Scholarship and opinions shift periodically on the question of how related or unrelated Morgan la Fey, the goddess to whom I am priestess before all others, is to the Morrigan, the Irish Battle Queen. Currently the pendulum is on the “totally unrelated” end of its swing, and since actual priestesses in Ireland feel that this is an important line to hold, it is, because that’s how honoring indigeny works. They don’t want to talk about Morgan or really even to people who should be with Morgan, and that’s fair in and of itself.
Meanwhile, Morgan seems to be at a point of relatively low visibility in places we would expect to see more of her: so that, for example, most of the Welsh groups I’ve been able to poke around in either assume she’s a survival of Modron and focus on that name instead, or take “Morgan” to be a title rather than a name, or other such dismissals.
The combination of these two factors has really taken a bite out of Morgan’s visibility as herself, and that has started to make her a bit Salty.
She took the opportunity of Pantheacon to make this more clearly known to me. (Part of this involved a particular unfortunate coincidence that I am choosing not to name here because it was quite unintentional and is not something being held against the acting party by Ma’am, so really why call it out?) Because of this, I spent some of the later part of the weekend starting to make overtures to priestesses of the Morrigan I know to start building the kind of “mutual assurance” pact she and the Morrigan seem to have between themselves outward to include Their clergy, and efforts to find other Morgan priesthood to start building her presence out more visibly.
That in itself is already going to be interesting and involve a whole lecture I’m going to have to write, because while priestesses of the Morrigan have thus far been receptive to the idea, their first question for me has tended to be, “So, Welsh, then?” Which…well. Granted, she is certainly present in Welsh lore, and that is arguably where she begins; but when one says “Welsh Polytheism” one is already invoking a set of assumptions that don’t seem to hold up. Most people don’t know how many streams of lore feed into Arthurian legend, from how many times and places, or how many of them have comparatively low visibility and are lurking behind the couple of things people think they know about Morgan. (Happily, one of my allies is of Welsh descent and can bring oral tradition to the table, and I’m decently well read about the written strands.)
And even when we hold ourselves to Arthurian Morgan (rather than letting her put her hands on everyone who shares her name-type, as she is willing to do), it’s important to recognize that she and her stories spread throughout Continental Europe, and not without leaving a mark. She was considered a queen of sirens and water fairies in France; in Italy, Sicily (not Glastonbury) was considered the real location of Avalon, and Morgan was not only a queen of witches and fairies nearly as often named as Diana, but even in human guise was called the sister of the Queen of Sheba who taught magic to Solomon – witchcraft being a big part of their family resemblance.
And it is that Morgan – the Queen of Witches and Fairies, the knowledge-hoarder on par with Odin, the mover and shaker – who is most directly expressed in the system I carry, which is why I can’t say “Yes, Welsh.” People hear “Welsh” and think of Druids, and while my Morgan thinks Druids are fine, she doesn’t seem especially excited by them. Someone else’s road of Morgan may be more into Druidry, and if so, then I heartily welcome them to the consortium of Morgan-people I am trying to gather so we can learn to present her whole glorious array to the community and help all of her people find her.
Meanwhile, the other thing I did to buy her off was to give her this lovely scepter, which was made by First Nation artists in Shasta out of manzanita wood. Which, yes, means “little apple,” and shares several magical qualities with that traditional plant of Morgan’s, as well as having a thorn-like ability to grow itself into an unnavigable hedge. What I didn’t quite realize until I brought it home was how cunningly it was made: its balance point is right in that crook, so one could hang it and the dark and light ends would balance out and be stable. Nice, nice, nice.