Lore

The Salmon of Wisdom and the Hazel Tree

It begins with dreams. It always does. For me I found myself reading about the Salmon, and fell into a deep slumber. Upon waking, I had dreamt this story version of this old Irish folk tale.

Long ago in Ireland, before it was ever populated with humans, it was known as the Isle of Destiny. Upon this unspoiled land, the Tuatha’ de Dannan, decided it was there they would be safe and there they would make their home. Within the land there were many enchanted and sacred beings: Large groves of trees, where the forest seemed to have a consciousness of its own. There were sacred animals, who were the keepers of much of the original knowledge. And then there were eventually the human folks, some were born of the sea and fathered by the god Mananan Mac Lir, who kept his home near the shores of the Isle of Man, and some who had wandered into the misty landscape from places far from their birth lands. The humans settled amongst the fairies, sacred animals, and the honored groves of trees, and were taught by the harshness of nature and the coldness of the fair folk. These first people bred with the fairies, and so thier children were given magical gifts. The gifts of seeing the future in dreams, communicating with nature, and a rare sort of beauty their eyes shine brighter and enchant those who would look upon them.

These children were taught to honor Nature, and the old ways. And it is there the story begins. A child of the Fairies and humans, both beautiful and bright, was spending time communing with nature, because it made her heart feel light and soul feel clean. She found herself beneath the sacred Hazel tree, where it was said that one could find great wisdom.

As she sat there and sang, for her song was so lovely that birds would quiet themselves in the woods to listen to her magical voice, an ancient Salmon swam up to the roots of the tree. He was the Salmon who held great Wisdom and knew all of the stories of the land. So, immediately she stopped her song, and honored him.
He was pleased by her, and saw her desire for understanding above all things.
So he allowed her to ask him a question. Thoughtfully she sat a long time, deciding what she should do to find her heart’s desire. And then it came to her, “Great Salmon, how is it that you came to be so wise?”

Pleased again, the Salmon answered, ” I spent my life swimming up the stream, until i cam to a forked path. Upon seeing it, I took the left path, and swam as far as it would take me, until I reached the base of this mighty tree.
The trees gentle roots clung and dangled into the water, creating a safe place for me to rest, and every day a hazel nut would land in the water for me to eat.
So every day for nine days, I felt myself grow stronger, as I ate the hazel nuts.
Until on the ninth day, I had reached a place of wisdom that told me, I no longer needed to do so, and so for every hazel nut I ate, a spot appeared on my side, and a thousand tales and bits of knowledge would be revealed to me.
And that is the origin of my wisdom. It is not my own. It was a gift from the tree.”
Awe struck the girl decided to make the tree her home as well.
So at night she would curl up under its gentle roots and call the tree Mother, singing her sweet songs, and every monring a hazel nut would appear on the ground.

On the ninth day, she woke to find the last one, and she cracked it open and slowly ate the contents, and the gift she was given was a permanent connection to wisdom that only she and her daughters would have.
And that is where “women’s intuition” of the the Black Isles originated.

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