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MACHA MÓRRÍGU was the all-devouring great queen of the Irish gods. Outrunning and swallowing up her foes, she symbolised the ravenous vehemence that nourishes victory with the rich pickings of the vanquished. Associated with rainstorms and crows, she may once have been held manifest in engulfing rivers and dark rainclouds in their role as both nourishing and destructive forces for the land. Her sisters were Badb and Anu Danu Mórrígan and as a trio they are called Mórrígna. An association with horses allows us to compare her attributes with those of Epona and Rhiannon. Her high status in Ulster implies that she may have been a sovereignty goddess. While there are three Machas for purposes of story telling, they may all derive from a single persona; each is attributed the same mother, Ernmass. Cúchulainn's horse Liath Macha [grey of Macha] could, for example, be named for any of the three Machas. Emain Macha may be named after Macha daughter of Partholon, a separate character. All may also take the form of a crow.

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