Saturday, September 29, 2012

Battlefield Invocation

The topic of the week has been Sovereignty - several people asking questions about it in response to the mention of the Sovereignty rites I and the Coru are planning for Samhain. I'm working on a post delving into Sovereignty more fully, but as it's a very big subject, that post will have to be published another week soon. Instead, I'll respond to another of the questions from readers. I've been asked to share the Gaulish invocation of the Morrigan that I mentioned in my last post. So today I'm sharing that here.

A few words of explanation by way of Caveat Emptor... First, let me be clear that I have no pretense about the accuracy of the Gaulish language used in this invocation. I am not a scholar of the Gaulish language, or any Celtic language. I am an enthusiastic amateur. Further, the language used here is not exactly ancient Gaulish as it would have been spoken in its contemporary period. I have never been able to find a complete reference on the ancient Gaulish language sufficient to be able to translate a text into Gaulish. What I have used is a reconstructed system called Modern Gaulish, which was developed quite recently by a linguist, to fill exactly that gap. As I understand it, Modern Gaulish uses what is known of the ancient Gaulish tongue, extrapolated using linguistic mechanisms known to other Celtic languages to develop a more complete grammar and vocabulary. Since that was what I could find to use, I've used it. (I'm afraid I can't reference it since the website is no longer online; if readers are curious, I've got the contents of it in PDF.)

This is a devotional work, not an academic one; what it seeks to do is to speak to the Battle Goddess in something at least having the poetic sound and feel of the language She may have heard from devotees in the Gaulish period, as an act of devotion and of honoring Her history. If a Gaulish language scholar is reading this and can correct my work, by all means I welcome the assistance.

So here's what I've done. I read a lot of ancient Gaulish inscriptions to get a feel for the kinds of things that were written in votive and magickal texts. Then I wrote this invocation to the Battle Goddess, first in English, and then translated into Gaulish. It was written for use in a specific context: it is the invocation and blessing that I use at combat events, to invoke Her and to ask Her blessing on the fighters and the field; accompanied by libations which are offered to Her and then poured out on the battlefield.

Édhi ni in Coru Crúach Cathubodúa
Ávo ni sin iuranoch a no Rígan en brathíon ri in ségiu ródhithu

Guthanu mi in Déuan Morrígu, Cathubodúa, tar nemna in Anthúmon
Guthanu mi in Rígan Cingethed ganth gwalíon in taránu
Morrígan a'n Bodhúed, Morrígan a'n Taránu: Diáiu ni ganth sin supethárion
Áchi nemna in Anthúmon a ch'ánon súó cingethed pí en édhi ér sú
En ór a'n cath a pé diáiui, éran ach diái ani, Déuan Cathu
Rígan Már Cingethed, o pí en canu in caníon cathach, tanu ni ér sú
Inth lathúach ach en sathanoch lúied-ni ávo ni sin iuranoch

Ganth sin briethéron, techolsíu in ledhíam nerthach, techolsíu in criníon lathúach, bí í cathéronthu dineáion ech ni
Ganth sin briethéron, ávo ni briethanoch a'n ségiu
Pí lavarthu é ó ánu, dresíu é gwer in lan-cath
Pí ré ródhithu é ócríd en cúírel, techolsíu é bélu, ach ré bathithu ó calghíon ganth gwalíon taranu
Déuan Cathu, apái nathúech in ségiu a'n cingethed-sin, suo maped ach duthired: Ánéís
Nathúeu mi sú tar nemna in Déuan Cathu

Déuan Cathu, apái nathúech in criníon gwirth nó namanthed, pan ápisu ís in coru bor suo lathued
Ávo ís ledhíam érin, o íuru ni sú in ségiu
Desu ni in iuranoch ri Cathubodúa
Desu ni nó namanthed ri Cathubodúa
Desu ni ís Bodúa
Desu ni ís Bodúa
Desu ni ís Bodúa

And here follow the English verses:

We, the Bloody War Band of the Battle Raven
We make this offering to our Queen in gratitude for victory given

I invoke the Great Queen, the Battle Raven, through the powers of the Otherworld
I invoke the Queen of Warriors with the force of the thunderstorm
Morrigan of the Ravens, Morrigan of the Storm: We come to you with this plea
Bring the powers of the Otherworld to inspire your warriors who are before you
In the hour of battle which approaches, rise and come among us, Battle Goddess
Great Queen of Warriors, who sings the song of battle, we stand before you
Fiercely and in fulfillment of our oaths we make this offering

With this incantation, the weak shall be made strong, the fearful shall become fierce, doubt shall be cast from us
With this incantation, we make the enchantment of victory
He who has spoken Her name shall be lifted over the battlefield
He who has given his heart in loyalty, his arm shall be made mighty and his weapon strike with thunderous force
Battle Goddess, send the charm of victory upon these warriors, your sons and daughters: Protect them
I bless you by the magic of the Battle Goddess

Battle Goddess, send the whisper of fear against our enemies, when they behold the proud host of your heroes
Let them weaken before us, as we offer the victory to you
We prepare the offering for the Battle Raven
We prepare our enemies for the Battle Raven
For the Raven, we prepare them
For the Raven, we prepare them
For the Raven, we prepare them

If readers are inclined to use these invocations in ritual, I am glad to share them, so long as any use or distribution of them includes attribution of their authorship to me: (c) 2012 Morpheus Ravenna.


  1. Goodday Shield Maiden, how are you?

    I am the author of the Modern Gaulish language. I am happy to see you use it: that's what is is for. The website is in need of updating, and will be back up again sometime soon.

    I have updated your Battlefield Invocation to the new version of Modern Gaulish (my aim being always to make it as authentic and "right" as possible).

    Enjoy, and keep on writing. Every time you write a word in the Gaulish language, it comes alive.

    Steve Hansen

    Es ni Cór Cróach in Bódhu-Cathu
    ávó ni in ióru-sin a nó Rhían can vráthu ri vódh rhódhíthu

    guthi mi in Rhían Wár, Bódhu-Cathu, tré nhemné in anthúmn
    guthi mi Rían in Cingethé can nherth in áel-taran

    Morrigan in Bodhúé, Morrigan in Áel-Taran: díái ni adhith can in bethan-sin
    ácha nemné in anthumn ri hánau tó gingethé en bis ráíth
    en hór u gathu en nesa, ári ach díái entharin, Dé-Ben Cathu
    Rían Wár u Gingethé, en cán cánu-cathu, es ni en tá ráíth
    in vúr ach can shath nó lhúié ávó ni in ióru-sin

    can in ganthal-sin, bí in doné dinerthach ávóthu nerthach, bí in doné ovnach en ái búr, bí dicherthas gathéthu pel aun
    can in ganthal-sin, ávó ni lichin u vódh

    bí é o gwepáthu ó anu berthu gwer lhan in cathu
    é o rodhíthu ó grídh can chwerthas, bi ó lham-uchel ávóthu nemnach, ach bóisí ó gládh can nherth taranach

    Dé-Ben Cathu, apái nath u vódh ar in cingethé-sin, tó wapé ach tó dhuithiré: anéi adhís
    suáithi mi ti can vrítha in Dhé-Ben Cathu

    Dé-Ben Cathu, apái taulaváru u ch’ ovn gwor nó nhamané, pan ápis sié búdhin penardhu tó gamulé
    o ch’ áisí sié dinerthach ráin, pan iór ni in bódh adhith

    dés ni in ióru ri’n Bódhu Cathu
    dés ni nó nhamané ri’n Bódhu Cathu
    ri’n Bódhu, dés ni ch’ ís
    ri’n Bódhu, dés ni ch’ ís
    ri’n Bódhu, dés ni ch’ ís

    1. Thanks, Steve! I appreciate the feedback. I'd love to correspond further with you about the Gaulish language. My interest is more in ancient Gaulish than modern, but yours is the only resource I've been able to find that gives a grammar and syntax and something like a complete vocabulary. I've been studying the Modern Gaulish system, and then attempted in my writing of the invocation to return to the more ancient forms wherever I could figure out how to do so. I'd love to keep improving the piece.

      Folks who have heard it spoken have been very moved by the sound of the Gaulish language. It seems to speak to people on a very primal level. I really appreciate you for making it accessible to me.

  2. Enjoying your blog. Is there an audio of this reading, or any others you share publicly, available anywhere? Haven't been able to get a copy of American Mystic yet; was any of your spoken Gaulish featured in it?

    1. No, I don't have an audio recording of this or anything I've done with Gaulish. I had not begun studying Gaulish yet when American Mystic was filmed, so it's not seen in the film.

      BTW you can view American Mystic on Netflix:
      Also it can be ordered via Amazon: