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Author Topic: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan  (Read 4309 times)

SpiritShadow

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Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« on: August 21, 2011, 03:49:47 am »
Alright so, I hope I'm posting in the right place. I'm looking to start practicing Paganism, but before I do I would like to get as much information as I can. I have quite a few questions, but before I get to that I suppose I'll start with a little back story as to why I'm here.

    My name is Travis I'm 23 years old, from Vancouver Canada.

        I was raised Christian by my mother, however, as I grew older I found it wasn’t really for me, and stopped attending church. With no religion to follow I began to identify as agnostic, as I still believed in the concept of a higher power. For a while I was content with that, and it allowed me to fill my mind with knowledge about other religions. So why am I here? Well it started off with fear…

        I had a gripping fear of death. Now I know this isn’t all too uncommon, as many people across the world fear death to some degree, but for me death was something that occasionally crept in to my mind and haunted my thoughts mostly when I lay in the dark moments before slumber took me. There were many things I feared about death, primarily the idea that after death an eternity of nothingness awaited me (A notion that terrifies me). As I grew older still, something changed within me. I’m not quite certain why, but my fear of death began to turn to fascination.  It is the absolute end. It is what awaits every living thing from the moment they are born…why?

       I’m sure there are many different answers to this question across the world, and each is just as intriguing as the next. I found myself researching and discussing death to a much deeper degree, and took a high interest in gods/goddesses/personifications of death. Anubis, Osiris, Mot, Hades, Hel, Thanatos, Izanami, Nyx, Baron Samedi, The Morrigan, to name a few. Out of all of the deities , however, I found myself drawn to The Morrigan.

       Perhaps it’s because I come from an Irish bloodline, but it just felt natural, I’m not really sure how to describe it. It could also be because she’s associated with crows, an animal I always found to be misunderstood. As a kid I developed an affection for crows, they’ve always been around in my life or perched just outside my window. Anyways to sum up, I’m looking to practice worship in the area of Death, and become closer to Death. To be clear I wish to do this out of respect of death, and to further understand death, I don’t have any desire to die or anything like that. I’m familiar with the idea that the more you understand about death the less you fear it, that is what I desire most.
 
   Well anyways I’ve begun to ramble so I’ll get to my questions. I’ve done a little research on The Morrigan, but only through online resources. I notice some sites identify her as a Goddess of Death, War and Fertility, but others sites do not see her as a death goddess. So one of my first questions is, is Morrigan in fact a goddess of death.

     Secondly, if I were to start worshipping The Morrigan (Or any death god for that matter) how would I go about it? What would be required of me?

   Third, if possible I would like to speak directly with someone with a lot of knowledge in this area. Hopefully over Skype if they happen to have it. I want to know as much as I can before going in to this.

That’s about it for now.  Thank you very much for your time!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 07:55:12 am by RandallS »

Garm

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 12:52:34 am »
Quote from: SpiritShadow;14511
  Well anyways I’ve begun to ramble so I’ll get to my questions. I’ve done a little research on The Morrigan, but only through online resources. I notice some sites identify her as a Goddess of Death, War and Fertility, but others sites do not see her as a death goddess. So one of my first questions is, is Morrigan in fact a goddess of death.


Oh yes, the Morrigan

The understanding I have of her is that she is a goddes with strong associations with death, especially violent death, rather than being a death deity per se.  None of this is UPG based but rather the impression I have gotten from what her followers have said.  Her role is rather more that of a gaurdian figure and the grim and scary mystique that attaches it self to her is an expression of her power to look after her own.  She is almost the Starbucks of the dark goddesses, using the openess of this current era to rapidly expand her range of influence.  There is some debate as to wether she ever actually had a cult following in ancient times but nowadays many feel themselves to have had a very definite experience of being called by her.  

It strikes me as a good idea to take her hand if it is indeed being proffered.  While not being a death goddes specifically deities these days do network and pass on there followers to other deities as they deem it appropriate.  Also relationship with deity is a skill that will benefit from practice.

Ritual is not my forte and Morrigans best mode of worship should be discussed with her active followers who are scattered all over the 'net and I am in fact surprised none of them have turned up here to help.

To working with death deities I advise learning some aspects of meditation.  Learning to quiet your mind will leave you more open to external input.  Studying the flow and patern of your own thoughts will help you learn to distinguish that external input from what's going on in your own head, this is probably the most challenging aspect of such a relationship
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Morag

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 01:24:26 am »
Quote from: SpiritShadow;14511
Well anyways I’ve begun to ramble so I’ll get to my questions. I’ve done a little research on The Morrigan, but only through online resources. I notice some sites identify her as a Goddess of Death, War and Fertility, but others sites do not see her as a death goddess. So one of my first questions is, is Morrigan in fact a goddess of death.


Gods have more than one facet to Them. The Morrigan is certainly no exception.

If I were to choose, based off my experience with Her, one concept that I thought resonated with Her most strongly, it would be Sovereignty. Sometimes there's death associated with that. Sometimes war. Sometimes sex. There are a lot of things tied up with sovereignty, making that one concept pretty multi-faceted all by itself.

She cuts away what Doesn't Belong.

Quote from: SpiritShadow;14511
Secondly, if I were to start worshipping The Morrigan (Or any death god for that matter) how would I go about it? What would be required of me?


She likes action more than pretty words or gifts (though She probably won't refuse a cup of strong tea; some have said Earl Grey, but in my experience She likes Yerba Mate).

I can't tell you what would be required of you, as She wants different things from different followers. You'd need to ask Her.

Quote from: SpiritShadow;14511
Third, if possible I would like to speak directly with someone with a lot of knowledge in this area. Hopefully over Skype if they happen to have it. I want to know as much as I can before going in to this.


I'll talk to you here for now; I don't Skype with people I don't know. If you want to ask me specific questions about my relationship with Her, shoot. I'll try to answer.

(Oh, and if you're in Vancouver, there are tonnes of pagan groups there and around there. Here's a good list of resources from Sarah Lawless (who really knows her stuff regarding rootwork, incidentally -- I met her at the Gathering this year). Pagan Pride Day Nanaimo is also coming up, if you want to catch a ferry over here. I won't be there because I have to be in Vancouver that day, but there will be a bunch of pagans there and some pretty cool things, so I recommend checking it out.)
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blackwolf696

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 11:46:53 am »
Quote from: Garm;14988
Oh yes, the Morrigan

The understanding I have of her is that she is a goddes with strong associations with death, especially violent death, rather than being a death deity per se.  None of this is UPG based but rather the impression I have gotten from what her followers have said.  Her role is rather more that of a gaurdian figure and the grim and scary mystique that attaches it self to her is an expression of her power to look after her own.  She is almost the Starbucks of the dark goddesses, using the openess of this current era to rapidly expand her range of influence.  There is some debate as to wether she ever actually had a cult following in ancient times but nowadays many feel themselves to have had a very definite experience of being called by her.  

It strikes me as a good idea to take her hand if it is indeed being proffered.  While not being a death goddes specifically deities these days do network and pass on there followers to other deities as they deem it appropriate.  Also relationship with deity is a skill that will benefit from practice.

Ritual is not my forte and Morrigans best mode of worship should be discussed with her active followers who are scattered all over the 'net and I am in fact surprised none of them have turned up here to help.

To working with death deities I advise learning some aspects of meditation.  Learning to quiet your mind will leave you more open to external input.  Studying the flow and patern of your own thoughts will help you learn to distinguish that external input from what's going on in your own head, this is probably the most challenging aspect of such a relationship

 
I too am thinking of worshiping Morrigan, but i thought she was the supreme warrior goddess. this is true yes? :confused:
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Sharysa

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 05:02:24 pm »
Quote from: SpiritShadow;14511
Secondly, if I were to start worshipping The Morrigan (Or any death god for that matter) how would I go about it? What would be required of me?

   Third, if possible I would like to speak directly with someone with a lot of knowledge in this area. Hopefully over Skype if they happen to have it. I want to know as much as I can before going in to this.

That’s about it for now.  Thank you very much for your time!

As many other people have said before, the Morrigan is not just a goddess of war/death. She's a goddess of sovereignty--which can encompass lots of things.

In my experience, she deals a lot with integrity.

When she first called me, I spent an entire YEAR avoiding her. I was scared of her because all I knew was that she was a scary/crazy war goddess who strung someone up by his entrails, but eventually the fear gave way to curiosity, and I started looking stuff up about her. The more I learned about her, the less scary she got, and I finally went, "Okay. I'll follow you." Seven years later, the Morrigan has constantly dragged me into making the right choices for me, not just the logical or "safe" choices.

She doesn't really hold with formal prayers or offerings--I just talk to her, and her way of answering is either through very concise statements or that she does something.

It should be noted that if you ask her for something, it's either going to be VERY big or things will "snowball" really fast. And she doesn't tell you what choices to make or which events are her doing--you have to figure it out yourself, and you'll definitely know if you make the WRONG choices.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 05:03:35 pm by Sharysa »
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Emma Eldritch

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 07:46:29 pm »
Quote from: SpiritShadow;14511
I had a gripping fear of death. Now I know this isn’t all too uncommon, as many people across the world fear death to some degree, but for me death was something that occasionally crept in to my mind and haunted my thoughts mostly when I lay in the dark moments before slumber took me. There were many things I feared about death, primarily the idea that after death an eternity of nothingness awaited me (A notion that terrifies me). As I grew older still, something changed within me. I’m not quite certain why, but my fear of death began to turn to fascination.  It is the absolute end. It is what awaits every living thing from the moment they are born…why?

...I found myself drawn to The Morrigan.
 
...Well anyways I’ve begun to ramble so I’ll get to my questions. I’ve done a little research on The Morrigan, but only through online resources. I notice some sites identify her as a Goddess of Death, War and Fertility, but others sites do not see her as a death goddess. So one of my first questions is, is Morrigan in fact a goddess of death.

     Secondly, if I were to start worshipping The Morrigan (Or any death god for that matter) how would I go about it? What would be required of me?

 
Gosh, you're playing my song.

I too have had a fear of death, for almost as long as I can remember. I remember being a very little girl and figuring out that no, death wasn't like sleeping, because you never woke up. I was terrified. And I never forgot that.

(I was hella goth when I was younger. I think the two things MAY just be related. XD)

Anyhoo. The Morrigan. I've been working with her since I was a teenager, and I have found her to be multi-faceted. I agree with Morag that she's very closely tied to ideas of sovereignty. War, sex, death, magic... all these things seem to fall under her umbrella at times. I refer to her as 'mother' but it's not exactly in the warm fuzzy way... more like she'll kick my ass if I'm not working actively towards my goals. She's not a safe goddess, but she'll put you through your paces and force you to grow up.

I haven't found her to be huge on ceremony. I've gotten along quite well with offerings of wine and blood over the years, and simply worded prayers.

Personally, I find all gods to be different, even if they're all gods of death. So approaching the Morrigan is different than approaching Anubis. If you use common sense and your gut you'll most likely be alright. (She'd let you know if you messed up, trust me.) I second the suggestion of meditation - that seems to help regardless of what 'type' of deity you're drawn to.

Since you're in Vancouver, that means you're just a bus ride away from Banyen Books and Sound. They stock a ton of books on paganism and magic and myth - if you want to get to know the Morrigan, you can most likely pick up some texts with her myths in them there. (Or down half a block at Kestrel Books, the used book store.)

Hope that was a bit helpful!

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 11:39:02 pm »
Quote from: blackwolf696;55546
I too am thinking of worshiping Morrigan, but i thought she was the supreme warrior goddess. this is true yes? :confused:

 
"Supreme"?  She's not supreme over other war deities, since they're pretty much from different pantheons.  So I'm not sure what you mean here.

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 11:43:41 pm »
Quote from: Mama Fortuna;55833
... Since you're in Vancouver....

Hope that was a bit helpful!

 
Probably not to the OP, since his profile says he hasn't been logged on to TC since last August.  This is an older thread that blackwolf696 revived to add hir own related question (which is fine, blackwolf; we don't have any problem with reviving old threads).

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Re: Questions on Paganism: Death, The Morrigan
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 12:09:57 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;55859
Probably not to the OP, since his profile says he hasn't been logged on to TC since last August.  This is an older thread that blackwolf696 revived to add hir own related question (which is fine, blackwolf; we don't have any problem with reviving old threads).

Sunflower

 
Durr, you're totally right. I really need to read more carefully. Thanks Sunflower!

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