Symbol of Wildness, Social and Family Values, Intuition, Loyalty
By Ina Woolcott – original article can be found here www.shamanicjourney.com
Native American and Celtic custom regard Wolf as the way of find the deepest levels of self, of inner knowing and intuition. This is symbolized by the image of the wolf howling at the moon. Native Americans have long regarded wolves as teachers or pathfinders. In astrology, Wolf is represented by the Dog, Sirius, thought by many aboriginal tribes to be the home of the Ancients.
Wolves are probably the most misunderstood of all wild animals. Stories of cold-bloodedness abound, in spite of their friendly, intelligent and social traits. The wolf, once a much feared and hated animal, has lately become much more appreciated. They now stand a better chance of survival, where they haven’t been hunted to extinction, or near extinction, in some countries. In the USA this culling of wolfs, who are a symbol of wildness, was down to the process of taming the wilderness. Especially where farms were trying to be founded. They were seen as the enemy, especially when they ate farm animals! Perhaps nowadays people are becoming more aware that keeping the harmony of nature and its inhabitants intact is necessary as wolf’s are being reintroduced back into the wilderness in the USA. Of course, farmers are protesting profusely. On a deeper level our emotions toward Wolf reflect our muddled feelings of ourselves as humans. Although we consider ourselves ‘civilized’ we are still animals with our own wild spirit. Wolf reminds us of this, often uneasily.
The wolf, is a symbol of the night. This time can seem lonesome and scary to us. But it is also the time when through dreams, we may discover valuable things about ourselves. This is a lonely path. To truly come to understand yourself, you must be alone, undeterred by the beliefs, judgements and views of others. The wolf teaches us to learn about our inner self and to discover our inner power and strength. However, to achieve this, we must take risks and face our deepest fears. Wolf requires sincerity. Though demanding a lot of us, much is given in return; a spirit helper that is always there to help, giving us extraordinary powers of endurance. Learn to hear the voice within yourself, which in silence is as clear as the sound of the wolf howling in the night.
Wolf is also an extremely gregarious animal, enjoying the company of others. Wolves mate for life. The clan has a solid social structure, in which all adults participate in the upbringing of the young. Wolves are fiercely loyal to their mates, with a strong sense of family whilst upholding individualism. Though their clans are highly organised, they are truly free spirits. They seem to go out of their way to avoid a fight. A shift in posture, a growl, or a glance gets the point across quite readily without violence. We are reminded not to waste resources and to learn how to avoid trouble and confrontations. People with Wolf as power animal have the ability to make quick and firm emotional attachments. Trust your insights about these attachments, wolf will be there to guide you. Take control of your life with Wolf’s assistance and do so with harmony and discipline.
We can truly use wolf as an example in our lives. We can understand that there doesn’t need to be a hard separation between the solitary and social paths. Wolf teaches you to balance between the needs your family has of you and the needs you have for yourself. Wolves are totally loyal to the pack but do not give up their identity to the pack. If wolf has come into your life you are must look at where you are being too dependent and where you may be too independent.
Wolfs qualities, his medicine, are the ability to learn knew ideas and then teach them to others. Wolf is thought to be an independent explorer coming back to his pack to teach what he has discovered. We too in exploring the hidden paths of consciousness, may come across new truths to share with the rest of our clan, human beings. Wolf brings faithfulness, inner strength and intuition when he enters our lives, and also teaches us to live with ourselves.
If Wolf finds you, this may be an indication that you are a great teacher or thinker. Or if this is not so, perhaps you need to ponder whether there may be something you need to expand your mind about. Be receptive to new concepts/ideas. By doing so you can gain more wisdom. To increase your Wolf power, you can utilise your newly integrated wisdom and also share it with others. Wisdom is gained through experience, by walking the path. Another way to put it – practise what you preach.
When a lone wolf is spotted in the wilderness it embodies freedom. When seen in a pack it embodies a feel of community. If wolf appears to you alone or in a pack it is asking you to do the same within your own life.
The Wolf’s senses are highly developed. They are extremely intelligent with excellent hearing, sense of smell and strong feeling. As well as being determined animals they are also cunning. A wolfs howl is primal and penetrating. The howl is used to locate clan members or to let wolves from outside of the pack know their territory boundaries. If you hear a wolf howl, this may be telling you to stand your ground and defend your boundaries.
Wolves express themselves a lot with body language. If angry, they may stick their ears straight up and show their teeth. A suspicious wolf pulls its ears back and squints. Fear is often indicated by flattening the ears against the head. A wolf wanting to play, dances and bows playfully. Their body language is symbolic to you. Humans also uses body language to send out messages. The study of this art can increase your perception of this power animal.
Wolves hunt in packs, depending on endurance to run down weak and older animals. They have been known to cover 35 miles a day in pursuit. Wolf is a symbol of stamina and strength, teaching you to know who you are, and to develop strength and confidence in what you do.
Wolf’s medicine includes death and rebirth, facing death with dignity and courage, Spirit teaching, guidance in dreams and meditations, instinct linked with intelligence, social and family values, steadfastness, skill in protection of self and family, outwitting enemies, ability to pass unseen, taking advantage of change.