The Morrigan – Meeting the Great Queens

Author: Morgan Daimler

Series: Pagan Portals

Publisher: Moon Books

Published: 2014

ISBN: 978-1782798330

Pages: 79 including a bibliography and endnotes.

 

 

23206317

Synopsis:

On shadowed wings and in raven’s call, meet the ancient Irish goddess of war, battle, prophecy, death, sovereignty, and magic. This book is an introduction to the Morrigan and several related goddesses who share the title, including Badb and Macha. It combines solid academic information with personal experience in a way that is intended to dispel the confusion that often surrounds who this goddess was and is. The Morrigan is as active in the world today as she ever was in the past but answering her call means answering the challenge of finding her history and myth in a sea of misinformation, supposition, and hard-to-find ancient texts. Here in one place, all of her basic information has been collected along with personal experiences and advice from a long-time priestess dedicated to a goddess who bears the title Morrigan.

Review:

Much has been said and written about the Morrigan, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say much more will be written about Her, much of it will be fantasy, and some will be academically dense. This book is a very short survey of what we know about the Morrigan in an easy, presentable way. It is aimed at the person who is not ready yet to read the more dense books or needs a compas to navigate the confusing material in books and websites.

The book is made up of an Introduction and seven chapters. The Introduction starts by laying out the aim of the book and then goes into the different Morrigans, and their functions that the author will be talking about. It also discusses the different meanings that we have for the word Morrigan.

Chapters 1-4 give you everything you need to know if someone asks you who are the Morrigans. Each of the first three chapters discuss Morrigu, Badb, and Macha and then the fourth chapter discusses the other Goddesses who MIGHT be conflated with them or are considered one of them. The authors in most cases gives you the historical material associated with each of the Goddesses, their relationships (mothers, fathers, husbands), the forms they take, their associations and realms of influence and then the author gives us a poem, or an invocation or an offering prayer at the end of each chapter.

Chapter 5 gives us a glimpse of The Morrigan in mythology. In chapter 6 the author talks about The Morrigan and animals, and in chapter 7 the author talks about The Morrigan in the modern world and how to find Her.

As an introductory text this book is an awesome start. There is no way you can fit all the contradictions that are The Morrigans in one text, but this book does a good job of it. I especially loved the poems, invocations, offerings and prayers and of course the bits of the author’s life that she chose to share with us.

I think that if you are interested in The Morrigan, then this book is a must on your shelf. It is well researched, well written and engaging to the last word.

Archaeology and Celtic Myth: An Exploration

Author: John Waddell

Publisher: Four Courts Press

Published: 2014

ISBN: 978-1-84682-494-4

Pages: 203 including index and bibliography.

20730968

Synopsis: In this book, author John Waddell contends that elements of pre-Christian Celtic myth preserved in medieval Irish literature shed light on older traditions and beliefs not just in Ireland but elsewhere in Europe as well. Waddell mainly focuses on aspects of the mythology associated with four well-known Irish archaeological landscapes: Newgrange and the Boyne Valley, the royal sites of Rathcroghan in County Roscommon, Navan in County Armagh, and Tara in County Meath. Their mythological associations permit the pursuit of the archaeological implications of several mythic themes, namely sacral kingship, a sovereignty goddess, solar cosmology, and the perception of an Otherworld.

Review:

I bought this book a while back, and kept it near my bed so that I could read it, but kept reading other books that I got after it. So finally I decided to read it.

The book is made up of a Preface, seven chapters and an Epilogue. It also has some beautiful illustrations both black and white and colored. This book is a study of the elements of pre-Christian Celtic myth preserved in medieval Irish literature, which sheds a light on older traditions in both Ireland and Europe. This study focuses on the myths associated with four archeological sites: Newgrange and the Boyne Valley, and the royal sites of Rathcroghan in Co. Roscommon, Navan in Co. Armagh, and Tara in Co. Meath.

I’m a little conflicted about this book. I liked a lot of things in it but I also hated a few things in it. I liked that the myths were being tied to archaeology and many of them were very convincing but some weren’t and I felt like it was a bit forced or not tied in correctly when it comes to linguistics. The writing style as usual was a bit dry but that is John Waddell for you. The pictures were beautiful. Also, the bibliography is a treasure trove.

I did like the book, but I would be very careful with the associations that the author makes. He is an archaeologist, not a linguist or a mythologist.