Folklore Truth Myths
St. Patrick's Day Gifts
St. Patrick's Day: March 17th
(by Donna M Pinkton MA)
While St. Patrick's day is not
officially recognized as a "National" Holiday, it is
certainly one the most recognized in the United States.
Celebrations began in Boston, MA in the year 1737. Irish immigrants
missed their home country and with the help of the Catholic Church
they came to honor the arrival of Spring with the legend of St.
Patrick bringing Christianity to Pagan Ireland.
As the legend goes, ST. Patrick
was born in Kilpatrick Scotland in 387. His real name
was believed to be Macwyn Succat. And his parents were of
Roman high rank. At 16 he was captured by Irish Marauders and
sold as a slave to chieftain Milchu in Dalaradia. Milchu was a
Druidical High Priest, leaving Patrick to tend sheep in the
fields. Patrick remained in captivity for 6 years. He
learned the Celtic language as well as all the facets of Druidism.
However, as he remained a slave he grew in his belief in
Christianity and prayed to the Christian God. Finally, one day
he fled, traveling 200 miles and boarded a ship and sailed to
Patrick stayed in Britain for 18
years bring Christianity to various cultures through war and conquering
lands. Pope Celestine allowed Patrick to return to Ireland and
bring Christianity to the country and named him
"patritius" derived from "ater civium" meaning
"father of the people". A legend says that St.
Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland. With Ireland
being an island, there actually were no snakes to begin with.
Patrick's chasing out the snakes is in reference to chasing out the
Druid's, Ireland's indigenous religion.
As the legend continues, in 433
Patrick fought in Ireland with the Druids and was able to infiltrate
the culture since he knew the language of the ancient pagan
religion. Legend has it that St. Patrick died on the 17th of
March 460 and this is the reason he is honored on this date.
However, the Spring Equinox being anywhere from the 19th to the 22nd
of March, by celebrating St. Patrick's day on the 17th was actually
symbolic of the famous legend where Patrick arrived on Tar hill and lit
the ritual fire before the Druid priests arrived and overtook the
Another symbolic act of Patrick overtaking
Ireland's Druid heritage involves his use of the Shamrock
(three-leaf clover). It is said that Patrick used the clover
to explain the Trinity of God: Father, Son and Holy Sprit.
However, the shamrock (Persian word for three-leaf clover), known as
a "Seamroy" to Ireland, was a symbol used in Druidism to
explain the three faces of the Goddess found in the Moon:
Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
All the symbols used in St.
Patrick's Day celebration are pagan in origin. The wearing of
the green is associated with Ireland's green fields and nickname
"Emerald Isle". And the Leprechaun is the face
figure of the Faeries known in Ireland.
The legend of the Leprechauns is
that they know all the secrets of hidden treasures. Their
affiliation with shoe-making, rainbows, and pots of gold is really
symbolic of them being earth elemental spirits. They are the
spirits that take raw material, work and shape it into something
useful for humans. Trolls are the raw materials, found in its
raw state, in its original location.
Leprechauns are one of the many
tribes belonging to the Faerie gods known to pagan Ireland.
They live in the Land of Faeries known as "Tir Non Og"
which lies in the West. The Irish originally called all faeries
the Tuatha de' Danann, a pantheon of gods from which Lugh and Danaan
were a part. Other such faerie gods include the high king
"Fin Bheara". He is known to be skilled a the game
of chess and running the hunt.
There are also the Banshee, angels
of death. They are beautiful women in white or sometimes seen
as old hags. They can be heard before seen because they are
mournful. Their responsibilities are actually like guardian
angles in that they help the deceased reach their designation. There
are variety of others including: Lhiannon Sidhes - the faerie
sweethearts, Phookas, Fir Darrig, Merrows - faerie mermaids, Roanes
- the Seal People, and the Glaistigs - female water spirits.
Each family has his/her own
protective Faerie spirit according to ancient Ireland and Druid
tradition. These family spirits are cared for, fed, and given
gifts. to do this strengthens th sprit and in time one can
actually communicate with his/her spirit faerie. Among other
things, one can learn the dame of his/her family spirit faerie and acquire
The myth of finding gold at the
end of the rainbow contains hidden meaning because in ordinary
reality there is not end of a rainbow. Rainbows are
circular. They are created by water particles in the
sky. A rainbow can only be seen in the morning and late afternoon
when the sun is closer to the horizon. The rainbow will be
found opposite to the sun. To see a rainbow, the seeker must
be between the sun and the area of the sky where the water particles
reside. It is hard to see the full circle of the rainbow because
in order to see the rainbow at all, we can only see it from an
angle. It is not visible straight no - perpendicular. IF
one can solve the puzzle of the rainbow being circular and how a pot
of gold can be at the end of a circle when there is no end to a
circle, then he/she will achieve the winnings of a pot of gold.