DUN LAOGHAIRE, Ireland — When David Ryan, a documentary film writer and creative producer, witnessed a Druid ritual in his native Ireland a few years ago, he was shocked – literally. Ryan and his colleagues with Tile Films, an Irish documentary production company, were filming Sacred Sites: Ireland, a pilot for a proposed series on such places around the world. “We did some filming in the Slieve Bloom Mountains with a group of local Druids who do rituals in honor of the ancient Celtic gods,” Ryan said during a Skype interview from his office in Dún Laoghaire just south of Dublin. “One of the Druids — quite an old man, a very nice man — brought me around the back of a farmhouse and showed me two standing stones. He said, ‘There’s an energy between these – put your hands out.’
“I was like I suppose your typical, skeptical 21st-century male,” said Ryan, who matter-of-factly noted he’s an agnostic when asked about his spiritual path.
In 2012, Wild Hunt founder Jason Pitzl-Waters published an article called, “Saint Patrick, Druids, Snakes, and Popular Myths.”* To this day, it remains one of our most popular posts. Every year as March approaches, and even as March leaves, the article is read and re-read and read again. So today, we revisit that popular article with updated links, information and quotes. “Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a yearly holiday celebrating Ireland’s favorite patron saint. While it’s a big event in Ireland (and used to be a very solemn occasion), in America it’s a green-dyed bacchanal where everyone is ‘Irish for a day’ (let’s not even start on the horridly stupid ‘unofficial’ St.
This month the Smithsonian Channel will be airing an hour-long television pilot for a series called Sacred Sites of the World. The show was developed and produced by Tile Films, one of Ireland’s top documentary filmmaking companies. As suggested by the title, the series seeks to explore the historical, religious and cultural significance of sacred sites located around the world. As part of this process, and perhaps unique to the series, producers will also be demonstrating how these ancient sites and associated religious beliefs are still honored and held sacred by many in contemporary culture. Writer and researcher David Ryan said, “Director Stephen Rooke and I, along with the rest of the creative staff in Tile Films, have a strong personal interest in history, archaeology, religion …