1. Meaning of Name: Olmsted translates the name as “Battle Crow”. Mackillop translates it similarly, “Raven of Battle”.1
2. Pronunciation: CAT-u-BAWD-waa, with the “a” like the “u” in “Gus”, and the “u” like in “put”.
3. Other Names and Epithets: Olmsted gives us Bodva, Ancasta, Boudiga, Boudina, Cassibodva, and Vercana, all of them similar battle-Goddesses.2
4. Interpretatio Romana: None.
5. Irish Equivalent: The name is a direct cognate of the Irish Badb Catha, who must therefore be an equivalent deity.3
6. Indo-European Equivalent: None.
7. Realm: Ueronadâ/Upper World Goddess
8. Iconography: No depictions are known. From the name and association with the Badb Catha, we can quite sure that she was associated with crows or ravens, especially three crows or ravens.
9. Significance: Above all else, Cathudobuâ is the Goddess of war and battle. She stirs up conflict, prophecies about battle, and incites warriors. She is of a consistently violent nature, delighting in death, conflict, and woe. She is intimately connected with heroes, helping to train them, inspire them, and bringing about their deaths in a suitable fashion. She uses and enjoys war poetry. Despite her essential harshness, she is not a demonic being as such, but rather the divine personification of war in all its horror and glory.4 Morpheus Ravenna, in The Book of the Great Queen sees Her, under several names, notably Boudiga and Cassibodva, as a bringer of victory, war-Goddess, and Chooser of the Slain, directly cognate to the Irish Badb Catha, and also possessing early Germanic equivalents. However, it should be noted here that I cannot do justice to Morpheus’ very complex, subtle, nuanced, and excellent arguments in a few sentences. Get the book and see for yourself.5
- Olmsted, Gods of the Celts and Indo-Europeans, p. 411; Mackillop, p. 82 ↩
- Olmsted, Gods of the Celts and Indo-Europeans, pp. 410-412 ↩
- Olmsted, Gods of the Celts and Indo-Europeans, p. 285 ↩
- Angelique Gulermovich Epstein, War Goddess: The Morrigan and her Germano-Celtic Counterparts, http://web.archive.org/web/20011204120238/http://members.loop.com/~musofire/diss/#ems ↩
- Morpheus Ravenna, The Book of the Great Queen, pp. 127-133. ↩