Posted on February 28, 2010
I stood in front of the stone shafts of Clonmacnoise. Carved into the stone of this 6th century monastic site are images of possibly, pagan gods. The carvings in stone were a symbiosis of druid and Christian, the old and the new. A relatively peaceful transition occurred in Ireland. I began to question this transition – how did it happen? Was it all a result of St. Patrick’s missionary work? Or did Pallidius lay the groundwork? What was the role of Pelagius, if any?
These questions prompted me into research mode. These were broad questions, all over the map, so I ended up gaining bits and pieces about Patrick,and eventually Brigid. What piqued my interest even more, were the connections between Patrick and Brigid.
Though the stories are wrapped in the shroud of myth, dimmed through layers of legend, I believe it is possible that Patrick and Brigid were contemporaries. It is said that as a child, Brigid heard Patrick preach. Later, it is believed that she sewed his burial shroud. Could it be proven historically (putting religion and faith aside)?
I became fascinated with Patrick’s story of kidnapping and slavery, and how he came to know God while in bondage. Even more, I was amazed at his return to Ireland, going back to the land that had once enslaved him. I wanted to know what drew him back to the isle.
Even more intriguing was Brigid as the tripartite goddess, Danann, druid, and Saint. I examined her history, her possible co-existence with Patrick, the founding of Kildare.
The research I began at Clonmacnoise turned into a passion for writing, and developed into my manuscripts, Once A Goddess, Fiery Arrow, and The Church of the Oak. Though I fictionalized many of these myths, I believe there is a grain of truth in them all.