Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I am a bit of a grinch about St. Patrick’s day because of the symbolism of the chasing of the snakes and serpents (natural wisdom) out of Ireland.  But I do love Ireland and today I will be at a pub playing Irish music, wearing green. So I thought I would share something about ancient Irish astrology as it might have been practiced by the Druids.  Unfortunately very little of their wisdom and practice comes down to us in any kind of authenticated form, but this article sheds a light on ancient Irish astronomy and astrology:

Greek and Latin writers show clearly that the Celts were not only advanced in astronomy but that they were respected, especially by the Greeks, for their ‘speculations from the stars’. Even the Romans, from Caesar to Pliny, paid tribute to their astronomy. One of the first to note that the ancient Celts believed the world to be round (not flat) was Martial (c. AD 40-103/4) who, himself, claimed Celtic ancestry. The famous 1st Century BC Coligny Calendar, once thought to be the most extensive document in a Celtic language but now surpassed by other fascinating discoveries, has been dated to its original computation, by its astronomical observations and calculations. This highly sophisticated lunar and solar predictor was, according to the leading Celtic scholar, Dr Garrett Olmsted, first constructed in 1100 BC. [2] It is important to note that the concepts of the calendar find parallels in Vedic cosmology. We will return to this later. It was the Greek Hippolytus (AD 170-236), using an earlier source, who stated that the ancient Celts foretold the future from the stars by ciphers and numbers after the manner of the Pythagoreans. Space precludes a discussion on the argument which took place among the […]

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By |2012-03-17T05:52:02-04:00March 17th, 2012|Astrology, Holidays|0 Comments

St. Patrick’s Day musings

St Patrick's Day astrologyArt by Jim FitzPatrick. Every now and then I do think about things that are not astrological in nature, and occasionally I like to indulge those wanderings in this blog.  So please forgive my digression as I delve today into the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.

I am a bit of a freak about Ireland (also West Africa, but that’s another story for another time).  I love the music, am thrilled by the legends and mysterious beauty of the country.  So you would think I would be a big celebrant when St. Patrick’s Day comes along.

Like many Christian myths, the origin of St. Patrick  is shrouded in mystery and the actual history is lost to time.  It appears likely that he was the son of a Roman chieftain living in Roman Britain who was kidnapped and taken to Ireland where he was held captive.  There is an elaborate mythology around his eventual conquering of the local Druidic rulers that may or may not be true.

The simplified legend of St. Patrick that has come down to us today claims that St. Patrick drove all of the snakes in Ireland into the sea.  Historical records show that there were no snakes in Ireland during the period in which St. Patrick was said to live there, yet images of snakes abound in the ancient carvings and sculptures in Ireland.

Snakes and serpents are symbols of wisdom, and serpents were most particularly symbolic of the Druids and other Celtic peoples in Ireland.  The serpent continually sheds its skin, thereby representing eternal life and cosmic transformation as well.  So the legend of St. Patrick clearly describes Patrick’s heroism in driving the Druids from power in Ireland and […]

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By |2021-03-16T19:10:58-04:00March 17th, 2011|Holidays|1 Comment
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