Setting up a Morrigan altar can be a powerful way to connect with this Irish Goddess. Discover the essential items you need to create a sacred space for her, and for you.
If you’re drawn to the energy of the Morrigan, setting up an altar in her honor can be a meaningful way to deepen your connection with this powerful Goddess of magic, sovereignty, prophecy, and battle.
Learn about the essential items you’ll need to create a sacred space you will want to engage with, and how to incorporate them into your practice.
Choose a Location for your Morrigan Altar
Before you start gathering items for your Morrigan altar, it’s important to choose a location for it. This would ideally be a space that feels sacred and special to you, where you can connect with the energy of the Goddess.
However. There’s not many of us that can dedicate a whole room of a house, or an outbuilding, to be sacred ‘temple’ space. If you can, great, do It! If that’s not you though, don’t even worry about it.
Just find a space in your home, or your room, that you’re reasonably sure won’t be disturbed by random things being placed onto it, or people and pets messing with it.
It could be a corner of your bedroom, a shelf in your living room, a section of a windowsill, or even a quiet spot outside in nature. Just make sure it’s a place where you can sit in front of or beside it, so you’ll be able to focus and work on feeling connected to the divine.
A comfortable seat or cushion so, would be useful. Privacy is always a good idea too, but not essential if it can’t be had. Better to have a dedicated altar space, in whatever form or function you can manage at the moment, than none at all until you find the ‘perfect’ location.
Select a Representation of the Morrigan
Altars are so personal and really, you can put whatever you want on there. That being said, one of the most important items for your Morrigan altar – perhaps the only true essential – is a representation of the Goddess herself. This could be a statue, a picture, or even a symbol that represents her energy and power.
Though the Morrigan does have sex in one of her stories (with her husband, the Dagda), and offers sex to Cú Chulainn in one other story (as part of a larger strategy and interaction), the Morrigan is not a sex Goddess. So, I would advise not putting a hyper-sexualised, male-gaze designed statue of the Morrigan on your altar, but ultimately that’s down to personal taste.
Just in case you’re not aware, there has been a lot of backlash (and rightly so) in online groups over deity representation and misogyny, and particularly comic book posed and styles representations of the Morrigan for the male gaze. Basically, the ones where she is holding a sword without the arm strength to do so, and she looks like she’s ready to drop it on her foot. Arse out, tits out, duck pout… that kind of thing.
Personally, a lot of the statuary and artwork that’s commercially available at the moment is… well, it really doesn’t do it for me, to be honest, because of all this. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no issue with nudity in artwork. I am a trained artist myself, in my first magical group we worked skyclad, and I am dedicated to body positivity… so it would be weird if I did. I’ve just rarely seen a Morrigan statue that isn’t based on a schoolboy fantasy of a sexy, sexy, siren attempting to titillate the viewer.
Image-wise, for the altar then, you might want to skip the statues you’d buy on Etsy. I’ve always been drawn to images of crows, particularly, and that seems to me to be a good kind of catch-all, particularly if you’re starting out… you can’t really go wrong with those. There’s some really gorgeous crow or raven statues out there, and it’s not going to piss her off.
I don’t think it’s healthy for us to necessarily put our own interpretations of her, on her. She’s very much a shapeshifter, and her form is formless. The representations I most often use are a simple hooded figure.
If you’d like to work with a specific form though, some common symbols associated with the Morrigan include a crow or raven, a spear, an eel, a heifer, or a wolf. Choose an item that resonates with you and helps you connect with the energy of the Goddess as she truly appears in her authentic teaching tales.
Include Offerings and Symbols of her Domains
In addition to a representation of the Morrigan herself, it’s important to include offerings and symbols that relate to her domains. The Morrigan is associated with war, death, and sovereignty, so items like weapons, skulls, and crow feathers can be appropriate offerings or symbols for her altar.
Crows specifically are connected to her here in Ireland, rather than ravens. There is one raven reference in the lore, as far as I’m aware, but generally it’s crows. If there’s a choice between a raven and a crow, I would definitely go for the crow. A scald crow or hooded crow (sometimes called a Royston Crow) would be especially appropriate for the Badb.
I pick up crow feathers everywhere I go (it’s not illegal where I live, please check your local laws), so there’s a lot of different feathers found at different sacred sites on my Morrigan altar. I’m big on random stones and bits of dirt and other Pagan/witch bits, so that all makes it onto my altar too (but if you’re visiting a sacred site as a tourist, please don’t remove any stones from that location!).
For me this connects to the domains she resonates with in this world – physical Irish sacred sites such as Uaimh na gCat, or Dá Chích na Mórrígna. Renewable resources, such as a fallen leaf or twig, water, or clay that’s stuck to your boots and been scraped off when dry, are all ok to bring home from any visit to a sacred site in Ireland (though again, please check your local regulations with regard to foreign bio-matter).
You might also make use of any such items from an Otherworld associated site, either in Ireland or local to you globally – a cave, a water source, a hawthorn or blackthorn tree… any place that resonates as ‘out of the ordinary’ for you will work fine.
You may also want to include symbols of sovereignty, such as a crown or a piece of jewelry that represents power and authority, but please be careful to avoid colonial or imperial implications. That’s not the vibe we’re going for here. Cattle would be a better sovereign and power symbol, based on accurate Irish history.
Remember to always approach these items with respect and intention, and to only use items that feel right for you, your current relationship with the Morrigan, and your personal spiritual practice.
Use Candles and Incense on your Morrigan Altar
Personally, I always have a real flame on my altar. That’s not tied to any lore of hers or anything. I don’t know whether that’s an Irish cultural thing for me, or a magical thing, but… it kind of feels like she gets a bit cold sometimes, and I like to have a little flame going for her.
It could also serve to remind her that we’re human, and this is what humans do. It might not necessarily be in her nature to want fire or to want a flame, but it is in ours. I think that’s always served me well, so if it makes any sense to you, light a candle on your Morrigan altar just for ambiance.
Besides their use for environmental ambiance, candles and incense can be powerful tools for creating a sacred atmosphere, and turning an everyday space into a devotional one. Using these items can help you focus your intention and create a peaceful, meditative space for connecting with the Morrigan, and being open to communication.
Choose candles in colors that correspond to the Morrigan’s associations: black for death or crows; grey and silver for weaponry or visionary work; red for blood or its traditional Otherworld symbolism. You can also use whatever colour associations make sense to you, but do try and keep it within an Irish traditional context.
Although there are no plants directly connected with the Morrigan in her lore, you can use incense with properties or scents that you associate with the Morrigan. Some examples would be Mugwort for divination, or Hawthorn for Otherworldly connections or its link with the Ogham fid hÚath (terror, despair).
If you want to connect with the prophecy, magical or divination aspects of this Goddess, the Ogham is also an excellent tool for that work. An ethically sourced or self-made set of Ogham cards or staves is therefore an excellent addition to your altar.
Just the Essentials for Your Morrigan Altar
You can put whatever you want on your own Morrigan altar, at the end of the day. Start simple, and it will grow in time with your own practice, and the relationship you build with this Goddess.
If I had to pick just three essentials for my own Morrigan altar, they would be:
- Representation of the Goddess and associated symbolism combined, in the form of crow imagery or a feather (or an ethically sourced corvid skull).
- A tealight holder in which I’d use a red tealight, representing her Otherworld connection and providing a meditative focus (plus ambiance!).
- A dried herb bundle – I make them myself or buy them from a local Irish supplier – containing Mugwort, a Hawthorn stick, and Lavender (for purification and because I like the smell)… the smoke of which will carry my prayers and communications to the ears of my Goddess.
Having something to represent the land of Ireland, whatever that may be or look like for you, also makes a lot of sense.
Let us know in the comments below what’s on your Morrigan altar?
Now you have a Morrigan altar set up, what do you DO at it each day? Take the simple, free, 5 Day Morrigan challenge to get you started (or back on track) as you develop an authentic Irish spiritual practice, and build your own relationship with the Morrigan.