands.

© 2009 Michaela Macha of Odin’s Gifts

Further Resources

Njordr Online Shrine

Njord

Norrøn mytologi Njord

Njord: The Tumultuous Marriage of a Norse God of the Sea and a Goddess Giantess

Norse Mythology for Smart People: Njord

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Cernunnos – The Celtic Horned God

The Celtic God Cernunnos is a god I feel is somewhat neglected and even misunderstood in modern times by many even though he is a very important and powerful God of the Celtic pantheon. Also I have a few friends who work closely with the Horned God and I myself have studied much about him as well as created things dedicated to him. So with that said I felt it was important to put together this post regarding Cernunnos.

Cernnunos Sleeps

The Old God sleeps

down in the dark, moist,

odorous underfoot,

Waiting for us

To put down our roots.

Cernnunos Sleeps by C. Hue Bumgarner-Kirby

At the Sacred Centre, in the Grove of all Worlds, He sits with legs crossed beneath an ancient Oak. Entranced, connecting the three worlds Earth, Sea, and Sky, and the worlds behind the worlds, the god and the Great Tree are One, His immense limbs widespread, stretching into distant sky and starry space.

His massive trunk, spine of the Middleworld, is the heart of the Ancient Forest around which all Life, all worlds turn; His limitless root web growing deep into secret earth and Underworld; above him the great turning circles of Sun, Moon, and Stars. All around Him subtle movements of the leaves in melodious, singing air; everywhere the pulsing, gleaming Green awash in drifts of gold and shimmering mist; beneath Him soft moss creeping over the dark, deep, moist of spawning earth. At His feet is the great Cauldron from which the Five Rivers Flow.

Through the forest stillness they come, whispering wings and secret glide, rustling leaves, and silent step, the first Ancestors, the Oldest Animals, to gather around Him: Blackbird, Keeper of the Gate; Stag of Seven Tines, Master of Time; Ancient Owl, Crone of the Night; Eagle, Lord of the Air, Eye of the Sun; and Salmon, Oldest of the Old, Wisest of the Wise leaping from the juncture of the Five Springs. He welcomes them and blesses them, and they honour Him, Cernnunos of the nut brown skin and lustrous curling hair; the god whose eyes flash star-fire, whose flesh is a reservoir of ancient waters, His cells alive with Mystery, original primeval essence. Naked, phallus erect, He wears a crown of antlers limned in green fire and twined with ivy. In his right hand the Torq of gold, testament of his nobility and his sacred pledge; in his left hand the horned serpent symbol of his sexual power sacred to the Goddess. Cernnunos in His Ancient Forest, His Sacred Temple, His Holy Grove, Cernnunos and His children dream the Worlds. Continue reading HERE.

Cernunnos from the Pillar of the Boatmen, in the Museum of the Middle Ages, Paris, France

Cernnunos Chant

‘Cern-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Stag Horned Hunter, Hunted One

Join Us Now

Cer-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Greenwood Lord of Life and Death

Join Us Now

Cern-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Herne and Pan and Every Man

Join Us Now’

Who is the Horned God?

Cernunnos – Celtic god of forests, wild animals, vegetation, virility, and fertility

Cernunnos Celtic God: 8 Ways to Work with the Horned God

Faces of the Horned God: Cernunnos

ΚΑΡΝΟΝΟΥ: to CARNONOS

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Goddess Ostara – What is Known

As much as is written and as many websites along with Youtube videos you can find regarding the Germanic Goddess Ēostre (Ostara, Ēastre), so little is known historically. But does this mean we disregard her as a true Goddess? I say no because as we see with Gods and Goddesses of other Pantheons such as the Norse, Celtic and Slavic, it does not lessen their importance. So being that Spring has begun I felt the need to offer this post to my readers to get a deeper insight and see other opinions regarding Goddess Ostara.

Ēostre (Ostara, Ēastre) is an obscure Germanic and Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and dawn, and is thought to be the namesake of the Christian holiday Easter. Her festival is celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring.

Her name is thought to mean “to shine”, therefore Ēostre is seen as a goddess of the dawn. However it is also thought that Ēastre is the ancient word for “spring”. There are also links to the name Ēostre and “east”, the direction of the sky where the sun first rises, which gives Ēostre the name “Eastern Star”.

Ēostre is connected with growth, renewal, abundance, new beginnings and fertility. As symbols of rebirth and fertility, eggs and rabbits are sacred to her, as is the full moon.

Ēostre represents the transitional time between childhood innocence and adult passion, and reminds us that life is full of untold possibilities and adventures. SOURCE

Ostara/Spring Equinox Vernal Equinox March 21-22

A point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year. Night and day are of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But the year is now waxing and at this moment light defeats the dark. The natural world is coming alive, the Sun is gaining in strength and the days are becoming longer and warmer.

The gentle whispered promise of Imbolc is fulfilled in the evident and abundant fertility of the Earth at Ostara. It is time for the hopes of Imbolc to become action. The energy is expansive and exuberant. It is the first day of Spring!

Ostara takes its name after the Germanic goddess, Eostre/Ostara, who was traditionally honoured in the month of April with festivals to celebrate fertility, renewal and re-birth. It was from Eostre that the Christian celebration of Easter evolved, and indeed the naming of the hormone Eostrogen, essential to women’s fertility. The Goddess Ostara has the shoulders and head of a hare. SOURCE

The changing of the seasons, phases of the moon, even our personal experiences-all are reflections of the Divine Feminine. Create a stronger connection to the sacred world and your own divinity by welcoming these thirteen powerful Celtic and Nordic goddesses into your life.

All About Eostre – The Pagan Goddess of Dawn

Goddess Ostara

OSTARA: Saxon Goddess of the Dawn and Spring

Who is Ostara?

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Nerthus, The Earth Mother Goddess

Nerthus, the Earth Mother Goddess of the Norse Vanir Gods. Lady of trees and sacred bogs, Lady of the fertile earth plowed up to give us food, Lady who is always veiled, and whose face is death to look upon.

Nerthus still to present time is quite the mysterious Goddess seeing how there is so little known about her. Some feel she is a Goddess just of Germanic tribes but there are some hints and clues that lead to showing that not only is she of the Vanir but may possibly be Njord’s sister and possibly Wife. Despite the mysterious origins of her I feel she is deserving of honor.

Nerthus is associated with Spring, cycles, health, energy, peace and prosperity. Her symbols are fire, chariots and soil.

We first learn about Nerthus from the Roman historian Tacitus, who was writing in the first century C.E. He called Her ‘Terra Mater’ (earth Mother) and noted that She was worshiped by several Germanic tribes. He describes a ritual setting in which an image of Nerthus stands concealed in a cart within a sacred grove. Only Her clergy were permitted to touch or approach the sacred image. All others were put to death. Tacitus writes that this cart would be driven in a holy procession, after which the statue and its accoutrements would be tended to and cleansed in a special lake (and the slaves who assisted with this would be drowned in that lake). (Simek, p. 230). Simek considers Nerthus to have been a Baltic and/or Danish Goddess, since the tribes Tacitus specifically refers to settled east of the Elbe River. He also associates the ritual washing of the statue and its gear with the sacred marriage, or hieros gamos. (ibid).

Because Tacitus, in good Roman fashion, compares (or syncretizes) Nerthus with the Roman Terra Mater, examining how the Romans viewed their own Earth Mother may provide valuable clues into the nature of Nerthus. (Krasskova, p. 88). The Romans had no sentimental illusions about Terra Mater. She was a nurturing and gift giving Goddess of the earth, but She was also the terrible Goddess of earthquakes, famine, flood, storm, and destruction. There was bounty, but also tremendous danger and outright terror all contained at once in the holy presence of this Goddess. (ibid). Tacitus specifically talks about the mysteries of Nerthus as begetting “terror and a pious reluctance to ask what that sight can be which is only seen by men doomed to die.” (Tacitus, chapter 40). In this, it would seem, Nerthus contains within Herself the embodiment of holy power and perhaps holy terror as well.

In surviving Anglo-Saxon writings, there is a ritual (Æcerbot or ‘field remedy’) for blessing the fields prior to ploughing and planting. Despite its rather late provenance (11th century) in this ritual “Eorðan Moðor,” or Earth Mother is invoked. Contemporary Heathens, particularly those with an Anglo-Saxon focus, look to this rite for one of the Holy Tides: Charming of the Plough, which usually occurs in late February. While few of us today are bound to the earth in the way that our largely agrarian ancestors were, we can still honor its cycles and honor the gift of our own creativity too in such rites. SOURCE

Useful Sources: “Dying for the Gods” by M. Green, “Looking for the Lost Gods of England,” by Kathleen Herbert, “Boar, Birch and Bog” by Nicanthiel Hrafnhild, “Exploring the Northern Tradition” by Galina Krasskova and “Dictionary of Northern Mythology” by Rudolf Simek

The Germanic Kingdoms and the Eastern Roman Empire in 526 CE

Nerthus and Njorun: a Norse Mystery

The Goddess Nerthus

Goddess Nerthus

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Sinthgunt: The Mysterious Cosmic Goddess

Sinthgunt is a Norse Goddess shrouded in mystery and very little is known of her which leaves open to some modern ideas regarding who she is. Some for me make complete sense regarding her lineage as a daughter of Mundilfari and a sibling of Sunna and Máni.

She is mentioned only once in the surviving lore, in the Merseburg Charm, an Old High German incantation dating from the 9th or 10th Century C.E. There She is referenced as a healer, but many of us today have had a far difference experience of Her presence. Of all of Mundilfari’s children, She is the most like Her father. She is a Goddess of the flow of time, of the unfolding of the cosmos, of the power of black holes, and of shifting threads of power. She is a Magician and the effective wielding of power is Her core competency. Her presence is like the chaos that rests in the center of a star. She is immense, contained power and terrifying. I always feel a pull to her that is so strong I even created a Galdrastafur in one of my Galdrabóks for doing rituals and dedications to her.

Honoring Sinthgunt by Galina Krasskova

Symbols: hour glass, compass, images of the galaxy and cosmos, stars, images of the Milky Way, abacus (also appropriate for Mani), mathematical equations

Colors: purple, silver, midnight blue, black

Stones: lapis, labradorite, lepidolite, herkimer

Food and Drink: good vodka, sweets, peppermint, good single malt whiskey

Things not to do: Call upon Her lightly, show disrespect for Her kin, waste time that you have promised to any other endeavor

Praising Sinthgunt

Merseburg Incantations

The Merseburg Incantations

Sunne, sister of Sinthgunt

Lunar Mani

Norse Goddess Sól

The Merseburg Charms

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The Celtic Goddess Morrígan

The Celtic Goddess Morrígan; The Raven Queen; Shapeshifting Goddess; Goddess of War, Life and Death, is a Goddess I have always been fascinated with and I think specifically because of my time in the military and experiencing death on an intimate level. She is a Goddess many fear yet respect and others embrace and love. I feel she is an extremely important Goddess to not only understand but perhaps work with in rituals. I have made many items dedicated to her and continue to do so. With that said I put together this post to allow you the best resources to dive into the amazing world of the Morrígan.

The Morrigan (also known as the Morrigu) was the shape-shifting Celtic Goddess of War, Fate and Death. She also presided over rivers, lakes and fresh water, in addition to being the patroness of revenge, night, magic, prophecy, priestesses and witches.

Her name is interpreted in various forms…”Great Queen,” “Phantom Queen” or “Queen of Demons.” She was said to hover over battlefields in the form of a raven or hooded crow and frequently foretold or influenced the outcome of the fray. The Morrigan was often depicted as a triune goddess whose other aspects were manifested in the Goddess Badb (meaning “Vulture” or “Venomous”) and the Goddess Nemain (meaning “Frenzy” or “Fury”). The Morrigan was one of the Tuatha De Danaan (“People of the Goddess Danu”) and she aided in the defeat of the Firbolgs at the First Battle of Magh Tuireadh and the Fomorii at the Second Battle of Mag Tured.

The Celts believed that, as they engaged in warfare, the Morrigan flew shrieking overhead in the form of a raven or carrion crow, summoning a host of slain soldiers to a macabre spectral bane. When the battle had ended, the warriors would leave the field until dawn in order that the Morrigan could claim the trophies of heads, euphemistically known as “the Morrigan’s acorn crop.” Continue reading HERE.

The Morrígan online shrine

The Morrígan, Celtic Goddess of War