|Homework: Think about how you interact with the deities. What do you call it when you do ritual? Is it “worship” to the Gods, “honor” to the Gods, or “love” to the Gods? Or is it something else entirely? Are these terms even different to you? When you think of your place in the cosmos, relative to where the Gods are, what is the relationship? Are the Gods above you, around you, inside you? Do they take an active part in your life? Can you map out where they are graphically? Do they reside in a physical place (like the Mt. Olympus of the Greeks)?|
My faith into Gods and Goddesses evolved with time. I was raised as a Catholic, but I knew this religion was not for me. In my youth, I was more or less an atheist, only because I was not aware of any religion that could fit my feeling with the divine. I strongly believed in gnomes and fairies, and I knew that nature was full of life, energies and conscience. I know now that I was an animist, the spiritual belief that everything in nature, animate and inanimate—such as animals, plants, and inanimate objects—possess a spiritual essence/soul. With time, I discovered Wicca, and I could slightly relate to the Duotheistic nature of this religion/spirituality. But again, something was wrong as I could not think that one Goddess and one god could have different archetypes and aspects. When I discovered Druidry, I learned more about Polytheism, and then, I knew I had found my way! I do believe that many gods and goddesses exist in a multitude of pantheons based on cultural beliefs. When I had to choose a pantheon to work with, I was debating between the Norse and the Celtic pantheons. Reading on each of them, I could easily feel drawn to the Celtic world, and then, I chosen between the Gaelic (Irish, Scottish, Manx) and the Brythonic (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) mythologies. Reading more about the Irish and the Welsh mythologies, I naturally felt more interested by the Irish pantheon, called Tuatha Dé Danann (usually translated as “People(s)/Tribe(s) of the Goddess Danu”). These Irish Deities are depicted as kings, queens and heroes of the distant past who had supernatural powers. They are also known by the earlier name Tuath Dé (“Tribe of the Gods”). Since I’m so strongly connected with the Celtic Irish Deities, it only seems natural for me to describe my understanding and my relation with them specifically.
In short, the Irish Mythology is divided by four overlapping cycles called the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the Historical Cycle. The Mythological Cycle, is the one comprising the stories of the former gods and origins of the Irish, and is unfortunately the least well preserved of the four cycles. The most important sources of this Mythological Cycle are the Dindshenchas (Lore of Places) and the Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of Invasions). Other manuscripts preserve such mythological tales as Aisling Óenguso (The Dream of Óengus), Tochmarc Étaíne (The Wooing of Étain) and Cath Maige Tuired (The Battle of Magh Tuireadh). Much of Irish mythology was recorded by Christian monks, who modified it to an extent. The Gaels saw the universe as being divided into three parts. These are known by various names but usually correlate to the Land (Talamh), Sky (Neamh), and Sea (Muir). The Tuatha Dé Danann once lived on the Land, but they are now divided between the three realms. Some are in the Sky, acting as powerful Deities. Some are in the Sea, acting as chthonic Ancestors. Some local Deities are with the Nature Spirits in the Otherworld, a kind of parallel world connected to the Land. Many accounts report that the Tuatha Dé Danann eventually became the Daoine Sídhe or fairies of later folklore, but I disregard that idea. To me, the Deities remain the gods and goddesses and the Daoine Sídhe are completely different. In general, in my own spiritual practices, I picture the Deities as resident of the Sky, above me, and all around me.
I personally believe that Deities can go through my daily life. Since my youth, I feel a powerful feminine presence around me, and coincidentally, I’m also often surrounded by crows and ravens. Two years ago, I discovered that many of my feelings and sensation had similar characteristics with The Morrígan. The fact that I always loved autumn and Samhain, the colors black and red, the crows and raven, stories about shapeshifting… All these elements play a large role in stories about The Morrígan. She is now my matron Goddess, and I often honor the Triple Goddess during my ritual and my high day celebration. In fact, I invite the three Morrígu (individual aspect of Morrígan) part of the group called “The Morrígan”. Individually, they are known as Anu, Badb and Macha). I made many researches to explain their roles as the Triple Goddesses of War and Sovereignty (The Morrígan):
- Anu (Death) – Associated with Cattle | Could be a Maiden Aspect of the Wiccan Goddess
- Macha (War) – Associated with Horses | Could be a Mother Aspect of the Wiccan Goddess
- Badb (Battle) – Associated with Crows | Could be a Crone Aspect of the Wiccan Goddess
My connection with all of them is strong, but the one that visits me the most is undoubtedly Badb. She tends to push me through my limits! She is not particularly hard to work with, but she is demanding and expecting hard work from me. In return, she made me psychologically stronger, independent, confident, and helps me gaining wisdom through these researches and study. My learning of the Tuatha Dé Danann expands every day, and I meticulously wrote a small encyclopedia on them, with notes on their genealogy and their relations between each others. I also identified the ancient rituals connected with them, and how modern Druids can worship them in a respectful way based on their personalities and tastes.
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