Macha: Powerful Feminine Divine

The ancient Celtic goddess Macha is the deity of fertility, foresight, sovereignty, and war. Although there are three different Macha figures in mythology, they share many distinct features – the three faces of one goddess. In one incarnation, Macha is one element of the triple goddess the Morrigan; in another, she is the fierce overthrower of her enemies; and in a third, she takes a mortal lover – and demonstrates why it’s never a good idea to disrespect a Celtic goddess.

If you feel drawn to this powerful deity, I’m going to give you some tips below on how to approach Macha and invite her into your daily life. But don’t forget to offer gratitude for her help – this is one goddess you definitely don’t want to get on the wrong side of!

Macha’s Symbols and Sigils

Macha is an Irish war Goddess, strongly linked to the land.
Photo Credit: thaliatook

If you’d like to make an altar – or simply dedicate a space in your home or garden – to Macha, it’s a great idea to add some of the symbols and sigils that are special to her. 

  • Fire and flames (though remember to always be careful when lighting candles, etc, and never leave them unattended).
  • The color red, to represent both fire and the color of Macha’s famous auburn hair.
  • Crows and ravens.
  • Acorns, representing fertility.
  • Horses, which connect to fertility, strength, and victory.

Offerings for Macha could be in the form of apples, incense, meat, red wine, mead, or milk. However, anything that feels right to you, and which you offer with mindfulness and intention, is great.

Some crystals you may wish to use in your work with Macha could include sunstone, bloodstone, carnelian, garnet, fire opal, and fire agate, all of which are associated with the element of fire.

Simple Ways to Approach Macha

Macha Curses the Men of Ulster
Stephen Reid, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

While this goddess may be a formidable presence, approaching her can bring many benefits. Aim to create a two-way relationship, in which you work with Macha, rather than expecting her to do the heavy lifting on your behalf! For me, I have found this to be a really fulfilling – as well as effective – way of nurturing spiritual connections.

The Sacred Fire

Macha is a goddess powerfully associated with fire. The hearth fire was a central component of life for the ancient Celts: it was the center of the household. The clan would gather to cook, eat, and tell stories around the flames. Welcoming the sacred fire into your daily life, therefore, is a perfect means of asking Macha to walk the path alongside you.

There are many ways to do this (although, as mentioned above, always be extremely careful when undertaking any activity involving fire, and never leave flames unattended). Make a habit of lighting a candle at the end of the day, spending a few moments contemplating the flame, and giving thanks for the day just passed.  If you have the facilities to do so, enjoy cooking outdoors when you can, paying attention, mindfully, to the sound of the flames, and the smell of the food as it cooks. Thank Macha for the bounty and keep this feeling of gratitude in your heart as you enjoy that delicious first bite!

Sun Magic

As a sun goddess, harnessing the power of the sun in your rituals or daily practice is a great way to honor Macha. There are lots of ways to go about this. Celebrate the return of the sun at Yule by burning a Yule Log before feasting with family and friends, and at Litha, the summer solstice, when the sun is highest in the sky.

You may also like to hang sun catchers around your space, or perhaps over or around your altar to Macha. Some of the flowers and herbs associated with the sun include daisies, sunflowers, dandelions, chamomile, and rosemary. Again, incorporate these into your Macha altar or use them in your spellwork. And at the end of the day, enjoy a soothing cup of chamomile tea to enjoy a hint of the sun’s special energy even after it’s set.

Get Started with Divination

With her gift of prescience, beginning a practice of divination is a wonderful way to get started with nurturing a connection to Macha. My personal divination tool of choice is the tarot, but you can work with whatever feels right to you: runestones, scrying tools – even tea leaves! Whichever you feel drawn to, it’s a good idea to spend some time learning about your preferred method. This includes its history and a general idea of different ways to use it. 

Get to know the cards, the runes, or the tools of whichever type of practice you’ve chosen. Look at the pictures or symbols, make up stories using them, and simply spend time holding them and allowing your mind to wander freely, noticing any thoughts or images that come up.

Ask Macha to help you in your endeavors. You may like to choose a card, rune, or crystal that represents Macha, to you. Place this item on your altar, or bedside table, and keep it on hand whenever you practice divination.

Try a Simple Protection Spell

To honor Macha’s aspect as one of the faces of the Morrigan, you could have a go at casting a simple protection spell, invoking the deity’s help to keep you safe from negative influences. Follow these steps.

  • Cleanse yourself and the space: you can do this by clearly visualizing yourself and the space surrounded and suffused by a clear, bright white light.
  • Center yourself and ground your energy: take several deep breaths, and imagine drawing the Earth’s energy up into your body with each one.
  • Now visualize this energy expanding out from your core to surround your whole body, like a bubble. If you like, you can extend this energy to form a bubble around the whole room or your entire home.
  • Enhance the power of this ritual by speaking a simple protection chant. This could be, “I invoke this circle of safety, and am protected by it.” Create a chant that works for you.
  • Before ending the spell, give thanks to Macha and the Universe, for their assistance.

You may also like to create a protective amulet or token, by adapting the above spell to suffuse a specific item with protective powers. Once you’re done, you can carry or wear this token as you go about your day, and feel comforted by its presence.

Embrace Your Soveignty

Macha is powerfully connected to sovereignty, and this element of the goddess was revered by those who followed her. Honor this facet of Macha by building some empowering rituals into your everyday life. For starters, be on the lookout for negative self-talk. We all do it. If you find yourself thinking something like “I’m useless” or “why do I always get everything wrong?” stop those thoughts in their tracks and rephrase. Tell yourself: “I am skilled at many things, like….” and “I am so proud of how I always try my best, no matter how tired I am or how difficult things are.”

Create some affirmations, and start and end each day with them. Define your values and beliefs, and ensure that all your actions support these. Set meaningful goals. Commit to trying to make a positive change to your community or the world at large. All of these are examples of how you can embrace your personal sovereignty. Be assured Macha will be pleased to assist your efforts.

Macha’s Connection to the Goddesses Rhiannon and Epona

Macha goddess
Deviantart on Pinterest

The Welsh horse goddess Rhiannon is generally considered to be Macha’s counterpart.  Both deities share the horse as a sacred symbol and are connected to fertility. Each of these goddesses, too, is associated with the sun and abundance. If you feel drawn to Macha, you’ll no doubt enjoy finding out more about Rhiannon, too. Furthermore, you can explore the many similarities these figures share.

Some also suggest that Macha is a manifestation of the horse goddess Epona. Like Macha, Epona is also a deity connected with sovereignty and fertility. Moreover, both are powerful incarnations of the feminine divine.

Macha’s Sacred Sites

This ancient Irish deity was particularly associated with the province of Ulster. The province’s ancient capital, Emhain Macha, was named for the goddess. Today, this ancient ceremonial monument site can be visited, and the remains of a ring barrow seen. There were once buildings on the site, archaeological investigations have revealed. Including a large roundhouse-type structure that could have been a temple.

The Northern Irish county and city Armagh’s name is derived from the Gaelic term “Ard Macha”. It translates as “Height of Macha”, and furthermore points to the Celts’ reverence of this goddess.

Meeting the Many Faces of the Goddess Macha

Just like us mere mortals, there are many faces to the goddess Macha. Rather than being conflicting personalities, however, they all form an integrated whole. Again – as with us – there are multiple facets to her character. We can be nurturing mothers and fierce protectors; powerful allies and protective friends. Welcome Macha into your life to help unite the many elements of your own divine femininity. Ultimately, you claim your sovereignty.

Featured Image Credit: journeyingtothegoddess on Pinterest

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Melanie Smith

Melanie Smith is a freelance content and creative writer from Gloucestershire. She lives in a funny little cottage with her daughter and cat, The Magical Mr. Bobo. Her blog posts and articles on the subjects of tarot, crystal healing, holistic wellness, and parenting feature regularly in magazines and websites around the world.