Morrigan cloaked, and the cost in blood.

This weekend I started a new phase of the statue: building the cloak. Here is where I begin to depart from the pre-formed structure of the mannequin. I formed the cloak from sheets of metal lath, cut to size, wired on and formed to shape. Then began the long process of layering fiber cloth and resin on to the metal. I make this sound simple, maybe, but it’s tricky and awkward and took me most of a day just to get as far as laying on the fiber cloth.

I am inspired to see Her beginning to take shape. I can begin to see a slow convergence between the image in my mind and the object before me; maybe there is a chance that I’ll pull this off and manage to create an image that is potent enough to be a vessel for Her presence here.

S. tells me She looks like Lady Gaga now, between the shiny black material on the body giving it a fetish-suit look, and the white fibrous material on the cloak getting a bit feathery. I am amused by this. Also, determined that by the time I’m done, She will be distinguishable from Lady Gaga. My Queen, I give you my word.

The day was unseasonably warm for January and the hours slipped by me while I steadily wrestled the metal into shape onto the statue. It’s hard on the hands; the cut lath is very sharp along the edges like a comb of tiny razors. My hands are nicked and sliced; at one point I have to lean against the edge of the cloak to reach around both sides and wire the parts together. I feel a couple points of the cut lath start to sink in to the surface skin on the side of my neck. I smile a bit when a cut on my fingertip wells up with a few drops of blood that find their way on to the statue. She takes Her offering, and I am glad to give it.

The blood gets me thinking, and I find myself flashing on the quote from Dante that Michelangelo wrote on his sketch for the Pieta: “One does not think how much blood it costs.”

How much blood does it cost? Your life’s work – the destiny that pulls your heartbeat onward like the current of a river. The task that is before you. How much blood will it cost you to bring forth what is in you? Do we dare to find out?

Here is what the Morrigan told me, and what the heroes of my ancestors tell: It may cost everything. It may cost you your life. The battle that you have before you – whatever that is – the birth struggle of that world that can not come to be except through your unique effort – this will not be achieved without blood. The price of your destiny is your life. To achieve the greatness that is in you requires you to give yourself to that purpose, and this giving will transform you. There will be no turning back. This is how heroes are made; in the simple choice to give. Sacrifice: to make sacred. That which is given in dedication to a greater force is made sacred by the giving. And it does mean giving something up. There is only so much time in a life, so many heartbeats. Giving yourself to the pursuit of your great Work will cost you in opportunities to spend your life more frivolously. And it may cost you much more than that.

Is this why we often shy away from success, from the fullness of our capabilities? Do we sense intuitively that the pursuit of greatness requires the death of the small, safe creature we were accustomed to being? Are we not sure we are ready to spill that blood?

Perhaps, I thought. And then came Her next answer: It doesn’t matter. Because willing or no, death will come to you. There is nothing to fear when the end of the story is known. Your blood will be spilled one day and will flow back into the river that birthed you. The only question will be when, and whether you had enough time yet to pour that blood into something meaningful while it was still yours. Being small will not save you.

So this is the heroic ethos; this is what Cu Chulainn knew. That a life is best measured in meaning, not in length or comfort. ‘Little care I,’ said Cu Chulainn, ‘nor though I were but one day or one night in being, so long as after me the history of myself and doings may endure.’ And though he was younger than a warrior should be, and people did not think him ready, he took up arms on that day and went to seek his destiny. We have this choice: to wait for an easy moment, staying within the comfort of our ordinary life, and keep the illusion of safety. Or to make the sacrifice, the gift of our very life, to achieve the greatness that is within us.


I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.

Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
What a bargain, let’s buy it.


-Jelaluddin Rumi

Morrigan statue with cloak structure. Not Lady Gaga.

4 replies
  1. Shieldmaiden
    Shieldmaiden says:

    Hi BellaDonna,Progress is coming along, slow and steady. I work on this on occasional weekends between lots of other obligations, so it's very incremental. Cloak has been mostly covered in resin, after which there are a few more pieces that will have to be covered, before I move on to the sculptable/sandable coating. Yes, it is a male mannequin. I thought that the facial features were androgynous enough to be workable for my statue; the face is a little feminine for a male so once coated and sculpted out I think it'll be fine. I do plan on shaping breasts for the statue, but She'll still be on the muscular side, which I also think is fine.Thanks for your feedback and I'll try to get some more recent photos posted soon. The reason that new photos haven't been forthcoming is that She's presently situated prone inside of a shed, because the work I'm doing on the cloak can't be done with the statue upright. So it doesn't make for really great photography. But hopefully soon I'll have that stage finished and we can get her stood up and newer photos posted.blessings,Morpheus

    Reply
  2. Arcane Asylum
    Arcane Asylum says:

    I just came upon this and was wondering how progress is coming now that it is 9 months later? Also, is that a male mannekin (the frontal shot and black paint make it difficult to tell, but it appears to have masculine features)? If it is male, any plans to make the torso more feminine?I feel unlucky that your upcoming gathering is all the way in California, even if the gathering were free, I couldn't afford the trip from the East Coast. Your devotional sounded powerful. I've read some things regarding the Feri Tradition, enough to know that I do not think it for me; but I share with you a devotion to The Morrigan, though it would seems she speaks with you much more often (and easier) than she does with me (my rational brain sometimes gets in the way).–BellaDonna Saberhagen

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