Saint Patrick's day
Saint Patrick’s Day
is a national Irish holiday
honoring Saint Patrick,
the missionary credited with converting the people of Ireland
to Christianity in the middle 400s (5th century).
He was born in 385 AD and died March 17, 461 AD.
Orginally in Ireland St. Patrick's day was simply a holy day
which was celebrated quietly. When this day
became more popular overseas, some ambicious people
in Ireland started to liven up the celebration.
And eventually this day came to symbolize everything Irish.
This includes wearing green!
Naturally Ireland did have spirituality
before St. Patrick came along with his new religion.
There were the Celts and the Druids,
the herb-nature based religions where women played important roles
as wise ones and priestesses.
Shamrock is the common name for any one of
several unrelated herbaceous plants with trifoliate leaves.
White clover was the original shamrock of Ireland.
People often wear a shamrock leaf on March 17th
to commemorate Saint Patrick's Day.
The word shamrock comes from the Irish word "seamrog"
meaning "little clover". However,
there are hundreds of varieties of clover.
Of course there are clovers with four leaves
but these are considered rare and are therefore prized
as lucky for those who find them.
And they are especially lucky
when you find them on St. Patricks day.
Shamrock as Symbol
The Shamrock is a three leafed clover plant
which is credited as the symbol St. Patrick
used to illustrate the three-fold aspect of God or the Trinity:
God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Ghost.
Although the three leafed clover is used to symbolize
the Trinity, there are other objects or drawings
that symbolize this idea. Other symbols include
the triangle, three circles intersecting,
a triangle with a circle, three designs in a circle,
and even three vesica pisces intersecting
which creates a symbol called a triquetra.
Point of View
Keep in mind that this traditional 'Catholic christian" idea
of the shamrock symbolizing a male diety,
is not the only way to think of God.
The Christian philosophy is very male oriented
having been written by men, re-written by men and edited by men.
There are other points of view that point to the diety
as a balance of male and female elements.
Many believe that the Holy Spirit is not a dove
but is, in fact, the female or woman aspect of diety.
The Hebrew word "ruah" or breath meant
to signify the Holy Spirit as feminine in gender
and that is why some think of the Holy Spirit as female.
Upon further research I discovered the following:
"The Septuagint is the ancient Greek edition of the Old Testament.
This is the source of many of the Old Testament quotations
found in the New Testament. The 'Wisdom of Solomon' was included
in the Septuagint. In 'The Wisdom of Solomon'
the Holy Spirit is indicated as female.
The book of Proverbs declares 'God's Wisdom' is female.
The Greek 'feminine' term for wisdom is sophia;
this translates as the Hebrew 'feminine' term, hokhmah.
In the book of 'Proverbs' contained in the Bible
as well as 'The Wisdom of Solomon' contained in the Apocrypha;
It is clearly shown that the early Hebrews saw God's Wisdom
and Spirit as female. This could be a carry-over
from the religion previous to it.
The "Odes of Solomon" is the earliest known
Christian book of hymns or odes. It dates from before 100 A.D.
In the 'Odes of Solomon'; the Holy Spirit is again indicated as female.
The Hermetic writings from the first century AD reveal
that the first century Christians
used the symbols of both male and female
to express the 'light and the life' within God.
In the Aramaic roots of The Lord's Prayer.
Jesus's original language, The words Jesus used to address God
are "Aboon Debashmaya.(Abwoon d'bwashmaya,)"
It means, the birther, the bearer,
the breather/bringer of life and light.
It means both Mother and Father.
Also, Jesus spoke of Wisdom as female;
( Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35)
The Hagia Sophia was the largest church in Constantinople
(in the ancient christian world). The historian Socrates
indicated that the church was named Sophia
during the reign of Emperor Constantius.
The name given to the church symbolized
the second divine attribute
of the Holy Trinity. Originally,
Sophia, which means "Holy Wisdom".
"The original tongue of the Hebrew or
Aramaic would translate 'Holy Spirit' as female.
Also, Greek would translate 'Holy Spirit'
as either female or 'neuter in reference to the subject'
and She only became 'He' in Latin and English bibles.
Yet, even Milton, in his writing of Paradise Lost,
refers to the Holy Spirit and Divine Reason
as his Celestial Patroness!"
Clearly, the ancient church traditions
refer to the Holy Spirit in feminine rather than masculine terms.
It is important to speak of the Holy Spirit,
the Comforter and Reconciler, with a feminine pronoun.
The mother aspect of God is very real and Holy.
If we recall that the church often placed its important Holy days
on days that were already special or
Holy to the earlier religion which christianity tried so desperately
to do away with. This would not have happened
if the church didn't in some way try to appease
those of the former religion that they still wanted to win over.
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you . . ."
The functions of the Holy Spirit as characterized
in Biblical texts are often those
which have been associated with women:
consolation, inspiration, emotional warmth,
and birth of the spirit."
This would mean that the Trinity is God the Mother,
God the Father and God the son or the offspring
which can also be a daughter
(some languages it is written, "the child",
which is neither male nor female). By denying this balance,
we are not acknowledging our other half both
within our selves and in the outer world,
and this creates a misbalance which is what we now have
on this planet at this particular point in time.
Be aware that when St. Patrick came into Ireland,
there was a thriving Goddess religion that respected all of creation
and did not dictate how woman were to be or
what they were to do. It was a very peaceful,
respectful religion that did not probagate war or destruction.
The very first verse in the Bible begins
with the word Elohim as God which is plural in usage.
Here it is stated and I am paraphrasing here:
We will create them in OUR image; male and female.
Since the word Elohim is plural,
could we not assume that perhaps these creators of humans
were indeed more than one sex?
It sounds plausable and probably,
especially because it takes both sexes to make a baby.
Blessings: An Irish Tradition
An Irish Blessing
"May your blessings outnumber
the shamrocks that grow,
and may trouble avoid you wherever you go."
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the son of peace to you
May the Moon and Stars pour their Healing Light on you.
Deepest Peace of the Light of the World to you.
"May there be peace in the North;
May there be peace in the South;
May there be peace in the West;
May there be peace in the East.
May there be peace throughout the whole world."
Enjoy St. Patrick's Day
but please don't drink and drive!
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Updated July 21, 2011
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