comment + criticism welcome
Copyright © 2012 Ray Dickenson
Celtic-Nordic, Native American, Vedic, Asian Indian - and maybe more to come?
"Indian Myth and Legend" tells that Manu - ("equal unto Brahma in glory") - spoke to and helped the stream-fish, then agreed to move it, first to the Ganges - ("favourite spouse of Ocean") - river, then to the Sea.
Soon the Fish - (now huge) - warns Manu of the coming deluge - (the World Flood) - and with his help Manu builds an Ark, saves all the seeds of Earth and, - ("with the seven Celestial Rishis") - survives the Flood.
After giving Manu all the knowledge of the future, the Fish reveals itself as "Brahma - the Lord of all Creatures".
"Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race" gives us stories of Kilhwch - ("Olwen") - descendant of Anlawdd and cousin to Bran, also uncle to Gwydion - ("Arthur").
He made many quests. In one adventure, to find and rescue Mabon son of Modron, Kilhwch had to ask advice from legendary wise animals.
First he sought the Ousel of Cilgrwri, then even older animals :- the Stag of Redynvre, the Owl of Cwm Cawlwyd, the Eagle of Gwern Abwy and finally the oldest and wisest of all, the Salmon of Llyn Llyw.
Yes, the Salmon of Llyn Llyw helped Kilwhwch rescue Mabon.
Finn, whose mother was the Danaan - Murna of the White Neck (distantly descended from / or related to Lugh, the Sun God), was the legendary captain of King Cormac mac Art
He was first-named Demna but afterwards always called "Finn - the Fair One" on account of his golden hair and clear complexion.
He fulfilled a prophecy of acquiring all Knowledge by accidentally tasting of the flesh of Fintan, the Salmon of Knowledge who dwelt in a pool of the river Boyne.
Two sisters of the people of Arnhem Land (N.
Australia) found a peaceful, fruitful island and one wished she might live there forever with no family duties or thoughts of bothersome men
The girls caught a fish and left it to cook on hot stones while they gathered vegetables to go with it, but on returning they were astonished to see the fish rising up through the trees and eventually up into the sky where it remained as a silver crescent
Some days later the crescent had dwindled to nothing and the nights were dark, and the island no longer seemed so attractive so the sisters swam back to the tribe and to the unending work `that is the lot of those who bear children'
But the fish came back to the sky, in the east, and gradually swelled until it was round and that cycle repeated over and again, as it still does today
Quote: "It is still widely believed that eating fish is good for the brain, a relic of an ancient belief in the wisdom of all fishes."
["In the USA the tench is popularly nicknamed `Doctor Fish' because of its efficacy against jaundice" - p. 195, `Cassell's Dictionary of Superstitions', edited by David Pickering 2002 ISBN 0-304-36561-0]
UPDATE Aug 2007
Recently noticed some questions on the Web, seemingly provoked by this page, asking if it's true `that fish is good for the brain'?
This new report might answer that -
Published: 16:02 EST, July 18, 2007
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report on this new finding in its June issue.
"Maternal fish consumption aids infants in problem-solving"
Hope more Fish tales to come - from Europe and N.America
We've read Elaine Morgan's explanation one & two & three which argues that we first got the possibility of brain development to full human capability by harvesting sea-food: notably shellfish (Africa) and maybe estuary and shore-fish.
In particular, the salmon's life-cycle has locked it into a pattern of returning to land-rivers and streams, easy and generous sacrifice to humanity's brain (and therefore Knowledge) needs.
If all these stories were traceable way back, we think they'd be tracked to word-of-mouth legends from long before the last Ice Age.
Maybe these "Fish of Knowledge" stories are relics of humanity's first taste of the intellectual benefit of sea-food - so their origin would be the most `Ancient of Days'.
take off the blindfolds?
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