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Two Deities of the Fair Folk -
Lugh and the Morrigan

Lugh - the Golden God, and Master of All Skills

Lugh is the god of making things. He is an all-graceful god, the golden god, beloved as the harvest grain. He is handsome and strong with blond curls, and he wears an outfit more Greek than Celtic. His figure is bright as he bows, but his shadow is tantric, with multiple sets of arms, wearing heavy golden bracelets. He shifts shapes turning into a lion, and in his chest is a roaring fire. He then resumes his human form.

He says,

I am the smith, the singer, the bard, the gambler, and the origin of the trades of the Fair Folk. I give generously, I spray creative light like a breaking wave spreads foam and droplets of water. Manannan is the depth of the ocean, respected by all who have seen his beneficent form. His darker form is the great black vortex at the bottom that swallows everything, bringing the created world back to its origins.

I am the surface rather then the depths, where the sunlight bounces off in rainbows. I bring golden days and fertile lives, and I am loved by many. Most of the people of the earth love surfaces, and hate depths, and that is why I have many devotees, and Manannan few. But those who are wise respect him. Now, Manannan takes the form of a Greek god with a beautiful palace and trained stallions, but he is much more, and he has great depths, which those who know him well come to see.

Gods are like experts in special areas with secret knowledge that they can reveal if they choose. Always ask a god's skills - it is the best way to come to know him or her.

I am known as a warrior, and people fight for my shield and my spear, but I am also the force of creation at a deeper level. I am not bound by mythic stories - they are just ways that people try to grasp at essences. True essences are beyond these outer forms.

I am golden light and I have my own set of worlds. As Manannan's colors are blue, green, and white, my colors are gold, orange, and crimson. My world has the beauty of autumn trees, and of bright fish in streams, and of sunsets that make the land glow. It is wonderful to behold.

Morrigan - the Black Raven of Death and Rebirth

The Morrigan's origin was not with Manannan or even Lir, though she visits their worlds often. Nor is she one of the children of Danu. She seems to come from some dark chaos that preceded these gods, but is not a god in itself.

The major form in which she is seen is her old woman form, wrapped in a cape of black raven feathers. Sometimes she takes the form of the death raven announcing death, or the banshee predicting it with shrieks. She is the thunderhead that descends at death, and the soul which is torn from the body rises through it like lightning. Her body becomes the conduit of death, the stormy pathway of the soul.

This is not for all people but it is the way she appears to our people. Because she is the pathway, the vast network of reincarnation compressed into a cloudy mirror, she can guide the soul as she chooses. She needs only to change the pathways. Usually she is a subtle mist, but on the battlefield, she is storm clouds and thunder, the hag screaming for the dead, and the black death-horse which gallops through the sky carrying its newly deceased rider.

She is also, in secret, the goddess of incarnation. People do not like to believe that incarnations are guided. They prefer to believe that souls are generated at birth, or that some great god has chosen their fate. That the dark death goddess carries the soul in her black wings to rebirth is a frightening idea. Perhaps if the soul were brought by the stork, it would be more acceptable to the modern imagination

Another role of the Morrigan is associated with the hunting falcon, which is a rare and special role for her. Instead of a raven who guides the soul at birth or death, she becomes that falcon that guides the healer or mage in initiation.

She says,

Most humans fear me because I bring with me the aura of death. When I am near, the doorway of death is visible. The portal is composed of silver branches creating a doorway against the darkness. Beyond the door lay the worlds of incarnation.

There are many images that I use. Long ago, I came as an animal - a wolf, a vulture, or jackal. Then I took on the forms of transportation - the death-coach and the death train. I am still the Nightmare who rides away with the soul, the dark angel of death that wrestles the soul out of the body.

The death-coach comes from a time when coaches were owned by wealthy aristocrats. A coach meant nobility, royalty, or superior status. A death-coach sent by a god would be luxurious black velvet and leather, with gold and silver trim. But it also meant that a deity, a superior was sending a messenger. It was how invitations were sent before the postal service and the telephone.

The death summons in whatever symbolic form brings awareness of the temporary nature of life.

My mythic body is a woman or a bird, but my cosmic form is a cloud with pathways leading from it. People are pulled down these pathways by the force of their desires and sins, and by their striving and seeking after goals. It is as if they are magnetized, and the soul is pulled from one magnet to the next. The death-coach brings the soul to the mountaintop or the cave, and I am the dark cloud it must pierce to arrive at its destination. I also open the most powerful of the magnetized pathways - the birthing child pulling down a soul into a body and a new incarnation.

As a helper to and teacher of mages, I am the falcon who guides the hunter to his goal. Falcons too have been used as a way to send messages. In all cases, the message that I send is that another world awaits.

As a teacher, I sometime preside over initiations. Initiation is the simulation of death, and new life. In the initiatory process, it is the death of the soul rather than the death of the body, but they echo each other. One must experience disintegration before reintegration.

Initiations transform people and are sometimes painful but they bring them to the awareness of deeper layers of vision and intuition.

As Black Goddess of initiation, some choose to enter my cauldron, to gain the wisdom that is there. It is a dangerous path, for there is a chance of destruction, and also a chance of losing the wisdom that is sought. Such was the case in the tales of Talieson and Kerridwen. Though she made the wisdom for one who was dull and needed it, nevertheless one who was clever gained it. Wisdom will not always go where we wish it.

Finding wisdom is hard. Sometimes one must suffer unjustly, and sometimes one must deal with ugliness. But the Black Goddess has wisdom of the pathways of life and death, and from the dark cauldron of human need and desire, and from the process of incarnation itself, comes the bright drop of wisdom.

Introduction | History | Manannan Mac Lir | Merlin | Taliesin | Building the Realms of the Fair Folk | Lir and Danu | Lugh and the Morrigan | Anya, Daughter of Manannan | Manannan's Ocean Kingdom | Aengus, The Poet God of Love and Romance | The Ancient Roads to the Fair Folk | Manannan's Horses | The Society of the Fair Folk | The Place of Transformation | Traveling Between the Worlds | Research Methodology | Conclusion


Copyright © 2005,   J. Denosky,   All Rights Reserved