Today’s card is The Island of Plenteous Salmon. I can’t really discuss this card without mentioning that in the Celtic mind salmon were (and are) always connected with wisdom. The Salmon of Knowledge (or wisdom) features in the deeds of Fionn mac Cumhaill, a large fish who lived in the well of wisdom and ate the hazelnuts that dropped into the well, from the surrounding hazelnut trees. In this way the salmon gained all of the world’s wisdom. A person eating the flesh of the fish would gain this knowledge and wisdom and become immortal. Here is what Caitlinn says about this card:
The sustenance of the Otherworld nourishes Maelduin’s company when they most need it. When we are in deepest need, the remedy often lies close to hand.
Are you too satisfied with your present way of life? Are you unable to relax? Allow yourself respite when the going gets tough.
This card really speaks to me of wisdom, or rather discerning our needs and applying wisdom. Of course, whenever I think of salmon I immediately think of wisdom. Even when we do feel satisfied with our lives we need to be wary of falling into complacency because doing so stops us from continue to co-create our lives. We don’t just stop co-creating our lives when the going is good, we need to continue the work of creation. It is lovely when our lives seem to be running smoothly, after all it doesn’t always happen does it. However, the trap of complacency needs to be avoided. Life is not all smooth running and before we know it life will slap us in the face like a wet haddock (or a salmon!) to remind us of the work we need to do. What work I hear you ask? Well, even if things are going ok there is always room for improvement, always new paths to explore, new opportunities and possibilities. We aren’t meant to rest on our laurels. Our spirits need to carry on having a human experience until the day they choose not to, so it’s up to us to continue co-creating, exploring, and experiencing.
What about the other side of the coin, those times when things aren’t going so smoothly and we are beset by difficulties of one thing or another; financial concerns, ill-health, relationship difficulties etc. At these times there is sometimes a tendency to feel as though relaxing is wrong; that we must be busy trying to solve our problems. Well, it is good to do one’s best at these times to try to resolve things to the best of our abilities. However, we also need to be gentle with ourselves too because if we do too much, put too much strain on ourselves, we burn out and collapse, either emotionally, physically or both! As the challenge says we need to allow ourselves respite when the going gets tough. We can take an example from the ancient Celtic warriors, who allowed a withdrawing from battle in order to rest and re-group. In fact this is quite sensible but when under pressure we do not often do this do we.
So it is important to allow ourselves a withdrawing or some respite in order to replenish our batteries so to speak. some ways we can do this is to take some meaningful time out to just set our worries and difficulties aside and focus on doing something else instead – something that we like doing and brings us pleasure. It’s often hard to do this but if we say to ourselves that we are going to take time out to focus on something else and make a point of giving whatever it is all our attention, then it becomes possible. If we decide to just sit and do nothing it is often difficult to really give ourselves real respite. So actually doing something different is more helpful and allows our brains to focus on something else rather than just sitting there, pretending we are relaxing when really we are not. going for a walk in nature or just playing with my kitties is often enough to get me involved in something other than my problems. Or doing some cooking, visiting a museum, anything that you like doing and that is enjoyable. This is still giving you respite even though you’re still involved with something but it is something OTHER than your difficulties.
By doing this you will feel the benefit of being fed by plenteous salmon – it’s about having wisdom to discern your needs and act accordingly. May the Salmon of Wisdom feed you abundantly!