Morgan le Fey is the enigmatic bad-gal goddess who has been haunting me ever since I was a teenager, lighting candles at dusk and trying my damnedest to be as authentically witchy as possible. I remember reading about her in a twee book on faery witchcraft and having that hit through my system: WOAH. HER. That’s the one. That’s the lady I’ve been looking for.
When I was a youngun, I knew her as a Faery Queen: a healer, sorceress and faery goddess who was inextricably linked with the land of the Underworld and the land of Avalon – not that I understood that or had really thought about that last bit seriously though. I just thought She was cool.
Ever since my earnest dedication to her at the tender age of 17, She has lead me on a path to understand and experience more of her ways: following her trail of breadcrumbs in and out of the underworld has turned me into the Witch and fearless Priestess I am today.
Nine is her sacred number, so here are nine reasons why Morgan le Fey is a powerfully inspiring goddess who will rock your world.
- She is the Lady of Avalon.
Today, Morgan is well known as the wise Lady of Avalon: the Queen of the Undying Isle, Oracle of the Isle of Apples. Avalon is the ancient otherworldly island of Arthurian legend (and is a remnant of the old Celtic otherworld spilling into medieval stories) and it ruled by a set of nine accomplished sisters, with Morgan le Fey in charge as the most fabulous of them all.
Here Morgan holds the archetype of the High Priestess: the veiled gatekeeper of spiritual knowledge, gatekeeper of the portals between the realms, and guardians of women’s mysteries.
The Lady of Avalon is the epitome of how we imagine a wise moon goddess to be: deeply compassionate and wise, moonlit, governing a grove of sisters in an undying otherworld of women. I have found often that women resonate with Morgan strongest in her aspect as the Lady of Avalon: the star-crowned Queen of the island of healing, mistress of the isle of sisterhood.
- Morgana the Mermaid.
Morgan le Fey is a Goddess of all the elements: serene air, passionate fire, physical earth – but she is most particularly a Goddess of Water. She is the guardian of the healing springs of Avalon, keeper of the Grail Chalice, and like many faery women in Celtic Mythology, is deeply associated with the shifting, mysterious powers of water. She lives on an island in a lake, which is faery AF, and her most estabilished, oldest and most long-abiding story has her taking the fatally wounded Arthur in a boat over the waters to Avalon for healing.
Water has always been considered a feminine element: soft, strong, changeable and flowing: salty like blood, nurturing and womblike, healing. It is thought that Morgan’s very name links her to the ocean: Mor meaning Sea in old Welsh.
In fact, there is a kind of mermaid-fairy from France called a Marie Morgana. On that topic…
- Little known fact: Morgan le Fey is an International Fancy Lady
Arthurian stories are an important part of medieval literature – they were like the Game of Thrones of their day, everyone who was anyone was reading them – but the stories did not just come from Britain. No sir. The French, the Italians, the Germans and I think the Austrians all had their own versions and tales of King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table and Morgan le Fey – and though nowadays it is generally assumed that Avalon is a place in the UK, it’s also been suggested as being in France in times past.
I can’t remember who said this, but one of the pivotal old medieval writers about Morgan le Fey said of her that she could shape shift into a bird so she could fly to all the universities all over Europe to learn everything she wanted to. #hero
- She will initiate you in the ways of the Divine Feminine
The more I get to know her, the more blown away I am by how Morgan is an incredibly feminine goddess and how she expands my definition of what feminine power is. When we think Feminine Goddess, we think of the luscious, seductive Love Goddesses: curvaceous Aphrodite, capricious Venus, fierce and beautiful Freya, those who leave you spellbound by their wit and beauty and lust for life.
But Morgana embodies the mystery of the feminine: the secrets of the moon, the teachings of the violet-lit sunset. Her path will teach you and challenge you to hold power as a Woman, and what feminine power truly is. Her teachings will be subtle – like thin whispers in the morning rain, like a shadow at dusk, but she teaches you what it means to be Feminine, and what it means to be Powerful, like an vast many-petalled rose unfolding over time.
- She Demands Truth
All the work I have ever done with Morgan has had one thing in common: Truth. Being true to myself, and finding the courage to speak my truth, knowing truth from illusion. She is a Goddess who demands authenticity: she will force you to look in the mirror and see who you are. She will take you through whatever it takes to get you to that place of truth, to own your power. She will have no truck with the lies you tell yourself, the secrets you hide from, the ways you deflect and run from your own power, and she will rip that safety blanket away.
The only sacrifices Morgana demands are your fear and your bullshit.
Essentially, Morgana’s main watchwords are Magic, Mystery and Transformation. Working with her will transform you, and she isn’t picky about how she does that: if she needs to, she will haul your ass into the underworld until you learn the lessons you need to. She is practical – remember, she is a sorceress – so she does what works, not necessarily what is nice or what is easy.
Be warned, she is Queen of the Underworld, she is sooooo not afraid to take you there.
- 6. She is a fierce feminist.
In all the old stories and legends of Morgan le Fey, She is shown to be a power-hungry woman, manipulating the knights of the round table any way She can to ensure Her strength and position is protected: casting spells on them to get what she wants, seducing Merlin in return for magic lessons, and taking men prisoner until they give Her what She wants. What a bitch.
I love it. In a time when women were not allowed any power: when women were meant to be sweet and obedient and pious and not talk too loud or ask for anything, Morgana asked for EVERYTHING and refused to be quiet.
The only way to be an independent woman in the old stories was to be a baddie. I mean, I get it’s a bit weird to call her a feminist and then tell you what a bitch she was, but she was unafraid of being seen as a bitch in order to take what was rightfully hers: sexual freedom, independence, a life she chose rather than a life chosen for her. That’s a big deal circa 1200AD, and women like Morgan would have had the patriarchy quaking in their boots.
…and for those of you who feel we can discount those villainous stories because she was being maligned and misrepresented? DUDE THAT’S WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT. She was so powerful that she couldn’t be written out of the stories and had to be cast as a baddie, because there was no such thing as a powerful good woman. Her being a total nasty piece of work also reminds us that Goddess is not just meek and sweet and mild and palatable, like the ineffective and useless Virginal Good Girls the Church wanted us to be: Morgan is a storm of fury, wildly petty, a source of destruction and magic and death. She is a Trickster. Leading me onto my next point.
- Morgana as Shadow Worker Supreme.
If Morgana can be a total jealous witch, if She can bend her mind on nothing but revenge, if She can be such a terrible person in the stories, but still be a powerful transcendent Queen of spiritual initation and mystery – maybe, just maybe, we can look at our own terrible, jealous, vengeful secrets and feelings and actions and begin to accept and love them as a part of our spiritual journey too. How can a Goddess who is nothing but light be any help for Shadow Working? How can She help us process, come to terms with and love the darker parts of who we are, if She has no darkness herself?
Morgan’s nasty past, her dirty mythology means we are in safe hands for when she guides us into deep shadow work and forces us to confront what we do not like about ourselves: She can hold our hand and say, Me Too, and show us that we are not evil for being imperfect.
- She is a Goddess of Witchcraft
Morgan le Fey, as a legendary sorceress, is often lauded as a Goddess of Witchcraft. What is witchcraft? It’s women taking their destiny in their own hands and not being afraid to ask for what they want.
Her legends are full of stories of her prowess as a witch – enchanting things, healing folks, causing mischief – and indeed that tends to be how she is best known in the witchy community today.
- She is a Goddess of Contradiction
The thing I love about Morgan the most? She is the very embodiment of contradiction.
She holds both the strength and power of sisterhood, and the bitter wounding of sister against sister.
She is both the keeper of transcendent spiritual wisdom, and is goddess of low magic and getting what you want.
She demonstrates and demands recognition of her power centre stage in a patriarchal world: and yet at other times she also stands in the twilight, at the edges of archetypal stories, watching and smiling in the shadows.
As a Sovereign, she is sexually free, totally charismatic and bound to no man, yet still she holds the wounding of sexual trauma, manipulation and fucked-upness.
She straddles two worlds – ours, as evidenced in her tales as a lusty, tricksy, clever woman, and in the otherworld as a faery Queen.
She is never one thing, or the other: she is always BOTH. I love how she holds both the shadow and light of so many issues within herself: for me, it shows how she is a Goddess who can heal and guide us through our many shadow aspects and not judge us.