Saturday, August 07, 2004

ancient sowing of the seed

It is interesting what the past indicates about present Irish temperament. While reading Ancient Ireland: The User's Guide by Conan Kennedy, I came across this entry:

Onan: A Biblical character who got in trouble for 'spilling his seed upon the ground.' Generations of adolescent males have been taught that this was an example of God's dislike of masturbation but in actuality it perhaps has more to do with the pagan kingship rites of antiquity. (Hmmm, those randy Celts!) In these the claimant to kingship 'married' the earth and carried out certain rituals to consumate the marriage. In Ireland this was known as -banaisrighe-. Certain specified spots in Ireland were designated for this rite. In Connacht, for example, -banaisrighe- was carried out at Carnfree in County Roscommon.