A Samhain for The Morrigan (with ritual drama!)

I’d like to start publishing some of my rituals in the hopes that they may be of some use to others.  Our grove Daoine dhen Tamais performed this ritual at Samhain 2014.  The invocation was quite something, but we probably had way too much fun with the drama!

The liturgy followed the ADF core order of ritual, so what follows is from the key offerings:

Druid 1 steps forth, saying:

“An Mór-ríoghain – I, (name) of the tribe Daoine dhen Tamais, call to thee
An Mór-ríoghain – Great Queen! I honour you!
An Mór-ríoghain – Lady of Sovereignty! I welcome you!
Freely I give this mead that the Land may bless you back!”

Druid 1 makes an offering of mead

Druid 2 says:

“Mórrígu – I, (name) of the tribe Daoine dhen Tamais, call to thee
Mórrígu – Battle Raven! I honour you!
Mórrígu – Lady of the Reaping! I welcome you!
Freely I give this whiskey that the waters of life may flow between us!”

Druid 2 makes an offering of whiskey

Druid 3 says:

“Morrigan – I, (name) of the tribe Daoine dhen Tamais, call to thee
Morrigan – Cauldron Witch! I honour you!
Morrigan – Lady of Sorcery and Prophecy!  I welcome you!
Freely I give this raven’s feather that you may watch over us!”

Druid 3 makes an offering of a raven’s feather.

Druids 1-3 each take a sword and position themselves around the fire.  They hold the swords up in a triangle above them, so that they form a pyramid, and begin to chant:

Morrigan Morrigan three times three
hear the words we ask of thee

Morrigan Morrigan Raven Queen
All that’s been and all’s that’s seen

Morrigan Morrigan on Samhain night
Grant us wisdom grant us sight

The chant is repeated three times, after which they lower their swords into the fire, exclaiming:

Morrigan! Accept our sacrifice!

(repeated by all)

The three Druids disperse.

Narrator steps forth, saying:

When the Milesians came to Ireland,
The Tuatha Dé Danann retreated to the Hollow Hills
and became the Sidhe.  

But — they did not necessarily leave the world of humans forever.

So it happened upon a time
that Queen Maeve of Connacht coveted a great Dun Bull
and went to war against Ulster to steal the bull.”

Queen Maeve steps forth.

Narrator continues:

“Queen Maeve had a mighty army…
but there was just one problem…
To enter Ulster with her army there was but one ford,
and upon that ford stood a young man from Ulster.
And his name was Cuchulainn.”

Cuchulainn steps forth, wielding a wooden sword.

Narrator continues:

Maeve sent champion after champion
after him, but Cuchulainn cut them down one by one.”

Queen Maeve sends Champions one and two in turn to attack Cuchulainn.  Each in turn, is killed.

Narrator continues:

This went on for some time, and Cuchulainn was
becoming tired and hungry, when a young maiden approached
him.  She had long red tresses and her form was most becoming.”

Morrigan steps forth.

Cuchulainn (gruffly):

“Who are you?”

Morrigan:

“I am the daughter of Buan the king.
I have come to you for I have loved you for your
reputation as a great warrior, and I have brought
my cattle and my treasure.”

Cuchulainn:

“The time you have chosen to come is not good.
My condition is wretched for sleep and hunger.
Get thee gone, girl.”

Morrigan (angry):

“I would have been of great help to you.
But by refusing me I shall be more troublesome.
I will come to you when you are in combat,
and I will come in the form of an eel about your feet in the ford,
so that you shall fall before your enemies.”

Cuchulainn:

“I think it likelier that you are an eel than the daughter of a king.
And when you come I shall crush your ribs between my toes,
and these wounds shall stay with you forever
unless I should take them back with a blessing.”

Morrigan:

“Then I will come to you in the form of a great she-wolf,
and I will drive the cattle upon you in the ford.”

Cuchulainn:

“Then I will throw a stone at you, and put our your eye,
and this wound shall stay with you forever
unless I should take it back with a blessing.”

Morrigan:

“Then I will come to you as a great red heifer,
and rush the cattle towards you, and you will not see me.”

Cuchulainn:

“Nonetheless I shall throw a stone at you, and break your leg,
and this wound shall stay with you forever
unless I should take it back with a blessing,
but this I shall never do.”

Morrigan leaves in anger.

Narrator continues:

The next day, Queen Maeve tricked Cuchulainn
to coming away from the ford,
and had fourteen of her men ambush him.
He slew all of them.  Then, tired and wounded,
he returned to the ford and there was again attacked.
Maeve’s bards sang songs against him to sap
him of his strength, and one of her greatest warriors
came against him.”

Loch Mac Emonis steps forward.

Narrator continues:

Just then as he was preparing for yet another battle,
Cuchulainn became aware that a huge eel
had slithered out of the water and was wrapping
itself around his legs, so that he could not move.”

Cuchulainn pretends to be captured by the eel while Loch taunts him.

Narrator continues:

But just as he promised, Cuchulainn stomped upon
the eel, breaking many of its ribs, and it retreated.”

Cuchulainn makes a stomping motion.

Narrator continues:

Yet just as the eel disappeared, he spied a great grey
she-wolf, driving the cattle towards, such
that they might crush him down in their fright.

But Cuchulainn threw a stone from his sling.”

Cuchulainn makes a sling throwing motion.

Narrator continues:

And just as he promised, he put out the eye of the she-wolf.

But not to be outdone, the wolf changed into a
huge red heifer and led the cattle speeding towards him,
and just then water from the river splashed up into his eyes
and he was unable to see.

But again he threw a stone from his sling.”

Cuchulainn makes a sling throwing motion, appearing blind.

Narrator continues:

And just as he promised, he broke one of the heifer’s legs.
And having done all that he said he would do to The Morrigan,
he turned back to Maeve’s champion and slew him.”

Cuchulainn kills Loch, then appears to be exhausted.

Narrator continues:

“With the battle at an end, Cuchulainn is spent,
wounded and half crazed from hunger and thirst,
when he spied an old hag, half blind and lame,
wandering by with a cow that had three utters.”

Morrigan enters, appearing bent over and fraile (with her head cloaked?)

Cuchulainn says:

“Old woman!  Please may I have some of your
cow’s milk, for otherwise I may die?”

Morrigan pretends to milk one of the teats, and hands Cuchulainn a cup.  He drinks it and then says:

A blessing of health be upon you.  May I have more?”

Morrigan pretends to milk the second teat, and hands Cuchulainn a cup. He drinks it and then says:

A blessing of strength be upon you.  May I have one more?”

Morrigan pretends to milk the third teat, and hands Cuchulainn a cup.  He drinks it and then says:

May the blessings of the gods and non-gods be upon you.”

Morrigan stands upright, a beautiful young maiden again.

Morrigan says:

You said that you would never heal me.”

Cuchulainn says:

“And if I knew it was you, I would never have!”

Narrator continues:

“And with that, she was healed of her wounds.
And so it was between Cuchulainn and the Morrigan,
until he lay upon his death bed.

But that is another story.”

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