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After the conversion of the Irish kings to Christianity, pioneered by St. Patrick, many of the old spiritual leaders (druids) privately continued to practise their old rituals. These holy men held positions of power and influence and resisted the idea of being on an equal status with mere priests or monks. Many used their influence to garner elevation to the status of Saint.
Fiach seems to have been a term used for a holy man and many took this title as their sainted name, rather than using their given name or a christianised one, so the name came to be recorded as St. Fiach.
St. Fiach of Clonmore (near Shillelagh) was the last great shaman (spiritual leader) of the siol ealaigh people. His christian seat was at Clonmore monastery but he continued his traditional practices from his hermitage (retreat) a short distance from Clonmore, at a place now know as 'St. Fiach's Well'.The well is a place of pilgrimage to this day and believers still frequent to ask for cures for their ailments.
Made from blackthorn, our 'Druid' wands have been treated with the waters from St. Fiach's Well, continuing the ancient tradition and connecting with the spirituality of nature.
From the earliest times, blackthorn thickets provided sanctuary, its woods was an excellent fuel source and made the most formidable weapons, and the timing of its flowering indicated the ideal time for planting crops. It came to be revered as a 'holy bush'.
With the introduction of Christianity, the old pagan traditions came to be seen as anti-christian and even reviled as witchcraft. This was alluded to by J.K. Rowling when Harry's wand was destroyed in The Deathly Hallows and was replaced with a blackthorn wand, mentioning that blackthorn wands are suited to warriors and practitioners of the Dark Arts.
Our 'Wizard' wands reflect the connection to ancient Irish peoples, their association with alchemy and the link with the Harry Potter story, and are finished in plain black or adorned with basic alchemic symbols and the signature 'lightning flash'.
Olde Shillelagh Stickmakers
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