Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An Bradán Feasa or Swimming in Wisdom

Striving against the currents
Running legless up 
each craggy watercourse
Slicing joyously through 
each battling wave
We come… 

Flashing and Bright, 
like Knights of Olde 
Braving hungry teeth 
wicked claws
perilous odds 
Press on! 
Be Bold! 
We are so many stories 
just waiting to be told

When we’ve returned at last 
to our humble homes… 

Quests fulfilled… 

Treasures hidden along the Shore,
promises for tomorrow.

Toasty at the hearthside, 
Content to feed 
the new generations 
with epic tales. 


No more to roam 
the wandering waters and 
restless Seas of Life! 

Some have waited a lifetime 
beside their vigil fires 
hoping for a single taste 
of the Wisdom I bring. 

Who has heard me sing?”

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing today? 

“We learn a lot of lessons from watching animals. The salmon are one of our best teachers. We learn from them that we have to do certain things by the seasons. We watch the salmon as smolts going to the ocean and observe them returning home. We see them fulfill the circle of life, just as we must do. If the salmon aren’t here, the circle becomes broken and we all suffer. ” Leroy Seth of the Nez Perce

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” Proust

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

There are two groups of Salmon, Atlantic and Pacific, and eight species of Pacific salmon alone: chinook, coho, chum, sockeye, pink, steelhead trout, masu and amago salmon (two Asian species).Salmon typically have a high mortality rate due to predation, and changes in habitat due to the human influence; such as pollution, siltation, high water temperatures, low oxygen conditions, loss of stream cover and reductions in river flow. 

Those called by this Teacher will progress through stages, and will need to examine these different predators at various points in their life as potential balancing energies. They are a key species in the food chain, and their rapidly disintegrating numbers really should be cause for more concern from society than is currently apparent to me.

Fionn MacCumhaill is a great leader of the Fianna in Ireland's history. As a boy he waited with a great druid/poet known as Finn Eces (Finneces, Finegas, Finnegas) who was at the banks of the river Boyne trying to catch the Salmon of Knowledge/Wisdom. This fish had swallowed nine Hazelnuts / Acorns  from the Tree of Knowledge/Wisdom, becoming a living embodiment of Wisdom. 

Finnegas catches the Salmon, and Fionn cooks it for him while he sleeps at last after so many days in pursuit of the Salmon. Fionn burns his finger while serving this magical dish and instinctively puts the offended finger in his mouth. Finnegas relinquishes his prize to Fionn believing it is rightfully his, fulilling the prophecy given to Finnegas by the Oracle. Thus Fionn gained all the Wisdom of the World, the ability to understand the speech of Animals; his entire life changed because of a fish.

Fish swim through the water, feed countless creatures, and live in harmony with their environment as an example to us. We too should move fluidly with the many changes of Life, live in harmony, and be willing to sacrifice something of our selves for the benefit of others. Salmon teaches us that everything has a proper season. All stages of life are sacred and must support each other; youth must respect elder just as surely as the elder must pass their wisdom to the next generation. 

Prayer and spirituality are vital in a balanced life, but action is equally necessary. To truly become the caretakers of our world we must understand, balance and utilize both Spirituality and Action. Prayer alone, however powerful, will not right the imbalance we have created, and all the spiritual beliefs in the world will not save a single drowning child if action is not also taken. Passionate and creative Salmon encourages us to be bold and take action.

The most commonly quoted estimate says that there are 20,000 different species of fish in the waters of the world. Each carries their own messages and associations. Those called by a Fish Totem will need to look at which specific fish is calling, their nearest relations, and the balancing energies of prey and predator. 

Salmon is often the patron of healers and Salmon people can be far more resilient and hardy than they appear. This Teacher encourages us to be sensitive to others, to trust our instincts, to stop fighting the currents of our life when we have not developed ourselves enough for the spiritual/life challenges ahead of us, to remember that everything has a proper time and season, to respect the cycle of Life, honor our heritage, to decide wisely, to leap over obstacles and see them as opportunities for growth, act with determination, to trust in self and Creator, and live passionately. How does Salmon appear in your life?

Key concepts: Wisdom, instinct, fertility, persistence/determination, trust, faith, spirituality, thought, creativity/creation, cycle of birth/death/rebirth, courage, loyalty, pride, passion, heritage/ancestors, overcoming obstacles, returning home, ancient lore

Possible balancing energies for Salmon: eagle/hawk, bear, otter, fisher, fly, dolphin, the sea/water, whales, sharks, plankton, worm, other fish, wolf/coyote, hazelnut tree, borage, lepidolite, raspberry, carnelian, raccoons, cats, snakes, forgs, kingfishers, herons, osprey, dolphins, seals and other pinnipeds, the Moon,

Associated with: Fionn Macumhail, Lugus/Lugh Lamfada/Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Cerridwen, Gwion, Brighid, Boann/Sionna, Orcia, Nodens, Loki, Nechtain, Daghda, Taranis, Aurora Borealis, sacred wells and the watery entrances to the Underworld, Latis, Cernnunnos, Taranis, Oghma, the Milky WayIshtar, Isis, Aphrodite, Freya, Venus, Poseidon, Dagon, Kwan Yin, Hermes, Vishnu, Jesus, Ku-ula

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