Today is Sheela's Day, which anticipates the end of the stormy season and the start of Spring. Although recent lore often says she is the wife, sister, or even housekeeper of Patrick, her origins may well be much older.
While there was a time when St. Patrick's day was a political and cultural celebration in the diaspora, or a quiet spiritual day in Ireland, many contemporary polytheists are not that keen on a day for Patrick. While we have made efforts to reclaim the day as a cultural celebration, and this has gone very well in areas with large Irish and Irish-diasporan populations and cultural options, for others an alternative celebration is more fitting.
In welcoming spring on Sheela’s Day, it is traditional to wear a fresh shamrock, which is then “drowned” in a glass as the day draws to a close. Perhaps this is the origin of the dreaded green beer, which most of us shun, along with the other plastic paddyisms of the season, preferring instead to bless and share water from a sacred spring, or milk, or other traditional fare.
Activities traditionally observed for the Hag in Scotland later in the month may also be appropriate at whatever time you welcome spring, such as climbing a hill and shouting poetry.
Our Là na Caillich video has more on this. Here it is, along with our Day of the Hag playlist.
For more info see:
For more on the particular sheela images used in this collage: