topiary cats

topiary cats

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A History Lesson

I love Ireland, I love the Irish, I love green, I love its magical and wonderful heritage, I want a cool Irish accent, all of it, I love.  I do.

But I'm not a fan of St Patrick's Day.  (and I don't like Guinness, which some might see as the greater crime)

It's not the drunken revelry, or celebrating Irish heritage, or the parade, or any of the modern celebration I object to.  I object to the "holiday" itself because of its origins.  As anyone will tell you, drunk or not, St Patrick's Day celebrates St Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland.  But I really have met very, very few people who know more than that or care to know further.  No more snakes, sounds great, let's have another round and toast to it!

But hang on a sec.  St Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland means that St Patrick wiped out the Druids.  Religious warfare, genocide, cultural destruction of natives- that's what driving the snakes out means.

From Wikipedia:
Murchiú's life of Saint Patrick contains a supposed prophecy by the druids which gives an impression of how Patrick and other Christian missionaries were seen by those hostile to them:

Across the sea will come Adze-head, crazed in the head,
his cloak with hole for the head, his stick bent in the head.
He will chant impieties from a table in the front of his house;
all his people will answer: "so be it, so be it."

St. Patrick's Day Facts: Snakes, a Slave, and a Saint
No Snakes in Ireland
The St. Patrick mythology includes the claim that he banished snakes from Ireland.

It's true no snakes exist on the island today, Freeman said. But they never did.

Ireland, after all, is surrounded by icy ocean waters—much too cold to allow snakes to migrate from Britain or anywhere else.

But since snakes often represent evil in literature, "when Patrick drives the snakes out of Ireland, it is symbolically saying he drove the old, evil, pagan ways out of Ireland [and] brought in a new age," Freeman said.

The snakes myth and others—such as Patrick using three-leafed shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)—were likely spread by well-meaning monks centuries after St. Patrick's death, Freeman said.

IrishCentral.com says:
So why has St. Patrick been so heavily hailed as the hero that banished snakes from Ireland? Well, some believe that the snake was a symbol of paganism and it is St. Paddy that can be accredited for ridding Ireland of paganism and bringing Christianity to the green isle.

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This is something to consider if you have any love for anything Celtic or Druid.  Or if you disagree with cultural destruction.

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As a side note St Brigid (aka St Barbara) was the Irish goddess Brigid (there are countless other spellings). She was so beloved by the people the church couldn't get rid of her, so they turned her into a saint,  They also took all the pagan holidays and converted them to Christianity.  I will post about that when Easter comes.

Yggdrasil by Jen Delyth

*Yggdrasil is the Norse tree of life but there is a lot of cross-over and influence between the Vikings and the Druids.

3 comments:

  1. My how the times they have changed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Genocide?

    I can see the interpretation here, but are there sources to back that up? I ask because I couldn't find anything more than that it's actually a fairly modern theory...one that sounds good and could have basis, but I couldn't find any actual evidence.

    There are very few Irish and not so many Catholics here, either, and...no parades and less propensity to drink, so it's always been mostly about green jello here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Info on forced conversions

    http://bio.sunyorange.edu/updated2/creationism/bad%20religion/3_forced_conversion.htm

    Here is a link to a paper discussing the history

    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/79480/laureneh.pdf

    another link

    http://www.strangehorizons.com/2009/20090727/da_silva-a.shtml

    Link with more history of conversion

    http://www.worldology.com/Christianity/rise_christianity.htm

    Christianization

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianization

    Maybe genocide was the wrong word but a lot of people died due to not conforming with Christianity. Consider the witch hunts. Witch coming from Old English wicce, meaning "wise". Which is where the modern reconstructed religion of Wicca gets its name.

    It really only takes a few generations to fully implement a takeover like mass conversion.

    ReplyDelete

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