First there’s Morrighan, who I sometimes affectionately refer to as “the first half of my patron.” She can be aloof or distant in that she doesn’t come knocking on my brain telling me what she wants. It’s almost like she expects her devotees to know what is required of them. She is The Great Queen, after all, and a queen can always expect to be treated with the honor she deserves. Yet more than anything, what distinguishes Morrighan is a certain coolness she has about her, wrapped around a quiet, unyielding strength.
My relationship to her has always been an interesting one…. I never felt intimidated or put off by her as I know some people are, but she certainly wasn’t waiting for me with a smile and a hug. I think the best way I can describe it is as a relationship between a child and a stern parent. Yes, she cares; she is there to guide, to give advice… but she sure as hell isn’t going to coddle me. I had a strict and stifling Catholic upbringing, and was thus instilled with toxic levels of meekness and shame. Morrighan has been my antidote to this. She doesn't let me pout or feel sorry for myself. She tells me to stand up, and it was with her help that I found my confidence and am learning my self-worth.
If Morrighan is my stern parent, then An Badb Cath (the other half of my patron) is my wild aunt. If Morrighan is the calm before the storm, The Red-mouthed Badb is the electricity that you can feel in the air and makes your hair stand up on end. She is ecstatic rage; unbridled, untamable, unpredictable passionate energy. She wants nothing more than for me to express myself. And by “express myself,” I don’t mean “express my happy feelings with finger paints.” I’m talking about those nasty, ugly feelings, the ones that people are discouraged from having, much less expressing. Not only did she teach me that it is ok to be angry (which was a revolutionary idea to me with the way I was raised), she taught me that it is ok to let myself feel it. Instead of being ashamed of my feelings and hiding them in some dark corner of my soul where they would fester and grow until they consumed me, I learned to accept them, to look at them objectively and allow them to run their course.
To me, these goddesses are proof that you can’t deny what is ugly and unpleasant in your life or yourself. You have to face those things, embrace them even. The world is made up of night and day, dark and light. They certainly aren’t happy, cuddly goddesses, but it is because of their lessons that I am as whole and happy a person as I am today. Because of this, I know what wherever my spiritual path leads, I will always have a place in my heart for the Crows of Battle.
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