Badb

October 6th, 2009 by sabrina

BadbBadb (pronounced BIBE) is the Irish Goddess of war. Along with her sisters Macha and Anu, she forms the triple Goddess known as the Morrigan. All three could take the form of crows or ravens, and would fly over battlefields, choosing who would die and who would live. They would then take the souls of the deceased in their black wings, flying them off to the Otherworld. Badb would sometimes take part in the battles herself, usually in the form of a wolf. She had the power to cause confusion in the opposing soldiers and courage in those on her own side.

Badb, Macha, and Anu are the daughters of Ernmas, an Irish mother Goddess, and Delbaeth, High King of Ireland. They are also the sisters of another triplicity of Goddesses: Banba, Eriu, and Fodla, Goddesses of Irish sovereignty. Where the latter three Goddesses embodied the sovereignty of Ireland, the former three protected it, through war but also through life. Badb is said to have a cauldron similar to that of Cymidei Cymeinfoll, in that it can provide life to those who have died. Legend says that Badb will cause the end of the world some day when she lets the cauldron boil over and flood the world.

Badb’s name has been translated as either “crow” or “boiling,” both of which fit her mythology. Variations of her name include Badhbh, Bave, Baobh, Badhbh Chaointe (“weeping raven”), and Badb Catha (“battle crow”), and she was known in Gaul as Cathubodua, Cathubodva, Catubodua, or Cauth Bodva.

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