An illustration of Morgan le Fay surrounded by ancient trees and mist, casting a spell

The Enigmatic Morgan le Fay: From Myth to Modern Pagan Practice

Morgan le Fay, is a figure steeped in mystery and magic. Known from Arthurian legend as a powerful enchantress, Morgan le Fay offers rich themes of transformation, healing, and the duality of light and shadow. However, there are even more layers to this goddess/ spirit to explore, including her likely origin as a prehistoric water deity. 

We are working with the goddess Morgan le Fay in the MoonWise Membership this moonth. In this post, I'll explore her origins and mythology, her connection with water, magic and the moon, and how contemporary pagans can respectfully approach her in their practices. 

An illustration of Morgan le Fay standing by a tranquil river under a moonlit sky, holding a staff with a glowing crystal.

The Origins of Morgan le Fay

Morgan le Fay, whose name means "Morgan the Fairy," or "Morgan the Fate", is a prominent figure in Arthurian legend. Her character has evolved over centuries, drawing from Celtic mythology, medieval romances, and later literary works. She is often depicted as the sister of King Arthur, a healer, a seductress, and a powerful sorceress. Many people today think of her as being quite a dark, or at best ambivalent, figure, but perhaps this is patriarchal undermining of powerful female energy. 

Historical Context

Morgan le Fay's historic origins can be traced to Celtic mythology, where she may have been inspired by figures such as the Morrigan, a goddess of battle, fertility, and fate, though this connection is by no means certain (and I don't personally resonate with this connection). In early medieval literature, she appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's "Vita Merlini" and later in Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur." These texts portray her as both an antagonist and a benevolent figure, reflecting the enduring complexity of her character.

The name "Morgan" itself suggests a connection to the sea, hinting at a possible origin as a water deity.

Morgan le Fay in Arthurian Legend

In the Arthurian romances Morgan le Fay is often depicted as the sister of King Arthur, a healer, a seductress, and a powerful sorceress. However, again, her origins are complex and intertwined with other figures from the same mythos, leading to some confusion and blending of identities.

She is often confused with two other characters: Morgause and a figure sometimes referred to simply as "Morgan," a magician. This confusion is likely due to their overlapping roles and similar names, which have evolved and merged over time in various retellings of the legend. Perhaps also there is a hint of a three-faced/ triple goddess here too. 

The Characters of Morgause and Morgan

Morgause: In many versions of the Arthurian legend, Morgause is the daughter of Igraine and Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, making her King Arthur's half-sister. She is often depicted as the mother of Mordred, Arthur's eventual nemesis. Morgause's character is distinct from Morgan le Fay, although both share a familial connection to Arthur and a capacity for magic and intrigue.

Morgan, the Magician: Some tales refer to a character named Morgan, who is a magician and another child of Igraine and Gorlois. This character sometimes overlaps with the figure of Morgan le Fay, further muddying the waters of her true origin.

    The blending of these characters' stories suggests a deeper connection to an earlier mythic tradition, probably linked to a water deity. The transformation of these figures over time reflects the fluid nature of myth and the cultural evolution of storytelling.

    A photographic flat lay of yarrow, mugwort, heather, amethyst, black tourmaline, and labradorite, artfully arranged to highlight their connection to Morgan le Fay.

    Connecting with Morgan le Fay in Modern Pagan Practice

    Morgan le Fay's themes of transformation, healing, and the interplay of light and shadow offer valuable insights for contemporary practice. Here are some ways to connect with her during this lunar cycle:

    Tracking Moon Phases and Personal Transformation:

    1. Lunar Journaling: Keep a journal to track the phases of the moon and your corresponding moods, energy levels, and personal transformations. Reflect on periods when you feel more inclined towards introspection and when you are more active and social, drawing parallels to Morgan le Fay's complex dual nature.
    2. Moon Meditation: During the new moon, focus on setting intentions for transformation and healing. As the moon waxes, work on manifesting these intentions, and during the full moon, embrace the culmination of your efforts. Use the waning moon for reflection and release.

    Working with Nature and Herbal Magic:

    • Herbs and Crystals: Incorporate herbs associated with Morgan le Fay, such as yarrow, mugwort, and heather, into your rituals. Use crystals like amethyst, black tourmaline, and labradorite to enhance your connection with her energy.
    • Nature Walks: Spend time in nature, especially near water, which is closely associated with Morgan le Fay. Collect natural items like feathers, stones, and flowers that you feel drawn to, and use them in your spiritual practice.

    Exploring the Shadow Self:

    • Shadow Work: Engage in shadow work to explore and integrate the darker aspects of your psyche. Morgan le Fay’s ambivalent nature can guide you through this process, helping you to embrace and transform your shadows.
    • Mirror Meditation: Use a mirror to meditate on your inner self. Reflect on both your strengths and weaknesses, and consider how Morgan le Fay’s energy can assist in your journey towards self-awareness and healing.

    Healing Practices:


    • Herbal Remedies: Create healing potions or teas using herbs associated with Morgan le Fay. Focus on recipes that promote physical and emotional healing.
    • Energy Healing: Practice energy healing techniques such as Reiki or crystal healing, calling upon Morgan le Fay’s energy to aid in your efforts.


    Creative Expression:


    • Art and Writing: Channel Morgan le Fay’s inspiration into your creative projects. Write poetry, paint, or craft items that reflect her story and your connection to her.
    • Storytelling: Share Morgan le Fay’s myths and their meanings with others. This can be done through storytelling circles, blogs, or social media, fostering a deeper communal appreciation for her legend.

    I created a meditative journey to meet Morgan le Fay, which you can access here...

    Themes for Modern Relevance

    Morgan le Fay’s mythology offers timeless themes that can be relevant to our lives today:

    • Transformation: Her ability to change forms and influence events highlights the power of transformation. Embrace personal change as an opportunity for growth and renewal.
    • Healing: As a skilled healer, Morgan le Fay symbolises the importance of holistic healing. Focus on healing both the body and the mind through natural and spiritual practices.
    • Duality: Her ambivalent nature reminds us of the balance between light and shadow. Acknowledge and integrate both aspects within yourself to achieve wholeness.

    Sources for Further Reading

    To deepen your understanding of Morgan le Fay and her cultural significance, consider exploring the following resources:

    1. Encyclopedia Britannica - Morgan le Fay - A comprehensive overview of Morgan le Fay’s character and her role in Arthurian legend.
    2. Wikipedia - Morgan le Fay - Explores various aspects of Morgan le Fay’s mythology and literary appearances.
    3. Myths and Legends of the Celts by James MacKillop - A detailed book that includes discussions on Morgan le Fay and other figures from Celtic mythology.

    A vibrant illustration of Morgan le Fay's mystical herbs and potion ingredients on a wooden table, set in a cozy, dimly lit space.

    As we honour Morgan le Fay during this lunar cycle, let us embrace her as a symbol of transformation, healing, and the balance of light and shadow. By connecting with her respectfully and mindfully, we can draw on her ancient wisdom to enrich our modern spiritual practices. May her presence inspire your journey and illuminate your path.

    I would love to hear how you plan to connect with Morgan le Fay this moonth! Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

    If you’re looking to deepen your connection with the moon and explore more about powerful goddesses like Morgan le Fay, consider joining our Moonwise Membership. Together, we can journey through each lunar cycle, honouring different faces of the feminine divine and growing in our spiritual practices.


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