Readings & Resources

Below are readings Coru uses in teaching, and as the basis of our own rites and rituals.

Literature

Below are only a few highlights of the Irish literature. There are many texts in which the Morrígan makes appearances, or in which Her avatars feature which include Scathach, Uathach, and Aoife in the training of Cú Chulainn; stories of Macha, and others. These are the core texts that you may want to be familiar with: the Book of Invasions, First and Second Battles of Magh Tuiredh, and the Táin (and the rest of the Red Branch cycle, generally). After that we recommend expanding to reading the rest of the Mythological cycle, as well as the Fenian cycle.

Lebor Gabála Éren – Book of Invasions
The coming of the Tuatha Dé Danann (the Gods of Ireland) including the bringing of the Four Treasures.

Cath Maige Tuiredh – First Battle of Magh Tuiredh
In which the Tuatha battle the Fir Bolg for the sovereignty of Ireland; Nuada the High King loses his hand and becomes Nuada Silver-Hand.

Cath Maige Tuiredh – Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh
In which the Tuatha defend Ireland from the invading Fomoire; the coming of Lugh Samildánach (Many-Skilled); the Morrígan’s prophecy.

Táin Bó Cúalnge – Cattle Raid of Cúalnge
The central tale of the Ulster Heroic Cycle where the warrior Cú Chulainn and the Ulstermen defend against the army of Connaught who is invading to take the Brown Bull of Cúalnge. The death of Cú Chulainn under the Morrígan’s power.

Celtic Literature Collective
An exhaustive archive of Celtic literature organized by source culture, including Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Breton, and others.

CELT – Corpus of Electronic Texts
Digital library of Irish texts. This one is also a great resource for source texts, but a little harder
to navigate than Mary Jones’ site.

 

Analysis

Hennessey, W.M. The Ancient Irish Goddess of War (1870)
The earliest scholarly work focusing on the Morrígan specifically; a good overview with some interesting details. Nineteenth century scholarship may contain some errors in interpretation and etymology but remains worthwhile reading.

Epstein, Angelique Gulermovich. War Goddess: The Morrígan and her Germano-Celtic
Counterparts (1998)
A doctoral dissertation on the Morrígan as She is depicted in Irish medieval literature. The most
thorough scholarly work I am aware of focusing specifically on Her; Her image and attributes, myths, functions and powers, relationship to heroes and other Gods, and links to related mythic beings outside the Irish context.

Beck, Noémie. Goddesses in Celtic Religion – Cult and Mythology: A Comparative Study of
Ancient Ireland, Britain and Gaul (2009)
This is an exhaustive study of archaeological, literary, and etymological evidence pertaining to the identities, histories and ritual cults of Celtic Goddesses. Of interest to us is primarily Chapter 3, Territorial and War Goddesses. Introduction is also strongly recommended as it gives background on the types of evidence and sources examined.

 

General Celtic Studies Books

Ross, Anne, Ph. D. Everyday life of the Pagan Celts (1970)

Dáithí Ó hÓgáin. The Celts: A History (2006)

Robins, Don, and Anne Ross, Ph.D. Life and Death of a Druid Prince (1991)