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The Shieldmaiden Blog

Mar - 14


You may notice me posting in this blog a little less frequently now-a-days. And if you follow my art and metalwork, I am producing new work a bit more slowly than usual. Here is what’s going on.

I have been for some time slowly gathering material for a book. The book that I have long wished someone would write: an in-depth, well-researched, comprehensive book on the Morrígan: Her history, lore, and cult of worship; incorporating contributions from historic, folkloric, archaeological, and modern sources, and guidance for devotional practice with Her in a Pagan/polytheist framework. The book that would bridge the gaping chasm that currently exists between the quality of information available about Her from academia on the one hand, and popular Pagan literature on the other. The book I constantly wish I could refer people to when they ask me what they should read to learn about the Morrígan.

This project has been slow-cooking on my hearth for about a year, but since I am kept busy working for a living at my art business, tattoo apprenticeship, and a third part-time job to make ends meet, I have not been able to prioritize it. Yet.

That’s where things are changing. Two days after I got home from PantheaCon, I got marching orders. In my daily devotional meditations, the Great Queen laid a binding on me that morning: a nóinden (ninefold counting of time). A nóinden is usually read as a period of nine days or nights; in this case, nine months. Nine months to get the draft written. This is what I’ve been given to do. It is a priority now.

I sat down with my calendar at that point and made a writing schedule: blocked out research and writing time for the rest of the year. So, okay; looking at the typical words-composed-per-hour rate of writers, and the time I have, I can do it. I think. I started in on that writing schedule right away.

And here’s the rub: I’m producing less art now, and less metalwork. For people interested in my medallions and talismans, it may mean that these are going to be a little more limited. When I sell out of a design, it’s now likely to be a few months instead of a few weeks before I can squeeze in the time for another batch of my rather labor-intensive creations. That means less income for me. That is a little scary, because I live fairly close to the margin, but this book feels important and necessary, and I’m trusting that I’ll figure out a way, with the help of the Gods and my allies.

Art is my primary work in this life, and I’m not keen on letting it be marginalized. If I had the option, I’d let go of my third job instead and give that time to writing. Presently, I can’t afford to do that. But something has to give. Tricky.

Several friends have suggested an IndieGoGo/Kickstarter type campaign to raise money to get this book done. I’m willing to consider something like that if there’s support for it. I’m interested in readers’ feedback about that.

In the meantime, while I puzzle these things out, writing is underway. I’m loving the research, delighting in each new jewel of lore I find in my diggings into ancient writings. And I will meet my appointment with the Queen, and have a draft to offer Her in nine months, whatever I have to do to make that possible.

25 comments on Noinden

  1. Christine says:

    Excellent! Most of the books about Her disappoint me. I would definitely buy that book! Good fortune on your endeavor.

  2. Svea says:

    I would definitely buy this book, and/or support a funding campaign.

  3. Rebecca McClard says:

    I wish you luck. If you decide to start I fund raiser I know several fellow followers I can pass the information on to. I eagerly await your book and will pre-order a copy(s) as soon as they come available.

  4. Misha says:

    Fantastic! And yes to the funding campaign!

  5. Naali says:

    I have been disappointed by so many books about Her. There is definitely a need for a good, well-researched book about her that isn’t sugar-coated or littered with misinformation and fluffiness. Given how much I’ve enjoyed the writings here on your blog, you can add me to the number of people who would happily contribute to a Kickstarter campaign or pre-order a copy.

  6. Cheryl says:

    I would definitely support this if you got a fund raiser going. I would not be much of a priestess of Her if I didn’t support another of her priestesses. If you open a fundraiser up. Shoot me a link through Etsy and I’ll be happy to help however I can.

  7. Anna Korn says:

    i’d support this– it sounds like a wonderful idea for a book.

    One thing that would be welcome in such a book would be to give people guidelines on how to pronounce the Irish used as her epithets.

    (I am so tired of hearing people saying “Morri-gan” with a hard “g”. The “g” is dotted or followed by an “H,” so it is softened. It is “great queen” Mor+ Riaghan (now usually spelled Rian) and pronounced “Mor-ri-an” with the accent on the first syllable.)

    1. Morpheus says:

      That’s a good idea about having a pronunciation guide, Anna. I may include that!

      Some clarification on the name – in Old Irish there are many fewer lenited consonants, so many Old Irish words have harder sounds than their Modern Irish equivalents. Her name is one of them. In most of the source manuscripts, Her name was written with a hard ‘g’. I follow some scholars of early Irish (who are also native Irish speakers) and when they pronounce Her name, they pronounce it ‘mor-REE-gan’, emphasis on the middle syllable, and with a hard ‘g’. I think the emphasis comes from the accented long vowel in ‘rígan’ (queen). That’s Old Irish though, so this may be partly a matter of taste. People who prefer to pronounce Her name in the Modern Irish way may use the lenited modern pronunciation.

      1. Anna Korn says:

        Thank you for the clarification!

  8. Natalie Reed says:

    I would certainly consider contributing to a funding source or perhaps pre-pay for a copy of the book.

  9. Dane says:

    I’m glad you’re doing this, Morpheus. The world is starving for accurate scriptures about the Morrigan–and the rest of the pagan world, for that matter. No restoration is complete until every relevant story is told to the degree that’s required. (Bet you can’t stop at just one…) ;-)

  10. Helen/Hawk says:

    Yes. I’ll support a kickstarter campaign.
    We must as a community support our visionaries (to avoid stagnation).

  11. Soli says:

    Count me in among the interested in seeing such a crowdfunding campaign. The Ancient Egyptian Daybook project managed to get a *lot* of funding last year and might serve as a good template.

    It would also be nice to see books about the Gods which are not just devotionals.

  12. Shira says:

    I’d back a crowdfunding thing

  13. Niki says:

    I will buy this book. Whatever format, self- or standard-published, I will buy this1

  14. Lon Sarver says:

    I am absolutely behind you with this book. If you crowdsource it, I’ll back you, and I’ll promote it.

    The modern Pagan/Polytheist community needs more material like the book you’re proposing. There’s plenty (but never enough!) scholarship on the past, and there’s more than enough books that offer how-to advice. There are precious few that show what is done today with a solid grounding in history.

    1. Ember says:

      I’m of a similar mind to Lon. I would absolutely buy the book and refer people to it regularly, as well as help spread the word if you set up a crowdfunding campaign. I would contribute to the campaign itself to the degree that my funding allowed.

      I do want to voice a preference that you choose a funding method that allows PayPal for the payment method. I don’t believe Kickstarter does, and there have been several campaigns I would have supported that I couldn’t for this reason. :/


  15. Jessica says:

    I would definitely pre-order/kickstart/help support. Our community has to do that. I am sure you could come up with some awesome supporter perks that would entice people to support you at high levels. This is very exciting, congratulations and i am glad you are writing this book!

    1. Jessica says:

      Here is an example of a project I was inspired to help pre-fund at a level beyond just the cost of what the actual item cost because of the awesome perks. You being an artist and also a teacher, you could come up with some really cools stuff. Shauna Aura Knight has also developed a ladder of perks to entice people to support her at higher levels.

      1. Jessica says:

        oops…forgot to post a link to the project.

  16. Katie McQuage-Loukas says:

    100% interested, and very willing to preorder or kickstart or otherwise contribute to however you decide to do this

    1. Saevor says:

      I have been looking for a book like that for a long time, so I would love to buy it (and contribute to it if it’s the case with the kickstarter).

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