The level of common misconceptions about the Morrigan is incredibly high, a testament to her popularity as a goddess of witches, I suppose. When Daimler published Morrigan: Meeting the Great Queens in 2014 we were finally given a book of deep scholarship about this fascinating and powerful goddess. As the title promises, Raven Goddess brings the reader still further into the lore and worship of the Morrigan, providing us with specific source material and direction.
Daimler's approach is based on equal parts academic and personal gnosis as they are a longtime worshiper of the Morrigan. "I have always found the best approach is to ground the two together, to look for sources to support my experiences and to embrace my experiences as an outgrowth of my deepening understanding. . . . Whether you agree with everything I have to say or not I hope this will all serve as food for thought for you to develop your own relationship with her. Never stop questioning. (From the Introduction; bold text my own emphasis.)" That last line is vital, as Daimler offers clearly referenced scholarship inviting the reader to do their own studies and explorations. This is a book where you actively want to read the End Notes for each chapter.
Opening with a discussion of what the Morrigan does -- and doesn't -- look like, Daimler moves quickly into a longer discussion of what many people think about the Raven Goddess . . . and why so much of it is dead wrong. Things Daimler discusses include whether she is a goddess, how to spell her name, and her relationships with other deities. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book for anyone who actually wants to work with the Morrigan.
The discussion of relationships with other deities continues in chapter three, where Daimler looks at Nemain, the Goddess of War and Morgan la Fey. Chapters Four and Five explores the Morrigan’s role in two important texts. Chapter four focuses on the Cath Maige Tuired, a key text in Irish mythology and the tale of the war between the Tuatha De Danann and the Fomorians. Chapter five on the Ulster Cycle, a body of medieval Irish heroic legends and sagas of the traditional heroes.
Raven Goddess ends with two chapters focusing on the Morrigan in the modern world and how the reader can begin to create a personal spiritual practice of worship.
For the scholarship alone I would recommend Raven Goddess. For those called to work with this fascinating, powerful, commanding goddess Daimler's books are absolute must-haves.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Morgan Daimler
Moon books, 2020
pp. 100, $10.95