Morrígan

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{war, force, army}
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{food, make, wine}
{son, year, death}
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{area, part, region}

The Morrígan ("phantom queen") or Mórrígan ("great queen") (also known as Morrígu, Morríghan, Mor-Ríoghain, sometimes given in the plural as Morrígna) is a figure from Irish mythology who appears to have once been a goddess, although she is not explicitly referred to as such in the texts.

The Morrigan is a goddess of battle, strife, and fertility . She sometimes appears in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors, and in the Ulster cycle she also takes the form of an eel, a wolf, and a cow. She is generally considered a war deity comparable with the Germanic Valkyries, although her association with cattle also suggests a role connected with fertility, wealth, and the land.

She is often depicted as a triple goddess,[1][2][3] although membership of the triad varies; the most common combination is the Badb, Macha and Nemain, but other accounts name Fea, Anann, and others.[4]

Contents

Etymology

There is some disagreement over the meaning of the Morrígan's name. It can be straightforwardly interpreted as "great queen" (Old Irish mór, great;[5] rígan, queen,[6] deriving from a hypothetical Proto-Celtic *Māra Rīganī-s.[7] However it often lacks the diacritic over the o in the texts. Alternatively, mor (without diacritic) may derive from an Indo-European root connoting terror or monstrousness, cognate with the Old English maere (which survives in the modern English word "nightmare") and the Scandinavian mara.[8] This can be reconstructed in Proto-Celtic as *Moro-rīganī-s.[9] Current scholarship generally maintains that Morrígan, often translated as "Phantom Queen," is the older, more accurate form.[10]

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