(the track that winds between the Paps of Anu (Danu) in Kerry, Ireland)
If you’ve been visiting my site for a while, you’ll know that for many years, I cheered for the “snakes” on St. Patrick’s day, based on neo-Pagan imaginings that the snakes represented the Paganism that Patrick and his peers sought to eliminate in Ireland. I also included lots of fun folklore for this special day.
But historians with a better grasp of these matters have debunked much of that romantic notion, in the same stroke with which they also have unraveled a lot of the Patrick myth. You can read the facts in The Wild Hunt.
If you take the time to read the article (and I hope you do), you will see why I am no longer pitting snakes vs. Christians on March 17. In fact, last year, I wrote a retraction, but still gave a firm “no” to Patrick and what he has come to stand for.
However, this year, I am frankly tired of squabbling and controversy when it does not improve much on the silence.
So I am instead offering this blessing, written by the late John O’Donohue – glorious poet, writer, visionary, and beloved son of Éire.
from Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections On Our Yearning To Belong
© John O’Donohue, 1999.
May you listen to your longing to be free.
May the frames of your belonging be large enough for the dreams of your soul.
May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart that something good is going to happen to you.
May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.
May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.
May you know the eternal longing which lives at the heart of time.
May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May your angel free you from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment, and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.
On this day, on this New Moon of hope and renewal, on this cusp of Winter’s end, whatever your path, whatever your ancestral home of longing that calls to you — blessed be, my loves.