Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Youtube! Videos! Article!

As you might have seen with the announcement over at the Gaol Naofa site, we now have a new Youtube channel with a couple of videos already uploaded to start us off. The first is titled St. Patrick's Day (or, "What's Wrong with Saint Patrick's Day?"):

And it takes a look at the awful stereotypes that are often associated with the day (and people's perceptions of Irishness). The second video, Pagans, Polytheists, and St. Patrick's Day, deals with the misconceptions that are often trotted out at this time year – Snakes! Druids! Persecution! Oh my:


We also take a look at what the day means to us as Gaelic Polytheists, and how we might observe it.

These videos are the start of a series on the festival year in the Gaelic calendar, from a Gaelic Polytheist perspective, and we'll be putting up more for the other festivals in due course. Our long term plans include videos on other subjects, too (and if there's anything you'd like to see, feel free to leave a comment), and we also have some playlists on the channel that cover subjects like music, folklore, festivals, language, and history, which we think will be of interest.

Sionnach Gorm from Three Shouts on a Hilltop has weighed in on the St Patrick's Day issue as well, with a fantastic piece that goes nicely with the videos we've done:
Mythically, at least, Pádraig and later saints subsumed the role of the warrior-elite heroes in the popular imagination. By replacing chieftains and druids with Christian saints possessed of miraculous powers, early Christian mythology carried on the patterns of the polytheistic originals they replaced. The mystical, and not the physical, would be the lynchpin in the conquest of the mythic landscape; a trope which is common enough that it appears in the Mythological Cycle, among others. While not unique to Irish hagiography, this is something that occurs repeatedly in the Irish lore. The supremacy of a figure like Patrick over that of the Druids (the most common representative of the Pagan past) is not based on his moral character, but on his supernatural abilities. This is a pattern which is discernible in other hagiographies, particularly that of St. Brigid of Kildare and St. Columba.
That's up on the Gaol Naofa website, and many thanks go to Gorm for writing it, and to everyone who helped with the brainstorming, tweaking and proofing for the videos. In particular, thanks as always go to Kathryn and Treasa for their hard work.

Finally, because it's that time of year and it's a tradition now...

It's Paddy, not Patty.