The Queen of My Self

Allow me to offer blessings of pride to all of Irish heritage.

However, I cannot say, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

St. Patrick, a Christian missionary in the fifth century, is said to have rid Ireland of snakes (which were never actually indigenous there). Snakes symbolize the archetypal power of the Feminine Divine – the kundalini vivifying energy of the Great Goddess.

On the sacred isle of Eire, She was known as Brigid, beloved Great Mother Goddess of the Celts. As such, She was an aberration to the Church. So St. Patrick informed the Celts that from now on the Goddess Brigid was to be referred to as St. Brigid, an apocryphal mortal woman, a devout Christian, and NOT the powerful divinity of the people.

So, really, St. Patrick is glorified for having rid Ireland of pagan Goddess worship. But he did not defeat the intense adoration that She inspired.The flame at the shrine for St.Brigid in Kildare has been kept alive continually to this day. The fire and the passion of the Goddess is tended by Catholic nuns.

St. Patrick’s patriarchal  proclamation was approximately 1500 years ago.Yet, Brigid lives indomitably on in Ireland’s holy wells and sacred flames, and in the hearts of the people.

In the same way that Columbus Day and Thanksgiving are not happy holidays for Native Americans, St. Patrick’s Day is shunned by those Irish folks who embrace their Celtic heritage and culture. Instead, they celebrate Brigid’s Day on February 2, Imbolc, the halfway point of winter, when Her fiery presence is most felt in the gathering light of the sun, the quickening of the life force.

So skip the green beers, the green bagels, and the phony snake story. But do put on the green anyway. Wear green in honor of the coming spring and the springing up of the grasses of new life.

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

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