The irony of St. Patrick’s Day

stpattys9As the legend goes, Saint Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland. It seems that we are now celebrating this famous Saint by trying our best to invite all these serpents back!


To understand where I am coming from will require you to put on your “symbolism hat” and reflect on this great legend from a more elevated viewpoint. While there is indeed no natural population of snakes on the island of Ireland, something much deeper and profound is being expressed in this famous event.

Since we are talking about a saint, there must be a spiritual angle to this miraculous story. If Saint Patrick was doing God’s bidding, then his actions represented driving spiritual evil out of the hearts and minds of men and women. An island (ground) symbolizes the spiritual landscape and quality of people’s souls.

While real snakes may endanger or poison the lives of a few people a year, the tendency to put sensual and worldly things above heavenly qualities (spiritual snakes in the soul) will poison the inner lives of many more people—and for an eternity. It is these spiritual “serpents” that a true saint would target and seek to remove from people’s lives.

But Saint Patrick’s Day has become synonymous with drinking. Drunkeness and intoxication symbolize a false state of one’s self-importance, which causes an individual’s soul to lose proper focus and slip and stagger. Today, therefore, many of us are celebrating Saint Patrick’s efforts by doing the exact opposite of what he was really trying to accomplish!

We can each keep this event from turning into a festival of foolishness.

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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