Ireland is a magical place. Once you’ve been there, there is no disputing it really. One of my favorite places on my recent trip to Ireland was the legendary and historic Hill of Tara. The Hill of Tara, used for ritual and burial grounds in medieval times, was the primary religious center of Pagan Ireland from 3500 B.C. to 6th century A.D.. The land held great prominence and the King of Tara was known as the high kind of Ireland.
All of that changed when St. Patrick came to the Hill of Tara in the 5th century A.D. and asked the king of the Druids if he could spread his message of Christianity through Ireland. St. Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate his message, the three leaves representing the father, son and the holy ghost. The Pagan king agreed and the rest is history.
One of St. Patrick’s primary goals was to “Christianize” all Celtic Pagan rituals and festivals. Think Halloween (Pagan Samhain), Christmas (Pagan Yule), Easter (Pagan Ostara), etc.
Today the Hill of Tara memorializes the combining of religious traditions, honoring both Pagan and Christian history. It is an amazing place to visit and be reminded of where our paths have crossed over time and where our modern traditions began.