10 Salmon Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

We don’t often think much of Salmon, unless we fish for it or see it canned. From time to time we hear the grueling journey of schools of Salmon upstream, just to perpetuate their species. However, we often see this as a losing battle since most of them don’t survive far past the journey anyway.

But no matter how we view it, the Salmon has a very important message in store for us. Just like the otter, everything about it is symbolic — from its form, to its habitat, to its entire life cycle. If we can only listen to the message it strives to bring, many of us would live fuller lives.

Salmon Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

Salmon Symbolism & Meaning

The Salmon is a symbol of courage, persistence, and bull-headed passion. They are the underdogs, in perpetual struggle against the stereotype. After all, just how much achievement can you expect of this little fish? It has no hands with which to work tools, no special features to do remarkable feats.

But what is special about it is what lies inside. The Salmon is the perfect definition of the “internal locus of control”, a valued trait in our world. It seeks to control what it can, even if everything else goes against it. It knows that it can never expect anything in life to go its way, so it makes every effort to be ready for the difficult times.

Salmon Spirit Animal

If you think that the Salmon is all about taking hardship in stride, then you are wrong! When the Salmon comes as a spirit animal, its general message is to become deeply attuned to your surroundings. It may appear random to us, but the Salmon does not go about their life cycle just because it wants to. It knows there is a proper time and place for everything. It knows the when, where, and why of life, even if it has never been there before. And it knows this only by observing how the waters ebb and flow about it, how the seasons change and how nature changes in response.

After all, passion and courage are useless when you don’t catch the right opportunity.

Salmon Power Animal

If you need to make a change in your life, or if you need to go on a mad dash for the top, it is time to call on the Salmon as your power animal. These changes are often rough, and oftentimes you would have to adjust to very different surroundings. You can’t fight against the tide without understanding first, in the same way that you can’t defeat anything you don’t know about. The Salmon would help you in this endeavor.

Salmon Totem Animal

People born under the Salmon totem may not always enjoy good luck in life, but they tend to be very careful to make the most out of what they have. These are among the most driven of all people, and they know their purpose in life. When they set their sights on a goal, they work with all their might in order to achieve it. Sometimes, this pushes them to self-destructive extremes, but if they can rein this impulse in, then they can be among the most successful of all people.

Salmon people are also among those most welcoming of change. They can tolerate even “sudden” shifts in their surroundings and circumstances, because deep within they have already sensed this coming and prepared for it internally.

Salmon Native American Symbolism

To the Native Americans, the Salmon is very important. They are among the animals (like the buffalo) who willingly give themselves up to the people as food. Hence, they are accorded a special level of respect, which means that in other tribes it is taboo to offend them. There are also ceremonies and rituals where they are celebrated and courted.

Salmon Celtic Symbolism

To the Celts, the Salmon is a symbol of wisdom. This correlates with the Salmon’s ability to read the seasons and to know when to push forth on its life’s journey. The Celts also believed that when a Salmon appeared to a person, they appear as a warning to someone who might have strayed from the pursuit of his dreams.

Salmon Far Eastern Symbolism

The Salmon does not appear in Far Eastern mythology, but fish in general were accorded much respect. In Chinese mythology, the carp was accorded the traits of the Salmon. Like the latter, the carp could also swim upstream to reach its destination. The carp has an additional concept of evolution, as it was believed that carps who reach their destination atop waterfalls leap and transform into dragons — a supreme creature in Chinese mythology.

Salmon in Dreams

The Salmon appears in dreams to harden you for upcoming change. There might be challenges in your immediate future, and it is important to start feeling the waters now in order to stay ahead of possible surprises.

The Salmon is also a warning to become aware of any potential predators around you. The Salmon relies on nothing than its senses, and this could benefit you as well.

Salmon Encounters / Salmon Omens

When the Salmon appears to you, it is time to shift to second gear and start working harder for your goals! Sometimes, we have goals deep within us that we suppress, simply because we thought they were impossible. But the Salmon teaches us that nothing is impossible with proper planning and with the use of one’s abilities. There will be lots of roadblocks on the way to the literal top, but these roadblocks are just temporary — you, on the other hand, have the potential to reach for eternity.

Salmon Mythology and Folklore

The Native Americans have the most number of Salmon-related stories in their mythologies. Most of these stories are related to how the Salmon came to be, and how they were brought into the Native American rivers by the various tribe heroes. There are also various legends that caution people to treat Salmon with respect, lest they suffer the consequences.

The Salmon may be small, but it tells a timeless story that the human race can take inspiration from. How does its lessons fit into your life?

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