Costume Candidate for 2013: The Morrigan

Thanks to our Kickstarter campaign for 2013, we’re adding 19 new costumes this season, 7 of which our backers and supporters will get to vote on. This series of posts is designed to briefly introduce the many notable women and legendary figures we’ll be considering. Voting will take place spring/summer of 2013.


It’s clear from their mythologies that the prehistoric Celts and Germans spent many centuries living next to each other in Europe. Of course both groups are Indo-European, which accounts for quite a few shared concepts, but the similarities suggest an especially close relationship. The Morrigan, whose name means something like “Phantom Queen” or “Terror Queen,” is a case in point. One way to understand her is as a Celtic Valkyrie: a bird-woman (crow or raven) who screams onto the battlefield, choosing and claiming the dead. (The banshee of Irish legend is probably an aspect or echo of the Morrigan.) The Morrígna, plural, are supernatural phantoms who augur death, just like the Valkyries. The Morrigan is also connected to the earth and fertility, reminiscent of the way the Germanic Freyja manages to be both angel of death and goddess of love. But where Freyja is generally a positive goddess, associated with joy and abundance, the Morrigan tends to be rather scary and dark.

Think we should add a Morrigan costume to Take Back Halloween? If you missed our Kickstarter campaign you can still become a supporter and get to vote on the new costumes.

Illustration credit: The wonderful painting of the Morrigan is by Brigid Ashwood.


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