On Wed, 28 Jan 1998, Francine Nicholson wrote:
> > teinm la/eda - "breaking of marrow (?)"
> teinm la/eda - "chewing of the pith"
> In regard to teinm la/eda, T.F. O'Rahilly and Calvert Watkins
> both associate this with the modern folktale version of Fionn mac
> Cumhaill obtaining wisdom/insight/iomas by chewing on his thumb...
A line about Fionn in "Tesmolad Cormaic" reads:
"Ocus do chuir a o/rduin fo/ de/d fis gur can tria teinm laegha."
(And he put his thumb under his tooth of knowing and chanted three
> Imbas forsna reminds me of the correspondences between parts of
> the universe and the parts of the body that are found in medieval
> manuscripts from various I-E countries, specifically the eyes with the
> sun which is all the more explicit in Irish (not every language uses
> the same word for both!).
I assume you are refering to the etymology of "su/il" (eye), which
takes it back to Common Celtic *su^lis, deriving from IE *sa^wel- (sun).
> Thus I see an association between the sun that
> illuminates the earth and the imbas that enables the seer to see, with
> the eyes being the conductor of imbas just as the sun conducts light
> and heat.
The following from _An File_ by Da/ithi/ O/ hO/ga/in may be of interest:
Ta/ an fhili/ocht ceangailte le cu/rsai/ na gre/ine sa traidisiu/n
Gaelach, chomh maith. Ta/ an mi/niu/ seo a leanas ar 'imbus gre/ine'
ag Do/nall O/ Dubhda/bhoireann ina ghluais Sean-Ghaeilge:
Bolg gre/ine imfuilgnes in grian for na luibhibh ocus
cidh be caithis iat bidh dan aigi.
Poetry is bound up with solar matters in the Gaelic tradition as well.
The following explanation of 'imbus gre/ine' [poetic inspiration of
the sun] comes from D O D in his OI gloss:
A solar bubble which the sun infuses in the herbs and
whoever consumes them will have the art of poetry.
"Bolg gre/ine" seems an odd concept, but the terms "bolg fis" and
"bolg imbais" are attested for the "bubbles of knowledge, inspiration"
that form in the well of Segais when the hazelnuts of knowledge fall