Feast of the Morrighan by Christopher Penczak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lately there has been more information available on the Morrigan. Like Ishtar or Inanna she is a goddess of love and war. Similar to Hekate or Isis she is Goddess of magic. "Guises of the Morrigan" by Sorita D'Este and David Rankine a source for this tome and one which I have read, give the reader a full dose of legend and lore concerning the Morrigan. For the price available it makes a great read and supplement the work I am reviewing. Another book "Dark Goddess" goes more into spell craft and also cover lore and legend. This treatment covers the lore and legend but not as deeply as the other two. It sticks mostly with the 'Invasion Chronicles' and Morrigan's roles within it.
Most of Celtic Lore was lost with the Christianization of the Celtic Lands. The Morrigan seems to be lurking their in the shadows but never taking a direct role in affairs. Usually her role is on the side line using magic to confound the enemy. She is also a teacher instructing the would be warrior on how best to succeed on life's battlefield. Morrigan is the Goddess who stand s behind you, godes you into battle and tests and torments you at times because that is part of the learning process.
Penczak's book does not go into spell craft. There are no spells for love, money or miracles. The author is taking a more Theurgic approach and is giving over a paradigm that is geared towards self evolution. Besides delving into Celtic lore, Penczak gives a Hermetic interpretation to the Morrigan and his book is filled with Shamanistic exercises that call for interaction with plant and animal allies. Certain exercises call on different aspects of the Morrigan. Christopher Penczak focuses primarily on three, Badb,Macha and Nemain.
Big question is whether Badb,Macha and Nemain are three different Goddess or three aspects of the same. Badb is a crow goddess who eats the remains of the dead after a battle is completed. She is very opportunistic and goal oriented. Macha is the horse goddess. She has five different incarnations in Celtic mythology. She is a seer of the future,queen, faery woman and sorceress. Nemain is the Goddess who's screams kill the enemy on the battle field. During the Battle of Moytura all three of these Goddess or aspects defeat the Fir Bolgs with magic.
Identities are seldom well defined. Sometimes the Morrigan is conflated with the Caileach, the old crone who creates the world and grants sovereignty. Others she is identified with Danu (anu) the mother goddess. Are these all the same Goddess or different ones. It can be confusing. The Morrigan has Dagda make love to her by a river before going to battle against the Fomirians. This gives him in away the right to be king and win the battle. Cuhulain spurned her advances before the Cattle Raid of Cooley. This caused the Morigan to turn against Cuhulain and in a sense withdraw her blessing from him.
The book lists several animal and plants that can be associated with the Morrigan. Animals like the Wolf, Crow, Cow, Eel are a few. Mr. Penczak also uses the Kabballah and planetary influences to help define this difficult to define Goddess. From there the reader is giving a plenitude of recipes for oils and incenses. The book has several path workings and rituals scattered through out. Many of the meditation involve going through the the world tree, some have you going through the river of life. The meditations involve interacting with aspect of the Goddess,animal allies, the god, becoming a lover t the goddess herself and connecting to the world and it's creations.
This book makes a fine edition for this seeking to work with and become acquainted with the Morrigan. It is not the only one you will read but makes a great companion for the other two mentioned previously.
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