Celtic Goddesses, who are they?
Ever since discovering my Irish heritage as a child, I have been captivated by Irish/Celtic Mythology. Even now, as I meander down this Pagan path, the Celtic Goddesses are by my side. But trying to find concrete information about the goddesses is nigh impossible. I am named after Medb, but I have also seen multiple pieces of information leading towards Medb (Maeve) only having been one incarnation of the Goddess Macha. Macha is one of the Triple death Goddess in Celtic Mythology. Along with Morrigan and Badb, she is the Mother Goddess, but also a War and Fertility Goddess.
It is frustrating and also a little bit fascinating about how many stories of the Celtic Goddesses have been minimized and twisted to fit a subservient women that the christian patriarchy wanted them to look like. Their tales grow more and more weakened and most of the stories now are those of just strong and powerful queens. I have been trying to find the roots of their myths be stripping away the patriarchal layers that have been so heavily applied.
As I peel back those layers, I am seeing the goddesses in different lights. Another thing affecting how I view the ones – that are choosing me as I am choosing them – is their energies sitting with me. Lately I have been sensing that Medb and Macha are the same being. Both are Goddesses of War and Fertility and both are just and protective. It’s difficult for me to find the words to explain what I sense and feel with these Goddesses, especially I don’t have strong research to back up what I feel is right. I don’t know a lot about my Irish heritage, I don’t know where I came from, I just know what I feel from past lives and the dreams I’ve been given.
Over a year ago, I chose the name Maeve because I needed to kill the name I was given at birth. It was a name my abuser proudly held on to and claimed great pride in that he had named me. As I have healed from the abuse he did to me, I felt the strong pull to reclaim my entire being, and through doing that, I needed to reclaim the name I am called. When I chose Maeve, I only knew that it was the name that had been calling to me for a very very long time. I still, to this day, have no recollection of where I came up with that. I firmly believe it was given to me; given to me during my childhood as the name I had to become. As I moved forward with an abrupt swiftness into changing my name, I briefly glanced at what Maeve meant, not caring what it meant as I knew it was my name regardless. And several different articles about the Goddess Maeve kept showing up. I wasn’t fully committed or aware enough of my Pagan path at that point, but that has always stuck to the back of my mind. I was told to look up the Goddess Maeve (Medb) after the gathering I went to almost a month ago, and I immediately remembered what I had seen when I had changed my name.
Macha and Medb sit with me, and I feel their gathering strength when I need help overcoming something. I feel their protectiveness and that I am under their care. Macha and Medb are both women who men tried to conquer, they are both powerful women who proved their prowess time and time again. They are Goddesses who the christian/catholic church tried to cover up and downplay. Medb is a Goddess of the Harvest and she holds fertile land in her hands. Macha is a Goddess of motherhood, fertility, and yet will not hesitate to dive into war when hers are threatened. Macha is also a Goddess of success and fire and was a red-haired incarnated woman. My sun, moon, and rising signs are all the fire signs, and that fiery spirit within me echos the ancient Celtic women. Macha and Medb feel like my mother spirits. I feel safe in their arms, I feel embraced and loved.
Granted these are just all things that I have felt and sensed when looking up these two Goddesses. They are close to me, but I could be wrong. I don’t think I am about what they mean to me, but I think both of these Goddesses will show themselves to each person individually and I may not know them in the same way as another person may.
I don’t know why I feel the need to give a caveat to my beliefs. It’s frustrating that I feel that need, truth be told. I still struggle with being confident with what I believe it. But not only that, I struggle with fearing others telling me I’m wrong and shaming me for what I do believe in. I spent so many years under the shaming thumb of my abuser and even now, although I am 2000 miles away from his grasp, and have shaken off the majority of the chains he bound me with, I still feel his shaming whisper in my ear. As I lean in Macha and Medb, that whisper grows fainter and I am aware of their whispers of encouragement, strength, and love overcoming the shaming voice of my abuser.
Come, Macha, I pray you protect my home and my space.
Medb, strengthen the foundations of my mind and give me guidance in fighting back against those who seek to harm me and mine.
Macha, I pray for your mothering spirit to guide my hands in mothering my own children, and mothering myself.
Thank you Medb and Macha for being present in my life and holding me close and protecting me and mine.