According to archeological evidence, the Morrigan dates back to before the Copper Age (3500 – 2300 BC). She has an Irish mythological origin, which directly translates her name to “Great Queen,” although some know her as the “Phantom Queen.” During this time, life was characterized by the usage of tools, jewelry and other goods made of copper; and the Morrigan served as The Great Goddess of Europe.
The Morrigan was not only a goddess to bird, but to the Earth, as well. She had the ability to use her breasts to not only attend to the living, but also revive the dead; this made her a giver of life and a sustainer of life for all.
An important ability of the Morrigan is that she is able to transform herself into the form of a crow. When she is in this form, she is the representation of the Goddess of Death. This gives the Morrigan the ability to have a bird’s eye view above the world below and on the battlefield, where she can be present. She was seen as a war deity and proudly owns the virtues of battle, strife and sovereignty. She has been described in early works as “a monster in female form, that is, the Morrigan.”
The Celts had believed that as they were on the battlefield, the Morrigan, in her bird-form, would fly over while shrieking for all to hear. After a battle, the warriors would leave the battlefield until dawn in order to give the Morrigan her territory. In this time, she would feast on the bodies of left behind soldiers and claim her trophies (often which were heads).
The Morrigan often appears in forms of three and can be considered a triple goddess. She can emerge as three sisters: Morrigan, Badb, and Macha. There have been many different tales and interpretations of the three sisters. Some say that the Morrigan was able to shapeshift into three separate people. Another is that the Morrigan is one sister in the triad. Despite the tale of the trio, the three sisters were able to become an unstoppable on the battlefield. In Ballet Fantastique’s adaptation of the Morrigan, they will symbolize the trio as three Ravens.
See the Morrigan, along side the Night Queen Rhiannon, come to life in the upcoming show of The Dragon & the Night Queen performed by Eugene’s Ballet Fantastique. Fans will be able to attend the show in Florence, OR, in addition to Eugene, OR beginning February 20th and continuing the weekend of the 26th through the 28th. Be sure to purchase tickets to this magic show; you won’t want to miss it, or the appearance of The Morrigan. (Click here for ticket details)