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. The salmon holds a special position of honor and respect among these native tribes. There are many taboos and tribal rules regarding salmon, to avoid offending their spirit a special Salmon Dances and First Salmon Ceremonies are celebrated at the beginning of salmon fishing season throughout the Pacific Northwest region. In Native American tradition salmon are a symbol of determination, renewal, and prosperity. Some tribes have Salmon as their clan animal and it is often used as a totem pole crest. Some of the tribes with Salmon Clans include the Tlingit and Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) tribes.
A Scottish tale is woven around salmon. While out hunting, the king saw a man (the Queen’s lover) wearing a ring that he had given the Queen of Cadzow. He stealthily removed it while the man was asleep and threw it into the River Clyde. Later he demanded the ring from his wife. The king imprisoned her, promising to release her only if she could produce the ring. In desperation the Queen asked St Kentigern (a.k.a. St Mungo), for help. He called upon one of his monks to catch a salmon in the river. The fish’s belly was slit open, and there was the ring! Kentigern is the patron saint of Glasgow, and a salmon appears in the city’s coat-of-arms.
The Celts associated the salmon with wisdom. In Irish myth the salmon of knowledge swam in the Well of Segais, and ate the magical hazel nuts that fell into the water. There was a prophecy that Finegas would catch and eat it, thereby gaining all knowledge. However his apprentice Fionn roasted the salmon and burnt his thumb while turning it. Fionn put his thumb in his mouth to cool it, and so received the salmon’s power. From that point on he only had to chew his thumb to gain knowledge of the future.
If you would like to read more salmon related mythologies and folklore please visit this site.
When you are in the realms and you see or encounter a salmon it means that in spite of any challenges or discouragement, persevere toward your goal and you will reach it. This is the time for you to trust your own intuition and inner knowing because it will lead you in the right direction. Avoid the influence of anyone who might have their own agendas for you. It may also bring the message that you may experience some sort of loss such as a relationship or a move, yet this will precede a new beginning. Salmon lets you know that through self-willing sacrifices, you will experience a rebirth onto a new you.
Call upon the salmon when…
… You feel lost and unsure of what your direction your life is taking and need someone to help you navigate through it.
… You are seeking to find a sense of purpose and meaning in your life, particularly at the beginning of a new stage of life.
… You are uncertain as to whether or not you can trust someone’s outside influence in determining major any decisions you are undertaking.
… You are trying to understand the life lessons you have to gain from any particular experiences, whether those experience seem positive or negative.