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Morgan Le Fay


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Morgan Le Fay

Morgan ('Born of the Sea') le Fay is first mentioned, as Arthur's elder half sister by Cretien de Troyes. In the Romances she is the daughter of Ygerne (Igraine) and Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. In Welsh tradition she is the daughter of Avallach or  Avalloc, king in the Otherworld. Morgan is one of the Ladies of the Lake

Morgan Le fay and Excalibur
Morgan le Fay and Excalibur                                                                                               Arthurian Gallery
Morgan le Fay and Excalibur Poster
Morgan le Fay and Excalibur Poster and Canvas Print


The earliest references to Morgan are generally accepted to be four texts of the twelfth and thirteenth-centuries, each  describing an island kingdom of perpetual youth and unending fertility and abundant apple -trees,  presided over by women, and which in its essential characteristics presents the features of the 'Celtic Otherworld Islands' as these are depicted in early Celtic literature

A.  Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 'vitae Merlini' - 'Life of Merlin' names 'Morgen'  as chief of nine sisters who preside over the 'insula pomorum que fortunata vocateur', to which Arthur is brought for healing after his last battle.

'The island of apples which men call the fortunate isle...There nine sisters rule by a pleasing set of laws those who come to them from our country. She who is first of them is more skilled in the healing art, and excels her sisters in the beauty of her person. Morgen is her name, and she has learned what useful properties all the herbs contain, so that she can cure sick bodies' - Vita Merlini

B.  A passage in 'De Antiquitate Glastoniensis' by William of Malmesbury' in which there is a reference to 'insulam Avalloniae'

(3) A passage in the 'Gesta Regum Britanniae' (circa 1235) by Guillaume de Rennes .......... a nameless goddess is described as ruling over other virgins in a miraculously fertile island kingdom; and it is suggested that she is the daughter of 'Rex Avallonis'

(4) Ulrich von Zatzikhofen's 'Lanzelet', in which an un-named fairy, having the beauty, the learning and the healing powers of Geoffrey's Morgan, presides over an island kingdom and is the mother of Mabuz' / Mabon.


Most Celtic scholars agree that Morgan / Modron is derived from the old Gallo-Roman goddess Matrona and the Irish goddess 'Morrigan'. The form 'Argante' for Morgan results from the omission of the initial letter; a not uncommon scribal error in the transmission of manuscripts

As Modron, she is the mother of Mapon / Mabuz.

Arthur had three sisters, Elaine who married King Nentres of Garlot, Morgause who married King Lot of Lothian and Orkney - mother of Gawain and Mordred, and Morgan le Fay who wed ( King) Urien, and gave birth to a son,  Ivaine (,Owain, Owein, Ewayne ); who thus enjoyed the high status of being Arthur's sister's son.

[ Because of the many prarallels in their stories Morgan Le Fay and Morgause ( similarity of names, their betrayal of Arthur, their sons ( Owain and Mordred ) both Arthur's heirs, serve and rebel against Arthur - one at the Battle of Camlann and one At the Battle described in the Dream of Rhonabwy) may represent an example of a story diverging from and then being reincorporated as two stories into the Arthurian cycle.]

Morgan le Fay = Morgause? =  Modron = Matrona = Argante = Morrigan = Ann


Morgan Le Fay created an enchanted scabbard for Excalibur which protected the wearer from harm. Subsequently Arthur entrusts the care of Excalibur and the enchanted scabbard to his sister Morgan. Morgan betrays his trust, has them secretly copied then returns the copies to Arthur and retaining Excalibur and the enchanted scabbard.

When Arthur, Urien and Accollon hunt a white unicorn, they find and board a mysterious ship. ( symbols of passage to the Otherworld). Under the spell cast by Morgan, Arthur fights with Accollon, neither recognising the other. Morgan has armed Accollon with Excalibur, Arthur has the forgery. Arthur sees thru the trickery and kills Accollon. Arthur then realises Morgans part in events. 

While Arthur recovers from his wounds, Morgan attempts to steal Excalibur. She fails, but gets away with the enchanted scabbard. Arthur pursues her but before he can catch her, she throws the scabbard into the river where it is forever lost and turns herself into a stone.

Morgan le Fay
Morgan le Fay                                                                                                       Arthurian Gallery

'Then she rode into a valley where many great stones were,

 and when she saw she must be overtaken, 

she shaped herself  by enchantment unto a great marble stone' 

  ......Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur. Book IV, Ch. XIV


Anna / St. Anne 

The cult of St. Anne is thought to have begun in Devon in the 14th century.

She was the mother of the Virgin Mary and the patron saint of mariners.

St. Anne is often depicted carrying a ship in her arms.  

 One early source names Ann as being the sister of Arthur, wife of Lot mother of Mordred.   Ann = Morgan. 

Anu/ Danu a goddess known as 'the mother of the god' in Irish mythology

In his mortal form, Beli Mawr (the Great) who can be identified with the Celtic God, Belenos, was said to have been the husband of Anna, the daughter of St. Joseph of Arimathea.

Many St. Agnes or St. Anne names have beacon connections

Morgan Le Fay's Book of Spells and Wiccan Rites
by Jennifer Reif

A Must For Mists of Avalon Lovers, September 4, 2001
Reviewer: seshat from las vegas nv

Reif weaves a spell with the soul of a poet as she brings Morgan to life and gives us a handbook that might have been written by the Priestess of Avalon herself. There are many fine points about this book which would be a valuable tool for the beginner or the advanced practitioner. Reif brings a closer look at varied Goddesses giving the reader a flavour of various different deities and does not neglect the God! Her lovely and poetic language mirrors the romantic within the author.  I especially liked the fact she did not use traditional wiccan tools and instead uses a fresher approach to spell work. This is not the same old work being rehashed. This is a must have.

the authors website


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The Ladies of the Lake




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