Wake up to the Sacred: Salmon – Sacred Eucharist for NW Tribes

In Frederick (Maryland) last night, I went to see a set of Best of Films – from the American Conservation Film Festival with a friend​. Within the first film, DamNation, there was significant attention on the plight of the salmon with all the dams that block their capacity to swim upstream to spawn. It is a tragic story and the good news is that many spent dams are coming down – the focus of the film.

What struck me in the film were two things. One was that to the native peoples on the Columbia River (probably all Native people’s there who depended on Salmon so much), the salmon were their ‘eucharist‘. That is how sacred the fish were to them-the most sacred embodiment of the Divine. Imagine blocking people from entering their church to receive the Holy Eucharist. That is essentially what the creation of those dams did to the Indigenous peoples there.

The second thing that struck me is that the salmon who continue to return up the rivers (and I can’t remember which dam this was) are caught and killed by being beaten over the head. Then they are gutted open to remove the roe from their bellies. Thousands and thousands of them. The bodies are ground up for garden fertilizer, and young salmon spawned in hatcheries.

This is how the lives of these glorious fish come to an end in their majestic attempt to swim back upstream to where they sourced. Beaten over the head and sliced open…

I shake my head and wonder, once again, at the lack of any sense of the sacred and compassion and balance in the minds of those decision-makers who see the fish as nothing other than ‘things’. And the arrogance… yes, the arrogance…


Sockeye Salmon. Image from animals.nationalgeographic.com

About Mare Cromwell

Referred to as “The Voice of Earth Mother” by a gifted Shoshone elder, Mare Cromwell is a multi-award-winning author, Medicine woman/Lightworker and healer. She has also been told by another gifted elder that her work with Earth Mother is in the prophecies. Her books include: "The Great Mother Bible"; "Messages from Mother.... Earth Mother"; and "If I gave you God’s phone number.... Searching for Spirituality in America". She has studied with Native American teachers for twenty-two years and sat on the World Council for Wisdom Gatherings for three years. Mare leads workshops on our Sacred Planet-Earth Mother, Womb Wisdom and Sacred Silliness and more. She is the visionary and producer of the 1000 Goddesses Gathering in Washington DC. Mare loves to be involved in Ceremony. She is also a former worm herder. She calls Western Maryland home. www.marecromwell.com
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