Saturday, March 17, 2007


Now, St. Patrick’s Day is here, and bein’ a partial son of the Eire, it would be me privilege to be spakin’ here again of the religion he helped to bring to the Emerald Isle.

Most folks are unaware, but Ireland has a rich tapestry of superstition and folklore. Equal in some ways to the Greeks, another folk I hold in high regard.

Indeed, there’s such a rich grab bag of said items, ‘tis enough to keep a fantasy writer (such as I flatter myself as) in material for decades.

No small wonder, then, that Christianity went through a number of variant recipes once it touched foot upon the green shores.

Now Paddy wasn’t the first. From http://en.Wikipedia.org/Wiki/Saint_Patrick - “Patrick was not the first Christian missionary to Ireland, as men such as Secundus and Palladius were active there before him.”

There were of course changes made, to retrofit (read: facilitate) the adoption of the ‘faith’, such as:

“Saint Patrick left the poets all their rights of divination by wisdom, and all their ancient rights over story-telling with the music of the harp, three hundred and fifty stories being allowed to the chief poet.” – Source unknown.

Adoption of Brigit as a saint - http://www.answers.com/topic/brigid-of-ireland?method=22 - “Brigid bore the name of one of the most powerful goddesses of the pagan religion that Dubhthach practiced. Brigid was the goddess of fire, whose manifestations were song, craftsmanship, and poetry, which the Irish considered the flame of knowledge.”

Back to our Saint Paddy. ‘Twas said that he chased all the serpents from the Isle, but seeing as there were no snakes (from the Wiki source – “Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes; one suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place, as shown for instance on coins minted in Gaul (see Carnutes), or that it could have referred to beliefs such as Pelagianism, symbolized as "serpents.", it seems quite easy to substitute the serpent from Genesis here. Also, that St. Patrick also is said to have taught the Trinity using shamrocks.

It’s been suggested that Patrick and Palladius were two legends – “A lecture entitled "The Two Patricks", published in 1942 by T. F. O'Rahilly, caused enormous controversy by proposing that there had being two "Patricks", Palladius and Patrick, and that what we now know of St. Patrick was in fact in part a conscious effort to meld the two into one hagiographic personality (see Hagiography).”

Aye, old Scratch hisself been busy, stickin’ his devilish nose into our affairs, ain’t he?

There was much adaptation on both sides, Pagan and Christian. For instance, there was the legend of the Sluagh, the spirits of the restless dead: when Christianity came to the land, it was said by some that they were fallen angels. Indeed, many of the Sidhe became fallen, both of the Seely and Unseely Courts.

Anyways, Slainte!

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself." -Shaw

Stumble Upon Toolbar


David said...

It does appear as if the anti-evolutionist are slowly changing the public perception of the evolutionary position as can been by the material this atheism article cites.

David said...

It appears as if my above comment was put in the wrong thread. I will repost it.