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Subject: Re: Muin as vine
From:Searles O'Dubhain <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Tue, 19 Sep 2006 17:17:44 +0100

text/plain (52 lines)

On Mon, 18 Sep 2006 18:27:46 -0700, Yvonne Rathbone <[log in to unmask]> 

>> >Does anyone know when the ogham word "muin" becomes linked with the
>> >grapevine? Is this connection anything but a neo-pagan creation?
>> >
>> >Thanks for any leads or information.
>> >
>> >-Yvonne Rathbone
>> Auraicept na n-Éces says: Muin, vine, m, mead [from it]. This
>> meaning may
>> be neo-Pagan but it is also an invention of the Irish Filidh.
>Sorry, I wasn't clear.  I meant when was Muin connected to the grapevine.
>"Vine" could be blackberry or hops as both are connected with fermented
>beverages. Although I believe the introduction of beer (ale + hops)
>happened a couple of centuries after the Auraicepts.  Is the word in the
>Auraicept well understood to be grape?  Was the word "mead" used
>interchangeably with "wine"?

I think that the words for mead and wine are very different in Celtic 
languages. I don't think beer enters into the matter at all.

The vine referenced in “muin” is most probably the honeysuckle if it has 
anything to do with mead. The “ui” in muin is also associated with the 
Ogham for “UI” which is also the honeysuckle or Uilleann. Mead is made from 
honey, water and perhaps yeast to aid the fermentation process. Mead itself 
is not made from grapes or directly from the fruit of grapevines (though 
Celts did make wines from grapes before the Romans came). It was said that 
the Celts preferred the Greek and Roman wines to their own and traded wool, 
amber, tin and gold for them. The “Great Elbow” may have gotten its name 
from drinking habits associated with both wine and mead among the Celts.

“Should we believe history books or the Viennese songs? Did Emperor Probus 
introduce wine to Vienna or had viticulture existed long before that? Both 
versions are true. As a matter of fact, wild grapevines were known at the 
time of the Celts who already produced wine from this original grape.”

I personally see the Ogham Muin as meaning bindings, oaths, contracts and 
commitments. These meanings combine attributes associated with vines, 
seeing contracts with a drink or toast, intoxication from being immersed in 
one’s cups and perhaps being drunk on an idea or a concept. The educational 
process is like a visit to a mead hall in its ability to sweep a person 
away if immersed too deeply. Diplomas, gowns, tassels, neck torques, 
backbreaking tasks to which we are yoked, and obligations of honor 
symbolized by torques all come to mind, but here again, I’m getting 
intoxicated by the images and not remaining sober according to logic. 

Searles O'Dubhain

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