The Queen of Battle is one of the most arresting (at least to me) cards in Caitlin Matthew's Celtic Wisdom Tarot. This wondrous figure, complete with a crow on her staff and headdress, represents
"a woman made wise by experience; sharp, analytical, and intelligent; autonomous and independent. Keen but fair..." (Matthews, Celtic Wisdom Tarot 66).
According to Matthews, the Morrigan is the Goddess of Battle and "catabolic" change--perhaps suggesting those kinds of fundamental or formative changes that change us right down to the molecular level. (She certainly has this kind of effect on Skye!) She is represented as part of a trio of goddesses; with her 2 sisters (whose names change depending on the source), the Morrigan is known to assume the shape of a crow and visit (and feast upon) the bodies of those slain in battle.
Morrigan and her sisters were definitely influenced by the legends and stories I've read about the Celtic Goddess who possessed three faces: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. I was also inspired by stories of Morgan Le Fay, particularly those like The Mists of Avalon that represented her in a sympathetic (at least to some extent) light.
When Skye meets the Morríghana, Morrigan and her sisters Macha and Nemain are living in a little house in the town of Manitou that used to belong to Skye's grandfather. The three Sisters open Skye's eyes not only to the secrets of her past but also of a world she never dreamed could be real.
Learn more about contemporary takes on the Triple Goddess by clicking here.
**Full disclosure: Since finishing the novel, I have read articles debunking this notion of the goddess representing life stages, but I still like the idea of it. Besides, it works well with depictions of the Triple Goddess holding flowers, fruit, and wheat (which also could be connected to life cycles, right?).
* The above image has been reproduced with kind permission from Caitlin Matthews.