Macha

Irish - A war-goddess and fertility-goddess of Ulster. Daughter of Aedh Ruadh, Ernmas, Midir or Sainnth. Wife of Kimbay. Wife of Nemed or Nuada, some say. She appears as a prophetess, the wife of Nemed, in the early histories and later as the second wife of Nuada. As a war-goddess she, with Ana and Babd, made a trinity that equated with the goddess Morrigan. The throne of Ulster should have been shared between Aedh's brothers, Dithorba and Kimbay but when Aedh died Macha killed Dithorba, forcibly married Kimbay and took the throne herself. She captured and imprisoned the five sons of Dithorba and forced them to build the walls of the fortress Emain Macha. In some accounts, she was the sister of Dithorba and Kimbay, rather than their niece, and was killed by Balor. In those versions where Macha was the wife of Nuada, it was she who was killed by Balor. She appeared mysteriously in the home of Crundchu and became his mistress. When he boasted that she could run faster than the king's horses, she was forced into a race although heavily pregnant at the time. She won the race but gave birth to twins on the spot. She cursed the men of Ulster so that when they most needed their strength to fight they would, for five days and four nights, become as weak as a woman in labour. In some accounts, she was killed with Nuada at the Second Battle of Moytura, in others she was killed by the usurper, Reachtaidh. In some accounts, the mortal Macha, wife of Crundchu, is a different being from the goddess Macha. Known as Macha, Mac Mong Ruadh, Mac Mong Ruadh, Macha of the Red Tresses, Maccha, Maccha, Mach, Mach, Morrigan, Connaught Maev, Connaught Maev, Medb, Medb, Maev, Debility of the Ultonians, Debility of the Ultonians, Birth Pangs of Ulster, ces noi(n)dhen, nainden or noinden.

Nearby Myths