What does Coru Cathubodua mean?
Cathubodua is the name of a Gaulish war Goddess ; it means “crow/raven of battle” (cath=battle, bodua=crow/raven). Linguistically, the name Cathubodua is an exact cognate of the Irish Badb Catha, an aspect of the Morrígan. The name Cathubodua appears on an altar inscription indicating that this was a deity name in use in ancient Celtic Gaul. Scholars recognize a connection between the Gaulish Cathubodua, the Irish Badb, and other linguistically related war Goddesses of Iron Age Europe, proposing that they each trace their origins to a common ancestral divinity in the deep, pre-Celtic past. Coru is a reconstructed Gaulish term referring to a war-band, corps, or army.
So, roughly translated, the name Coru Cathubodua means ‘the Battle Raven’s Warband’.
We chose this name because we feel it conveys several concepts that are at the core of who we are as a priesthood: our kinship and commitment to one another, our commitment to warriorship and action in service as warrior-priests, and our commitment to our Queen, the Morrígan, in Her many aspects and related forms.
Why do you call yourselves a “warband”?
The work we are called to in service to the Morrígan, both collectively and individually, includes helping each other and our communities to become stronger, to develop warriorship qualities and skills that enable us all to stand up for what we love and value, and to fight for a better world for ourselves and our descendants. We are guided by our devotion to the Morrígan toward developing the skills of warriorship both in the form of physical martial skills, as well as spiritual readiness, spiritual defense, and collaborative action with Otherworld allies in the service of our values. We believe that the practice of warriorship builds resilience, courage, and responsiveness, making us better prepared to aid and support our communities, even if we are never called upon to fight. For us, warriorship is love in action, and arises from a commitment to service.Thus, as a committed band of warrior-priests dedicated to serving Her, we are a warband of the Battle Raven.
Why are some of your liturgies in Gaulish?
We use material in Irish, Gaulish, and English in our liturgies. When we are addressing specifically Irish divinities or spirits, we primarily use Old Irish, or English. Other divinities, such as Cathubodua and some of the spirits we work with, respond to the use of Gaulish. Irish and Gaulish derive from two different branches of the Celtic language family which share a common linguistic ancestry in the early Celtic past.
Ancient Gaulish is not a completely documented language, and several different versions of it have been reconstructed. Some of the Gaulish material we use is written in a reconstructed Gaulish with some modernized forms. We don’t claim to be using accurate historical Gaulish, but we find it inspiring and effective as a liturgical language.
What do you mean by priesthood?
A priesthood is an organized body of priests dedicated to the service of their guiding deity as well as to serving their community’s spiritual needs. Priesthood in this sense means both the commitment to service as devotee of the deity for public and private worship, as well as the organizational body within which priests gather themselves to facilitate worship and public service.
The Coru was formed in response to a calling from the Morrígan to gather Her priests and those drawn to Her, to band together, share training and expertise, ritual and worship, and to build a shared devotional practice both internally and for the public. We feel the time has come for an organized priesthood to come into being to re-establish Her worship and to help bring Her strength and Her wisdom into action in the world. Our priests are dedicated to serving the Morrígan through devotional practice, promoting Her teachings and wisdom, and to assisting members of the public to connect to the Morrígan, to integrate Her presence and wisdom into their lives, and to join with us in service to our shared values and ideals.
How are you different from ADF, Celtic Reconstructionists, and other Pagan/Polytheist groups?
While the Coru is inspired by and makes an effort to honor the traditions of the Celtic source cultures within which the Morrígan’s identity arose historically, we are not a reconstructionist group. And while we are inspired by and draw extensively from what is known of druids in the ancient world, likewise we are not a modern Druid organization, nor do we have any official affiliation with ADF or any other Druid group.
We respect and appreciate the work being done by Druid organizations, Celtic Reconstructionists, and all groups seeking to practice sincere forms of Celtic spirituality, and we count many of them as friends and allies to the Priesthood. The purpose of the Coru is not to attempt to recreate any specifica Celtic religious system as it may have existed historically within any given specific society or historic period. Our primary focus is on the lived service and worship of the Morrígan and the family of Celtic Gods, heroes and spirits, through any magical and religious practices that serve these ends effectively. We seek to develop spiritual practices that are deep, internally consistent, and effective, whether or not they are historically attested as a part of Celtic culture of the past.
We consider ourselves a Pagan Polytheist priesthood in service to the Morrígan, and we endeavor to root our practices deeply in authentic Celtic tradition, while also making use of ritual technologies and practices from other sources, such as related cultural and historical traditions, as well as modern Witchcraft traditions. It is our hope that for anyone drawn to the Morrígan’s worship, our practices and teachings will assist them to deepen their work with Her, whether that individual’s practice is embedded in a Pagan, Polytheist, Reconstructionist, Druid, Witchcraft, or other spiritual tradition.
Why does Coru participate in community service, and what kinds of community service projects do you do?
We believe that service is fundamental to the work of priesthood. Toward that end, we endeavor to incorporate service components into all our work.
Along with public and private devotional service to the Morrígan and our other Gods and spirits, a central element of the Coru’s mission is public education and training in spiritual and life skills that arise from our core values of sovereignty, warriorship, hospitality, and service. We strive to help empower people to deepen their devotional relationships and studies, to lead more integrated, sovereign lives, to find kinship and strength, and to contribute to their own communities more effectively through these values. We also offer spiritual support and community for individuals being called or drawn to the Morrígan through individual mentoring with Coru priests as well as public devotionals and gatherings.
For details about our workshops, rituals, and diverse service projects, visit the “Acts of Service” page here.