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Badb is also known as Badb Catha (Battle Crow) or Badb Chointe (Weeping or Keening Crow). She is part of the triplicity which also includes Morrigan and Macha. As Badb Chointe, she is connected with the Bean-sidhe, or Banshee, whose wailings foreshadow a death. Before and after battles, she frequents the scene as Badb Catha, stirring up fear and chaos among the combatants or sometimes guiding the warriors to victory. She often prophesies death.


In Irish literature, she appears in both the First and Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh. At the First Battle, she conjures up “compact clouds of mist and furious rains of fire” so that the Fomorians can “neither rest nor stay for three days and nights.” In the Second Battle, she joins with the Morrigan to help the Tuatha Da Danaan defeat the Fomorians. , Likewise in Tain Bo Cuailnge, she terrorizes and disorients Queen Medb’s army to the point that many of them fall on their own weapons. In another Irish tale, Togail Bruidne Da Choca, she foretells the slaying of Cormac Condloinges. She is seen washing his chariot and harness, an omen of doom. “The red-mouthed badbs will cry around the house; for bodies they will be solicitous.”


If you wish to approach Badb, be sure to be reverent and keep an open mind. She is raw and primal and can be cryptic but may offer insights for those in need of transformation, courage, or an ally. She encourages inner power and resilience, especially for women, as she embodies their fiercer aspects. Appropriate offerings are red wine, berries or apples. Her colors are red, black and white. An altar can hold crow feathers, battle scenes, a cauldron, or other tokens of her warlike, transformative nature.


Badb, Great Queen
Battle Crow and Poet Prophet
Prophecy pours from your Red Mouth
Red Mouthed and Shrieking
Shrieking as you fly
Fly above me, O Badb
Badb inciting us to fight
Fighting with spears clashing
Clashing and flashing against the shields of our enemies

Enemies falling to our spears
Spears plunging hearts into earth
Earth below me, the blood of battle take
Take this as your feast
Feast and grow strong with life
Life renewing as life fades away
Away you fly, O Badb
Scald Crow satisfied with the the outcome
Come to us again, O
Badb, and fly above us always

(Artwork by Tanith Grey)


First Battle of Magh Tuireadh

Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh


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