The Shamrock   1 comment

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‘Tis time now for a wee bit more Irish Lore…

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Contrary to popular belief, the shamrock is not the official emblem of Ireland.  Officially, that honor goes to the Celtic harp. But in the hearts and minds of people all over the world, the shamrock is the symbol of Ireland. You could say the shamrock is the emblem of Irish culture.

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Many sites will tell you that the little trefoil known as the shamrock was once known as “seamróg“, pronounced “Seamroy”, meaning “little clover”. They also mention the fact that it is a very common clover that grows heartily in Ireland.

Many agree that the ancient Druids honored it as a sacred plant. The Druids believed the shamrock had the power to avert evil spirits. Some people still believe the shamrock has mystical, even prophetic, powers. It is said that the leaves of shamrocks turn upright whenever a storm is coming.

According to Lady Wilde, the shamrock “enlightens the brain and makes one see and know the truth“.

The ancient Irish Celts also revered the shamrock because it has three leaves, and they considered “3” to be a sacred number. The ancient Celtic Druids believed many numbers held mystical powers.

The three leaves shaped like hearts were associated with the Triple Goddess of Celtic mythology, otherwise known as the “Three Morgans”. The Triple Goddess represented the Triple Mothers, the hearts of the ancient Celtic tribes.

This Celtic tradition of honoring “3’s” continued in Ireland for millennia.

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Great things do come in threes, after all…

past, present, and future,  land, sea, and sky,  love, valor, and wit,  faith, hope and charity.  Three was also sacred to devotees of the goddess, Brighid, signifying totality. And the Irish bards continued the significance of “3’s” by using triple repetition in their storytelling rhythms.

Actually, many spiritual belief systems, ancient and contemporary, find the number “3” to have mystical properties. The shamrock was considered a sacred plant to ancient Iranians, for example. They knew it as “shamrakh” and honored it as a symbol of the Sacred 3’s.

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The shamrock is a symbol of the Trinity and the Cross for most Irish-Catholics. This is due to the most famous shamrock legend, starring St. Patrick. The story basically says that he used the shamrock to help the pagan Druid High Priests and their followers comprehend the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – All in One Almighty God.

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One response to “The Shamrock

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  1. A great education dear Paul ~ wow the shamrock is rich with symbolism and mystical significance. Thank you for all this great information at the perfect time to
    appreciate this pearl of Irish Culture ~ 🙂 Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day Weekend! ~ much love, Robyn

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