The Morrigan’s Trials
I just had an extremely trying time with the Morrigan, and I wanted to share it.
For months She was throwing fits, having tantrums, and generally being an unreasonable bitch. I didn’t really know what to think and I kept trying to figure out what the hell was happening with little to no guidance from Her. I started to get the sense that some of it wasn’t coming from Her at all, to the point where I cleansed Her altar, asked the Netjeru to bring Their light to it, and hung my evil eye charm over it. I thought of what I had read earlier about the monsters mentioned in some Irish tales. The author of Guises of the Morrigan (which I have problems with, namely that the Tuatha did NOT “colonize” anything) claims that these beasts are a mask of the Morrigan (another issue is he thinks absolutely everything is a guise of the Morrigan). I don’t agree, really. I think they’re perversions of Her, and I began to wonder if that was what I was facing, if that was part of the duality and fractured presence I was experiencing.
I stood before Her altar and begged Her for something, anything. A new face to follow, some respite from Her behavior and attitude. This is not the kind of relationship I want to have with my gods. Even though She is fierce I want to love Her, I want Her to love me, and I want our basic understanding to be based on that. We do things for our partners because we love them, not always to appease them. Plus, this is the goddess that has guided me since I was nineteen years old, and maybe even before then. She came to me when I was suffering the most, when I was so beset by malevolent ghosts and spirits that I couldn’t function. My apartment was more like a circle of hell than it was a place I could feel safe, and She helped. She came and taught me how to master and use the Void. She came and made some sense out of the madness, both psychologically and spiritually. I couldn’t understand what I had done to upset Her so.
Finally, as I knelt before Her altar and the spirit wings sprouted and flared on my shoulders as they are wont to do in Her presence, I realized something else was going on. I thought about how I hadn’t received a spiritual cleansing in ages, about how a friend of mine used to pick through my feathers and clean away the spiritual dust and dirt, and how I haven’t had that luxury in years. I turned my attention to my own body, inspecting every inch.
Eventually, I found it. A hideous tentacled beast, sunk deep in to my side. Since the Morrigan came to me I have been occasionally asked to wander the Void, finding and destroying monsters as Her judge. I took my sword and pried it free with the tip. I can’t explain the horror I felt, seeing it whip those razor sharp limbs around as it tried to find purchase in my flesh again. I burnt it to a crisp as I have done every malevolent thing I’ve ever triumphed over, but the memory stayed much longer than its physical form did.
In its place I found a tender pink wound that I did my best to cleanse and bandage over. Finally, the Morrigan seemed pleased. I realized then it had been a test of sorts, though whether She engineered it or merely wanted to see me succeed after the fact, I don’t know. I sat and told Her that while I loved all of Her, I needed not only the Lady of Decay and the Goddess of Maggots, but also a more balanced side in order to maintain some semblance of sanity. She transformed and stepped towards me in shining armor, her black hair free in the wind. Here I am, She seemed to say, the Faery Queen.
Weak with gratitude, I told Her that one day I would be too sick to keep fighting for Her. She reassured me that on that day I would be retired, if you will, with the honor appropriately accorded to an old warrior. I hold Her kindness sacred, and all of Her faces, even the red-mouthed Badb who I struggle to keep locked in my heart where She can’t hurt others unduly. That is perhaps my core flaw, my capacity for rage, and I have had to keep it all in balance in order to master Her gifts.
Glory to the Morrigan, may I act in Her name.