Bean Nighe


This Samhain is particularly significant to my grove as it will be the last one our Senior Druid is heading. She’s headed the last 13 and is ready for a break from that part of Senior Druid’ing at least. She started with The Morrigan her first Samhain that she led and is ending with The Morrigan. In addition to bringing my usual stuffed pumpkin, I have been asked to invoke Nemain, the bean nighe warrior maiden aspect of The Morrigan.

The Morrigan has been explained to me as being similiar to Cernunnos in so far as it’s not that The Morrigan is one deity/person or even a triple aspected deity/person, it’s a job title. So it’s more like a bunch of women who work for MorriganCo. which is a little difficult for me to wrap my head around but makes sense.

There’s been a poem/invocation in my head for the last few weeks for the Nemain. Going with the idea of MorriganCo, all of the things “she said” were said to me by different “shes”, and the last three paragraphs are what my Nemain faction has said to me. I will be doing a small altar for her as well, she’s requested the picture I like of her and warrior port which is simple enough.

Nemain

She appeared to me in a dream
She said
Her face a canvas of wode
She handed me a feather
and told me to give it to you
She said you’d know what it meant

Whenever there is a battlefield
She is there
She said
When you are able to put your hands
into the river of black oozing sorrow
and not fall in
Instead grow a pair of wings
like hers
that will hold you up
when you can’t stand
and make your spine a thing
of steel
that’s when you’ve won

I know you said this is the
worst day of your life
since daddy died
She said
But
It got better

Each day a little at a time
She said
Moment by moment
Breath by breath
She said

I’m proud of you
She said

It’s impressive
How much you’ve
Metamorphosized
Became you
But better
Unfettered
She said

Stand your ground
Dig your heels into
the mud slick with blood
and battle
Whispered words do more than
swords most days

Never give up your power
Steal it back
Eat it whole

But don’t mistake your power
as freedom from the river
Your wailing and tears
Crimson soaked cloth in hand
Some things can’t be forgotten.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  

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5 Responses

  1. leatheraven

    This is excellent, thank you for posting. Do you mind if I share your poem with my small group of LiveJournal friends? Also, if you don't mind me sharing it, how would you like to be credited?

  2. More inspiration?:

    Dark one are you restless
    Do you guess they gather
    To certain slaughter
    The wise raven
    Groans aloud
    That enemies infest
    The fair fields
    Ravaging in packs
    Learn I discern
    Rich plains
    Softly wavelike
    Baring their necks
    Greenness of grass
    Beauty of blossoms
    On the plains of war
    Grinding heroic
    Hosts to dust
    Cattle groans the Badb
    The raven ravenous
    Among corpses of men
    Affliction and outcry
    And war everlasting
    Raging over Cuailnge
    Death of sons
    Death of kinsmen
    Death! Death!

    (Some words from the Morrígan in the Táin Bó Cuailnge.)

  3. very moving! beautiful. That last section is really chilling!

  4. Miss Sugar

    @ leatherraven – I'm flattered! Please credit it to Deborah Castellano with a link to my blog.

    @ V.V.F. – That's beautiful, thank you for sharing.

    @ Shelly – Thank you for your kind words!

  5. leatheraven

    Will do, thank you.

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