Hi David, that is very interesting and informative. I’ve found a reference, Morgan Daimler, Pagan Portals – The Morrigan: Meeting the Great Queens (2014). I think that you should add this – along with your review – to the Bookshelf in the Bard’s forum.
As for the interpretations of Morrigan’s name, you’re quite right to see the inclusion of the word for “queen” in there. In Modern Irish her name would Mór-Ríoghain and although the first element is still debated, the second element, ríoghain seems quite clearly to be queen. One of the derivations generally given is, as you say, “Phantom Queen”, and I think this is interesting because of her connection with kings and kingship. Guenevere in Arthurian legend, comes from
Gwynnever (Cornish)/Gwenivar (Breton)/Gwenhwyfar (Welsh) meaning “White Ghost/Spirit” and she was also a queen. It’s tempting to see something else going on here, especially in terms of sacred kingship, the goddesses of the land and so forth. This in turn makes me think that Geoffrey of Monmouth may not have made everything up and indeed included some authentic indigenous lore in his works, as I think he claimed.
The Badb aspect is also intriguing and opens up numerous avenues to explore, also potential links with British and Gaulish equivalents. Just as an aside, there is also Bodb Derg, the son of the Dagda, who is elected king or leader of the Tuatha Dé and whose name may be linked to the word badb meaning crow, in which case Bodb Derg would be the “Red Crow”. This association of crows with kings, battles and the divine also has echoes in Norse mythology too.