"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Monday, 17 March 2008

on druids & snakes

I don't celebrate St.Patricks day and only just last year, I found out that Patrick's chasing out the snakes is actually in reference to chasing out the Druid's, Ireland's indigenous religion. (I wonder if I was one of those that he slaughtered? I have a terrible fear of snakes... we have some deadly snakes here in Australia and they put a shiver up my spine. I wonder if this is a past life link..) I put my supersleuth hat on and went searching......

Another symbolic act of Patrick overtaking Ireland's Druid heritage involves his use of the Shamrock (three-leaf clover). It is said that Patrick used the clover to explain the Trinity of God: Father, Son and Holy Sprit. However, the shamrock (Persian word for three-leaf clover), known as a "Seamroy" to Ireland, was a symbol used in Druidism to explain the three faces of the Goddess found in the Moon: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

the Leprechaun is the face figure of the Faeries known in Ireland. The legend of the Leprechauns is that they know all the secrets of hidden treasures. Their affiliation with shoe-making, rainbows, and pots of gold is really symbolic of them being earth elemental spirits. They are the spirits that take raw material, work and shape it into something useful for humans. Trolls are the raw materials, found in its raw state, in its original location.
Leprechauns are one of the many tribes belonging to the Faerie gods known to pagan Ireland. They live in the Land of Faeries known as "Tir Non Og" which lies in the West. The Irish originally called all faeries the Tuatha de' Danann, a pantheon of gods from which Lugh and Danaan were a part. Other such faerie gods include the high king "Fin Bheara". He is known to be skilled a the game of chess and running the hunt.
There are also the Banshee, angels of death. They are beautiful women in white or sometimes seen as old hags. They can be heard before seen because they are mournful. Their responsibilities are actually like guardian angles in that they help the deceased reach their designation. There are variety of others including: Lhiannon Sidhes - the faerie sweethearts, Phookas, Fir Darrig, Merrows - faerie mermaids, Roanes - the Seal People, and the Glaistigs - female water spirits.
Each family has his/her own protective Faerie spirit according to ancient Ireland and Druid tradition. These family spirits are cared for, fed, and given gifts. to do this strengthens th sprit and in time one can actually communicate with his/her spirit faerie. Among other things, one can learn the dame of his/her family spirit faerie and acquire favors.
Donna M Pinkton MA

It has been stated that St. Patrick rid Ireland of all of its snakes. Scientists have found that Ireland had not had snakes since icebergs surrounded the island. What could then be meant by the old legend?
Before Christianity began to spread into Ireland, the Druids were the leading religious figures in Ireland. One of the symbols of the Druids was a snake. In Christianity, the snake symbolized the devil.
According to the legend, St. Patrick stamped his staff on the ground to rid the snakes out of Ireland. The snakes that were sent from the island were the Druids. After they were murdered, he destroyed all of their records. These were people who lived in harmony with nature.
During the seventh century, the Christian Church taught its missionaries that if they could not convert any natives, they were to use any means necessary to convert the nonbelievers.
The Druids were not interested in giving up their old ways and converting to Christianity. St. Patrick is said to have lead to the murders of almost eight hundred Druid priests and priestesses.

and I also found this:

A quintessential symbol of fertility and renewal, the snake has long been associated with Goddess worship. The tale of the "snake" leaving Ireland illustrates a Christian longing for the eradication of the ancient and benevolent goddess worship that once dominated Ireland. Also, as the snake was a symbol associated with the Druid caste, its departure could also apply to the gradual dilution of Druidic beliefs into the early Christian church. .

so there you go... a little food for thought & still no sign of Harry!


peppylady said...

I heard the same story about Saint Patrick too. I don’t know were you live how well people except things but I know if my client did find out that I don’t have a precise religious which should be christen, please don’t get me wrong I have nothing against anyone personal beliefs.
But I know she would have complete different out look on me.
So in lot ways people need to tolerate others people belief and if there not the main stream belief here they’ll call it a occult

As for my Irish blood is from my fathers mother side and her surname was McCalmant and I under stand they came from Northern Ireland.

As for snake we only have 2 types neither one our poison and they don’t get very big.
I have a hang up about mice

amelia said...

All very interesting, I didn't know a lot of this like most people I expect. You just hear that's it's St Patricks day and don't think about much else!!

Hurry up Harry!!!

sorrow11 said...

I learned these little tid bits while there one year many moons ago.
It just pissed me off to read it again.
But hey the winners always right history don't they?

mrsnesbitt said...

Any news of Harry?


Julie said...

Hi, Robyn,

This was a great post! I didn't know that the snake stood for the Druids, or the real legend behind the shamrock. I may never call it ST. PATRICK'S day again.

Once again, the Christians have a lot of terrible acts to answer for.

I did know about the Tuatha De Danaan, the Sidhe and the Banshee. Did you know that sidhe is pronounced she, so the banshee is a ban sidhe.

Bimbimbie said...

My mum's dad was Irish maybe that's why I don't mind seeing snakes *!*

Ironic how religion supposedly exists to spread love yet has it's roots firmly gripped in violence and intolerance.

Cre8Tiva said...

thsnk you for lighting a candle...i have missed so much lately...thank you for being so supportive during this difficult time...hugs and happy st. paddy's day...rebecca

Luke G. said...

As someone who has mixed feelings on St. P day I understand your point of view. However, there is evidence to suggest that St. P ever engaged in violence towards the natives in Ireland. On the contrary: He wrote and extensive letter to the King of the Britons bemoaning their persecution of Irish and Scotsman. On this issue someone has apparently put St. P in league with the church using "any means" including murder for those non-converts. It refers to the 7th century church. This is at least 100 years AFTER St. P. died

Pixiedust said...

That was fascinating, I shall never look at St Patrick's day the same way again. B B XX

Sacred Suzie said...

Excellent information Robyn! A friend of mine was looking into the history of this day and so I passed on your link to her.

This isn't a day I celebrate at all, my mind is on spring's approach and life getting warmer and better.

I actually find snakes quite interesting but they do stir up primal fears when seen in real life. I've only seen little ones and it shook me inside but was a fascinating experience.

A bird in the hand said...

Has Harry arrived yet???


Sheila said...

I keep popping back to see if Harry has made his arrival yet..?
I don't really celebrate St Patrick's day either, but judging by the amount of decorations for sale a lot of people do.

Kathryn Knoll said...

Blogspot! sometimes I get so irritated with "them!" I can't tell you how many comments I have tried to make to your posts and for some reason it never gets conveys, apparently. (The One I did when you first posted this didn't ever get posted, I guess. )The most famous and powerful snake energy is the physicians cadueses. The double twined snakes up the winged staff. Some say it is really about kudilini energy.. The Irish Americans love ST. Patties day. "Any excuse to celebrate and have us a good time," they say. Many Blessings, of green to ya! SR. K

AwtemNymf said...

I so love reading your blog! You're on my fae-ve reads!
We are alike in so many ways! Kindred souls! *winks*
I loved reading your facts on Leprechauns..... fly on by and read mine! I'm thinking of you and lil' Harry!
Be Enchanted-