The Morrigan: Legends and Symbolism of the Celtic Goddess of War

August 15, 2023

The Morrigan is often depicted as a Crow or Raven in Irish Mythology

The Morrigan: Legends and Symbolism of the Celtic Goddess of War 

When we think of Irish Mythology, The Morrigan emerges as a captivating and powerful deity. She is a Celtic goddess of war and sovereignty, and her associations with death give her an intimidating reputation. While her patronage is not for the faint of heart, working with The Morrigan can incite exponential growth in one’s pagan practice.

The Morrigan in Irish Mythology

The Morrigan, sometimes also spelled Morrighan, but usually addressed with the definite article, is most closely associated with battles, warriors, and sovereign borders. She is also referred to as the Phantom Queen, a direct translation from her Celtic name. She most famously appears in the Ulster Cycle, a collection of Irish heroic legends and sagas. In these source texts, The Morrigan rallies and accompanies heroes into battles across Ireland. As a shape-shifting goddess, The Morrigan historically took the form of a raven, a wolf, or a crone. She commonly rode on the backs of cattle when involved in battles. When she takes on a human representation, she is portrayed as having otherworldly beauty.  

Ancient and Modern Worship of The Morrigan

References to The Morrigan can be found in ancient texts from Britain as well as Gual, suggesting that she is a pan-Celtic goddess. Since she is the Celtic goddess of war, she would be called on before battles for allyship and protection. Due to similarities in symbolism and her close association with death, modern pagans sometimes associate The Morrigan with the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. While her mythology suggests that The Morrigan is one of three sisters, she is not depicted as a triple-bodied goddess such as Hecate from the Greek pantheon. Today, The Morrigan is known as a deity that incites difficult but worthy life lessons for her followers.  As a goddess of sovereignty, she teaches us to honor our own sovereignty, personal power, and our boundaries. As a goddess of war, she acts as an ally to the warriors of our modern-day.

Working With the Phantom Queen. 

Working with such a powerful goddess should not be taken lightly and it is best to start with thorough research. Many believe that The Morrigan carefully chooses who she works with and that if you have been chosen, she will give you clear signs through nightmares, visions, or omens. Many witches and pagans often feel reluctant to get involved with The Morrigan due to her intense reputation, but cite their experience with her as being ultimately positive albeit tough. Once you feel you are ready to work with The Morrigan, you may start with some simple offerings. Common offerings include blood, milk, meat, or crow and raven feathers. Some herbs associated with the Celtic goddess of war are yew, mugwort, garlic, and vervain. If you like to use crystals, options include obsidian, ruby, garnet, and red jasper. Our Morrigan Offering & Spell Kit contains helpful tools to get you started. Inside, you will find crystals, herbs, a candle and candle holder, anointing oil, and a scroll of ritual ideas. 

The Morrigan’s presence in our lives inspires rapid change, and her trial-by-fire methods offer a powerful experience for any pagan or witch looking to work with her. All the tools you need to start working with her can be found in our online store, or you can visit our shop and talk to one of our staff members for more support in your studies.