Urania - Rite 6. Magic of Mars and the Morrigan

Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess

Fellowship of Isis Liturgy by Olivia Robertson

Part III. Planetary Magic

Magic of Mars and the Morrigan

Ritual no. 6

ORACLE OF THE GODDESS MORRIGAN
 
 
Priestess: (Invocation) Triple Goddess Who are Maid and Queen and Enchantress; red robed Wife to the Dagda, fiery God of Mars. Raven-tressed Prophet with the river of life and death flowing about Thy Feet. Come to us with Thy Power.

Oracle: Seek the prophetic gifts and all else will be added to you. For in My future lies both My present and My past; for the greater contains the lesser: and in My great age of aeons lies My youth and My Queenship. To hold the Sword of the Ruler is good, but it is wisdom that declares how the Sword should be used. And it is the compassion of the Virgin that sheathes the sword. The hollow of the scabbard contains the sword, as the womb of the Mother contains the Kingly warrior. So if you would be great, look before you in your future, for there you shall be in your fullness and completion ruler of many selves. And fore-knowledge even of Doom teaches the inevitable sequence of cause and effect; the result of good and evil actions: so that you will learn to pursue a virtuous and honourable course in life. Knowledge of My secret of sudden death brings understanding of your own immortality. My Right Foot stands firm upon the earth, as I stand over the dividing river of Life and Death; and my Left Foot is rooted in the Land of the Sidhe and the world of spirits: yet am I ever the same.

If you see Me in My innocent youth washing your clothes from all stain and sorrow, do not be afraid, but cross by the stepping stones of My ford to the other world, where I am Queen. As such I am both wife and mother, and desire that the earth should be replenished with My children.

But when I appear to you as the Ancient One, your Initiation is nigh. Then you too will feel the Inner Fire and shall prophesy. And people will flee from you as they flee from Me, for the children of men fear enchantment more than they fear pain and death. But for you, enchantment will draw forth your greater being which is immortal. Remember: My messenger is the blue-black Raven.

Let the altar be draped with red and gold cloth, and upon it be set 3 lighted red candles, burning incense and a bowl of water. Before the altar a sheathed sword lies upon a stone. In the centre of the Temple let there be a charcoal fire with 3 sticks leaning together. Magician wears a red robe with the insignia of Mars, a circle with an arrow flying from it, blazed in gold. Enchantress wears a red robe blazoned with the Morrigan sign, a heart with an arrow entering it, in gold. Both wear gold or copper rayed crowns. Magician carries a gold wand: Enchantress a silver wand. 4 Companions at 4 quarters. Practitioners wear flame coloured robes of varied shade. Candidate wears white robes.

Magician: Companions on the quest for the Power of the Planet Mars, let us invoke the mighty God himself.

Magician: (offers incense at altar) I invoke the God Ares! (In the South Magician makes the Mars sign with wand) Behold the Golden Arrow of the Sun flying from the Ring of Power.

(1st) Companion: (South) Ares, exceeding in strength, chariot-rider, golden-helmed, doughty in heart, Saviour of cities. Thou art Defender of Olympus. Father of war-like Victory, ally of the Goddess of Justice, Themis, leader of righteous men, sceptered King of manliness, Thou doest whirl Thy fiery sphere among the planets in their sevenfold courses through the aether, wherein Thy blazing steeds ever bear Thee above the third firmament of heaven. Hear us, Helper of men, Giver of dauntless youth. Shed down a kindly ray from above upon our lives and give strength for victory that we may be able to drive away bitter cowardice from our heads and crush down the deceitful impulses of our souls. Restrain also the keen fury of our hearts which provokes us to tread the ways of blood-curdling war. Rather, O Blessed One, give us boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of death.

Enchantress: (lights fire) I invoke the Goddess Morrigan (In the North Enchantress makes the Morrigan sign with her wand) Behold the Silver Arrow of the Moon entering the Crimson Heart!

(2nd) Companion: (North) Triple Goddess Who art pure Virgin, Noble Queen and Enchantress Who on Thy Loom weaveth the destiny of all creatures, Raven Goddess robed in red, bring us the ecstasy of creation. Thine is Power, Thine is Glory, for it is from Thy Being that we receive the Fiery Spark of our souls. Come within us with Thy Life-Giving Power.

Magician: Let the Candidate stand forth.

Candidate steps forward.

Magician: Are you willing to face the tests of the Sun God Lugh of the Tuatha de Danaan?

Candidate: I am willing.

Magician: Three choices must be made, and on your answers hang your Destiny.

Music: Mars, Bax’s Tintagel. Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony or Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead are suitable.

Enchantress: Harken to the first choice. Which do you choose to serve: The Great Ares, who is also the God Dagda the Red, or the Goddess Morrigan?

Candidate: I choose to serve The Morrigan. The warriors of the past have reaped of the glories and sufferings of Ares. The hero Cuchulain has won his laurels through The Dagda, King of the Tuatha de Danaan. I turn rather to the hidden Powers within the soul. The outer is the manifestation of the inner: so I gain Ares by serving the Goddess.

Magician: Wise is your choice. Great Ares will bestow strength on all who follow the Goddess. And this is necessary. Know that when The Morrigan, the Melusina, ascends from the fiery core of the earth, there comes a column of black smoke like unto the trunk of a giant tree. And this tree grows until it reaches the sky, and its spreading branches scatter fiery flowers of many colours: and they in turn drop gold and silver fruit. When you face the rising of this black tree with its starry flowers and fruit with courage and calm, you shall win the Name of Son of Lugh.

Enchantress: You will then be offered one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha de Danaan. The Folk of the Gods whose Mother is Dana came on a cloud out of the Heavens from Four Cities in the sky named Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias. From Falias the Deities brought the Lia Fail, the Stone of Destiny. The Sword of Light they bore from Gorias; from Finias the Spear was taken, and from Murias they carried the Cauldron of Plenty. Now hearken to your second choice. Which do you accept of these treasures: The Spear which brings both Victory and Healing is given by Ares, and The Dagda, husband of the Morrigan. So only the Three Gifts of the Goddess, are now offered to you.

3rd Companion: (West) The Cauldron of Plenty is bestowed by Morrigan the Maid, called Badb the Crow. The Badb appears to heroes in all her youthful loveliness as the Washer by the Ford. And the Ford is through that river which is at the World’s End in the West, for beyond it lies the Realm of the Sidhe, called Tir na nOg, Land of Everlasting Youth. This country is invisible to (the) mortal eye, and lies below, upon and above the mighty Western Ocean that once over-whelmed Atlantis. Its bells may be heard from the deeps, and the sound of maidens singing entice sailors to cast themselves from their ships to seek lost beauty. And the purple mountains reach into the sky with rainbow shafts of light that are pathways to the stars. When in your wanderings, you may come upon the Badb by a Ford washing dust and blood from your earthly armour, know that your time has come to cross the river of death to the other realm of the Sidhe. But fear not Her Cauldron of Plenty holds the food and drink of immortality. The Divine Virgin is ever compassionate: for those in need the Cauldron is never empty.

4th Companion: (West) The Stone of Rulership is bestowed by Morrigan the Great Queen, The Macha. In Her union with Dagda the Good, She has One Foot upon the North bank of the River of Life and Death, and the Other Foot upon the South bank, and She faces the rising sun. So is She Queen of Earth; and all who sit upon the Macha’s Seat of Authority are Her sons and daughters, and derive their thrones from Her.

2nd Companion: (North) What has the Raven Goddess Morrigan, Nemain the Hag to offer? Heroes follow fair maidens and stately Queens rather than She who has been termed the Frenzied Crow:

"There were two slender spears of battle
Upon either Side of the Hag:
Her Face was blue-black, the lustre of coal.
On Her Forehead was one deep pool-like eye
Swifter than a star in a winter sky;
Upon Her Head gnarled brushwood
Like the clawed old wood of aspen root."

It is Nemain the Cailleach who indeed gives the Sword of Light,, by plunging it into the hero’s heart! For does She not foretell the death of Kings and so throw the bravest into despair? She has been seen in the posture of the Enchantress, standing upon one leg and closing one eye, uttering oracles of the fall of kingdoms. “Now the travellers saw coming to them a wide-mouthed black swift sooty Woman, lame and squinting with Her left eye, She wore a threadbare blue black cloak. Dark as the back of a stag-beetle was every joint of Her, from the top of Her Head to the ground. Her filleted gray hair fell back over Her shoulders, and She began prophesying Doom.”

Music.

Magician: Which of the Three Morrigans do you follow? Which treasure do you choose?

Candidate: I choose the Cailleach, Nemain the Morrigan. For it is told that when the Goddess Dana, glorious Mother of the Gods and Goddesses of the Tuatha de Danaan defended them in a battle, the vanquished people of the Fomor recognised Dana as none other than the Morrigan. The victors have their triumph. Understanding comes to the defeated. And in choosing the Cailleach I have also gained the Maiden and the Queen, for does not the Old Woman contain Her own two past selves: I choose Her Sword that I may learn to use its Hidden Power with Wisdom and Compassion.

Enchantress: It is well chosen. But the third choice must be made ere you may draw the sword.

Music.

Magician: Which do you choose, the sword or its scabbard richly encrusted with many-coloured jewels?

Candidate: I choose the scabbard. For the greater contains the lesser. The Power that glitters from the sharp edge of the sword is in reality drawn from the magic gems on the scabbard: and they in turn draw their radiance from the scabbard’s dark hollow, that may be likened to the womb of The Morrigan.

Enchantress: Thou has chosen with true vision, and shall henceforth be known as Son of Lugh of the Long White Arm. (gives Candidate the Sword.) For so did the Sun God Lugh of the Tuatha de Danaan gain His Sword of Light.

Candidate: Noble Enchantress and Magician, I know that all good comes from the Three, that the One may not be tyrant. Thrice consecrate then this sword and this scabbard, for body and soul and spirit.

Magician: Not only the One and the Three but the Four are needed that the Mystic Seven Powers may weave the spell of creation.

Music. Weaving dance increasing in speed, 3-fold, 2 steps forward, 1 back.

Magician holds forth scabbard and turns it three times in his hands.

Magician: In the Name of the Goddess Morrigan, I consecrate this Scabbard with the five-fold spell of the Sidhe of Fire and Earth. May each gem give forth its true Power in harmony with the Seven.

Enchantress unsheathes sword and dips point in water. She brandishes it in the air three times.

Enchantress: In the Name of the Goddess Morrigan, I consecrate this Sword of Fire with the two-fold spells of the Sidhe of Water and of Air. May each give forth their true Powers in harmony with the Seven. So do the Two Serpents of Sun and Moon twine about Sword and Scabbard in Ever-living Light.

Enchantress hands sword to Candidate. Candidate holds sword aloft.

Candidate: In the Name of the Goddess Morrigan may all beings receive Power and Peace.

Candidate draws sword round circle until coloured rays are seen reaching the auras of each practitioner. Names are given for those needing strength and vitality and the rays sent forth to these. Candidate returns sword to scabbard and places on stone.

Magician: Let this sheathed sword be our pledge of amity with all.

All pass before sheathed sword placing both hands upon it.

All: May power and peace be won.

Enchantress: Companions, let us meditate upon Ares and the Morrigan and Their Power and Peace.

Meditation

Then reports are shared.

Magician: We give thanks to the God Ares and the Goddess Morrigan for the glory and friendship of the planet Mars.


Sources: "Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns and Homerica", trans. Evelyn-White, Heinemann Ltd., London, Loeb Classical Library. "Pagan Celtic Britain: Studies in Iconography and Tradition", Anne Ross, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London. "Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race", T. W. Rolleston, George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., London, 1912.

 

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