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Celtic Warrior Reference?

This evening at a group meeting, one person referenced a story she had heard from a professor, which she believed had been taken from Celtic lore: that when returning from battle, warriors stopped to bathe at each of seven pools, each of which was cooler than the one before it. The idea was that by the time they reached home, their battle rage had been cooled.

Does anyone have an actual reference for this story?

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
druidharper
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC)
I don't have the actual reference unfortunately but I know of the myth. It comes from the Irish tales as I recall...if I am not mistaken, Cuchulain underwent this among others. It's not uncommon in Western myth either if memory serves. A kind of 'cooling of the blood' so that the Warrior can fit back into tribal life and leave their rage and slaughter lust for the field of battle.

alfrecht
Jun. 30th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
That's not quite it, actually...

In a few tales, Cú Chulainn comes back to his people still in his riastarda (it's spelled various ways), i.e. his "battle frenzy" (or "warp spasm," as Kinsella memorably called it), one of the characteristics of which is an intense heat. To cool him down from this, they dunked him into three vats of cold water. The first vat exploded; the second vat boiled over; the third vat was heated to the point that it bubbled. At that point, he was all right and reasonably cool enough to deal with.

This occurs in the story of Cú Chulainn's boyhood deeds (Macgnímrada Con Culainn), and it also happens in Sergligle Con Culainn, and is mentioned in one or two other places as a characteristic that he had.
qos
Jun. 30th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I had a feeling you would be able to provide a specific reference.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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qos
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