A further note on the Morrigan

Not honoring Her as a war goddess is just as bad as only honoring Her as one, particularly when it comes from some overly feminized inability to accept Her battle aspects. 

The Gods are glorious and that includes when They come as warrior Gods. For some of us, most especially when They come so, without softness, without sentiment, with nothing to elide the raw, shattering experience of Their presence. 

It is not just the Morrigan with Whom this is an issue. I began my work as a priest of Sekhmet and I have seen hippy and new age desire to turn Her into a gentle mother Goddess for decades and it turns the stomach. She is power, terror, and a Goddess of war. That doesn’t change because we might like to ignore it. To understand and fully venerate a Deity means venerating all that Deity is, not just those aspects we might find most comfortable. 

I belong to Odin. He is also a God of war, but funny, you never seem to see this discomfort with male Deities, only with Goddesses. You never see this denial of Their brutality and battle aspects or attempts to re-contextualize or explain away, not anywhere to the degree that one does with Goddesses. I think that says more about our assed upedness than it does about the nature of our Gods. and sadly, such attempts at divine erasure almost always seem to come from women (not always, but it seems, most often). As a woman, that angers me greatly. We should be better than that, but sometimes I doubt we are. 

(edit: the question was raised on several blogs what are we saying about ourselves when we give something like a bullet as an offering. I think my colleague Kenaz Filan said it best: “What message are you sending Her by giving Her bullets? The message that you honor Her and respect Her functions as sacred? Which should be the message behind any offering.” I couldn’t put it better.)

 

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Posted on February 17, 2016, in Celtic Things, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. “I think that says more about our assed upedness than it does about the nature of our Gods.”

    Probably has to do with modern associations of war and violence with men, and peacefulness and motherlyness with women. This would tie in with Gimbutas’ ideas about a matriarchal neolithic Mother-Goddess-focused monotheistic society in ancient Europe being overthrown by the invading Bronze Age patriarchal warriors and their male war Gods. It would also tie in with the idea that abusers and rapists are *always* men and that people have a hard time believing a women can abuse a man as well, or even rape a man, or otherwise be violent towards men.

    It is intriguing how these people can worship deities like Sekhmet or the Morrigan for their expression of female strength, yet at the same time blinding themselves for the warlike, ferocious aspects of them, failing to see the contradiction in this. Even the Mother Goddesses are often not as peaceful as they might think. Being a mother even as a human isn’t all cuddling and reading bedtime stories, it also means disciplining children when they misbehave, making them do their chores and homework, and so on. In divine terms, Leto was a Mother Goddess but she was far from “gentle”. She has several myths telling of her punishing those who offended her, either directly or through her children. Rhea-Kybele also is a Mother Goddess yet far from gentle, inspiring male priests to ritually castrate themselves in ritual frenzy with a potshard. To blind oneself to these truths about the Goddess is to refuse to acknowledge their full being, their full glory.

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  2. J_Agathokles I think you summed it up very nicely.

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  3. I think you might like Morgan Daimler’s blog Living Liminally. She is no fool as both a CR and Germanic Heathen and takes her religion and the Gods very seriously. (I may be prejudiced a bit; but, I do know her and she really does walk the walk.)

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