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HIST & MYTH: 2nd Battle of Mag Tuired (Moytura)

Written by Ben Kesp

The cool westerly winds encircle my body and the power of the land energises my soul. Standing high on this mountain top, my feet deeply rooted in the soft grass, I survey the lush forests spread out before me. This land is the home of my people, the gods and goddesses of the Tuatha Dé Danann. It has been foretold that this land will one day be called Erin after Goddess Eriu of the Danann, by an invading dark force from the dead lands. But that time has not yet come. For now a stronger threat is ahead for the Danann, who ready themselves for a great battle against the cruel oppressors of this land, the misshapen giants of the Fomorians who are not descendants of these shores. A temporary peace treaty existed between my people and these giants after the first battle of Mag Tuired. Balor, ruler of the Fomorians gave his daughter Ethlinn to Cian son of Dean Cécht, healer of the Danann and brother to Dagda, King of the gods to honour a peace treaty. 

Peace existed until Bres, half Fomorian and half Danann Prince, lacking in leadership and kingship laid a heavy rule over the Danann. My people laid a revolt and had Bres removed from power but he retaliated with the aid of the Fomorians and laid a crushing blow to the Danann who were subject to their mercy. 

A new saviour rose up to aid my people in the name of Lugh, half Fomorian and half Danann, the son of Ethlinn and Cian. He will become the Sun God and Storm God of this land battling with Balor for ever more in the skies over head. The Danann set out to prepare for battle and it was at this time I stepped in to meet with Dagda, the father of the gods for my role is all encompassing as sovereign goddess of the land and war goddess combining the power of my sisters. I inform Dagda where to bring the Danann to fight against our cruel oppressors. 

Now I stand on the eve of battle having set its course, calling to each of my people to rise up and awake the warrior within. The Danann are skilled masters of magic, science, warfare and the arts. In their procession they hold four magical treasures; the stone of destiny, sword of destiny, cup of destiny and the spear of destiny. 

I observe the second battle the Danann fight at Mag Tuired. The great armies of the Fomorians and the Danann meet, facing each other down with weapons and magic. Mist rolls in over the battle field. Screams penetrate the darkness. Weapons clash. Fire sprouts from Balor’s evil eye striking all before him. Sudden pain penetrates my heart. My sister Macha has fallen in the heat of battle. I enter the frenzy with my sister Badh striking fear in the enemy. My army of battle ravens dive low attacking unsuspecting Fomorian giants through the thickness of the wet mist. The battle enrages and the Danann lose many people including our king, Nuada. But as destiny had foretold, Lugh slew Balor and captured Bres ending the Fomorians oppression for ever. The giants would no longer gain a hold on these lands and are sent wildly into the seas. The Danann are victorious. 

Following the battle I travel to each corner of the land standing high on the mountain tops declaring victory, for I represent the land, the essence of its core.  On my last stop I pause and face south over the misty seas. I know a dark force will arrive one day in the distant future and invade these lands and my people will once more do battle. For now I ensure the lands remain fertile, for I am the daughter of Ernmas, mother goddess and with my sisters, encompass the Matron Goddess of the land and the War Goddess, its protector. I am the Morrígan. The end of the world will come through this prophesy that I share with you:

I shall not see a world that will be dear to me.

Summer without flowers,
Kine will be without milk,
Women without modesty,
Men without valour,
Captures without a king.

Woods without mast,
Sea without produce,

Wrong judgments of old men,
False precedents of brehons,
Every man a betrayer,
Every boy a reaver.
Son will enter his father's bed,
Father will enter his son's bed,
Everyone will be his brother's brother-in-law.

An evil time!
Son will deceive his father,

Daughter will deceive her mother.

If you would like to read more of “Ireland’s Ancient Gods” check out its homepage on the Ben Kesp Website. 

I have no rights over the image on this blog post.
Morrígan's prohesy is taken from Wikipedia

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