Macha Picture

9x12 pastel on paper

Macha is an ancient Irish mother aspect of the goddess Morrigan. There are many tales of Macha amongst the Tuatha de Danann. In one tale she is a warrior queen with red hair, and in another she beats a horse in a foot race while she is pregnant then curses the men of Ulster to suffer labor pains. Though these tales could be of different women, they are all connected to the same goddess.
The Morrigan of course is the Celtic war and battle goddess usually connected to Ravens. She ushers fallen warriors to the Otherworld. In the ancient world where war was so prevalent we can only imagine how the Raven was viewed as it feasted on the bodies of the dead. There was a reverence and a fear at the same time.
I often ponder the role of the dark goddess in myth. She is obviously the embodiement of scary, but sometimes we have to be scared “to death” to overcome our fear of death. In the ancient world people seemed to accept that the Morrigan was a part of every person, our shadow self. In the modern world we are more apt to deny our shadow self and repress our Morrigan. Eventually she will always come out, we might as well face her and accept her as a part of us.
Morrigan is also a fate goddess, often connected to the Washer at the Ford. She is seen as an old hag washing the clothing of the men who will soon die. She weeps as she washes the clothes, as if she knows that the reason the man will die is because he has denied her. He has denied his shadow self, and now she has to come out to take his life.
Macha is here to help us remember our darkness, to bring it into the light of consciousness, so that we can transmute it into creative energy instead of unconscious destruction.
Continue Reading: The Fates