Mighty Medb – Warrior Goddess and Celtic Queen

As well as a Celtic goddess, Medb was likely a “real” queen, who ruled the Irish province of Connaught during the Iron Age. As well as being Queen Medb (whose name translates as “she who intoxicates”), she is also known as the goddess Maeve, a deity of sovereignty, war, female strength, independence, sexual freedom, and power.

This is a goddess to turn to if you’d like to flex your divine feminine muscles, unleash your power, and build the confidence to trust your own intuition. Want to know how to get started with approaching this formidable deity? Use the ideas below for inspiration.

Medb’s Symbols and Sacred Sites

Medb’s symbols include the following. You may wish to add images or small sculptures of these animals to your altar to honor her.

  • Birds, and particularly crows
  • Wolves
  • Cows
  • Pigs
  • Small woodland animals, especially squirrels

If you’d like to leave this goddess an offering, mead, ale, cake, cream, water, and traditional Irish foods are perfect. However, don’t offer her cheese! According to the myth, a warrior used a slingshot to launch a piece of cheese at Medb while she was bathing, which hit her in the head, killing her instantly. Not ideal when you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing soak, even if you are a goddess.

According to legend Medb’s Cairn in Sligo, Ireland is the burial place of this goddess. This 5,000-year-old burial mound is made up of thousands of loose stones and is a very special place to visit for those who revere Medb. The Misgaun Medb stone in Sligo is also reputed to be the possible burial site of Medb. 

Cruachan in Connacht and the Hill of Tara are Irish sites strongly connected to the deity, making up part of the region she ruled over. If you get a chance, pay a visit to one of Medb’s sacred sites to experience their unique atmosphere and feel closer to the goddess.

Other Goddesses Connected with Medb

Goddess Medb

Medb is a sovereignty goddess – a role she shares with fellow Celtic goddesses Macha, Danu, Badb, the Morrigan, and the Cailleach. It’s been suggested that, in her connection with the fae, Medb may have been the inspiration for the figure of Queen Mab in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Morgan le Fay, too, in the Arthurian legends may be an incarnation of this goddess in disguise.

Making a Connection with Medb

Are you interested in connecting with the goddess Medb but aren’t sure how to start? It’s not surprising: this goddess has a somewhat fierce aspect. Approach her with respect and good intentions, however, and she’ll no doubt be pleased to welcome you. Try the ideas below, always being guided by your intuition.

Have a Go at Brewing Mead

Swedish Mead
Grapetonix, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a goddess known as “she who intoxicates” what better way to honor Medb than by making the traditional Celtic alcoholic drink, mead? Once it’s made, you could present the first cup to Medb as an offering. Be sure that all the equipment is fully sterilized before getting started on your brew. Here are the ingredients you need for this simple recipe that’ll make one gallon of mead:

  • Honey (two to three pounds)
  • Half a package of champagne or wine yeast
  • Water (filtered or unchlorinated)

Start by adding half a gallon of water to a large pot and bring it to a warm temperature without allowing it to boil. Now add the honey (two pounds for dry mead and three pounds for sweet) and stir until it’s well blended, ensuring the mixture still doesn’t boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Using a funnel, pour the mixture (called the “must”) into a carboy and top off with unchlorinated, cool water, leaving at least two inches of space at the top. Put the lid on the carboy and give it a gentle swirl.

Add yeast for the magic to begin

Now it’s time to add the yeast. First, ensure the temperature of the must is below 90 degrees F, and then add the yeast to the carboy. Secure the lid and gently shake for a few minutes to ensure the yeast is evenly distributed. Attach the airlock to the carboy’s lid, fill the airlock with water to the specified line, and place the stopper into the carboy’s opening. Store the carboy in a cool, dark place to ferment, which typically takes about four to six weeks.

Once fermentation is complete, siphon the clear mead from the carboy’s top into a second container, leaving the sediment behind. Cover again with an airlock and let the mead ferment again for at least another month. Once this time is up, your mead is ready to be bottled and enjoyed. Don’t forget to raise a glass to Medb!

Enjoy Rituals to Celebrate Your Feminine Power

Powerful queen and formidable goddess, what better way to revere Medb than with a ritual to celebrate your unique feminine energy? There are many ways that you can awaken and honor your feminine power. Try starting each day with meditation, carrying or wearing crystals such as moonstone, amethyst, rose quartz, emerald, and carnelian, and begin a process of journaling with the intention of connecting with your own intuition.

You could also try a ritual to celebrate your monthly cycle, to better connect with your feminine energy, and reclaim how you feel about your own body. While in today’s society, the menstrual cycle is often tainted with feelings of shame (it’s often referred to as “the curse”), menstruation was once widely revered as sacred. Creating a womb-like space in your home during your period, allowing some time to free bleed, and wearing the color red are all ways you can honor your menstrual cycle and yourself.

Work with the Fae

Medb is also considered to be a queen of the faerie folk or Sidhe. Trying your hand at some faerie magic is a further way to connect with this goddess. The fae is said to love honey, so if you’ve lost something (a set of keys perhaps, or a favorite item of jewelry), leave them an offering of honey and ask them for their help to locate whatever’s missing. Ideally, leave your offering at the edge of the nearest woodlands. You may be surprised at just how quickly your lost item turns up!

One of the loveliest ways to invite the fae into your life is to create a small area of your garden, especially for them. Don’t have a garden? No worries, I have made my space on a small shelf indoors. You could even use a windowsill or a window box. Place crystals, chimes, and little gifts for the faeries in this space. If you come across some doll’s house furniture in a thrift store this is perfect! Spend time in or tending to this space every day, set good intentions, and let them know they’re welcome. And it’s important to always thank them and leave offerings for their blessings and help.

Meet Your Spirit Animal

Squirrel sitting in a park

Small woodland animals, most notably squirrels, are powerfully associated with Medb. As part of your work in approaching this goddess, you might like to connect with your own spirit animal. There are lots of ways to go about doing this. I found mine by simply sitting quietly, clearing my mind, and asking the Universe to send me a clear sign to let me know the identity of my spirit animal. Within twenty–four hours, I was seeing images of this particular animal everywhere. It’s a hedgehog, if you’re wondering!

To find your own spirit animal, have a go at these practices:

  • Spend time outside and in nature, and notice if there is any particular animal you feel drawn to.
  • Pay attention to your dreams: is there a particular animal that regularly appears?
  • Notice whether the Universe keeps pointing you toward a particular animal. Do images of hummingbirds seem to be everywhere, such as when you pick up a magazine or turn on the television, for example?
  • Think about whether, in childhood, you were attracted to a particular animal, and what this creature meant to you then.

When it comes to connecting with your spirit animal, try learning as much as you can about this creature. Wear its symbol as jewelry, and displaying its image in your home. You could also put an image or small sculpture of this animal on your altar. Research what each animal represents, spiritually, too. For example, hares symbolize speed and agility, while spiders represent interconnection, patience, and creativity. 

Need Help? The Goddess Medb Has Your Back

She might not have the kind and nurturing reputation of some of the other Celtic goddesses. However, Medb is a powerful manifestation of divine feminine energy. She is a force to be reckoned with, a competent ruler, and a believer in her own abilities and strengths. If you need a nudge to reawaken your own energy, there may be no better deity to turn to. Just be sure to ask nicely.

Featured Image Credit: Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874 – 1951), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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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.