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Salmon Symbolism & Meaning

Want to be a true-to-life trailblazer? Looking to be a role model of major influence for the next generation? Salmon, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Salmon teaches you methods for carving out your own life path thereby exposing you to new horizons, all while showing you blessings that stem from personal sacrifice. Delve deeply in Salmon symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can enlighten, inspire, and support you.

Salmon Table of Contents

Salmon Symbolism & Meaning

Salmon begin their lives in freshwater, move to saltwater, and return years later to their native home of freshwater for spawning, even though that trip may cover a long distance. Few other species of Fish survive in such ranges of salinity. Their behavior is a powerful emblem of cycles, determination, and adaptability. While somewhat sad, the Salmon gives their life to spawning, and in so doing, they sacrifice themselves for future generations.

Salmon live predominantly in the U.S. Northwestern coastline and Alaska. A few Salmon settle into the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes. There are six different species of Salmon in Canada, and each has a slightly different symbolism, thanks mostly to their colors.

When spawning begins, Atlantic Salmon’s skin darkens, giving them the designation of Black Salmon. Black is the hue people often associate with mystery and sophistication. The Atlantic Salmon has a fantastic sense of smell, too, alluding to the psychic gift of clairalience among humans.

Chinook Salmon, otherwise known as King Salmon, is the state Fish of Alaska. They earned the royal name because these Fish are the largest species of Salmon. They can weigh up to 125 pounds. King Salmon represent authority, power, grandeur, and leadership.

Chum Salmon are also from Alaska; this Fish spreads its fins across the broadest habitat range of all Salmon. Chum Salmon, therefore, is the embodiment of a trailblazing spirit and expansion.

Coho Salmon has the nickname Silvers. The obvious reference is due to the color of its skin and alludes to the energies of the moon. Coho’s coloring also causes it to symbolize refinement, psychic awareness, and vision.

Pink Salmon may be the smallest of the species, but they’re also the most abundant. Since this group is plentiful in their numbers, it reflects fertility. Their pink coloring gives these aquatic creatures ties to charm, playfulness, friendship, and new romance.

Sockeye Salmon are the most colorful of all Salmon, sometimes called Reds. They begin as spotted young, become silvery blue, and turn crimson and green while spawning. Red is more passionate than pink-filled with fire and energy. The variety of pigments among Sockeye represents diversity.

Scientists consider salmon a keystone species in their ecosystem. Should they disappear, the impact on the environment would be devastating. Salmon carry valuable nutrients into the ocean. Over time, the nutrients find their way to land, fertilizing water-side moss, trees, insects, and herbs, just to name a few; This is a lesson in giving our best to the surroundings in which we live. Even the smallest of efforts can ripple outward with great rewards.

Etymologists believe that the word “Salmon” came from a Latin term translating as “to leap;” This is apt when you observe Salmon heading upriver, battling many obstacles, literally leaping over rocks and rapids without anything deterring them. In Salmon’s life and ours, there are things to which we should commit and for which we should fight with all our might.

Salmon Spirit Animal

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The main message from the Salmon Spirit Animal appearing in your life is, get ready for a rough road. You are or will soon face some of the most difficult struggles ever. The conflict is not over something minor; it’s valuable and potentially priceless. Salmon swims into your life to remind you, while the odds seem impossible and you’re weary, “Don’t give up!” If you give up now, you have lost a great deal of time and energy for naught.

Or perhaps the Salmon Spirit Animal arrives in your life to announce a time of transformation. Salmon focuses intently on completing tasks and staying on track. If something is sidetracking you away from an important goal or you are tarrying too long between the end of one project and the start of the next, things are about to change.

As a creature of the Water Element, the Salmon Spirit Animal sometimes asks you to check your emotions. Are they overwhelming? Alternatively, are you holding back? Feelings are important, but sometimes they stall your progress. Restore a head and heart balance. Salmon says, “Trust your instincts.”

The Salmon is a well-traveled Animal Spirit Guide. It reminds you to stay constantly aware of, and attuned to, your surroundings. You’re missing little things that will eventually add up to big ones for boon or bane. Alongside this, Salmon points out that there is a time for everything. Your increased discernment will help you navigate life’s waters. Find the right “wave” and ride through it while remaining passionate about life.

Salmon Totem Animal

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Individuals born with the Salmon Totem Animal have deep, emotional natures. They “feel” everything on a much larger scale than many other people. Some are natural, very accurate empaths as a result. If Salmon is your Birth Totem, you may find yourself attracted to careers in health, wanting soft approaches to making people whole (like warm, soothing water). Holistic approaches to living appeal to you, and you’re someone who enjoys an environment full of calm and healthy vibes.

Working with Salmon Medicine means that you do not give up on a challenge. In your core, you feel you can find a solution, even when it seems elusive. You know that some things take longer than others to work out and have no issues with maintaining your patience. Your measured perspective here applies to your spiritual life, too. It is not a race you can base on others’ progress, but a journey you walk to the rhythm of your soul.

Throughout your life, having a Salmon Totem means luck isn’t always your friend. So, you make the most of the goodness that comes your way. To your inner circle, you seem like a person who can make a whole house out of a paperclip! Your ability to pull yourself up by your bootstraps also gave you drive and a deep sense of purpose that’s unshakable.

Salmon Power Animal

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Seek your inner Salmon Power Animal when you must make a change, but hesitate. You may be afraid, or just a perpetual procrastinator. In either case, you know this situation requires your resolve. Salmon is the perfect Power Animal for supporting you in obtaining your goal.

Call on your inner Salmon Power Animal when the transformations in your life make little sense. Understanding the reasons for change gives you greater insight for fighting the tide, or going with it, whichever is better in the long haul. Salmon helps you adjust to fast changes with grace and agility.

Native American Symbolic Meanings

Native American myths say that the Salmons are immortal humans living in villages deep in the ocean. Come spring, the people put on Salmon disguises, offering themselves as food. In honor of this, tribes returned even the tiniest fish bones and skeletons to the water, believing they would turn back into humans and rise again in the next cycle.

Offending the Salmon Spirit in any way brings terrible misfortune. Ceremonies and rituals celebrate the Salmon and honor them, sometimes depicting them as heroes. The Tlingit and Kwakwaka’wakw tribe both have Salmon clans.

Celtic Symbolic Meanings

The Celts revered Salmon as an emblem of wisdom. They trusted Salmon to know the seasonal cycle and push forward toward fulfilling its life’s purpose. When Salmons appeared in visions, the Celts said it meant the individual stopped pursuing a dream.

Irish mythology features the ever wise “Salmon of Knowledge.” The Salmon ate nine hazelnuts after the nuts fell from nine surrounding trees into its well. The nuts give Salmon the world’s knowledge.

Stories throughout Celtic realms repeat similar themes, and such lore often reveals a sense of respect for Salmon. An Arthurian legend tells of the Llyn Llyw, a great Salmon that helps in the rescue of a divine child, Mabon. Loki once tried escaping the wrath of other gods by transforming into a Salmon and leaping into a pool. When Thor caught him, it created the taper in Salmon’s tale.

Salmon Dreams

Seeing a Salmon swimming toward you in a dream symbolizes growing awareness and wisdom, sometimes even a little luck. Your life brings fulfillment, even when things seem dire. Salmon leaping in your dream means that a new opportunity approaches, making you very happy.

You may receive a job offer or a marriage proposal after seeing this fish in your dreamscape. When the Salmon in your dream swims against the current, stay your course. You need the determination to overcome adversity. Leaping Salmon in your dream, or seeing just Salmon tails, warns of predators passing themselves off as allies. If someone seems “off” take two steps back and measure things further.

Salmon in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

In the Native American Animal Zodiac, those born between July 22nd and August 22nd (Northern Hemisphere) or January 20th to February 18th (Southern Hemisphere) come under the influence of the Salmon sign. Salmon-born people know what they want out of life and continue working toward their goals even when the social currents work against them. They live by example, never expecting someone else to do what they would not.

Salmon fights bravely, facing challenges without flinching. Despite this exterior, Salmon people need assurances from those they love; this gives them a greater sense of self-trust. They are adventure seekers, and always curious, making them seem older than their current age through experience.

People who have the sign of the Salmon enjoy living on the good side of life, and financial security often comes their way. Even so, they are not greedy, always sharing from their abundance. They also have vast stores of enthusiasm that inspire all, making them good leaders.

Salmon Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Bravery
  • Cycles
  • Determination
  • Emotions
  • Goal Achievement
  • Instinct
  • Passion
  • Regeneration
  • Transformation
  • Wisdom