Monday, 30 August 2010

The Salmon of Wisdom


In traditional Celtic myth, an ordinary salmon ate nine sacred hazel nuts which fell into the pool where it lived and so was magically transformed into the Salmon of Wisdom.

I prefer the re-visioning of this myth by Patricia Monaghan in her book, The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog (2003):

I understand why the ancient Irish saw wisdom as a salmon . . . . Who is wiser than one who knows the way home?

What natural phenomenon is more mysterious and compelling than salmon who return from the ocean, years later and against impossible odds, to spawn and die in the very same stream where they were born?

As Rabbi Seymour Siegel wrote:

In everyone's heart stirs a great homesickness . . . .

We are all called by the deepest yearning of our hearts to be Salmon of Wisdom.

19 comments:

Twain12 said...

nature is wondrous and mysterious

Jeanne said...

Love your graphic! :0)

The Salmon has been revered by many societies.
And the Salmon of Wisdom has appeared in several books written by Charles de Lint.

Personally, I don't like the taste...

mxtodis123 said...

I loved the "Red Haired Girl from the Bog". Time to read it again.
Mary

BugginWord said...

Better than a trout of despair, I always say.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

beautiful post with so much wisdom in it...

madtexter (corey james) said...

Excellent piece! It always intrigued me how Salmon were able to do that - to return home after such a long time. That is definitely a full circle life.

Lyn said...

'In everyone's heart stirs a great homesickness . . . .'

How very true. Beautiful post, Debra :-)

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

fabulous post

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hmmm....i never even heard of the salmon of wisdom before. cool! the Blog Tech has a horrible habit of bogarting food which he likes. bad Blog Tech. as if we are ever going to run out of food around here!!!

Em said...

Salmon also appears in Ted and Molly in the Afterlife by Richard Grant. (Great book.)

Em said...

Also a lovely post.

Kathy said...

I had never heard of the Salmon of Wisdom either. Thanks for sharing that. I especially loved:

In everyone's heart stirs a great homesickness.

I now realize that I have been homesick for Paganism my whole life.

Sarah said...

Oh I loooove that hon..thank you for sharing!
I often wonderful if our hearts call us to some real origin of our births long ago. Hugs hon :)

Snap said...

Wonderful ... paying attention to the calling of the heart ... (universe -- put that 2x4 down!) ........

City Wiccan said...

Never really heard that before . . . cool! I love that you started with Haida art :)

laughingwolf said...

not only wise, but tasty, too! :O lol

Beatnheart said...

another kismet moment for me today. I posted about “homesickness” today...really a yearning for childhood and the carefree days of ones youth. I have read about 4 blogs, an email and a youtube of this exact topic. Must be in the air...

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

and they taste yummy too.

miss*R said...

"In everyone's heart stirs a great homesickness" - I wonder if this could be part of the yearning that is in my soul.. it has been here forever - I wonder if I am homesick for some place.

this is a very deep post for me, stirring up something, I know not what though :)