Welcome to the Hazel Guild website.
The Hazel Guild is a group of permaculture teachers based in Scotland.
Our main aims are to:
- Run amazing Permaculture Design Courses (PDCs) and support each other to do this;
- Further permaculture education in Scotland in:
- primary schools,
- secondary school,
- tertiary education (further education and universities)
- individual lifelong learning
To support these main aims we will:
- Support the emergence of new teachers
- Support PDC graduates to gain the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design
between us we have :
*65 years of permaculture experience.
*Taught in 18 different countries
*Arranged meetings that have attracted hundreds of participants
*Worked with 24 apprentice teachers
*Empowered the ScotLAND network on 15 sites in Scotland
*Defined and agreed the core curriculum which we are teaching, and blended that with the UK wide version.
*Met monthly for two years to agree on existing opportunities and challenges for the good of the community we serve.
We are open to new members if they:
a) hold the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design;
b) are interested in teaching the PDC;
c) are based or teach in Scotland; and
d) add to the co-operative nature of the guild.
We also aim to help anyone working towards these criteria.
Please contact James (the chair) if you are interested in working with us now or in the future.
A bit about our name
The Salmon of knowledge and the Hazel tree.
The Salmon of Knowledge (Irish: bradán feasa) is a creature figuring in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. (It is sometimes identified with Fintan mac Bóchra, who was known as “The Wise” and was once transformed into a salmon.)
Stories differ on whether Fintan was a common fish or one of the Immortals, that could be eaten and yet continue to live.
The Salmon figures prominently in The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn, which recounts the early adventures of Fionn mac Cumhaill. According to the story, an ordinary salmon ate nine hazelnuts that fell into the Well of Wisdom (aka Tobar Segais) from nine hazel trees that surrounded the well. By this act, the salmon gained all the world’s knowledge. Moreover, the first person to eat of its flesh would, in turn, gain this knowledge.
The poet Finn Eces spent seven years fishing for this salmon. One day Finn Eces caught Fintan and gave the fish to Fionn, his servant and son of Cumhaill, with instructions not to eat it. Fionn cooked the salmon, turning it over and over, but when Fionn touched the fish with his thumb to see if it was cooked, he burnt his finger on a drop of hot cooking fish fat. Fionn sucked on his burned finger to ease the pain. Little did Fionn know that all of Fintan’s wisdom had been concentrated into that one drop of fish fat. When he brought the cooked meal to Finn Eces, his master saw that the boy’s eyes shone with a previously unseen wisdom. Finn Eces asked Fionn if he had eaten any of the salmon. Answering no, the boy explained what had happened. Finn Eces realized that Fionn had received the wisdom of the salmon, so gave him the rest of the fish to eat. Fionn ate the salmon and in so doing gained all the knowledge of the world. Throughout the rest of his life, Fionn could draw upon this knowledge merely by biting his thumb. The deep knowledge and wisdom gained from Fintan, the Salmon of Knowledge, allowed Fionn to become the leader of the Fianna, the famed heroes of Irish myth.