By: Orly Niran Yahalom
Popular myths about wolves, from Three Little Pigs to Little Red Riding Hood, portray the wolf as a vicious and manipulative animal.
If you were asked which animal you would prefer not to meet in the woods – a doe or a wolf – your answer would most likely be “wolf”. Interestingly enough, you are wrong. First, the wolves themselves prefer to avoid contact with humans and will go to great lengths to do so. Secondly, deer that have youngsters are extremely aggressive and will mercilessly attack you at the slightest sense of threat.
The imagery of the wolf with which we are familiar originates from European culture and does not reflect reality. The concept of “a lone wolf” is also inaccurate since wolves always live in packs. They are social and hunt co-operatively as a pack. Each pack of wolves has an Alpha male and Alpha female, yet this does not imply that they rule the pack. Although they have authority, it does not diminish the uniqueness of the other wolves. Each wolf in the pack knows its status in relation to others and expresses itself.
When the Wolf appears as a totem animal, it signifies that you are gifted with the ability to guide others and share knowledge. You are an innate teacher. The gift of sharing is based on honest and clear communication. In addition to verbal communication, Wolf people learn to express themselves through body language. Wolves communicate with each other using a complex system of howls, growls, motions and expressions. Each head movement, howl, swing of the tail and look has precise meaning that transmits a specific sense of feeling to other pack members.
The Wolf is familiar with the woods and can always find for you paths you never knew existed. He is a guide, a path finder. The archetype of the woods symbolizes our subconscious: a place which appears to us as dense, dark, enchanted and mysterious. This is the realm of the sharp-sensed Wolf that operates from wild and intuitive drives and celebrates full moon nights, howling praise to the moon. Wolf totem enables the uncovering of the unknown through development and refinement of the senses; fur hairs enable extra-sensory perception. The Wolf’s fur is composed of two layers: the external layer is made up of stiff strong hair that protects from water and filth, while the lower layer is thick, wooly and thermal. The Wolf has a highly developed sense of smell that also operates on metaphysical planes, as well as an excellent sense of hearing. Wolf people must be attentive to their inner voice and rely on gut feelings, even when reality tells them differently. The Wolf’s sense of sight is not so keen, identifying mostly movement and some of the colors.
In Jamie Sams and David Carson’s “Medicine Cards” book, the wolf is described as “the forerunner of new ideas”. The Wolf totem requires us to assert our unique point of view in order to attract processes of growth into our lives. This is an inner commitment to ourinner creative powers.
In her book “Women Who Run with the Wolves”, Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes our affinity to the wolf as the ability to live our deep instincts – a life that is not always persistent in the doing but rather in the perception of reality and a sharp perception of the alternating truth, a life that has flexible thought, creativity and survival capabilities of the soul. The Wolf teaches us to balance the needs of the soul with the need for security and framework. Wolf people need a framework since sharing is at the heart of their being. The need for community and mate, in particular, is a strong motif in their lives. Wolves are monogamous and live with one mate throughout their lives. The Wolf totem awakens our need to find a partner with which we can share our life for a long period of time. Sharing all fields of interests with their partner is essential to Wolf people – they are very loyal and familial and social values are of great importance to them. The need to find the right person requires deep knowledge of the wild side of our soul. Only from this position can we discover our true needs. Wolves reach maturity at the approximate age of two years old, hinting at the significance of the number two and a period of two years for the maturing of internal processes for Wolf people. (Number two also relates to the frequency of the moon and cooperation). If you find yourself without a partner even though you have Wolf as your totem, this means that you still have not discovered what you truly need for your relationship in the Wolf Way. Sometimes, the Wolf tells you to spend some quiet time on your own so you can identify your inner teacher and thus learn about your unique abilities.
The Wolf teaches a lesson of pure and miraculous truth. A person who is willing to give up their clear-cut perception of surface reality and follow the Way of the Wolf by relying on their gut-feelings surrounded by silver rays of the moon that light hidden corners of the sub-conscious will gain the wondrous gifts magic and healing based on inner intuition.