Category Archives: Celtic Things
EDIT: this card is now fully sponsored.
The Morrigan card is finished and will be available shortly (I will send it to the printer Monday). It is not yet fully sponsored. If you’d like to donate toward this card, please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com or paypal directly to firstname.lastname@example.org (please note your name, email, and that this is for the morrigan card). sponsors get six free cards and are credited on the back of the card.
This artwork is by Grace Palmer.
I have commissioned a card for the Morrigan. If anyone would like to donate to the card (I need to raise $400. I’ll cover printing myself), please contact me at krasskova at gmail.com or paypal directly to email@example.com. Please include your email and note that it’s for the Morrigan.
Those who donate will A) receive credit on the card; B) receive a setting of lights; C) and six cards of their choice.
Please consider helping
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.)
I don’t talk about the Morrigan much but I have honored Her in personal devotions since the very early nineties. She is one of those Deities that I respect tremendously and while I am not in Her service, it is a deep pleasure to pay Her homage when the occasion permits and I do maintain a small shrine to Her in my home.
I recently read a bit of grumbling on Facebook because apparently someone made the comment in a discussion or post (I’m not sure which) that bullets make good offerings to this Goddess, the Battle Raven, a Goddess of (among other things) war. I was surprised that this would raise any eyebrows at all but apparently it did and thus I am moved to write this here.
Of course bullets, gunpowder, knives, blades, weapons of every sort make excellent offerings to Her and I’ve given them all over the past twenty five years that I’ve honored Her. She is a battle goddess. Why would the accoutrements of battle not be pleasing to Her? Just because someone may have personal issues with guns, bullets, blades and the like doesn’t mean that our Deities of war do. These things symbolize part of Their spheres of influence and power. I could say much more about those in our communities who want to erase certain aspects of our Gods’ natures because of their own personal feelings but I won’t.
Instead, I think I’ll be gifting the Morrigan with some jewelry, all made out of shell casings, and maybe a bit of ammo as well later on this weekend. She is a Goddess of sovereignty, a Goddess of justice, but She is also, indisputably, a Goddess of war, of the battlefield, and of fate. It is integral to Her nature and I, for one, and grateful for it.
(one caveat to the above: I’d also tell anyone asking to ask for themselves if a particular offering is what a Deity wants *from them*. Divine, meditate, pray. I come from a military family and have a particular relationship to warriorship, and I deal extensively with the military dead. I also deal almost exclusively with the Morrigan as a battle Goddess. For someone, say, who venerates Her more often as a Goddess of sovereignty, well, She may want other offerings. So I would put that out there as a caveat.)
Heather Awen (of the Safe Canary Nest) is sponsoring an online shrine to the Brythonic Goddess Rhiannon.
She is seeking prayers, poetry, rituals, artwork, and writings about personal experiences with this Goddess.
All will be credited in any way the author/artist prefers. If you have anything you’d like to donate, please send it to sorchalefay at gmail.com. Thank you!
A reminder to all my readers: I’m offering the three Manannan cards for free through May 1, 2015. I will ship overseas. All three cards are by artist Grace Palmer and are designed to work as a triptych.
If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to contact me at krasskova at gmail.com.
by Jennifer Lawrence
Within the jade-green depths of the sea,
mighty Manannan waits.
The sea is cold with his fury,
each slashing wave a knife made of northern ice.
The white foam of each swell rises,
ready to crash down on the heads of those
who have chosen to steal from Him.
How might their retribution come?
Not hard to say:
Boats overturning in choppy swells,
Vicious winds ready to lacerate and batter,
Fragarach coming to take their heads.
Woe to the unbelievers, the bigots, the cruel,
Who think their right to mock the pious
Outweigh the power of a god.
There is no safety for them on the bellows,
Not even out past the ninth wave itself.
The Son of the Sea does not suffer himself
To be mocked, to be thieved from, to be disdained.
When will they know their doom?
Not hard to say:
When they set foot on ferry to travel and it goes down;
When they see Him coming toward their ship on Wavesweeper,
When the ocean itself opens to swallow them whole.
There are gods and goddesses in this Emerald Land
Older and more true than your intruder,
More ancient and powerful than the one from the desert
Who was not born here, did not live here,
Does not know this land or its people, does not belong here.
Let that god and its followers go back to their desert
And leave this Emerald Isle to their gods.
You call the Son of the Sea a false god, and prove
You do not know the meaning of either word:
Not ‘false’, because He has always been true to us, there for us,
And not ‘god’, because in showing your impiety to our gods,
You demonstrate that you know no respect for any god,
Seeing them all only as foes of what you believe, or
Something to threaten others with, who do not believe as you do.
What is your fate:
Not hard to say:
In the end, doomed to die like all mortal men, forgotten, alone, abandoned;
In the end, scorned by even those who claim the same god you do;
In the end, fools, thieves, unworthy of the name of Man—
Which isle, ironically, bears the name of Him whom you insulted.
Tomorrow ends my February for Manannan project. 🙂 I want to thank everyone who has submitted prayers, rituals, and other material this past month. Since I don’t really have a devotional relationship with Him, it helped a lot!
Please note that I will be offering the three Manannan cards by Grace Palmer for free through Beltane (may 1). Just contact me at krasskova at gmail.com.
Otherwise, stay tuned till tomorrow, and may He ever and always be hailed.
Thank you to Sparrow for offering this ritual in honor of Manannan as part of the February for Manannan project.
Paying the Rents Ritual for Manannán mac Lir
(Please note: I’m a solitary lay person and am still new to creating rituals. Please adjust this ritual to what you think Manannán mac Lir would like and to suit your situation (i.e. solitary or group ritual, etc).)
While watching the Youtube video Manannan – Paying the Rents at Midsummer by GaolNaofa, I was really struck by the importance of the Paying the Rents ritual that the people of the Isle of Man perform for Manannán mac Lir. Manannán mac Lir is the patron and protector of the Isle of Man. In return for Manannán’s care, He asks the Manx to “pay the rents” to Him with offerings of rushes on Mid Summer’s Eve. The Manx climb to the top of South Barrule Hill to make offerings of rushes with prayers of blessings and thanks. Gaelic polytheists also make offerings of rushes to Manannán at Midsummer’s Eve. This ritual shows the importance of offerings. We give offerings to the Gods for Their continued protection and blessings. Regardless of what tradition we follow, we can all perform the Paying the Rents ritual to Manannán.
When the ritual is to take place: Mid summer’s Eve
Where the ritual should take place: Ideally, at the ocean. If you don’t live by an ocean, you can do the ritual at a river or a lake.
What Is Required:
Good Irish whiskey
Whatever other offerings you think Manannán mac Lir would like
Wear a piece of jewellery with the triskelion (it is Manannán’s symbol) on it.
If you’re a musician, bring your instrument
At the ocean, river or lake, first ground and center. Then create your sacred space (e.g. cast a circle, etc.). The say the following prayer:
“Oh, great Manannán mac Lir, God of the sea, please hear my prayer. Today Your people, the Manx, are paying the rents to You. They are on top of South Barrule Hill offering you rushes and prayers of blessings and thanks. Today I too am paying the rents. Today I am offering you rushes, flowers, and Irish whiskey (and say any other offerings you have for Manannán). Please accept these simple offerings. Thank you for the many blessings in my life. Thank you for Your beautiful ocean with all Your children in it. May I become a protector of Your ocean and of Your children. Thank you for protecting the fishermen and sea travellers of Eire and the Isle of Man. Thank you for being the guide and guardian of Gaelic polytheists. They are trying to restore Your worship and the worship of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Please guide them well. And, thank you for the return of Your statue. The thieves cannot tarnish Your glory and steal away my love for You. May the statue never be stolen again!”
Put the rushes and flowers in the ocean/river/lake. Then pour the Irish whiskey into the
ocean/river/lake and put any other offerings you have in the ocean/river/lake.
Then sing or say the Manx traditional song “C’raad ta’n Ree?” (Where is the King?) If you’re a musician, play your instrument. (A link to lyrics for the song is given below)
NOTE: Manannán is said to be a great harpist. Since He is a musician, He may be offended by bad singing. If you’re a bad singer (like me), read out loud the song. Also, if you are brave, sing/say the song in Manx instead of English. I think Manannán would appreciate it.
Then say more prayers and poems to Manannán. Close the ritual by saying:
“Oh, great Manannán mac Lir, God of the sea, today I have paid the rents. May You be pleased with my offerings. Please continue to protect the people of the Isle of Man and Eire. Hail Manannán mac Lir! May You always be praised!
Youtube video Manannan – Paying the Rents at Midsummer by GaolNaofa.
Lyrics for the song C’raad ta’n Ree? (Where is the King?)