I have a long and complicated relationship with the Morrigan. It began at Lughnasadh 2004 when Denton CUUPS honored Her alongside Lugh, in Her role as Goddess of Sovereignty. We did that a few more times and although I learned a thing or two about Her, it never went beyond that.
Then one day, I asked Her for a favor. A friend in another state was in physical danger and I couldn’t do anything to help. So I prayed and made offerings to the Morrigan – all went well. A month later I repeated the request for another friend, with similar results. After a third such request, I heard a voice behind my head say “I’ve done this for you – now I want you to do something for me.” This began an intense 18 month period that included blog posts, rituals, and the initiation of a priestess.
I am not Her priest. For that She wanted something I could not give, so I told Her no. But that didn’t end the relationship. I used to joke that I’m Her “Druid on retainer” – but that’s turned out to be more fact than joke. I still lead rituals in Her honor. I still answer questions about Her. I still do my best to do Her work of reclaiming sovereignty and encouraging others to do the same.
Late last year, I got a very strong message that She wanted me to begin devotional offerings to Her every Sunday evening. Now, in college, Sunday evening was when I ended my weekend and got back to studying. Many years later, Sunday evening was the time I did my OBOD coursework. I can’t say for sure, but I do not think Her choice of timing was coincidental.
After about a month of weekly devotions, I went on vacation. And I wondered about my commitment to devotional offerings on Sunday evenings. Everything stops on vacation, right?
“Vacation? I said I wanted weekly offerings. You have a bottle of wine and a nice covered porch.”
It was cold and raining, but our B&B did have a nice covered porch, and I had a coat that kept me warm while I said the prayers, poured the offering, and listened to a familiar voice speaking to me in a strange place.
Keeping this commitment was somewhat of a challenge on our recent trip to Ireland and Britain. Our first Sunday evening was in Dublin. We had a late dinner after having spent all day on a bus trip to the Giant’s Causeway and other sites in Ulster. But we were staying a five minute walk from the River Liffey. Cynthia came with me and together we honored Morrigan, then Brighid and the spirits of the water and the land where we were.
The second Sunday was more difficult. We left Orkney mid-afternoon and flew to Edinburgh. After a layover and dinner, we flew on to London. By the time we got to our hotel it was after 10 PM – and then we had to carry luggage up four flights of stairs. We were all exhausted. I understood that a modest offering would be acceptable, but just pouring water on concrete would not – and I saw nothing but concrete on our taxi ride to the hotel. There was a park about a 10 minute walk away, but I didn’t know if it would be open that late on a Sunday night. I stepped out of the hotel door to cool off… and saw two trees in large pots by the door that I had somehow missed on the way in. “Is this acceptable?” I asked. It was.
Over the six months I’ve been doing this, the actual ceremony has taken seemingly every form an offering can take. Sometimes it’s just been “pray and pour.” Sometimes there’s been a long meditation. Sometimes the offerings have been reverted: I placed them in front of Her statue for a time, then drank them myself. Sometimes I’ve heard “here, share this drink with me” and other times I’ve heard “I want it all and you may have none.” There is no pattern to what’s been required.
This past week, Her request was very specific. She wanted mead, from an unopened bottle, in a specific glass. I was to sit outdoors and drink my own glass, but pour Hers on the ground. The meditation felt like it took about 10 minutes, but when I went back inside 25 minutes had passed. And as I was blowing out the torches, I heard a very specific message to give to a very specific person. I’m not used to being a divine messenger – I did two Tarot readings to confirm it, and I was still uneasy relaying the message. But I did – the recipient told me it was very timely.
Of course it was.
Making offerings to the Gods is always a good thing, but I wonder about the purpose of these offerings. Is this practice for some other priestly work? Is it to make sure I actively listen to (and for) Her on a consistent basis? Is it to instill greater discipline into my spiritual practice? Perhaps the purpose is simply to make offerings to the Morrigan. I honestly have no idea – transparency is not one of Her virtues.
But I do know this: the Morrigan has been in my life for 12 years. At times She’s been an ally, helping me with things I could not do myself. At times She’s been an inspiration, giving me things to think, talk, and write about. And at times She’s been a general, giving orders and expecting them to be followed. Her presence in my life has been a very good thing for me, and if She wants mead, then I’m happy to give it to Her.
Hail the Morrigan, Battle Goddess and Lady of Sovereignty!