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Saint Patrick's Day is an Irish bank and public holiday held on March 17th every year, relating to Saint Patrick who made all the Irish become Catholic CE 400 by using shamrocks... so we are told… but historians agree that the man who did this great conversion by bringing the Catholic religion to Ireland was called Palladius (who was married with children), he was most definitely not named Patrick, nor was he Irish and there were no snakes in Ireland for either he or Patrick to eradicate and neither he or Patrick ever mentions shamrocks. As the current calendar is less than 250 years in use it cannot be used to establish dates in the early medieval period so it is highly unlikely that he died on March 17th 460ad. So, what is his true story?
The saint called Paddy/Pat/Patrick was not Irish. Historians agree that Patrick was born in 373 CE giving two possible locations – Dumbarton in Scotland or on the west coast of Roman Britain i.e. Wales. The Romans are said to have exited Britain by 410 CE. Patrick eventually retired to Glastonbury, England, where he died at the age of one hundred and eleven on the 17 March, 460 A.D. These dates do not add up; 460 – 373 = only 87 years of age, so was he 87 or 111 years old when he died? It depends on which spin you read… The man who is so well known to us as St Patrick was originally called - Maewyn Succat or Magonus Saccatus Patricius. His father Calpurnius, had been a deacon and a decurion and his grandfather was a priest, his mother was called Conchessa.
Pope Celestine gave Maewyn Succat or Magonus Saccatus the name of Patrick. The Pope gave him the mission of bringing the Catholic Faith to Ireland. He gave him many relics and other spiritual gifts, and gave him the name "Patercius" or "Patritius". This name is derived from two Latin words pater civium meaning the father of his people. The designation is like Patricus, a Latin / Roman upper class name similar to Patrician. Rome had three classes – Patrician, Plebeian and Paganus. Patrician was the ruling class, while Plebeian was the working and middle class leaving Paganus to be the name / rank for all those who did not obey the rule of Rome.
We are told that he was taken into slavery at 16 years of age and sold in Ireland where he worked as a sheepherder for 6 years. It was during his time as a slave sheep minder that he began to have religious visions. These visions re-enforced (so we are told) his Catholic Faith. During one of these visions he heard voices that told him where he could find a getaway ship. He escaped, went to France where he became a priest and later on he returned to France to become a bishop.
He also burned many Druid books if his confessions are to be believed. 150 Druid Books were burned and on Tara he caused a competition with a Druid Book and the Bible to be thrown into a barrel of water – needless to say the Druid Book sank proving that the Bible was a better book. But hang on, we are repeatedly told that the Druids did not have books!
He also prayed for an old Druid to die – we are told that Arch-Druid Lochru was lifted up high in the air but Patrick knelt in prayer and the Druid fell and was dashed to pieces upon a rock. St Patrick is said to have caused the murders of almost eight hundred Druids. The folk tale of a she-beast called Caoranach that he banished to an island in the middle of Lough Derg in Donegal is accompanied by the tale of a woman who followed him very closely and that after he had banished the she-beast, this woman was never seen again... The pilgrimage today to the retreat centre on Lough Derg is a trick for the followers of this St Patrick religion because it is on the wrong island… the Pagan cave temple on the island that the Catholic Church tried to use was not hospitable to them so them moved their Purgatory to another island in the same lake and achieved some commercial success for a while.
He also caused two young princesses to die at the Ogulla Well, aka Cliabach Well. Here he baptised of Eithne and Fidelma, daughters of King Laoghaire of Tara. They were attending the great Druid school of Cashel Manannáin at Rathcroghan. The two sisters were washing when St. Patrick came upon them. He told them that the only way to see God is after death. St. Patrick then baptized them after which they both died. Not a good plan – this seems to be a cover story for something else.
The designation or title of ‘saint’ for this Patrick has never been acknowledged by any of the Roman Catholic Popes. The Irish church tells us that it was by public acclimation that Patrick got this title. Yet this is just spin. He was called Naomh, which means holy, just as Brigid was holy (ie Naomh) but by being in control of the native language the church changed the meaning of many words and Naomh changed from being holy to being saint. When this happened, no one could say anything because the church wielded the power of life and death and social ostracisation / excommunication against its detractors. Today, we are told that the head of Patrick, like that of Columcille and Brigid rest in a Jesuit Church in Portugal. Their 3 bodies are buried in Downpatrick in the North of Ireland.
Stories claim that when he was 60 years old, St. Patrick choose to go back to Ireland, the land of his slave years - to give the Gael the Catholic word. This was a very advanced age for the time and today the equivalent age may be near 90. His charisma converted many people and in the written records the church scribes tell us that he used the three-leafed shamrock to share the idea of father, son and holy spirit make God. In Ireland, we have five types of 3-leaf-clovers - trifolium dubium (lesser trefoil), trifolium repens (white clover), medicap lupulina (black medick), oxalis acetosella (wood sorrel) and trifolium pratense (red clover). These 5 trefoils have easy to spot differences and most could be found anywhere on the Island but St Patrick never even mentions one of them. Think about this – Patrick never mentions Shamrocks or Seamrogs once, never.
The Irish word for Shamrock is “seamrog” and it means “summer plant”. It grows in the wild all over the northern hemisphere, at high altitudes in the tropics and even in Africa and believe it or not even in South America. Many of these countries have snakes, some of which are huge, others deadly. The type of shamrock given by our Taoiseach to the US president is originally from Morocco, but don’t tell either of them.
Because there is no mention of the three-leaf clover / shamrock in Patrick’s writings we can conclude that this claimed association is quite simply modern propaganda by his promoters. The first written reference to shamrocks in conjunction with St Patrick was made in 1571; over a thousand years after St. Patrick had passed over. The Seamróg became the badge of St Patrick’s Day in 1681 in America. The first written record of the shamrock being a symbol of the Catholic Trinity appears in 1727. So it can be easily understood that the myth of St Patrick had a shamrock symbol added to it only a few hundred years ago – it may be obvious to some that this was a commercialisation tactic as well as displacement of native practices honouring the Spring Equinox.
The shamrock is not the official symbol of Ireland – this honour is reserved for the Celtic Harp. The shamrock now represents the culture of the Catholic Church hero of St Patrick. The shamrock became a symbol of rebellion against the oppression of Queen Victoria, who made it a capital crime (punishable by death) to wear the shamrock. This was probably the most influential reason for the worldwide adoption by Irish people and their sympathisers of the Shamrock as a symbol of Irishness.
Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland -- that they all went into the sea and drowned (more on this later). There is no reason to believe there were actually any snakes in Ireland ever. There is no archaeological proof of snakes anywhere in Ireland at any time in the past. As this knowledge becomes more available we got fed the notion in to our mainstream consciousness that “this is probably an allegory for the driving out of paganism (snakes were a revered pagan symbol in some places)”. But this is just not so for Ireland, there were not and are not any snakes in Ireland so adding in bits of foreign snake lore is just disinformation.
The famous mountain of Croagh Patrick or as its more commonly known in Ireland “The Reek” was a place of Pagan Pilgrimage long before the Christians became Catholic in 325ad. It is a round cone shaped mountain that looks like a pyramid from a distance. This holy mountain is quartzite with seams of gold throughout, it sits on the western seaboard overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the setting Sun.
Croagh Patrick aka the Reek was once know as Cruchan Aigli or in English; Eagle Mountain, it is 2510 feet above sea level. It has always been a holy place with pilgrimage on the last Sunday of July (during Catholic times), which is of course the wrong day as the Sun magic happens later in the month but the plan was to disconnect the people from the Sun and connect them to a foreign religion. This last Sunday of the month of July is now used because of traditional connection to Lughnasa, the harvest festival of Lugh, a bright god of the Tuatha De Dannan and in his day it may have been called Cnoc Lugh. Archaeological investigations backed up by excavations show that a hill fort with stone ramparts and dwellings and 30 hut sites are to be found on the top of the Reek. There are ancient cooking sites, megalithic tombs, standing stones, burial mounds, ringforts and today’s’ modern Catholic Church. I doubt that many Catholic Pilgrims know that this holy mountain was sacred to Lugh. Its old name of Eagle Mountain may refer to the practice of excarnation, de-fleshing of the dead by carrion birds before burning of the remains and finally – internment of the remaining bones in an earthen mound. This practice was not uncommon in prehistoric times.
It was on this holy mountain that St Patrick supposedly did his greatest magic – when he summoned a great host of loathsome and venomous creatures and then commanded them to cast themselves over the edge of the mountain, thus freeing the Irish countryside from all kinds of reptiles. This included dragons, snakes and all types of reptiles, none of which ever existed in Ireland. We are told that St Patrick did this by verbal command. The actual truth is that there were no snakes in Ireland and long after he was dead and his head was gone into Jesuit care somebody just added this trick to St Patrick’s name. It was as if the Pagan traditions were still so strong with the Lughnasa pilgrimage to the Reek in August that something had to be done to displace the old ways and such a fantastic story as dragon/snake banishing fitted the bill. It had to be long after St Patrick’s death or else everyone would know it was just made up fantasy.
So, St Patrick’s famous mountain was the most revered place of pilgrimage to the Pagan God Lugh. Hang on a minute – there were no snakes to be banished and he never mentions shamrocks in his writings, no Pope would call him saint and his most famous site is a place of ancient Pagan Pilgrimage! Maybe there was something else that was being occulted from our view by those who would impose a foreign religion on the indigenous practices of our people.
Read on and re-discover the hidden Pagan importance of this unique place with its amazing similarity to El Castillo where the Mayans of Central American honour the spring equinox. El Castillo is the name of their great pyramid of the Equinox and as the sunsets on its western face light and dark compliment each other creating a very special pattern of a diamond backed snake descending the pyramid. This solar magic has always been known as the "The Return of the Sun Serpent". See http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/765341 for a full story of the Equinox.
Here in Ireland, we too still have the natural magic of the land and the sun rises and sets that were known to our ancestors – such as at Newgrange, Knowth etc. But there is also an ancient walkway from Cruachan, the huge royal complex in Connaught (famous for Queen Meave, Rath Croghan) to the Reek on the western seaboard where we have unique solar magic still happening twice a year. Ireland’s Druidschool is located just a few miles from Cruachan and just over an hours drive to the Reek and from our hill on a clear day we can see the Reek standing proud on the horizon. Along the Pagan Pilgrimage causeway to the Reek many churches, abbeys and settlements were established and most of these have long since gone. In 1987 Gerry Bracken re-discovered that that the setting sun rolls down the northern slope of Croagh Patrick / Reek - this spectacular event can be seen from Bohea, 7km (just over 4m) east of the Reek on the ancient causeway from Cruachan. At Bohea there is a remarkable rock outcrop decorated with cup and ring marks that we as Druí today see as ancient sacred geometry.
This solar phenomenon lasts about twenty minutes and is seen at sunset on the 18th of April and the 24th of August. The 18th of April and the 24th of August and the 21st of December make a year of three parts. Normally, the Sun disappears behind the Reek, but on the 18th of April and the 24th of August the Sun itself climbs to the very top of the Reek and then the Sun begins to roll down the northern slope of the Reek as if it is a ball on the edge of a hill. This was what our ancestors saw – stand in the right place at the right time and see the magic of the Sun and Land.
Images of this magnificent sun set and the sacred geometry on the stone can be seen here
The Catholic Church displaced this Pagan practice with their last Sunday in July as the special day, but now that we live nearby we will visit the Bohea stone on April 18 2011 before sunset and witness this long lost phenomena for ourselves as we join in with the locals in re-establishing the connection to this ancient time cycle. It promises to be a spectacular Sunset as we also have a Full Moon on the same day! Even more fortunate is that this day is in one of our Study and Live weeks – so Druí Daltaí studying with us at this time will also get the opportunity to see this amazing event.
The conclusion offered is that this legend of Patrick was fabricated because he did not bring the Catholic faith or Christian beliefs to Ireland, he wasn’t Irish, it is highly unlikely that he could live to be 111 years of age when the usual life expectancy was maybe 50ish, he was given immense powers of traveling the entire country building churches and digging wells, killing dragons, snakes and reptiles that did not exist, burning 150 Druid books that did not exist, praying for old Arch Druids to die, killing or causing 800 Druids to be killed, having a female follower who was close to him disappear linked to a she-beast story, causing two princesses to die by his baptism, he never mentions shamrocks in his writings and he was given the totem of a shamrock long after he was dead, his title is not recognized by the leader of his own religion because no Pope would call him a saint and his fabricated importance was set up to displace a Pagan God. His most famous place was and is sacred to the Pagan God Lugh where we can still see incredible Sun and Landscape magic as our ancestors did. The reality today is that on the 17th of March many rivers are dyed green and people wear funny green hats and drink far too much alcohol especially green beer and pretend to be Irish. Do people make drunken fools of themselves on this day because they reckon that is what St Patrick did? He has out lived his usefulness to the Church that fabricated him and has become an alcoholic embarrassment for them – he is now a champion golem to excess commercialism, this is today’s true story of St Patrick.
Spring Equinox 2011