No traitor, the salmon. He returns to his home. When you’re tired of searching there, you’ll find the answer here.From 4th Century Welsh – quoted in OBOD Gwers Two
I love this quote at the start of the second introductory Gwersi.
It’s all about not going wandering searching for answers when all the answers are actually within you if you look close enough. The salmon in the story are from Conla’s Well, there are nine purple hazels there that feed the salmon and make them the wisest creatures on earth. One of the goals is to catch one of these salmon, apparently some versions say to eat the salmon, others to ride on its back to find Mabon, the Celtic child-god of Light who brings eternal life.
The goal really is about the attainment of love, wisdom and creative fulfilment. Like salmon always go back to their birth water to lay new eggs we must go back to the time of wisdom and of the ancestors too.
The fundamental idea is about going back to the old stories, our own personal histories and the source of spiritual heritage. This is something people have tried to explain to me before and perhaps I didn’t quite understand it. I was under the delusion that it didn’t matter where you had come from, it’s all about the future. Heritage does matter and maybe that’s why I’ve been lost as I wasn’t brought up with any respect for that. My Father is Irish Catholic but in the end really really hated Catholics due to his schooling, he became resentful towards the church and anything really to do with religion as a result and I think was ashamed of his Irish heritage. My mother’s side have also had a sense of shame because there is a story about my grandfather being an illegitimate of an English Earl so instead of having a sense of pride in tradition there was always a feeling of shame and we don’t talk about the past. For years I did that too and it is only recently, that I’ve even really looked at it all.
For most Europeans I think they have lost the sense of heritage, they believe their culture is rooted in Christianity and forget all about the pre-Christian era. Christ being born even changed the calendar, we call that year zero and people I think forget anything that happened BC. My interest is in these early forms of religion. Christianity post-Jesus is important and it’s still an important part of heritage and tradition, but there is more. Earlier forms of worship where more focused on experience, people were more sensitive to how much food they had access to, the weather, nature, the stars, the world that had been created for them. We have lost touch with that.
I consider myself a Christian, I don’t hate the church and I of course value Christianity’s teachings as the word of God. I just also appreciate that God created a whole world BC too and that is what I am fascinated in.
Featured photo By Man vyi – Self-photographed, Public Domain.