Calling Up Courage

horse-430441_1920

Pixabay.com

In the wee hours of a day in late March, I caught a glimpse of a horse, a spear, and a beautiful bronze shield. In an instant, I was in a woman’s presence standing in a temple that was partially open to rich, green fields. The woman’s red robes caught my eye. She smiled warm and strong, her glistening spear held firm in her right hand. I knew she was Macha. I stared in awe, whispered “Your Majesty”, and took a knee. She appreciated the show of respect and reverence. Smiling broadly she took my hand and tugged upward for me to stand. Once I was on my feet again, she kissed my right cheek and gave me welcome in Gaelic. Her words were unclear at first because I don’t speak her language. She observed my confusion and switched to English.

Her words poured over me along with images of spears and horses, warriors at the ready, and Macha herself on horseback. She was battle-ready, laughing and riding free. She told me to be courageous, to stand bravely no matter the enemy at the gate or the fear deep in my heart. She demanded that I fully and boldly express myself in the world and in every way that matters to me because so-called “Others” living unapologetically is a vital aspect of Resistance as we work for change in the world.

I tearfully accepted her guidance and then she was gone.

Audre Lorde Quote

Advertisements

A Prayer to Macha

For the last several months, a good friend and I have been meeting via video chat as often as we can to discuss Morpheus Ravenna’s The Book of the Great Queen: The Many Faces of the Morrigan from Ancient Legends to Modern Devotions chapter by chapter. The book is robust, offering page after page of deeply satisfying food for thought and insightful guidance for devotional practice. This Friday night while I was sitting on the couch watching television, Macha inspired me. A supply of words rushed to my busy hands to be typed out. On Monday night, the eve of the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, I finished a small prayer for courage in her name.

May the prayer honor Macha and bring at least some small measure of blessing to her devotees. In these brightening (in terms of season) but still difficult and dangerous times (in terms of institutionalized oppression and dehumanizing political moves) we need her blessing of courage more than ever.

Morrigan Shrine

Personal Morrigan Shrine/Altar

Along with a glass of blood red wine and the light of my bright red Morrigan candle, I give these words of supplication:

Mighty Mother, hardened by horse hooves striking,
With striving muscle, shout thunder across the Plain.
With unrelenting strength, foal and finish.

Sovereign Queen, heartened by ripe crops yielding,
With cleaving claíomh, reap the high harvest of heads.
With blood-sorcery, doom the treacherous.

Woman in birthing strife!
Raven of the raids!
Greatness of wealth!

Courage we call up from the fertile land,
Hallowed and harnessed by womb and wound.
Great Macha, we pray you grant us favor!

Macha

“Macha Curses the Men of Ulster”, Illustration by Stephen Reid (1904). Image from Wikipedia.