Saint Patrick, Druids, Snakes, and Popular Myths

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a yearly holiday celebrating Ireland’s favorite patron saint. While it’s a big event in Ireland (and used to be a very solemn occasion), in America it’s a green-dyed bacchanal where everyone is “Irish for a day” (let’s not even start on the horridly stupid “unofficial” St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on college campuses). For some modern Pagans (whether Irish or not), St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a day of celebrations, as they see Patrick, famously attributed with converting Ireland to Christianity, as committing something akin to cultural genocide. “The “snakes” that Patrick drove out of Ireland were the Druidic priests, who had serpents tattooed on their forearms. Cel … [Read more...]