Used with permission
[Please remember my disclaimers and rules (linked here) if you'd like to engage this post here or in any of my spaces.]About two and a half years ago (June of 2020) The Morrigan called me.
This is not a sentence I write lightly. It is a sentence that has taken me every moment of those two and a half years to truly understand (not that I TRULY understand even now), accept, and be able to say without melting into a puddle of my own skepticism. It is one thing to have an open mind to the world that has renamed many known and understood physiological and psychological phenomenon and given them supernatural explanations (and to be open to the possibility that we may yet measurably discover the reason for a few of the phenomenon that currently exist within parascience). It is something else altogether to believe that a prehistoric Irish deity of war and death has taken a personal interest in an atheist living on the west coast of North America at the height of an isolating pandemic.
These days I work with Her. I train in martial arts and with weapons. I work out. I do shadow work into the deepest and most murky parts of my psyche. I study the lore that exists (and try to separate Her ancient identity from her modern neopagan and Wiccan appropriation so popular in alternative circles…to say nothing of Her deliberate misrepresentation by Christianity as "evil" or wicked). I struggle for social justice. I make offerings. I have an altar in my room. I speak of Her presence in my life without paragraphs of disclaimers about how I don't know for sure what is "really really REALLY" happening or that I know I might be somehow…still…in some way…talking to myself. I do daily devotionals—some as simple as drinking a sufficient amount of water, other as difficult (for me) as holding a regimen of meditation. Working with a deity in the pagan sense is not exactly "worship" in a way that a more mainstream (particularly a monotheistic) religion might recognize, but The Morrigan is an intense and pervasive influence within my life. I do things for Her, and in return She does things for me. This arrangement has served me well enough to agree to a lifetime of service.
I need you to understand some things about me. In June of 2020, I would have identified myself as an atheist. I wrote articles to help launch a group of atheist parent bloggers. You don't have to look around very far in my own writing to find my highly skeptical responses to religious dillholes telling me I'm damned and shit. The entirety of my "woo" practices involved things I could comfortably explain in skeptical language. (I use this charm for mental focus, and meditate for the psychological benefits.) I wasn't at ALL familiar with the Irish pantheon, having grown up an atheist in the U.S. And I'd never EVER heard of The Morrigan. (I'd heard that name in various media references, but it was applied to a fighting game succubus or from Lost Girl or something.) I was barely alternative beyond what mapped easily over a more personal spiritual quest for inner peace, mostly a skeptic when it came to extraordinary claims, respectful—but highly dubious—of religion, in no way pagan or polytheist, unaware of Irish mythology, and completely ignorant of a specific deity called The Morrigan.
Then the dreams started—night after night after night. Sometimes they were nightmarish, and I woke, with my hands in a vice grip around sweat-soaked sheets. The sense of being hunted (or haunted?) filled my nights. The inexplicable and vivid experiences that became increasingly difficult to explain away as somehow not actually supernatural. The shifts in my physical body. The warnings of danger that kept me from harm and at least a couple of times from probably dying. And the crows. A name echoed in my head ("Anu") and sometimes on my lips as I woke up, and every day I scoured the internet trying to make sense of it all.
But…I'm getting ahead of myself. There's a whole narrative here, and if being called by The Morrigan is the beginning, there is at the very least an opening scene. The first thing that happened was a death in my social circles that changed the way I see and interact with the world. I had a spiritual awakening, and if you are inclined to believe such things, I had a magical one as well. And to REALLY tell this story, I have to go all the way back to 2015 to tell you a prologue: personal and vulnerable prologue about addiction to ADHD meds.
I'm starting to write down this journey now, but I'm already years into it and there's a lot of ground to cover to catch up to the present. There will be many posts in this saga; this is only the introduction.
Yesterday, on the last day of the (solstice-to-solstice) year—in the form of a phone call that my CT scan looked absolutely wonderful—my year of work with The Morrigan to simply survive cancer ended and the new shape of my work and service began. I must train harder. I must work out more. I must be better about my devotionals. I must renew my fight for body autonomy and social justice. But perhaps most importantly, I am to tell my story. To those who believe and those who don't.
So here we go…