Paganism as a religion and Celtic Druidism as a spiritual path are not recognised on the Irish census form, the Registrars Office, Hospital forms or on any other state information documents in Ireland. St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and he is famous for driving the snakes from Ireland and abolishing all Pagan Rights. Zero tolerance then and now. In Ireland today we have the Church and the State in bed together, with the church always on top... Pagan Rights do not actually exist in Ireland unless we stand up and demand that we have our rights restored.
The Catholic calendar that is used in Ireland today reflects the old pagan Eightfolds of the Solar Year. But this Catholic calendar has twisted the dating of the old festivals and also renamed each event to suit the Roman Catholic Church agenda. Our native Pagan Calendar is fixed to the Passage of the Sun around the Stars in the Belt of the Zodiac and this is called Sidereal Time, but the Catholic Calendar is fixed to set dates and lets keep quiet about the extra day every four years - this is called False Time (see essay above)...
Samhain is when the Sun is at 10* Scorpio but
All Saints' Day is Nov 1st
Winter Sun Standing is at 0* Capricorn but
Christmas is Dec 25th
Imbolg is when the Sun is at 10* Aquarius but
Brigit's Day is February 1st
Spring Equinox is Sun is at 0* of Aries but
Virgin Mary day is March 25th
Beltine is when the Sun is at 10* of Taurus but
St George's day is April 23rd
Summer Sun Standing is Sun at 0* of Cancer but
St Johns day is June 24
Lughnasa is Sun at 10* of Leo but
The Transfiguration is Aug 6th
Autumn Equinox is Sun at 0* of Libra but
Archangel Michael's day is Sept 29th
There has been a determined focused and many faceted effort to destroy the native Gaelic Pagan Culture by the Catholic Church. It nearly worked, but because you are reading this short essay - you are being informed of the old ways - "na sean nosanna" and our Celtic Ancestral ways can be restored, respected and Pagan Rights honoured once again.
The problem however, is still there - the Church has taken and destroyed all reference to your Pagan Rights. But you can as a European Citizen (Pagan) invoke rights of freedom of association and assembly and access to our ancestral scared sites under -
(i) BUNREACHT NA hEIREANN, the Constitution of Ireland to visit and preserve the National Monuments of Ireland (- but the writing of this Bunreacht was overseen by Bishops and it does not give Pagans any rights but you must invoke it first)
BUNREACHT NA hEIREANN, Article 44 says -
1. The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion.
2. 1� Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen.
2� The State guarantees not to endow any religion.
3� The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.
4� Legislation providing State aid for schools shall not discriminate between schools under the management of different religious denominations, nor be such as to affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending religious instruction at that school.
5� Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes.
6� The property of any religious denomination or any educational institution shall not be diverted save for necessary works of public utility and on payment of compensation.
(ii) The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as ratified by the Government of Ireland -
Article 9 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
Article 11 - Freedom of assembly and association
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.
(iii) Article 9 of The European Convention on Human Rights
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
The main problem with BUNREACHT NA hEIREANN is that it opens with the following qualifying statement -
In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of �ire, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial, Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation, And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations, Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
A Celtic Pagan Rights qualifying statement might read as follows -
With true and full connection to the Three Realms; the Sky above, the Sea below and the Land we stand upon, as honoured and respected by our Celtic Ancestors, we, the people of �ire, seek full connection to the temples of the Gods and Goddesses of the oldest spiritual tradition of this sacred land and hereby declare and lay claim to full rights and independence for the Pagan people of our Nation seeking to declare truth before the world, to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with all other nations and religions, do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
But it isn't like that is it? - "Acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ," excludes all women, ladies and goddesses and maybe more importantly all other religions and spiritual paths except for the Catholic (which means 'universal path' and universal means = single curve). Constantine the Great made the Christian Path Catholic at his Council of Nicea in AD325. They did not and do not have any tolerance for other religions or spiritual paths because the Catholic (single curve) religion was to be (and is) used as a weapon to control the souls of men and women to the agenda of the Roman Empire. This was the dark shadow that hung over Michael Collins and later over Eamon DeValera when they sat down to write the constitution of Ireland. They knew that if they did not bow on bended knees to the Church - then the Bishops and Priests would denounce them from the pulpit of every small church putting the fear of their almighty savage god into the ordinary people and the fight for freedom from the British Empire would collapse. That shadow is still there enshrined in the constitution of Eire.
Just talking about Pagan Rights is not enough - we have to exercise our freedom of expression by visiting our ancestral temples at the appropriate time honouring and respecting the guardians, ancestors, past, present and future.
Maybe sometime in the future, some proud pagans will take on the blessed work of correcting the introduction to BUNREACHT NA hEIREANN to be fair to all religions and spiritual paths. In Article 44, 2, it states "The State guarantees not to endow any religion". But the state does constantly give income to the Catholic Church and has permanent organisational linkages for this one-way exchange of monies - maybe some one will research and find out exactly how much money has been given to Opus Dei by state and semi-state bodies since it has been set up in Tara Valley. Endow also means - invest with powers / qualities and by the state using the Opus Dei premises at Lismullin Institute at Tara Valley for public lectures on archaeology, farming and cooking schools - the state has given special respect to the world's most extreme fundamentalist fascist movement that seeks to control higher education for the supremacist.
This is the dark side to the coin, hidden fascism embedded with government, the bright side of the coin is the grass roots ecological earth based spiritual pagan movement that is growing stronger every year. This is the return of the Goddess to the people and of the people to the Goddess. Be proud to be Pagan.
Update Samhain 2015 -
Rebirthing Celtic Pagan Rights
The world we live in today does not always acknowledge our right to choose our own Path or to live our lives in ways we might like, but as self-declared Celtic Pagans we have rights that are recognised in Law internationally. We have to exercise our freedom of expression publicly as we point out and stand up for our rights. The �Celtic Pagan Identity Card� is a step in this direction. We have secured full recognition in the Republic of Ireland for the Celtic Druid Temple as a religion with Nature as Supreme Being. By extension, all subscribed members of the Celtic Druid Temple also have full recognition by the state as Celtic Pagans. Article 44, Bunreacht na hEireann (the Constitution of Ireland) prohibits discrimination and promotes equality and freedom of religious practice. The Equal Status Acts 2000�2012(*) and the Employment Equality Acts 1998�2011 (*) prohibit discrimination on nine grounds, Religion is one. This is further backed up by the European Convention on Human Rights.(*) Celtic Pagan rights exist now backed up by law, its up to us to have, hold and exercise these rights to help secure the present and the future where everyone can have full religious freedom of choice.
Taking the Celtic Pagan Oath
The Celtic Pagan Oath on our Identity Card, is an oath that you choose to take invoking your higher self. It can be declared privately or publicly at any of our sacred ceremonies. If taking this Celtic Pagan Oath in private � you may substitute 'I' for 'we' and when you take the Oath and in the company of other Celtic Pagans you can say 'we' knowing you stand with others who have also taken this Celtic Pagan Oath. When reading the Oath out loud - you can give it the intention of releasing you from coerced membership of foreign imperial traditions forced on you before you came of age to choose for yourself. You must be over 18 years of age and it must be your choice to take this Celtic Pagan Oath.
Respecting Nature as Supreme Being:
We honour the idea of Gods and Goddesses as the Source of all Creation.
We celebrate the Gaelic Pagan Festivals on the cycles of the Sun and Moon.
We acknowledge the inherent lifeforce in all things.
Using your Celtic Pagan Identity Card
There are many interactions with wider society and state services in particular where this Celtic Pagan ID card may be useful for you. For example declaring your religion or spiritual beliefs in a formal way may affect how you are treated in hospital, the Health Service Executive HSE in Ireland actually has a pamphlet for its staff detailing how to work with Druid / Pagan patients(*). Ireland's legal system often requires the taking of an oath when in court or swearing on the truth of legal documents and because the Celtic Druid Temple is a recognised religion you may use the Celtic Druid Triad given below (*) to declare that you tell the truth. Employment laws(*) also declare that your employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of religion, your employer must treat your requests for time off for religious holidays and pilgrimage with respect, and may not instruct you to take holidays at certain times that may prevent you from taking the time when you need it for your religious observances, however - this must be respectfully worked out between you and your employer.
A Celtic Pagan is a sovereign free person
This is not a compulsory identity card, it is an optional way to declare within the established system that you must have your rights recognised and that your Celtic Pagan beliefs must be honoured and respected too. With this card you can prove that you have made a choice by using and displaying your Celtic Pagan Identity Card. We thought long and hard before applying for charitable status, it has many implications and was a difficult process. We believe that our society needs to change how it governs itself especially in terms of freedom to choose one's own religion or spiritual path. We promote positive actions and believe that a transitional phase is needed. Each member of Celtic Druid Temple is a sovereign free person that will not be ruled or enslaved, being self-reliant, self-sufficient, independent person of any sexual orientation or preference, of any race that is self-directed, self-disciplined and self-governed. A freeman / woman / human being believes that our rights come not from man-made governments but from Nature as Supreme Being and that all are responsible and accountable for our own actions. We offer this Celtic Pagan ID Card as a tool for you to express yourself when interacting with the established system to help in gaining recognition and respect for your choice and for our indigenous traditions. Sovereignty does not require ownership of property - instead it declares the full right and power of a person to govern his or her self without any interference from outside sources or bodies.
Privacy of Celtic Druid Temple's members details
The Celtic Druid Temple will never publish a list of its members. However, we will keep the details you supply for your Identity Card while you are subscribed as a member for renewal reminders etc. The Celtic Druid Temple will not share any of your details with any other party at any time for any reason. We will destroy all hard copies and digital copies of your details immediately on your request. If you request validation of your Celtic Pagan membership Identity Card for lawful purposes then the Celtic Druid Temple will seek to verify it as authentic.
Celtic Pagan truth affirmation
In a legal / lawful situation you may use the following to affirm that you are telling the truth -
I, (name as on your Identity Card) being a subscribed member of the Celtic Druid Temple, make the following declaration / statement affirming that I tell the truth - �Celtic Druid Triad. Three things I keep always before me: my worldly duty, my conscience and the Laws of Nature�.
To interpret the above triad you can say - by keeping these three things before me = I see these three things create the world as a better place for all, it is my duty as a Celtic Pagan to serve the greater good, my conscience carries no shadows or doubts and I believe that no one can be above the Laws of Nature.
When asked to prove you are a member of the Celtic Druid Temple � you may show your Celtic Pagan Identity Card and the Celtic Druid Temple will verify it as authentic. Accept no challenge to your beliefs and declare any challenge to be against your constitutional rights as guaranteed under Bunreacht na hEireann Article 44. Ask anyone who would challenge your affirmation of truth as to what authority, skills, certification etc that they posses, so that this could be presented for consideration by the Elders of the Celtic Druid Temple as to its acceptability.