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Broth is especially suggestive of boiling and bubbling, rather than the end-product of the process.

In Ancient China 'Jade Broth' was the saliva and its methodical swallowing was a recipe for immortality.

Broth, that nicely balanced mixture of substance and flavour, was a symbol of universal harmony (ho) and of the yin and the yang, always bearing in mind that it is produced by the interaction of fire and liquid.

There seem, too, to have been rituals of ordeal, purification and communion which involved the eating of broth. For example a broth of ARTEMISIA was supposed to have the power of purifying (GRAD, MAST).

According to The Madness of Cuchulainn, at the coronation of a High King of Ireland, a hard (file) would drink the broth and eat his fill of the flesh of the bull slaughtered for the ritual feast. He would then sleep and dream of the man to be elected king. According to other sources, the process was repeated during the course of the coronation, but with the new king and a horse. The reign formally opened when the elected king had bathed in the broth of the ritually slaughtered animal, drunk his fill of the broth and both he and his subjects had eaten the flesh.

Broth is a channel of that strength or regeneration which is expected of the new king. The-bathing and the broth play exactly the same part as bathing and eating the marrow of an animal play in the regeneration of several heroes of the Ulster Cycle (OGAC 15: pp. 123–37, 245-55).

In Vedic India, broth was the means of celestial regeneration and return to cosmic oneness. For this purpose the five broths (FIVE being the number of totality) which accompanied the sacrifice of a goat were five sorts of rice gruel.


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