Hadst thou the wicked skill By pictures made and marr’d, to kill ?

Then she draws her brooch out of her mantle and drives it into her cheek till it struck the bone, and then there came out two filaments of milk: yet not a single drop of blood came out. At that sight the pedlar began to weep and wail. Then she took the wound between two fingers and began to squeeze it for a long time, and not a drop was wrung from it. Then at last by reason of the long squeezing out came a little tiny drop. It was a little drop of water, and there was a little yellow on the surface enough to change its colour. The she put this little driblet on her nail and she said: “So long,” said she “as there is this much juice in his body, let him bestow no friendship nor confidence upon womankind

So

Reading the Broma, alters how I look at this in the moment. First reference I get to blood and milk.

Vision of the future, the coming of Christ and Christianity to Ireland.

I beheld a vat of crystal, with splendour of gold.

By me, on the midst of my house, in Bergia, at the Boyne.

A third of the vat (was filled) with the bloods of men,

strange assembly!

There was but one third of new-milk, in its midst,

Another third was noble (?) wine, strange to me!

Men with bowed heads surrounded it, (men who had come)

over a clear sea.

All Leinstermen though thy are many, with numbers of

I have given them my hearts love, and sense.

deeds,

Blood drinking rather than blood letting. But a ritual with the intent of creating ‘affectionate’ ties and bonds between two parties.

Samdan’s ritual act, reads like a similar visionary act in comparison.

Manipulation of images.

Past, present, future.

Death and resurrection of Christ/ the ritual act/ Maelruian’s future as a great spiritual leader

Piercing/ bodily fluids/ manipulation of images, these are the ingredients of a magical act, although the term sits uncomfortable with the Latin concept of magic which shapes our perception of the term.  

Binding ritual, creating a bond between Maelruian and Samadan, spiritual kinship.

Determining the future, which in Irish culture is expressed in poetic/ visual languge.

Imagined Communities (sister, brother, lover)

ni tucias mo croide dam a libuir re cois caigh ga breith uaim.

Thou hast not given me back my heart, O book, while everyone is being carried away from me.

Armi’i corpi decullati

souls of the beheaded bodies

Tri’ npisi, tro ocisi, e tri annigati,

three hanged, three slain, and three drowned

Tutti novi vi junciti,

all nine of you join

Nn’ ‘u me zitu vi nni jiti,

Go into my sweetheart

Tanti e tanti cci nni data,

Give him such and such (torments)

No pi fallu muriri

Not to make him die

Ma pi fallu a mia viniri

But to make him come to me

Youth

Proverbial wisdom/ riddle, recorded in the early 20th century.

Si an oige an rua- rasach

Si an rslainte an bhean mhaiseach,

Se an saol an fear cleasach,

Ma ta, se an vas an dubh- chosach

Youth is the rua-rasach (full-blooded one?)

Health is the beauteous woman,

Life is the deceitful man,

If it is so, death is the black footed one.

 

Reference

D. Hayden, On the Meaning of Two Medieval Irish Medical Terms: Derg Dasachtach and Ruad (Fh)rasach

Note

About to start reading ‘The Boroma’ in full, its a mythological text concerned with lordship. I think (but anything here is far from certain), that fictive kinship, may be a theme that ties many of the examples of blood drinking/ blood letting together.

Still got a lot to work out.

Return to the text I started with see where I am.

First example

Molaise of Daiminis had a sister named Copar. Now desire lay heavy upon the girl, for it is a third part as strong in women as in men. Then he regulates her portion and her pittance for a year: that is, a measured pittance. On that day year she came to him, and confessed that her desire still persisted. Now he was busy sewing before her. Then he thrust the needle thrice into her palm, and three streams of blood flowed from her hand. Then he said, ” No wonder,” said he,” if it is hard for the body, wherein are these strong currents, to contain itself.” Then he diminished her meals a second time. She was on that ration for a year, and her desire still persisted. So after that time he thrusts the needle into her hand thrice, and the three streams of blood flowed from it. So he reduced her meals again for a year, and at the end of that time he thrust the needle (again into her hand). This time, however, not a drop came out of her. The he said to her: “In future,” said he, ” Keep on this pittance until thy death.”

and the second.

There was a certain itinerant peddler in Munster in the time of Samdan, who used to carry greeting from her to the “sons of life” in that country. Once she called him to her and bound him but to add to not take away a single word that she said, nor a word that anyone should say to whom it was sent. Then she said to him: ” Say to Maelruian for me,” said she (- or to Fer Da Chrish, and this latter is more likely, since Maelruain was more venerable than Samdan), ” that he is my favourite among the clerics of Descert, and another thing thou shalt say to him: ask, does he receive womankind to his confession, and will he accept my soul-freindship?” The pedlar took this message. But when he told him that he was Samdan’s favourite, he rose at once and raised both hands as in a cross-vigil and gave thanks to God. When the pedlar asked him next wither he would accept Samdan’s soul-friendship, he blushed down to his breast, and made three genuflections, and fell silent for a long time. The he said: “Tell her,” said he, “that I will seek counsel form her.” Then the pedlar told all these sayings to Samdan, and she said: “something will come of that youth.” Then she draws her brooch out of her mantle and drives it into her cheek till it struck the bone, and then there came out two filaments of milk: yet not a single drop of blood came out. At that sight the pedlar began to weep and wail. Then she took the wound between two fingers and began to squeeze it for a long time, and not a drop was wrung from it. Then at last by reason of the long squeezing out came a little tiny drop. It was a little drop of water, and there was a little yellow on the surface enough to change its colour. The she put this little driblet on her nail and she said: “So long,” said she “as there is this much juice in his body, let him bestow no friendship nor confidence upon womankind

Relationship in both is soul friendship (confessional), ‘brother and sister’ spiritual kinship.

Medical/ biological aspect first.

What Copar and Maelruain probable have in common is youth.

Reference

E.J. Gwynn and W.J. Purton, (eds), ‘The monastery of Tallaght’, Proceedings of the
Royal Irish Academy 29C (1911/12), 115–179:149.

How Now Brown Cow?

bóraime

‘cattle tribute; prey’

Reference

E.D.I.L

note

bóraime =  (bó + ríme (rím)

bo = cow

rim = count

lit=  ‘cattle counting’

The counting of tribute

adoptive kinship (the hollow crown)

1680s, thieves’ cant, a compound of kid (n.) “child” and nap (v.) “snatch away,” which probably is a variant of nab (v.). Perhaps a back-formation from kidnapper, which is recorded earlier. Originally “to steal children to provide servants and laborers in the American colonies.” Related: Kidnapped; kidnapping.

Reference

Online Etymology Dictionary

entries related to kidnapping

= ( O·o)= The Mediator Between Head and Hands

Technique

I desire the wood of allabair and argatbran, between fire and wall

I desire the three lean boars.

May a phantom come to meet me with the grain and milk of whoever it is on whom I cast it.

If this is destined for me, let it be grain and milk that I see.

If it is not destined for me, let it be wolves stags and wandering on the mountian and young warriors that I see.

Then the pedlar told all these sayings to Samdan, and she said: “something will come of that youth.” Then she draws her brooch out of her mantle and drives it into her cheek till it struck the bone, and then there came out two filaments of milk: yet not a single drop of blood came out. At that sight the pedlar began to weep and wail.

covenant

It shall be taken away from thee for ever, says the king of Ulaid, and a covenant and union shall be made between us with our blood, And this was foretold by the vision of Conchobar son of Fachtna

And the king of the Ulaid related the vision and said:

I beheld a strange vision when I was asleep.

Does any one of you in the host know how to expound it?

I beheld a vat of crystal, with splendour of gold.

By me, on the midst of my house, in Bergia, at the Boyne.

A third of the vat (was filled) with the bloods of men,

strange assembly!

There was but one third of new-milk, in its midst,

Another third was noble (?) wine, strange to me!

Men with bowed heads surrounded it, (men who had come)

over a clear sea.

All Leinstermen though thy are many, with numbers of

I have given them my hearts love, and sense.

deeds,

The Conchobar beheld this vision. And thus he saw the Leinstermen and the Ulaid, around the vat drinking its contents. “And I know”, saith he ( the king of the Ulaid), ” that this is the covenant that was foretold therein. For this is the blood that was seen in the vat- the blood of the two provinces in meeting. This is the new-milk- the cannon of the lord, which the clerics of the two provinces recite. This is the wine, Christ’s Body and his blood, which the clerics offer up.” And he was explaining it in this wise, and he uttered a lay:

May for us a covenant, let it be a covenant for ever!

With the trees of wine, with the kings from Liffey………..

Reference

W, Stokes, The Boroma

Confessor Relationship

An example of soul friendship.

Intimate, humble.

Mael Doborchon, pierced by a thorn bush, double image, Christ on the cross. Localizing the biblical story, which is a thing with the introduction of Christianity to Ireland, its presented in familiar family terms.

 
 
Once Moling was in the millpond when he saw Mael Doborchon, the son of Cellach,
coming towards him seeking his horses. The house of Mael Doborchon was a guest house for many.
He was also kind to Moling especially, because he was his confessor–he saluted Moling.
“I am on a search, o cleric,” said Mael Doborchon. “On the search for Christ, I hope,” said
Moling. “That was an awful crime that the Jews did, to crucify Christ.” “I should have
done my utmost to save him,” said Mael Doborchon. Moling gets him into the midst of a
brake of thorns, and places his cowl on a pole in the midst of the brake. “Now if that thing
yonder were Christ, how would you save him?” Mael Doborchon strips off his garment
and puts the brake aside with his two hands, until he reached the cowl and held it between
his two hands. “Thus would I save him,” said he. And streams of blood were running from
his vitals. “That was glorious, o Mael Doborchon!” said Moling. “Christ will reward thee
for it. The men of Hell shall not draw blood from thee till Doom, nor shall the demons
argue for thy soul.” “Get up, o monk yonder,” said Moling to the little rag, “and help
Mael Doborchon to seek.” The little rag moved before them and settled on the haunches of
the mare where she was; so that Mael Doborchon brought his horses home with him.

Absorption/ Transference

Absorption, in the pain of birth and death, a feature of the Marian cult. To have empathy with Mary, to feel her pain, or take on the burden of her suffering.

In later poetic form. 

I would drink a drink in spite of my kinsmen

Not of the red wine of Spain but the blood of you’re Body

To me a sweeter drink