|**Original Graphic by Napalm Candy**|
Merry Meet :)))
I love love love Ireland and pretty much everything Celtic. So my instinct is to go about and wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick's day, however you might want to use caution when doing this with Wiccans, Pagans or Druids.
Saint Patrick... who is he?
The part where he becomes controversial in the Pagan and Druid communities is where he is credited with banishing the snakes from Ireland. Most people who read that legend would probably think he did a great thing. However, Ireland didn't have snakes in the time of Saint Patrick. They did however have coins that represented Druids with the symbol of the snakes. I've read in other places that the snakes were a metaphor for the Pagans. So he is actually credited with converting Pagans to Christianity and driving the Druids from Ireland. Hmmmm... Being Wiccan we have a lot of Pagan traditions and some of us have Druid traditions as well. Now it might be a little clearer why you may not see the Wiccan community out wishing everyone a Happy Saint Patrick's day. In fact you may see them wearing snake symbols on this day to honor their Pagan ancestors rather then the clovers, and other traditional Saint Patrick's day symbols.
Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in about 370 C.E. in either Wales or Scotland. As a teenager he was captured during a raid and sold to an Irish landowner as a slave. It was during this time that he started having visions. One of these visions helped him to escape from Ireland. He found his freedom and joined the Priesthood in France at a monistary. He returned to France after his study to help with the conversion of Pagans to Christianity.
Something I think interesting to note is that one of the ways he promoted the conversion was demonstrated with a three leaf clover. He used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the Pagans. For those of you who are unfamiliar, that is the father, son and the holy spirit. Which if you notice is quite similar to Paganism's Triple Goddess. During the conversion a lot of Pagan beliefs were adopted and converted into Christianity so those converting wouldn't feel like they were leaving their beliefs behind.
So while I'm not telling you not to celebrate Saint Patick's day. I love Ireland, and in the United States it is more of a celebration of Ireland which I love. Just keep it in mind as you go through your day today, and it may help you to understand why a lot of Wiccans, Druids, and Pagans are not celebrating today. I will use today to celebrate Ireland, and the ancient Celtic and Pagan traditions that I have come to know and love.
I am also curious if anyone knows, as I am always on a path trying to learn. I have not seen anything saying that he did it violently anywhere? From everything I'm reading I'm seeing that the conversion was made from him preaching in the various areas and speaking with people. Most of what I'm seeing shows him being a loving soul, who was deeply religious. I understand the frustration in the community as he converted a lot of people, am just curious if anyone has additional information. :))
I should also note that to those who do celebrate today it is not offensive to me. I try to be open-minded as I can and I respect all the different religions. I think what is most important is that you have spirituality and faith. "And it harm none, do what ye will" ;)
Love and Blessings,