Word of the Day: mystagogue

While I continue to work out various kinks and conquer my own lack of self-discipline, you get to enjoy…

Today’s Word:


As in:

It has always stuck scholars of Celtic tradition that the celebration of
Ireland’s patron Saint, the well known St. Patrick, that truly, this
holiday is the most quintessentially Irish. The reason for this belief,
stems from the bundle of inconsistencies that the holiday invokes. First,
it is well-known that St. Patrick himself was not Irish. St. Patrick’s Day,
a day established by the Roman Catholic Church to honor the day of St.
Patrick’s death, is celebrated most widely in the U.S., and is more widely
celebrated in Protestant Northern Ireland. Part of the reason for the
holiday’s northern popularity is that tradition places St. Patrick’s burial
site in Northern Ireland.

What is not well known, is that in the 5th century, when St. Patrick came
to Island, he befriended several natives, including the soon to be evicted
wizards, Tim and Merlin. St. Patrick, whose chief goal was to bring
Christianity to Ireland, was also not a guy to pass up an opportunity to
have a good time. Realizing that Tim and Merlin were two pretty swell
fellows, who could really throw some good parties, “Patty”, soon bestowed
upon his drinking buddies a couple of tips, and quite a few presents (one
was an object described as some ugly cup/grail thing which was absolutely
useless, and too ugly to display in anybody’s house). Many of “Patty’s”
tips centered around “how to avoid being pegged as ‘pagan’. ”

Tim was to stop wearing the ram’s horn hat he was so fond of. Merlin was
not to go on about living his life backwards in time, and he was to stop
referring to future events as “the past”. Both of them were to stop
changing people into newts and spouting off bits of arcane knowledge in
puzzling languages. Both of them should avoid shooting lightening out of
their hands for no apparent reason, and in general, stop acting like a
couple of mystagogues. This caused a huge drunken fight, because Tim really
wanted to wear his hat and Merlin liked turning people into things. During
the fight, Tim and Merlin “accidentally” shot Patty with one of their
lightening bolts. Realizing this was probably a colossal blunder, they
covered up their mistake and snuck away.

Tim went to live in Northern Ireland, and was later one of the chief
reasons that Protestantism became popular in that part of the country.
Merlin went south. One hundred years later, when King Arthur came to power, these two magicians would serve to aid the King in his quest for justice, honor, the grail, and a real horse. What Arthur did not know, was that the grail, lost by Merlin in a famous drunken brawl, was actually still
possessed by a man who shot lightening out of his hands for no apparent
reason, who lived in Northern Ireland, and who was, by some, called Tim.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

mystagogue: /MIST – a – GOG/ One who instructs in mystical or arcane lore
and doctrines.