It’s true — a rather symbolic totem that denotes darkness and death. I suppose it’s fitting for Morrigan because she is the Celtic deity who waits to collect the souls of the dead.
“Darkness crawls in tentacles that reach out as death’s fingers from my body. Inky shadows extend beyond these appendages snuffing out all light from the night sky. Only the moon refuses to hide. I am here. I come to collect the souls of the dead and carry them with me to hell.” (excerpt from Midnight Omen — book 1 in The Deja vu Chronicles)
Granted, in writing The Deja vu Chronicles, I took liberty with some of the mythology surrounding the legend of The Morrigan — particularly when it came to the names (three sisters combined to form the deity, according to ancient Celtic beliefs). Bottom line — I couldn’t pronounce them, so I made up new ones. Call it a writer’s liberty. But the story stays effectually true to the mythos about The Morrigan and her raven symbolism.
Many of the Celtic goddesses are linked with the raven or crow. In this mythology the goddesses are the aggressive deities, those associated with war and death. Badb, Macha and Nemain are all associated with crows and/or ravens, as is Nantosuelta, a Gaulish water and healing goddess. The wife of the Fomorian sea-god, Tethra, was said to be a crow goddess who also hovered above battlefields, and Scottish myth has theCailleach Bheure, who often appeared in crow form. The association of the birds with death and war is an obvious reflection of its tendency to eat carrion, plenty of which is to be found in the aftermath of battle. This tendency led, eventually, to the persecution of the raven, as a harbinger of doom and destruction, and also to the common notion in modern European culture that the main attribute of Crow and Raven is their connection with the Otherworld. Upon Cuchulainnâ€™s death, the Morrigan perched on his shoulder in the form of a raven. (courtesy of Avesnoir.com)
My goal has always been to take history, mythology, and folklore then blend them together to create what may have been in history. I call it “the possible” (and it makes for great story-telling).
The Morrigan and the symbol of the Raven is one of those great “possibles” that I hope to build to fruition in the last book of The Deja vu Chronicles — Cutthroat’s Omen: A Crimson Dawn. Readers will discover the depth of her character and witness Celtic fear in its purity. That is my plan for Morrigan.
I hope you’ll join me as we journey into the dark place that is reserved for the Raven.