Salmon symbolism: instincts, inner knowing and trusting one’s intuition. Other salmon meanings include prosperity, abundance, good luck, health, strength, determination, will power, refusal to give up, overcoming outside opposition.
The salmon is an important creature in several strands of Celtic mythology and poetry, which often associated them with wisdom and venerability. In Irish mythology, a creature called the Salmon of Knowledge plays key role in the tale The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn. In the tale, the Salmon will grant powers of knowledge to whoever eats it, and is sought by poet Finn Eces for seven years. Finally Finn Eces catches the fish and gives it to his young pupil, Fionn mac Cumhaill, to prepare it for him. However, Fionn burns his thumb on the salmon’s juices, and he instinctively puts it in his mouth. In so doing, he inadvertently gains the Salmon’s wisdom. Elsewhere in Irish mythology, the salmon is also one of the incarnations of both Tuan mac Cairill and Fintan mac Bóchra.
Salmon also feature in Welsh mythology. In the prose tale Culhwch and Olwen, the Salmon of Llyn Llyw is the oldest animal in Britain, and the only creature who knows the location of Mabon ap Modron. After speaking to a string of other ancient animals who do not know his whereabouts, King Arthur’s knights are led to the Salmon of Llyn Llyw, who lets them ride its back to the walls of Mabon’s prison in Gloucester.
In Norse mythology, after Loki tricked the blind God Höðr into killing his brother Baldr, Loki jumped into a river and transformed himself into a salmon to escape punishment from the other Gods. When they held out a net to trap him he attempted to leap over it but was caught by Thor who grabbed him by the tail with his hand, and this is why the salmon’s tail is tapered.
Salmon are an extremely important animal to both the lifestyle and the spirituality of many Native American cultures, especially the tribes of the Northwest Coast and the Columbia River. Like buffalo, salmon willingly give themselves up as food for humans in many Northwest Native American myths, and therefore these fish hold a special position of honor and respect. There are many taboos and other tribal rules regarding salmon, so as to avoid offending them, and special Salmon Dances and First Salmon Ceremonies are celebrated at the beginning of salmon fishing season throughout the Pacific Northwest region. In Native American artwork and literature, salmon are often used as a symbol of determination, renewal, and prosperity. Salmon are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Salmon Clans include the Tlingit and Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) tribes. On the Northwest Coast, the salmon is often used as a totem pole crest.
About the Author
When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with clients seeking a more spiritually centered life. In her work, she helps people realize the relationship, career and finances that belongs to their soul. She can be found on KEEN at Kamberlyn Divine Love or through her website, LadyKamberlyn.com.