In Greco-Roman belief, the god Mercury (Hermes) was thought to have invented masturbation and taught it to his son Faunus (Pan). The Greeks called it thrypsis, “the rubbing,” and in Latin it was known as masturatus. As with other aspects, the Celts were influenced by Roman ways and beliefs after the two cultures began to merge in some areas.
Mercuralia was the celebration known also as the “Festival of Mercury”. Mercury was thought to be the God of merchants and commerce as well as the patron of masturbation. On 15 May, merchants would sprinkle their heads, bodies, ships, merchandise and businesses with water taken from the well at Porta Capena. But some believe they would sprinkle themselves with another liquid as well.
Obscure sources suggest men would masturbate - an expression thought not uncommon or unseemly to the Celts - in honor of Mercury on this day because he was believed the patron of the act and that doing so would bring virility and sexual prowess. Given that May is now known as masturbation month, an auto-erotic experience could seem an appropriate Mercuralia observation…
Image: Pierre et Gilles
The picture and text are courtesy of Celt Eros: The mystique - imagined or real - of the Celtic male and Celtic culture appeals to many worldwide. The constructs of this culture, both ancient and modern manifestations, are alluring. CeltEros is about sharing and spreading appreciation for the Celtic ethos, mythos and importantly - eros.