Thursday, May 19, 2011


tumblr_ll9tjxGez61qepg91o1_500In 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
163207_130005253732189_100001681458906_188331_3773745_nceThe 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.


Ace said...

That's really interesting. I never knew about this aspect of Mercury's story. I have a Mercury tattoo on my right shoulder that I got because I'm a Virgo and Mercury is the astrological ruler for that sign, so I'm always interested in learning more about him. Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am properly honoring this month and Mercury on a regular basis!

Peace <3

Joe said...

Ace, I am glad you liked the post. I came across this and found it fascinating. I didn't really know that aspect of the Mercury story either, but I did some research to back it up and lo and behold, it was true (at least mythically, LOL).

Me too, Jay.