As it was St Patrick’s Day the other day, I’ve been thinking about what that means to us all. To the world, it appears to mean dressing in green, and getting pissed usually with a green-coloured drink, and generally celebrating being Irish. That’s what it means today.
I’ve have some great St Patrick’s days in the past, as all those things above – I’ve worn green, gotten drunk and had fun with friends at various Irish pubs. But I’m not Irish and it seems that does not matter these days.
I’ve never seen a problem with celebrating it – apart from the fact that it’s a pagan acknowledging a Catholic Saint (I have a St Christopher in my car, even though he was rejected by the Vatican and now adopted, from what I’ve seen, by the pagans). But these days a few of the pagans I know out there prefer not to celebrate St Patrick’s day due to the unknown truths about St Patrick. And I kind of agree with them. From what I’ve read, I’m inclined to think that we’ll never know the truth about what Paddy ever really did. When you learn the truth about St George, you begin to wonder what on earth Saints have to do with certain areas, myths and beliefs.
St Patrick was believed to have rid Ireland of ‘snakes’ but that deceptively means ‘pagans,’ as there were not any snakes living in Ireland at the time. Patrick was actually Welsh (some say English, others Scottish), kidnapped into Ireland, stayed faithful to Christianity and then decided that ALL the Druids and Pagans of Ireland were miserable buggers that clearly needed converting. I’d say a lot of them did (for reasons of their own) and a lot of them didn’t, but they should have had a choice. I don’t think missionaries care to know anything about someone’s choice.
Here is the research of an Irish-American Pagan on St Patrick and all the pagan/druid history – she says that Paddy had no great luck converting the Irish pagans anyway. In his lifetime, he would not have had the chance to convert all of Ireland anyhow. Pagans still lived there centuries later. So why do we bother with it, and him? This blogger says it’s all about being Irish these days, and she’s right.
Still, I’m inclined to believe that the Christian faith left out all the horrible bits their saints did so as to look as if they are all innocent. Either that or they have no idea how it truly was, being the Dark Ages when most of the more popular saints apparently lived. Pagans won’t ever fall for that, and I’d make sure of it. Pagans can celebrate the day, stand dead against it, or not care about it at all. I’m the latter these days. But I’m happy for any Irishman to celebrate what they please.
I’m hoping paganism is coming back in a big way in Ireland, and from statistics and rumours, it is. Maybe one day March 17th will not be St Pat’s day, but Irish Day – that’s what it’s becoming anyway…