I got the salmon for a card of the day last week, and I seemed to get into some kind of free-writing process and put together everything I learned about the salmon in a long page. So I thought Iíd share!
The salmon is the oldest and wisest of animals. He lives in the pool of Conla which is surrounded by the Nine Hazel Trees of Wisdom. Salmon eats the nuts and gains a spot for every nut. As the oldest of animals, he was instrumental in the rescue of Mabon, the lost son of the Mother.
Both Finn MacCool (son of hazel = coll) and Taleisin are said to have tasted the cooked flesh of the salmon of wisdom (by mistake!) and thereby gain all wisdom and all knowledge. The nature of this wisdom may be glimpsed from the fact that immediately after the accidental tasting, Taliesin changed into several different animals in succession in an effort to save his skin! Like the child King Arthur (Wat) in Once and Future King, he was able to absorb the wisdom of each animal as he experienced its existence and form.
The salmon is obviously a creature of the water. Part of its wisdom is the wisdom of the depths and of flow. She (and he!) is also renown as the returner to the source. Salmons brave great obstacles, including hungry bears and greedy fishermen, to swim upstream to return to the pool in which she was born to spawn her own children.
As a card of the day, salmon is telling me that sometimes itís wise to go with the flow but sometimes itís wise to swim upstream! The wisest of all is to know when to do each! And donít forget to use the wisdom gained from experience and just plain longevity!
And the wisdom of following your own nature. No-one tells the salmon to swim upstream, unless itís Nature or Spirit itself--and its own inborn nature. That means swimming upstream IS going with the flow. Very Zen.