In our tradition we divide the year not only by eight solar and agricultural holidays, but also by the Kalends. We celebrate twelve months of the year by the common calendar, plus a special thirteenth month for Samhain. These month cycles are associated with different totemic spirits. Each month is assigned an animal, a bird (or other flying creature), and a tree. October's totems are Salmon, Hazel, and Lapwing.
The totemic associations are as follows:
Salmon – (Bradan) oldest animal; wisdom, knowledge, inspiration
Hazel – (Coll) wisdom, intuition, creativity, divination, the source
Lapwing – (Curracag) resourcefulness, distraction, wisdom, divination
Salmon is the “Oldest Animal” in Welsh mythology and is critical in the
search for Mabon. Salmon is a symbol of wisdom, inspiration and
The Salmon will return to place of its
own birth to mate (often with great difficulty) and is, therefore, a
reminder that we need to journey back to our own beginnings to find
wisdom. The Druid quest is for wisdom and knowledge, leading eventually
to the Oldest Animal.
It swims in the well of wisdom
(Connla’s Well) at the source of all life, a sacred pool that has 9
hazel trees growing around it. Fionn MacCumhaill received the wisdom of
the salmon when he was cooking the fish for someone else. The juice
splashed on his hand, and he got the knowledge of the fish when he
sucked the burned spot.
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