Northern Ireland Certifies Its First Pagan Priest Since Time of St. Patrick


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(Patrick Carberry: Source: Belfast Media Group)

I truly believe the Gods have a since of humor. For the first time in centuries, Northern Ireland has allowed Patrick Carberry, a shamanic healer and a pagan priest to be certified by authorities. It was a man by the name of “Patrick” who was famous for bringing Ireland under the Christian fold (even though there were Christian missionaries in Ireland before St. Patrick) and now it is another “Patrick” who is paving the way for the ancient religion to reclaim official recognition. Ironic? Is it not?

Patrick Carberry, who is based in Glengormley, applied to Stormont five months ago to be certified as a holy man. Officials have finally got back to him with the news that he can now carry out religious ceremonies for people who follow Irish pre-Christian religions.

Patrick has been attacked in the past for his beliefs. It is his hope that bringing official recognition to the pagan religion will help it to become more socially acceptable.

“I am the very first pagan priest in Northern Ireland and it’s a big milestone because until now Stormont has point blankly refused to recognize paganism,” he said.

“In 2009 I set up a church called the Order of the Golden River but the members and I agreed to keep it underground because the people were afraid of being targeted.”

Apparently this fear is well founded. Patrick was assaulted at a small outlet he opened in the Park Centre last September. But he says he’s now happy to announce he is a full-time priest in the pagan religion, now that he has official recognition.

“I’m not in the slightest bit bothered. I am a full-time pagan priest and it’s as simple as that. That’s what I do. Other people have jobs and do their paganism outside of that but I am the same level as any priest or reverend and I have now been recognized as such.”

Patrick said the Order of the Golden River deserves to be respected along with other religions.

“Now we are officially recognized as a church and it comes down to the fact it’s the first time paganism has been officially recognized since Saint Patrick came here and did away with all the pagans and made the whole place Christian. This is the first time pagans have had the opportunity to officially celebrate their beliefs.

“We are a pagan order which believes everyone has the right to live and have their own faith without fear. We were underground but at a meeting the Order members agreed to speak out about our faith and stand up for our beliefs. We are happy to explain our faith to anyone who asks because our aim is to dispel all the misinformation which people have about paganism.”

Patrick says he can now perform weddings in full compliance with the law.

“I can marry people in stone circles or ancient woodlands. It really is a milestone for Northern Ireland and a great day for pagans.”

PATRICK’S ROLE AS A CELTIC SHAMAN1511783_928870647165390_4937131844352472608_n

Patrick describes himself as a traditional Celtic Shaman who aims to live as close to nature and the old ways as possible. While he practices mainly in Ireland and the U.K, on his website he states that it is his goal to help people on an international level connect to the spirit world. He provides shamanic healing, Shamanic Healing, Energy Healing, Energy Balancing, Angel  Healing, Shamanic Readings, Soul Readings, Holistic Massage, Animal Communicator and Animal Healing.

THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN RIVER

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The Order of the Golden River (of which Silent Oak is a trading name) is a pagan order which believes that everyone has the right to live and have their own faith without fear. Set up in 2009 the Order have been practicing its faith in private. The members have had to remain anonymous to protect their families from harm because of their beliefs. At a meeting in January 2015 the Order members agreed to speak out about their faith and stand up for their beliefs, they will explain their faith to anyone who asks, their aim is to expel all the misinformation which people have about paganism.

RELATED LINKS: 

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Order of the Golden River Website

Order of the Golden River Facebook

The Mind Body Spirit Center in Belfast

7 responses

  1. Moonstruck Moxxi

    Reblogged this on Dreams from the North and commented:
    He’s brave, and hopefully not the last to be so undeterred. This can be an engine for real change and reformation if he keeps at it.

    Christians have a saying that “Faith cannot be unless it is tested”, and his presence and official recognition fits a definition of being tested, whether that is his intention.

    Abrahamic faiths are used to being the top dog where they have a presence. I don’t think paganism will unseat that in Ireland or anywhere else anytime soon, but then again, neither is that the goal of paganism.

    It’s sort of the Linux to the Abrahamic faiths; Windows– it exists to be a viable option for those that choose it who are unsatisfied with their current path, and for many who choose it entirely by themselves and give it a little time, it proves to be a superior choice.

    But now we also have our very own “Saint Patrick” in neopagan circles. Ain’t life a peach?

    April 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    • Paganism is the Linux of religions, nice – I like that.

      April 17, 2015 at 1:24 am

    • Who knows, maybe 1,000 years from now St. Patrick’s Day will be a whole new thing, where people celebrate the man who brought Paganism to Ireland.

      April 17, 2015 at 1:25 am

  2. Reblogged this on Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge and commented:
    MG – great news and about time. Sounds like my fight in this county in PA to have the right to marry and thus to be recognized as legal clergy, which there are long posts of the timeline fight on my blog. Great pics and links also. Going to reblog so TY and Blessed Be !

    April 20, 2015 at 11:18 am

    • Thanks, I’ll check that out.

      April 20, 2015 at 12:18 pm

  3. Pingback: Hallmarks of 2015 for Pagans | Metal Gaia

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