Recently, the Ancestors have been telling me (over and over again) that a friend of mine needs to eat more Salmon.
On the surface, this message might make us think we’re talking about our physical food: cleaning up our diet, paying attention to where our food comes from, waking up to the toxins and poisons the g.e. has put into humanity’s food supply. And, these are actually issues that everyone needs to awaken to and begin working to change.
At this point in our history, Salmon is showing us very clearly the way the triple-headed monster of “progress” has turned all of Mother Earth’s sacred provisions for her children into toxic commodities serving only the insatiable greed of the great evil.
Our Indigenous relatives and Ancestors revere Salmon and other swimmers for their willingness to sacrifice their lives for our nourishment. Debbie, a Shamanic Blogger writes, “Like the buffalo, the salmon willingly give themselves up as food for the People, and therefore hold a special position of honor and respect.” Read Debbie’s great article, “Salmon Medicine: Wisdom and Determination,” here.
The Tsimishia People, like all of our Indigenous relatives, pay honor and respect to Salmon every year when they begin their upstream run, for it is only through the diligence and determination empowered by Divine Wisdom that these great swimmers know their role and act it out in the great story of life. Here is a prayer of a Tsimishia Fisher’s wife:
“0 Supernatural Ones, 0 Swimmers, I thank you that you are willing to
come to us. Don’t let your coming be bad, for you come to be food for us.
Therefore I beg you to protect me and the one who takes mercy on me, that
we may not die without cause, Swimmers.” ~ Tsimshia Woman’s Prayer to the Salmon
The need to restore health and sanctity to our Indigenous peoples’ relationship with food is an issue that my friend needs to address in both the personal and professional areas of his life responsibility (which is massive, btw – all honor and respect).
But when we have been given the gift of Eyes to See and Ears to Hear, we understand that it is also the energy and the primordial, archetypal symbolism of Salmon that is asking for admittance into this relative’s Medicine Walk.
In our NDN understanding, the deep and eternal wisdom, insights, teachings, and energy of each creature – swimmers, crawlers, flyers – are their Medicine.
When we begin to understand our world through our Good Mind, we can see how everything – down to the smallest feather – has been provided to us as Medicine by our Creator, and given to us through our Mother Earth.
Salmon is a keeper of Inner Wisdom, reminding those she visits to honor their intuition as these are gifts and messages from the Ancestors. It is through our intuition, our emotions and instincts that our Guides get our attention and share the lessons of the ancient ones with us.
Salmon comes to us during times of great transformation, giving us her fierce determination and will and the strength Creator has given her to equip her for her upstream journey to return to her home.
Salmon sits in the Red (Summertime) quadrant of the Medicine Wheel, and that means she helps with issues related to the physical body and organizational bodies – i.e. groups of people.
The color red reflects the male aspect of our psyches that Carl Jung identified as “Animus.” Animus is the motivator, the brother who helps us get things accomplished in the world. When we have a healthy Animus, we are able to clearly interpret and put into action the ideas and inspirations that Creator has given us.
Red is the colour root of the three basic chakras that deal with our physical existence: our family/tribe, issues around power, money, relationships – and ultimately, our innate understanding of our own worth.
When Salmon comes, she is offering to walk along with us while we walk through this red quadrant of our Medicine Wheel to say hello to our bloodline Ancestors who live there and learn more about the medicines that we have stored there for our Selves. Each time we visit, learn and apply the medicines, we are a little more healed and so are our Ancestors. Chi Miigwetch.
In our Indigenous Way, Salmon walks next to Bear on the great Medicine Wheel of the Year, showing their close relationship which offers us lessons in the nature of love and sacrifice.
Bear is the Sacred Healer and it is Salmon’s great honor to offer his body to sustain and heal his brothers and sisters who are the ones carrying this responsibility of the Medicine Bear Clan for the people.
Salmon also has given herself as sacrifice for Eagle, providing nourishment for this Sacred Flyer who delivers our prayers to Creator, and who returns to us with Creator’s messages of love and encouragement.
As we have seen, Salmon and Buffalo are both sacred creatures who teach us the deep lessons of sacrifice and continuance.
Salmon offers us her powerful medicine for times when we need to gather strength, determination, self-discipline and to know how to use these in service of our spiritual, intuitive gifts to lead ourselves and the people through times of great change.
It is my honour to be your messenger.
Toronto ON Canada Turtle Island Gaia