For this week’s Femme Fatale Friday I have chosen to discuss the Goddess Maeve! Maeve was a faery Queen and her name literally means “she who intoxicates.” There are several versions of her name, as is common for Celtic deities. One of her most common names is Medb. I would also like to note that Queen Mab, made famous as a Faery Queen in Shakespeare, and the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, was likely based on Maeve! She was a warrior Queen who was known for her lust, and lovers. This Queen was married at least four times.
The story of Maeve is one of a powerful faery woman who took many lovers, and had at least five husbands! She bore many children, and her sons would be renamed with similar names in hopes that they would fulfill and prophecy. For the purpose of this post, I will be going over her most famous tale. This tale is known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley in English. It is an iconic Irish myth that involves a war waged by this great Faery Queen!
The Cattle Raid of Cooley began with a discussion between Maeve and her then-husband King Aillil. The two began to argue about who was wealthier. They compared all of their possessions one by one, and in the end, came to the magical bull owned by Aillil. This magical bull was something which Maeve had nothing equal, and this began a plot in her mind.
She decided that she would steal a great bull from another land in order to prove herself to be equal, or better, than her consort! Her decision to steal a bull from the King of Ulster would lead to a battle where she would ride in her chariot against the army of Ulster. She used her amazing powers of sexual desire to inflame her band of soldiers to fight for her. This is one of the most documented abilities of the Goddess Maeve, to intoxicate and inflame the desire of whomsoever she chose in order to gain her means!
At the end of the story, she does end up defeating the army of Ulster. She also did win the bull she desired to steal from the King of Ulster! However, it should be noted that this ended up being a bust. King Aillil’s bull and Queen Maeve’s stolen one ended up killing one another in a battle for dominance!
I hope that you have enjoyed meeting this incredible and lusty Goddess. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note: I just wanted to acknowledge that this is the 400th post here on White Rose of Avalon! I want to thank all of my readers from the bottom of my heart. I cannot wait to see how this blog will continue to grow over time!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a lovely image of Maeve that I adore. I found the image on https://jimfitzpatrick.com/product/medb-maeve-queen-of-connacht/.