The Morrigan and Me

The Irish Goddess, The Morrigan had decided She wanted me to do work for Her. Since I am a Roman Polytheist, I knew little about Irish and Celtic Gods. Therefore, I decided I could not be able to do anything She requested. After several months of sending crows, The Morrigan threw me out of my bed shouting in my head “Pay Attention!” The Morrigan had the final say in the matter. Now, I have a small altar of raven statues and crow feathers for The Morrigan.

The Morrigan is a Triple Goddess with many “parts.” (Note 1.) Badb, the Crow, Macha, the Great Queen, and Nemain, the Hag are well-known. Moreover, these Goddesses are more than aspects, as They are independent Beings. People may encounter one or all of them as The Morrigan.

The Morrigan presents Herself to me as a large, black Crow, Who perches on my balcony and caws. Coming at odd hours, this Crow freaks my family out. They are unsettled by the well of darkness and mystery surrounding the Bird.

One task that The Morrigan has assigned me is to care for the Dead. She asks me to tell Them that the Living have not forgotten them. This Morrigan is Badb, the Goddess of Death. Another task that The Morrigan has given me is to tell the brutal truth to people. Usually, I am not welcomed by others because I often blurt out what they prefer to have hidden. However, to know the truth is to gain personal sovereignty. This Morrigan who directs me is Macha, the Great Queen of Sovereignty.

Since there is a paradoxical nature to The Morrigan, people have different ideas of Her. My sense of The Morrigan is much different than from many Neo-Pagans, who have noticed Her emergence in modern times. John Beckett, who blogs at Patheos Pagan, believes that She is recruiting people for “Tower Time.” (Note 2.) He says that people being told by Her to be prepared for the “storm.” That The Morrigan is another Being of the Triple Goddess.

Notes:

Note 1. The Triple Goddess is three or (more Goddesses) in the genus of one. For example, grey squirrel, red squirrel, fox squirrel, and others are all separate squirrels. Together they make up the genus of “squirrel.” This differs from the Christian God, which is “One God in three Divine Persons,” that is Trinitarianism. It is also not the Triunity of the Neo-Pagan Goddess, which is three distinct selves united in One Being.

Note 2. Beckett defines “Tower Time” to be the radical change of the world which will end colonial empires and the patriarchy.

Personal Gods for November

In the dark parts of the year, several Gods have decided that I make offerings to them.

The Morrigan

The Morrigan threw me out of bed demanding that I work for her. Often referred to as The Triple Goddess, The Morrigan has three major aspects. She is Morrigu, the Goddess of Battle, Macha, Goddess of Sovereignty, and Badb, the Goddess of Prophecy. As the Goddess of Battle, The Morrigan rouses her warriors for the fight. As the Great Queen, The Morrigan is the personification of sovereignty. In this aspect, She inspires the people to defend their homes. As the Goddess of Prophecy, The Morrigan appears as the Washer of the Ford. Often seen washing clothes in a river, She predicts who will die in battle by handling their bloody garments.

Baba Yaga

The squirrels tell me of Baba Yaga. To them, She is wild, kind, ruthless, and enigmatic, holding the mysteries of the wilderness in Her. The Goddess speaks to me in the dark time of fall and winter. I often feel Baba Yaga in the inky blackness of night and the drab greyness of dawn. Within the darkness, I am enveloped like a primordial forest of wild nature. Then I hear Her screeching in my ear like an angry squirrel about what devotions to do for Her.

Lost Species

In the Wheel of the Year for Neo-Pagans, November is the time to remember the Ancestors. Hecate has a festival day on November 30, which is “Remembrance Day for Lost Species.” (https://www.lostspeciesday.org/) This day is a “chance each year to explore the stories of extinct and critically endangered species…” The day is for witnessing the loss of biological diversity and to honor solutions on saving the rest.

In my Cultus for “Extinct Animals,” I have observed there are four groupings. “The Recently Extinct” do not want any contact with humans, as they are still grieving and angry. “Dinosaurs” also dislike humans since their bones are handled disrespectfully. “The Long Dead” such as Trilobites are alien to humans but are curious about them. “Ancestors of Humans” also are curious about their descendants.

Babylonian Month: October-November

The eighth month of Mesopotamia calendar is focused on the ending of the ploughing season. In Sumer, this month was called “Apin Du-a,” “the month that the seed plough is let go.” During the afczta festival, the plough is taken in a procession to its “home” – the shed where it is hung until the next ploughing season. (This farming implement is used only from the fourth month to the end of the seventh.) The “Disputation Between the Hoe and the Plough” is read as part of the festival.

Another festival held during this month is the Na-ab-ri-um. The focus is on divining for the coming agriculture year. Babylonians are well-known for their divination by liver (extispicy). Other divining methods used are oil in water (lecanomancy) and incense (libanomancy).

The name for the eighth month of the Standard Mesopotamia Calendar is odd. Usually, the months are named for what happens during that time. However, this month is simply named, “Arahsamna,” the eighth month. Samsu-iluna, King of Babylon, created this luni-solar calendar to standardize time across the region. Other city states in the area used lunar calendars, all of them different. In constructing his calendar, Samsu-iluna selected various months from these other calendars. This name for this month was a corruption of the Old Persian Calendar for their name of the “eighth month.”

Notes:
The month for the Dead in the Mesopotamian calendar is in July and August. That is when the Seven Gates of the Underworld are open, and the Dead are allowed to leave to visit their families. Unlike the standard Neo-Pagan calendar, October is not a month of the thinning of the veil or for Ancestor honoring.

ROMAN GODS OF THE MONTH: OCTOBER

For the Romans, October is a month to focus on the affairs of the state and of the community. Fides (Good Faith), Felicitas (Good Fortune) and Venus Victrix (Venus Victorious) are honored for the protection of the people and the continuing favor of the Gods. Di Penates (the Gods of the Pantry) are also given sacrifices for protecting the food stores. Meanwhile, the welfare of the people is prayed for by offerings to springs for Fons and drinking the first wine for health in the honor of Meditrina.

Also, October is a month of transitions. The campaign season is over and soldiers return home. They and their weapons need to be purified before they can rejoin the civilian population. For that reason, this month is under the guardianship (tutela) of Mars.

GODS AND THEIR FESTIVALS

FIDES PUBLICA: The Goddess of Good Faith and Trust, Fides Publica has sacrifices made to Her on October 1. This Goddess presides over oral contracts both political and social. Roman priests make offerings to Fides with gloved hands, to show their absolute trust in Her.

MANIA and DII MANES: The Opening of the Mundus (the Well to the Underworld) is conducted for the second time in the year on October 5. At this time, the Dead (Dii Manes) go amongst the living. I say prayers to Dii Manes and Mania, who is Guardian of the Underworld, to protect my family from the restless Dead.

The Roman calendar differs from the standard Neo-Pagan one. There is no thinning of the veil, instead the Mundus is opened three times a year (August, October and November). The honoring of the Ancestors and the Dead is held in February and May.

FAUSTA FELICITAS: On October 9, a festival is held for Fausta Felicitas, the Goddess of Good Fortune. As Felicitas Publica, She is the Divine Force of the State. People pray to Her in both aspects to keep the commonwealth prosperous and successful.

VENUS VICTRIX: The Roman Goddess Venus has many aspects. One of them is Venus Victrix (Venus Victorious), who protects the State. As Venus Genetrix, She is considered to be the Ancestress of the Roman People. As the Evening Star, Venus led her son Aeneas to Latium to settle. Her festival is also on October 9.

MEDITRINA: The Meditrinalia, the Festival of First Wine, is held on October 11. Cups of new wine mixed with old wine is drunk to Meditrina, Goddess of the First Wine and Healing. She is the daughter of Aesculapis God of Healing, and the sister of Hygenia,

FONS: Fons, the God of Springs, is honored at the Fontinalia on October 13. I make offerings for clean water at a neighborhood stream.

DI PENATES: On October 14, Romans honor Di Penates, the Gods of the Pantry. Along with the Lars, Di Penates protect the household. Since They guard the food stores, Di Penates can be considered the Gods of the Food Banks. Taking canned goods to a food bank is one way to honor Di Penates.

MARS: In October, the Roman armies came home from the wars. They and their arms had to be purified, and Mars thanked for another campaign season. The final sacrifice to Mars for the season was the October Horse. The Armilustrium was the purification of the weapons and trumpets (tubae). At this time, I honor Mars and say prayers for veterans on October 18.

Prayers for Jupiter of the Romans

Since Jupiter is important, I have dedicated prayers to various aspects of Him. Each prayer helps to me focus on that aspect of Jupiter, and become closer to Him.

Salve Iuppiter Tonas!
The Thunderer who speaks to us
In the Storm
May we understand

Salve Iuppiter Fulgur!
Salve Iuppiter Fulgurator!
Jupiter of the Lightening bolt
Tells us Your Will
May we understand

Salve Iuppiter Elicius!
Reliever of drought
We thank You for the welcome rain

Salve Iuppiter Capitolinus!
Jupiter of the Capitol
Jupiter who helps us to govern
May we listen

Salve Iuppiter Feretrius!
The Hard Striker
Maker of Treaties who Blesses our Weapons

Salvete Iuno Regina, Iuppiter Optimus Maximus, Minerva Augusta!
O Capitoline Triad
Who shows us to govern
May we heed Your Advice
May our leaders listen

Salve Iuppiter Stator!
The Stayer of the Rout
Who commands us to stay and fight

Salve Iuppiter Invictus!
Unconquered Jupiter
Always victorious
May we follow You

Salve Iuppiter Depular!
The Repeller of Enemies
We thank You

Salve Iuppiter Pistor!
Who told us to give up
What we hold most precious
To win against our besiegers

Salve Iuppiter Conservator!
Jupiter the Savior
Sheltering those in need
We give You Thanks

Salve Iuppiter Caelestis!
Heavenly Jupiter
Who looks kindly down upon us

Salve Iuppiter Custos!
Jupiter the Custodian
Who protects his people
We give You Thanks

(From Galina Krasskova’s Prayer Cards: “Jupiter” by Lykeia)