Funny story about the Mórrígan.
On Sunday 13th October, I was in Dublin presenting at Octocon – The National Irish Science Fiction Convention.
(Details for 2020 are here, by the way – https://2019.octocon.com/2019/10/14/octocon-returns-in-2020/)
It was a lovely day, filled with lovely people… and a small* amount of wine was consumed. By me.
AFTER the event (and some more wine), we decided to go for dinner with some lovely friends. We decided on Sushi, because, my friends, I am all about the sushi. Just give me all of the sushi, all of the time.
As we walked to dinner, the hunger came upon me, for a type of Sushi that has been made clear to me, by Herself (the Mórrígan), that I am not to have. Or at least, I am not to take lightly. But I love it the very best, of all the sushi.
That is, Unagi.
Yes, you guessed it. I am spiritually restricted from eating an Eel.
It’s not a ban, exactly. It’s not a ‘never ever’ geis, a taboo, a prohibition. But it is to be taken seriously.
There’s been a few times where I’ve really wanted it, and the contractual price in return just… wasn’t worth it.
Wine-imbibing Lora decided that eel was on the menu, that night, and consequences be damned.
No, I didn’t just go ahead and eat it and expect to pay the price – I was tipsy not brain damaged. I did what any reasonable person would do… I went into the restaurant bathroom and had a conversation with a Goddess.
The upshot of all this was…
I got my lovely unagi nagiri.
So, if you have any Mórrígan questions, comment below and ask.
I know some of you are laughing at me right now. I probably deserve that 🤷♀️
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Slán go fóill
*I say a small amount… I’m very tall. Proportionally, the wine volume was small compared to my tall. My blood alcohol levels on the day may not have agreed with this analysis logic, but whatever.
This post is about the monument known as Medb’s Heap, Medb’s Cairn, Medb’s Tomb, Medb’s Nipple or Medb’s Grave (and sometimes the name Medb is anglicized as Maeve).
In Irish it’s called Miosgán Medb, from the old Irish word mescán – mass, lump, heap.
Now, you’ll likely have heard tell of the one in County Sligo, the famous “Maeve’s Grave” that sits on top of the 327 metre (1,073 ft) hill called Knocknarea, just to the West of Sligo town.
That may be what you’re looking for… but did you know there are 4 other sites that bear the name “Medb’s Heap’ too?
Stay with me now here, for a few minutes, and let me show you some of what I’ve found while researching my new book: ‘The Irish Queen Medb: History, Tradition, and Modern Pagan Practice’.
So, I was sorting through the Cruachán (Rathcroghan) sites associated with Medb specifically (because that’s where she lived and ruled from, never mind that oul Sligo connection, for now).
There are two large stones named for her that lie directly between the Rathcroghan Main Mound, and Ráth Beag, a high status burial mound directly across from it. They are called Miosgán Medb (again, Medb’s Heap) and Millín Medb (Medb’s Knoll, related to the modern Irish meall – knoll, mound, or a lump of butter).
As expected, so far.
However, when I looked the name up on Logainm.ie (the Irish placenames database), I got a surprise.
These references are for Cairn monuments in the areas of Raymunterdoney, Meentaghconlan, and Clonmany. And if you look these places up on the map, you’ll there’s none of them very far from that upper NorthWest coastline.
I looked them up on the map already for you. Here…
The placement of these sites struck me as VERY interesting because they form a boundary against an area that is traditionally a direction which Otherworldly forces might have come from: The NorthWest Sea, and specifically Tory Island, which has links to the Fomorians.
This ancient enemy is NOT from the same time period as Queen Medb, story wise. They are from the Mythological Cycle, while her stories are set in the Ulster Cycle.
Was there a different Medb, a local ancestor or Goddess whose name survived there?
Was our Queen Medb being evoked against general Otherworld/ocean concerns, by the people of a community who may have carried some ancestral memory of foes from that direction, and a powerful guardian who could protect against them?
Unfortunately, we may never know for sure… but I will be exploring this (and more!) further as I continue to write this book.
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