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The Morrígan, or “Phantom Queen,” was a fearsome Celtic deity and Irish goddess of death and destiny. Appearing before great battles as the goddess of fate, the Morrígan offered prophecy and favor to heroes and gods alike. As the Phantom Queen, she circled the battlefield as a conspiracy of ravens to carry away the dead. She was at once both a single deity and a triple goddess, made up of Ireland’s most powerful goddesses.
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The Morrígan was the daughter of Ernmas. Her father remains unknown. Her siblings were Ériu, Banba, and Fódla, who made up the triple goddess representing the spirit and sovereignty of Ireland, as well as Badb and Macha, with whom the Morrígan made up a triple goddess of war. She was married to the Dagda.


She was all-knowing, and would occasionally share her knowledge with others (for a price). Her prophecies were never wrong and her wordings were exact, if somewhat poetic. Her appearance to royalty and warriors also represented the side she favored in a battle. The Morrígan’s association with the raven stemmed from the bird’s constant presence on the battlefield.
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The Morrígan was also a shapeshifter who took many forms; she would often appear in multiple forms throughout a single story. The most common of these forms was a shapely maiden, a battle-ready warrior-queen, an old crone, and a raven. While she could take the form of other animals beyond a raven, the Morrígan did so less frequently.
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Triple Goddess

One of the most prominent aspects of the Morrígan was her nature as a triple goddess of war. In many stories, she appeared as both an individual and as three goddesses acting under a single name.
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Membership within this triple goddess varies depending on the source. In some cases, the daughters of Ernmas, Badb, Macha, and Anand were named as the Morrígan, with Nemain or Fea sometimes replacing one of the goddesses in the triad. Elsewhere, the Morrígan was listed as a sister of Badb and Macha, with Anand simply serving as an alternate name for the goddess. This inconsistency likely represented early Irish scholars’ attempts to resolve a number of conflicting oral traditions.


Morrigan is represented similarly in almost every artistic representation of her. She is young, with long, flowing dark hair. Her clothing is black and sometimes very revealing. Other times, she is cloaked so as not to show her face. Because she was a shape-shifter, she is often shown with one of the more common forms she would take on-the crow or raven. She is strikingly beautiful yet intimidating.
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