Taboo about blood

Hazel
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Posts: 31
Joined: 2008-12-01

Could someone help me understand the following reference? 

In my 1996 copy of Dr Anne Ross's important book, Pagan Celtic Britain, copyright 1967, in chapter 6, Sacred and Magic Birds, the first section is about swans. Dr Ross refers to an Irish tale of Cú Chulainn. A girl named Derbforgaill and her maidservant are transformed into swans. They link themselves with a chain of gold and seek out Cú Chulainn. He casts a stone which strikes one swan; it penetrates into the swan's belly. The injured swan reverts to Derbforgaill when she falls to the ground. Cú Chulainn sucks the stone from her wound.

This is the part I don't understand - "because he has tasted her blood and thus can have no carnal relationship with her" he gives her to his foster-brother.

What is the precedent of the taboo about tasting another's blood?



Hazel
Hazel's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: 2008-12-01
Blood taboo - thanks for your answer

Hello Adam,

Your answer makes sense. Why shouldn't it be that simple? Thank you.

Hazel



Adam
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Posts: 54
Joined: 2008-11-22
I think when one person

I think when one person ingests the blood of another or their blood gets mixed, they become "blood relations." Any "carnal relations" then becomes incest.

I don't know how exstense this beliefs is within Celtic culture, historically or geographically, but I do know this little bit of info :)