Badb/ Macha/ Nemainm


Badb / Badbh
By: Tameika

Welcome to the Goddess of a 1000 Names, this is BADB, Celtic Goddess of War,
if You Hear Her Call Your Name Respond To the Goddess Within.
“Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know”
~Shakespeare (1564-1616) ~

Crow Comments & Graphics

The name of this goddess means boiling, battle raven, scald-crow, Raven
(Irish), the cauldron of ever-producing life. Signifies rage, fury, or
violence, and imply a witch, fairy, or goddess. BADB translates to hooded
crow, and Morrigan translates to Raven-woman.

“Bav” or “Bahv”

Bibe (Ireland), Bive, Beev, Cath Bodva or Cauth Bodva (Gaul),Cathubodua,
Badhbh, Badb Catha (Battle Raven), The Morrigan, Mhorrigan, Mórrígan, The
Three in One, Our Lady, The Lady of War, The Great Queen, The Queen of
Swords, Battle Fury, Lady of Crows, The Maiden, Mother and Crone. As the
Triple War Goddess her name is Fea, “the hateful”, or Badb, “the fury”.
Associated Deities: Fea, Ana, Neman, Macha, Morrigu.

The BADB is depicted as having either blue or blood-red lips, and is known
for the hideous noise she makes. Her shriek of joy strikes terror through
the souls of men. It is in the form of birds that certain of the Tuatha de
Danann appear as war-goddesses and directors of battle; for this reason
these birds are generally avoided. Sometimes, as in “Da Choca’s Hostel”, the
Badb appears as a weird woman uttering prophecies. In this case the Badb
watches over Cormac as his doom comes. She is described as standing on one
foot, and with one eye closed (apparently in a bird’s posture), as she
chants to Cormac this prophecy: “I wash the harness of a king who will

War, Battles, Bloodshed, Confusion, The Feminine Principal, Chaos,
Cowardice, Treachery, lack of Persistence in the face of insurmountable
odds, The Mother of all Fir Cruthen.

Goddess of War & Battles, Death, Chaos, Enlightenment, Inspiration, Life,
Wisdom, Blessings, Mother Aspect of the Triple Goddess (Ireland), Queen of
the Witches, Goddess of Magic


Weapon: Sickle, Scythe
Colors: Metallic Grey, Black, Red
Activites: War, Killing in Her Name, Destruction, Creating Tools of War,
Defending Her Children.
Animals: Black Crow, Carrion Crow, Raven, Wolf, Bear
Holiday: Samhain
Landmarks: All Battlefields, Magh Tuiredh (Moytura)
Call On: To aid you with spirit contact and to learn about past lives.


Crow Comments & Graphics
Morrigan is one of the most complex figures in Irish mythology, not the
least due to her genealogy. In the earliest copies of the Lebor Gabála
Érenn, there are listed three sisters, named BADB, Macha, and Anann. In the
Book of Leinster version, Anann is identified with Morrigu, while in the
Book of Fermoy version, Macha is identified with Morrigan.

Now, if “Morrigan” means “Mare Queen”, the identification of Macha with
Morrigu would be a logical identification, as Macha usually identified as
one of the Celtic horse goddesses, along with Rhiannon and Epona; moreover,
the horse goddess is also the goddess of sovereignty and of the land, and it
is through marriage to her that the king derives his legitimacy.

We also learn that the three sisters Badb, Macha, and Morrigu are also
sisters to the three goddesses of the land, Eriu, Fotla, and Banba. However,
in one text, Anann–here called Ana–is listed as the seventh daughter,
identified as the one “of whom are called the Paps of Ana in
Urluachair”–the two mountains south of Killarny called “The Breasts of
Anu”. In a yet a different version of the second redaction, Anann is again
identified as Morrigan, and for her the mountains are named.

In the third redaction, her genealogy is given as “The Morrigu, daughter of
Delbaeth, was the mother of the other sons of Delbaeth, Brian, Iucharba, and
Iuchair: and it is from her addtional name “Danann” the Paps of Ana in
Luachair are called, as well as the Tuatha De Danann.” Now we have Morrigan
identified with Danu, mother of the gods, and with Anann, the goddess of the
Paps of Ana. This originates in the identification of Anann with Anu and Anu
with Danu. Anu, according to Cormac’s Glossary, was mother of the Irish
gods; while Danu was originally the goddess of the Danube (Lat. Danuvius).
Finally, in The Second Battle of Magh Turedh, she is identified with Badb,
the first sister of the trio.

men. . . The Awakening

What is most evident is that from the texts, “Morrigan” or “Morrigu” is a
title applied to different women who for the most part seem to be sisters or
related in some manner, or sometimes it is the same woman with slightly
differing names in different manuscripts and redactions. We see that
Morrigan is identified with Badb Macha, Anann, and Danann. The first is
usually identified with the raven and battle, the second usually identified
with the archetypical Celtic horse goddess, the third with the land godesss,
and the forth with a mother goddess (though linguistically perhaps with the
Danube River of Europe, and thus to the archetypical Celtic river goddess,
like Boann).

What do we make of this? The Morrigan–the Mare Queen and the Great
Queen–is the goddess of war and sovereignty, the goddess of the land and
its rivers and its animals. Only through appealing to her can a warrior
become king or an army succeed. Only through her intercession can Ireland be
taken by one tribe or another. She is sister of Eriu, but perhaps in an
earlier version may have even been identified with Eriu, thus completing her
role as the Goddess of Sovereignty. When we add her role as the Washer at
the Ford, a war goddess–who with her sisters/other selves are called
“springs of craftiness/sources of bitter fighting”, we must then look to the
later figure of Medb, whose name means mead and who, like Morrigan, does war
against Ulster.

Now, we see that the name “Morrigan” is applied to all three sisters–Badb,
Macha, and Anann–at some point. Badb is the goddess of war, Macha is the
goddess of sovereignty, and Anann is the mother of the gods. Thus, the
Morrigan, like Brigit, also contains the three functions of Indo-European
society: the first function of sovereignty, the second fuction of the
warrior, and the third function of fertility.

Now, if we can agree that Morrigan–whoever she is–is the goddess of
sovreignty, her following actions become clear. In The Second Battle of Magh
Turedh, meets the Dagda at the river Unis in Connacht, where they copulate
on Samhain, ensuring the Tuatha De Danann’s sucess over the Fomorians;
again, she cheers the TDD to victory over the Fomorians. In the Tain Bo
Cuailnge, she offers Cu Chulainn her aid, but when he rebukes it, he is
sowing the seeds of his own eventual death. To refuse Morrigan is to reject
the land and the gods.

And so it is best to classify Morrigan with those other pan-functional
deities, Lugh and Brigit, as examples of deities who encompass the entire
world of divine function and motive in Irish mythology.

The BADB is not to be confused with BODB, a male deity. BADB is the mother
aspect of the Triple Goddess, one of the three Valkyrie-aspects of the
MORRIGAN and symbolizes life. Her cauldron boiled with the ever-producing
mixture that produced all life. In Irish mythology, Badb was one of the
giantess forms of Morrigan. She was sufficiently tall to place a foot on
either side of a river.

She assumed variously the guises of a beautiful woman, an old hag, and a
carrion crow. Her manifestation in the latter form was an omen of death.
Before a battle she would appear in anticipation of the carnage, and as the
battle took place, would flit around the heads of the warriors. Afterwards,
she would feed on the corpses strewn across the fields. Like the other two
battle-furies, Macha and the Mórrígan, BADB was both sinister and sexual;
she prophesied the end of the world, the fall of the gods and an endless
reign of chaos.
BADB embodies war as it is – chaotic, glorious, bloodthirsty and heroic. 

 Skull & Skeleton Graphics
Celtic women used to accompany their husbands into battle, fighting
alongside the men. This might explain why there is a female deity associated
with a typical male domain. She revels in the gore of battle, reigning over
the battlefield (usually in the form of a crow) to aid either side and to
entice warriors into battle madness but she doesn’t actually engage in the
combat. It was customary after battle for those still alive to abandon the
field until dawn, so that she could claim the heads as trophies. She is
generally thought of as a triple goddess figure, however she has more
aspects than three. There is a lot more to her than meets the eye. Under the
names of Nemain (frenzy), Macha (battle), Fea (conflict), BADB (fury), the
Washer at the Ford, she shows the aspects of sorcery, motherhood, teaching
and prophecy.

She transformed herself into many shapes including the wolf and bear. She
often takes the form of a raven/black crow to incite and encourage the
warriors to blood-thirsty acts. Battlefields were called the land of BADB,
and while war broke out BADB would confuse and frighten armies by flying
over the battlefield appearing in the form of a miniature woman with tiny,
webbed feet, screeching of death and doom. She would confuse the soldiers
in order to move the tide of battle to her favored side. Soldiers prayed to
BADB, imagining her as a gigantic and beautiful young woman, imploring her
to help them cross over streams and overcome their enemies.

The Morrigan, the BADB Macha, Nemain, Fea and Danu are known as the
“daughters of Ernmas”. However, the lines between the relationship shared by
BADB and the Morrigan (as well as her other counterparts) are fuzzy to say
the least. Some say the Morrigu is the joint connection between them, whilst
others say they are the same deity’s personality traits. BADB, translates
into “hooded crow” and the Morrigan “raven-woman”, with both the crow and
the raven being the principal carrion birds in Ireland, feasting on the dead
after battle.

The BADB is associated with the death portent faery, the beansidhe, usually
written in English as “Banshee”) and is said to have been crucial in the
battle against the Fomorians. BADB also means a female fairy, phantom, fury
or spectre. Morrigan is also known as THE BADB and she fights for her
people, the Tuatha de Danann (the faerie people known as the Children of
Danu) against invaders.

She was a powerful Queen of the Tuatha De Danann who, against tradition,
ruled her own land apart from her husband. BADB is a goddess of death and
battle, this is not seen as necessarily evil to the Eyrians, as both aspects
are accepted as part of the cycle. War is even welcomed in some cases by the
brave Eyrian highlanders. Yet even so, her omens are most definitely
unwelcome among the common person.

She took part in battles, influencing their outcome, and led the Tuatha de
Danaan to victory over the Fomore at the mythical battle of Magh Tuireadh
(Moytura). The myth also connects BADB with the battle of Clontarf in 1014,
when the High King Brian defeated the Viking invaders and BADB was said to
have appeared over the warriors’ heads.

“Then the Morrigu, daughter of Ernmass, came, and heartened the Tuatha De
to fight the battle fiercely and fervently. Thereafter the battle became a
and the Fomorians were beaten back to the sea.”
–The Second Battle of Magh Turedh

BADB is the sister Goddess of Fea, and Nemon who together make up the Triple
Goddess Morrigan. With her sisters Macha and the Mórrígan, daughters of
Ernmas, she was part of a trio of war goddesses. She was the wife of NET or
NEIT, a war God, and may be equivalent with Nemain, Neit’s more usual wife.
However as Morrigan she married Dagdha at Samhain. The Dagda is a powerful
being that traveled with the Tuatha De Danann. He is viewed as a father
figure and is the consort of BADB. According to Seathrú


Badb is a Celtic war goddess, also known by the names Badhbh, Baobh and Bave. The name means crow in old Irish and, in modern terms as Badhbh, vulture. Hoodie or hooded crow and Scald crow are also known interpretations of the name. The crow was a symbol of death and danger which fits her warlike persona.

Badb was part of a trinity called the Morrigna alongside Morrigan and Macha.

She may also have been known as Nemain who was married to Niet, usually quoted as the husband of Badb. It is possible she is associated with a Gaulish deity known as Bodua, Catubodua or Cauth Bova, perhaps one being the other.

In another incarnation she may be the Badb of folklore who is seen on the battlefield, portending death and known under the name of Badhbh Chaointe which translates to weeping or keening crow. This behavior and link may explain her connection to the concept of the banshee.

Under her guise of the 'battle crow', Badb was said to assume the shape of the bird and sow confusion amongst the enemy, thought to be the Fomorians, with her powerful magic which she used to turn the tide of battle in her favour.

The battlefields became know as the Land of Badb in reference to her supposed love of slaughter and her constant presence as either an instigator of trouble between opposing forces or being in the thick of battle and inciting the participants to further acts of slaughter.

Another aspect of the fear she caused in battle came via the myth of the Washer at the Ford. She was said to have been seen at the river's edge washing the armour and weapons of the men who were destined to die in battle. Interestingly, this myth was Christianized by William Sharp when he included it in his book; The Sin Eater; The Washer of the Ford and Other Legendary Moralities, (1912). Mary Magdalene is depicted as standing in the centre of a stream and washing souls who crave eternity.


Goddess of War, Death, Sovereignty

 Skull & Skeleton GraphicsSkull & Skeleton Graphics


Name:  Macha
County:  Armagh/ Ard Macha
Province:  Ulster / Ulaid / Ulidia
Father: Aed the Red
Mother: Ernmas the ban tuathid (female druid)
Husbands: Nemed   Cimbaeth   Crundchu
Type of Deity:  Triune/ Threefold
Associated Deities:  Morrigan, Danu, Badbh, Nemon, Fea
Properties: Fertility, Agriculture, the Earth, War & Death
Associated Trees:  Hawthorn Holly
Associated Herbs: Mistletoe
Macha is part of a tradition of a deity who appears over spans of time in differing guises to live among mortals and help them in whatever way she can unless they offend her and then she can wreak a terrible revenge in the form of a powerful curse.
The first Macha was the wife of Nemhedh leader of the third of the invasions recounted in the Leabhar Gabhála (The Book of Invasions) she died in one of the twelve plains cleared by her husband and it was for this reason named after her; Ard Macha which means the high plain of Macha.

The second Macha ruled over Ireland alone for a time and repelled by force those who contested her sovereignty.  She took one of her rivals Cimbaeth in marriage and she was the dominant partner in the union.  When the five sons of another rival continued to oppose her she sought them out and enticed each of them one by one into the forest to sleep with her, and there bound each in turn.  After reducing them to servitude, she forced them to build the royal fort of Emain Macha.
The third Macha put a curse on the men of Ulster; at certain times of year, they were all struck down and suffered the pains of Labour.
The story begins when Crundchu an Ulster farmer had lost his wife.  A mysterious lady named Macha entered his house and took upon herself all the wifely duties.  She was not a common mortal but was kin to the swan-maiden.  At a feast, the horses of the king were successful in a race; the poets praised him and said there was nothing in Ireland faster than his horses.  Crundchu forgetting that this was just courtly sycophancy blurted out indignantly that his wife could run faster, thereby breaking a geis which Macha had put on him to remain silent about her extraordinary abilities.
The king in a rage, his pride severely wounded, ordered that she should prove the words of her husband.  She begged for a respite as she was heavily pregnant at the time, but the king would not grant one and she had to run the race.  She ran and out-raced the horses but at the end of it, she fell with a scream, and died in the act of giving birth to twins.  With her last breath, she cursed the Ulstermen: for nine generations let them be subjected to the pains that were at that moment afflicting herself, and let them be incapacitated in times of stress.
In later generations the Ulstermen were struck down periodically with childbirth pains and their enemies such as Queen Medb of Connaught used this to advantage in The Táin Bó Cuailgne and The Battle of Muirthemne.

The Celtic Warriors of Northern Ireland collected the severed heads of their slain enemies and called it ‘Macha's Acorn Crop' or 'The Mast of Macha' Tributes were paid to her every year at the Assembly of Macha which occurred near the time of the festival of Lughnasadh during August.
Macha is also known as a Triple Goddess through her association as Goddess of War & Death, with the Morrigan.  In addition, she is linked to Danu as the Fertile Woman aspect of that Goddess.  In one of her incarnations, Balor at the Battle of Magh Tuiredh kills her.
Stories, Myths and Legends associated with Macha
~The Táin Bó Cuailgne
~The Battle of Muirthemne
~The Fair of Tailtiu
~The Courting of Emer
~Dindshenchas Teamhair (Tara)
~The Story of the Tuatha De Danann
~Death Tales of the Tuatha De Danann
Macha is an Irish war goddess, strongly linked to the land. Several goddesses or heroines bear Her name, but She is generally thought of as one aspect of the triple death-goddess the Morrigan (the "Great Queen" or "Phantom Queen"), consisting of Macha "Raven", Badb "Scald Crow" or "Boiling", and Nemain "Battle Fury". Macha is associated with both horses and crows.

The Morrigan is both sex and battle goddess and her personality is usually described as both war-like and alluring. She is known to be a prophetess: the Washer at the Ford is said to be one aspect of her, who appears to those about to die. She is commonly shown washing bloody clothes at a river ford; when approached, she tells the enquirer the clothes are theirs. Like the bean sidhe (banshee), who she is believed related to, she is an omen of death.
As goddess of the land, the Morrigan are said to be cognate with Ana or Danu, and Macha is said to be one of the Tuatha De Danann.
Three other aspects of Macha feature in Irish folklore, which likely derive from a common goddess, as they are all said to have a mother named Ernmas (also considered being the mother to Eriu, Banba, and Fódla, sacred names for Ireland). One Macha, a seeress, was the wife of Nemed "Sacred", who invaded Ireland and fought the Fomorians in Irish legend. Emain Macha, a bronze-age hill fort in Northern Ireland, and legendary capital of Ulster, is said to have been named for her.
The second Macha, titled Mong Ruadh ("red-haired"), was a warrior and Queen, who overpowered her rivals and forced them to build Emain Macha for Her.
The third Macha, and probably the most well known, was said to be the wife of Crunniuc. Like many supernatural lovers, she warns him to tell no one of her existence; but he boasts to the king of Ulster that his wife can outrun the fastest chariot. The king then seizes the very pregnant Macha and forces her to run a race, against her protests. In spite of this, she does win, and as she crosses the finish line, she gives birth. In her dying pain and anger, she curses the men of Ulster to nine times nine generations, that in their time of worst peril they should suffer the pain of childbirth.

                    "There are rough places yonder
                     Where men cut off the mast of Macha;
                     Where they drive young calves into the fold;
                     Where the raven-women instigate battle"1

                    "A hundred generous kings died there,
                     - Harsh, heaped provisions -
                     With nine, ungentle madmen,
                     With nine thousand men-at-arms"2


Celtic mythology is a brilliant shouting turmoil of stories, and within it is found a singularly poignant myth, 'Macha's Curse'. Macha is one of the powerful Morrigan, the bloody Goddesses of War for the pagan Irish but the story of her loss in Macha's Curse seems symbolic of betrayal on two scales. It speaks of betrayal on a human scale. It also speaks of betrayal on a mythological one of ancient beliefs not represented.

Celtic women were also rulers, fighting warriors and war leaders.  Celtic women "could and did rule in their own right". Evidence of continental Celtic women ruler’s dates back to 500 B.C. women buried with torcs (elite status), chariots and iron weapons. In 377 B.C., a woman named 'Macha of the Red Hair' was called Queen of all Ireland. Records indicate there were Celtic women leaders in the later Roman period including Boudicca, Cartimandua, Onomaris, Chiomara, and Teuta. Celtic women of this period also held public office and acted as ambassadors. Pagan Irish Celtic women had substantive property and marriage rights; became druids (highly placed, teachers, law arbiters, and religious leaders); had councils of their own and sat with men in the larger councils of the clan. Christianity was still tithing independent Irish queens in seventh century A.D.

The Romans found Celtic women war leaders disturbing. One classical author observed, “The women of the Celts are nearly as tall as their men and they rival them in courage". Another wrote "A whole troop of foreigners would not [withstand] a single Celt if he called his wife to his assistance. The wife is even more formidable. She is usually very strong...She begins to strike blows mingled with kicks as if they were [missiles from] a catapult. The voices of these women are formidable and threatening, even when [they are] being friendly".

Celtic women followed their husbands into battle. Chiomara, a Celtic queen, was reported to have been captured by Romans and raped. She was exchanged for ransom, and at the exchange to have decapitated her rapist and taken the head home to her husband. Celtic women and men, both took up arms with queens like, Boudicca of the Iconi and Graine Ni Maille of Connaught in Ireland. There were titles for female warriors in Ireland. Irish Celts, including women, "shouted boasting taunts, sang battle songs and made ritual displays of aggression in a frenzy before battle" to terrify the enemy. There were professional female warriors. Mythic Irish warrior-queens existed and women like Scathach taught mythic Irish heroes their skills of battle.  A woman fighting in war was reality for Celtic women and their men. There does not seem to have been any inherent discrepancy between 'the feminine' and 'power and war' for the pagan Irish Celts. The Irish Celts would have recognized 'Macha' in their women.  

In Irish mythology, Macha is one of The Morrigan; what one source calls a “Goddess of war, death and slaughter [without] a trace of human charity". The Morrigan is thought to be a collective entity made up of the Goddesses Morrigan, Nemain, Macha, and Badb. ‘She’ is considered a 'triad' of Goddesses whose names are used interchangeably, singly or together.  Macha is partly a collective entity or class (the Morrigna) and partly an individual goddess.

 In describing the Morrigna (i.e. Macha), one source noted that names “tend to preserve the earliest nature of a deity", and the names of the Morrigna are symbols that would have literally cried meaning in the oral Irish Celtic tradition:

"Macha, a royston crow; Nemain, the  Badb of battle, a  hooded  crow; Badb, rough raven, clawed vulture; lying wolves."
"Nemain, panic, frenzy; Badb ("bodu"), war, battle, fight, strife; cru flechto ("badb"), blood, gore, fight, attack, assault"
"Morrigan (mor-rigan) Queen of Death/the Slain, The Great Queen; women from the sid; Badb, bean sidhe, a female fairy, phantom; Morrighan, the great fairy."

The Morrigna were, therefore, symbolized by crows, ravens, vultures, and  wolves;  and  were  not  only symbolic of war, battle, fighting, strife, panic, frenzy, blood, gore, and death, but also of the sidhe, the  places  of  the  Tuatha  De Danann, the "Children of the Goddess Danu".
Other references add to this image of a War Goddess. The Morrigna physically went into battle with their people, for example:

"We will go with you, said the women, that is, Badb, Macha, and Morrigan."
"The badb and monsters...cried out so that they were heard from the cliffs and waterfalls and in the hollows of the earth... the dreadful agonizing cry..."
"Badb, Macha, and Morrigan...fixed their pillars in the ground lest anyone should flee before the stones should flee."

And, when asked what she will do in battle, Morrigan replies:

"Not hard to say...I have stood fast; I shall pursue what was watched; I will be able to kill; I will be able to destroy those who might be subdued."

The Morrigna brought victory and other powers to war as well:

"Nemain, Danand, Badb and Macha Morrigan who brings victory were the sorceresses of the Tuatha De Danann I sing of them sternly"
"Showers of sorcery...sustaining rain clouds of mist... a downpour of red blood...from the air upon the warriors' heads...they did not allow [the enemy] to leave for three days and nights."

Morrigan and Nemain saw the future, and Morrigan fired warriors to battle and announced great victories with poetry (roscada)

 "To the heights of Ireland and its sid-hosts, to its chief waters and to its river mouths"   Macha and Badb also waited for the dead of battle:

"Mesrad Machae’ the mast of Macha, the heads of men who have been slaughtered"
"The red Badb will be grateful to them for the battle-encounters I see."
  that  develops  is  an  image  of  a  powerful, dark, and because she existed,  a  needed  'collective  entity' that prophesied, incited to battle, created terrifying noise, engaged in direct assault (physical and  otherworld),  proclaimed  heroic  victory,  brought victory, and took 'something' from the dead.

Finally, in rounding out this description of Macha as a War Goddess, although Goddesses and Gods have rituals, available references either could not find and/or did not list, cult rituals associated with the Morrigan outside of battle. However, the description of the Morrigan resonates truly with what is actually known about Celtic war practices in Ireland and elsewhere. the presence of women, the  roscada,  the aggressive  noise  in  battle, pillars in fields, the  taking  of  heads,  and  the dead left on the field of battle by some  Celts  so  that  "the  soul  goes up  to heaven if the body is devoured on the field by the hungry vultures". The Morrigan are, significantly, as War Goddesses, symbolized by the crow and raven the principle carrion birds of Ireland. The Morrigan reflect the reality and beliefs of the pagan Irish Celts in war. If this image  of  the  collective  Goddess is seen by some as 'without human charity',  it  is  not  clear  that the Celts had any illusions about the 'charity' of war. Neither were the Celts above the same violence.

 There are, in addition, very specific connections between Macha and the other Morrigan to Mother Goddess symbols. Macha is associated with birds symbolically (crows).  Morrigan appears in the form of a 'bird' perched on the pillar stone and changes into a cow (an image used elsewhere to symbolize a Mother Goddess). Macha is  Tuatha  De Danann, a 'child of Danu' who is called "Mother of  the  Gods", and Macha  is connected to a pivotal triad of Irish Goddesses  (Eriu,  Fotla, and Banba) who represent the land itself.92 Macha  is  fertile  and gives birth. The root of Macha's name is also 'field, plain,  an enclosure for milking cows, pasturage for beasts, closed  field, or milking yard" (yet another Mother Goddess image). Two notable sites (one a city and two hills) are named after Macha: Armagh (Ard Macha, Macha’s Heights) and Emhain Macha. Finally, two particular references to Macha have a direct connection to the story of Macha's Curse:

"She who owned the Liath Macha, the Grey of Macha"
(Liath Macha is a horse, a symbol of fertility)
"Macha, greatness of wealth"

What is interesting here is that a different aspect of Macha appears one of fertility and life, connection to animals, nourishment, a Mother Goddess (Danu), wealth or prosperity, and an entire group of symbols with broader meanings.  The broader Goddess connection suggests that the creation of Macha, as a War Goddess, as she is, may have roots not only in the physical culture of war, but also in an older 'Mother Goddess' culture.

morrigan.jpg morrigan image by Eirenraevall


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