“ Animal Species: Wild Animals „
Don't you just think wolves are beautiful creatures .. I do. Growing up my mum used to collect these indian ornaments and they always had wolves in them, standing by the side of a man out hunting!! They truely are beautiful creatures. I went to the zoo last summer and they have a few captive wolves there (the reason i went) i wanted to see one in real life and not just on tv or in a picture. But to me they looked sad, and even though there was a small pack of them they all looked lonely and miserable ... i think they just wanted to be free to roam like real wolves should.
Heres some facts on wolves:~
A wolf can live in many places such as a forest, a swampy areas, deserts, artic areas, and tundras. One of the last natural habitats for wolves is Alaska. This is because Alaska is such a big place and it has everything they need to survive. Wolves need things like a lot of food, water and a lot of room to move around. Alaska also has the smallest population of people in the United States.
Wolves are carnivores (meat eaters) but they will eat other foods as well. Their diet ranges from big game, such as elk and moose, to earthworms, berries and grasshoppers. To avoid using too much energy catching their food, wolves prey on weaker members of a herd, such as old, young or sick animals. In summer, when the herds migrate, wolves eat mice, birds and even fish. They may also eat carrion. Wolves eat their food very quickly, probably to protect it from being stolen, and to decrease the chance of attack from other predators. They eat the best parts first, and come back later for the remainder, as they can't afford to be wasteful. They will hide food in the snow, or icy soil, which helps to preserve it, and protect it from scavengers. Wolves can eat every 5-6 hours when there is plenty of food available, or they can fast and live on scraps for 2 weeks when there is less food around.
Only around 10 years because they are endangered in the wild due to habitat destruction, hunting for fun, and fur pelts.They are not only killed by humans, they are also occasionally killed by other wolves and cougars for territorial claim, while the young has also been observed being killed by bears, lynxes, bobcats and coyotes.
White as Bone
Sails o'er Waters...
o'er time-darkened Stone.
Gnawing the Moon down
to a crescent rind,
Eerie voices rise and whine
along Earth's shadowed skin.
Each voice is different
yet each voice is akin.
A chorus of Uilleann pipes,
runs along the spine
like an intuitive missile...
One uilleann voice lifts above the chorus,
Complex, full-throated ...
Wisdom winding toward us...
"I will Teach you to
Sift the Winds for secrets,
to Trust your senses,
to Go Within on stalker's feet, and
Hunt down your worst enemy
within the darkness of your Soul!
At every Corner I await you...
Singing of Lessons unending
Balance between Self...
Walk in Beauty!
Follow the trail of the Relentless Hunter,
for no path may be hidden from My hunger!"
A clarinet note dragged out like smoke
smudged across the Sky
as the Stars dance within the Medicine Bowl...
Change unending I sing!
Eternal are Irony
Painful lessons and laughter I bring
to the World's vast community.
I dance to my own heart's beat.
I'll hand you Wisdom on one side
...and then fall to my own conceit!
For I am both the Illusion
And the Mirror that cannot lie.
For you, oh my den mate, I sing... and
With you I survive, or die..."
As a sunset, it fades and another voice lifts
like an oboe's sweet tones,
this Teacher's voice drifts.
"Protection, Service and Loyalty!
My songs are as varied as my breed.
Beloved by Divine, humble, and royalty...
My great heart and spirit your love will feed,
t'wixt Truth and Self
At last, the whistle-like voice does ascend
while the very dawn approaches
and pauses to attend...
"Protect the Child, both within and without,
and I will teach you how best to hide
if you have any doubts!
I run between the rim
of this World and the Others
Perhaps this is why I am hunted...
I am simply a bit more Fae than my Brothers!
The Fair Folk and I have often traded favors.
and the Shifting of shape...
Oft-times I am little more than
against a Dreamscape..."
A reedy ululating chorus once more
these Teachers call out and implore...
"All for One and One for All!
Life is the Lesson and
Family is all that holds our freedom in thrall...
We Sing Now!"
This complex set of Teachers is a poem in four parts. The first Singer here is represented by Uilleann pipes, and will be discussed first in the lengthy read below. Enjoy!
"Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your won door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything--even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees--should be your teacher." ~ Morihei Ueshiba from The Art of Peace
"Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." ~ Proverb
"Throw me to the wolves
Because there's order in the pack.
Throw me to the sky
Because I know I'm coming back."
~Red Hot Chili Peppers, Easily
Wolf packs usually consist of one breeding pair, several non-breeding adults, and the offspring of the Alphas. Wolves live approximately 13 years in the wild, begin mating around 2 or 3 and can continue to mate successfully past 10 years of age. They are known to form lifetime attachments. An average litter would be about five pups born during the Spring. Pups are cared for by every member of the pack, especially during those first six weeks when they are kept in the den. They are seldom alone during that formative time with plenty of aunts and uncles to keep them occupied, teach them a little about life, and keep them fed!
Wolf territories range from around 50 to more than 1,000 square miles. The size and general health of the pack, incursions from Man, natural disasters, the availability of prey and their seasonal movements all contribute to territory size. The pack will travel as much as 30 miles a day while hunting though, and they can reach speeds of around 40 mph over short distances!
They support a number of other species within their territory. Ravens, Eagles, foxes, coyotes, wolverines, a wealth of clean-up crew critters like flies or beetles, and even large scavengers like bears have fed off of a handy carcass left behind by a pack of wolves. The Wolf keeps herd animals, like deer or other ungulates, alert, healthy and in balance to their food supply which allows a little extra for other plant-eaters like beavers, rabbits, or rodents.
The Wolf is considered a Great Teacher who passes on the wisdom of Balance within the many Wheels of Life. For all Life is motion, movement from one Wheel to another... Seasons, duty to family, spiritual growth, government of society, learning, even sleep and simple enjoyment are all Wheels we must skillfully walk to and from on our journey through Life. Sometimes, we miss a step and land on a Wheel we weren't aiming for, or worse yet... try to stay on one Wheel for the rest of our lives, for the harder we cling to a given Wheel, the more force we are lending it to throw us off! Imagine the fuss that would cause in our lives...
"We have doomed the Wolf not for what it is, but for what we have deliberately and mistakenly perceived it to be... the mythologized epitome of a savage, ruthless killer... which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of our self." ~ Farely Mowat
"Wolves are not our brothers; they are not our subordinates either. They are another nation, caught up just like us in the complex web of time and life. " ~ Henry Beston
While science does not currently understand all the complexities of wolf vocal communications, they know that wolves' do communicate through their howls. Obvious reasons for howling? Signaling the start or end of a hunt, to raise an alarm, to locate other pack members, to warn intruders away from their territory, or even just to socialize! Wolves like to howl, and will do so more during early evening, early morning, Winter breeding and while rearing new pups. This activity gives the pack a sense of unity and community.
Uilleann or bag pipes, have a distinctive sound ranging from high to low in pitch and this instrument is capable of evoking great emotion. This made it perfect to represent the uncanny and unforgettable sound of a wolf howling in the distance. Wolves are often viewed as more dangerous than the domesticated Dog. They have been both boldly painted, and greatly misunderstood by Mankind in general. Seen as driven purely by instinct, wolf is often viewed as the ruthless killer of the young, the old and the sick, a harrier of the herds and flocks that feed us, a deadly and cunning foe, and because of this view the Wolf was hunted almost to extinction.
As settlers spread in the early days here in the United States of America, they killed off a lot of the natural food sources, and as food grew scarce wolves, and other predators, helped themselves more boldly to our domesticated animals. Ever the retaliatory breed, Mankind almost hunted the Wolf into extinction! Bounty programs offering money for wolves were in effect as recently as 1965 and the Endangered Species Act, which protected wolves as well, did not go into effect until 1973! By then, only a few hundred Gray Wolves remained in the wilds of the U.S.A. (not including Alaska where they have always thrived), and the amazing Red Wolf (Canis Rufus) is still one of the most endangered Canids in the world! By 1973, this Creature Teacher that once populated most of the American Southeast was reduced to a bare 14 captives capable of breeding!
There are only about four species of wolves worldwide: Arctic, Abyssinian which lives only in Ethiopia, the Grey Wolf which was found commonly across the northern hemisphere and was recently removed from the Endangered list, and the Red Wolf which now numbers 250 in total between the wild and those in captivity.
Many today feel that how we will choose to treat the wolf, whether or not we continue to protect the species now that it is burgeoning once more, will determine just how much we have truly learned about both ourselves, and wolf society over the years.
The family Canidae is a large one though which includes all wolves, coyotes, wild dogs like dingoes, jackals and even vulpines (foxes), as well as the estimated 400,000,000 domesticated breeds of dog found worldwide! We will discuss some of the other Canid Teachers later, and it is important for those who feel called by Wolf to examine other Canids as well as other potential balancing Teachers like: Deer, Rabbit, Mouse, Cattle, Horses, Crow, Raven, Earthworm, Grasshopper, Opossum, Skunk, Cat, and even Berries which also feed this Teacher, or the element of Earth which provides the Pack with shelter.
"No, no! "Rare" implies dangerously cooked! When I say rare I mean just let it look at the oven in terror, then bring it out to me! "
"You are as safe as... a brick-built pig house!" ~ Wolf from 10th Kingdom
"Ah, the wolf did it. Talk about profiling." ~Wolf from Hoodwinked
Curiously, our literature, films and even music will also take the fearsome qualities of a wolf and depict them as irresistibly attractive, and successful creatures. For example, Werewolves are most often depicted as both charming, very skillful, and bloodthirsty. Lycanthropes are rarely seen in a positive light though, and this fusion between Wolf and Man is a poor reflection of what the experience could really be like. For a recent example, I have been particularly impressed with the character Wolf from the mini-series "The 10th Kingdom" as he captures the dichotomy of being a Wolf quite naturally.
The actor does a marvelous job conveying a canine mentality and mannerisms in a completely natural manner. I loved how he would subtly draw in the scent of the "creamy dreamy girl of his dreams" whenever she was close, his paw-scratching-ear "Wolf's honor!" motion, and how he struggled with his mood swings during the full moon. Okay, he did almost get her Grandma into the oven, but that was before he got to know our plucky heroine.
The writers provided the framework of Wolf and his dialogue in yet another world where Wolves are commonly seen as bad guys. Actually, one of the only films that I can think of that doesn't have everyone out to kill the wolf is the 1994 film entitled simply "Wolf" starring Jack Nicholson, James Spader and Michelle Pfeiffer. A stunning work, by the way, and it too is an excellent example of the joys and sorrows that create Wolf people.
Noble, sexy, romantically gifted, and charming wolves of all sorts have been illustrated in countless films and books. Think of Tex Avery's howling wolves in zoot suits, the traditional Big Bad Wolf (especially sly and charming in the stage production, "Into the Woods") or Walter Wolf from the Animaniacs. Rudyard Kipling's Akela and The Pack have influenced countless generations of not only readers, but specifically Boy Scouts as they have been using excerpts from the Mowgli stories to teach young boys how to behave in packs for some time now. Actually, this too is an excellent example of Wolf behavior!
The "lone wolf" is also a common hero figure in many works of fiction, although wolves are most definitely social creatures. To me this is symbolic of one of Wolf's central lessons. It is the Wolf's duty to Self, Pack and Creator to venture out into the world to gather Knowledge, and then return home to share this wealth with the Pack.
Universal Pictures' 1995 canine hero, Balto, gives us a fine example of how ostracized Wolves typically feel from society in general... and how they still carry love for others within them despite the many affronts and attacks. Yet, curiously enough, the Balto immortalized in film was depicted as a wolf/husky hybrid, and the real Balto was a simple sled dog! Perhaps this is a cultural indication that our collective view of this majestic creature is changing?
All of our popular cultural references for Wolf paint very different pictures that share several positive traits and many negative ones, but ultimately all are Wolves. I've noticed lately though that these fictional wolves are starting to express their ire and impatience with all wolves being labeled as bad guys. Would you "offer your throat to Wolf with the red roses?" as Meatloaf suggests? Just why is it that we see Wolves as both dangerous and sexy? Perhaps it is their power to draw us that we find as dangerous as it is irresistible...
"Throughout the centuries we have projected on to the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves." ~ Barry Lopez
"We humans fear the beast within the wolf because we do not understand the beast within ourselves." ~ Gerald Hausman
"Even when walking in the company of two other men, I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy; the bad points of the other I correct in myself." ~Confucius
"To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul. " ~Aldo Leopold
Not everyone misunderstands the Wolf obviously, but perhaps our modern world has pushed him to the back of our technology-driven, busy city minds. Surely, Humans have empathized with the Wolf for many generations to be both so drawn and so repelled by this Creature Teacher, and I often feel as if this mirrors our own image of ourselves. Native Americans have understood and respected this wise Teacher for countless generations. We certainly can share a lot of similarities. We're both social creatures who have a strong interest in our families and home lives.
We're both highly adaptive, capable of great affection and loyalty to our pack members, and will respond in similar manners to our Alpha personalities. We both take the training, care, and time to play with our young as a very serious and often joyful duty. Also, both humans and wolves tend to be highly responsive to non-verbal cues of posture, expression, and general body language. People just aren't as aware of this as wolves, typically.
Unlike humans though, wolves can often settle any potential disputes without resorting to a physical act. Wolves take great care of their pups, and work very hard to insure the success of the Pack's future by giving all the best attention and education to their young. For Wolf people who have no mate or pups of their own, I would advise you to volunteer your time in a group or organization involving kids; become a Scout leader, coach a sport, join an organization like Big Brothers/Sisters, and you might be surprised at how fulfilling you find it!
When looking at the Wolf or any other animal as a Totem/Spirit Guide etc., it is best to start with the basic symbolisms of form/color and then the specifics of habit and how the Teacher appeared to you. Wolves have four legs which remind us to stay grounded, seek balance, and honor our connection to the Earth. Symbolically, certain physical aspects represent awareness, sensitivity, a connection like an antenna beyond the normal senses and, in some cases, to Divine energy.
Horns or antlers, hair, and tails can all represent these things. The Wolf's shaggy fur is most noticable around the neck and tail; drawing notice and implying importance to the throat and root chakras. The throat chakra is the center for our will and directly relates to how honestly we express ourselves to others, as well as how honestly we relate to ourselves. The loose skin and thick fur of a wolf's throat are protections, and this Teacher would love for us to pay far more attention to this chakra in our lives. If we aren't aware and well-balanced in matters of Truth, how will protect ourselves, learn or grow properly? Singing, often a community activity with this Teacher, is a wonderful way to stimulate an underactive throat chakra. Are you having trouble finding the right words to express yourself? Do you find yourself trapped in a cycle of negative expressions, verbal dominance, or criticism? Perhaps this Teacher has appeared to help you find a better balance in this area!
Tails are representative of the Root Chakra, and their uses by a specific Teacher will offer further insight. The Wolf uses his tail much differently than say the Beaver, although Balance is a common theme to tails. Wolves, like the other Canines, use their tails for balance and sometimes to aid in retaining warmth, like the Fox or Husky who drapes their fluffy tails over their noses like a blanket. Primarily, the Canines use their tails as a means of communication though; to indicate mood or intention. So, in the case of the Canine Teachers, we are asked to explore the study of body language as well as working on maintaining a proper Balance in all aspects of our lives (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc), and keeping our Root Chakras healthy.
I find it useful to use my tail as a visual aid, and the most common use for this is to help one feel grounded. I can actually feel that it is a greater effort to visualize this in a strong and effective manner at times when my root chakra is imbalanced, like after an 8 hour shift standing at work! This chakra actually governs our ability to be grounded, to be present in the here and now, to nourish ourselves in a healthy way, to satisfy our Inner Being, our sense of survival, sense of trust, feelings of security, relationship with money home and job, and also reflects our connection to our physical selves, our birth mother, and our Mother Earth.
When this Chakra is balanced we feel grounded, vibrantly alive and aware, healthy, full of energy, and this is when we are most likely to manifest abundance in our lives. When our Roots are blocked we suffer from low self-esteem, insecurity, depression, paranoia, we feel unable to achieve our goals, or even suicidal! When our Roots are over-productive we become egotistical, greedy, domineering, and our sexual energy becomes unhealthy. Chronic lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal tumors, depression, immune related disorders, drug addictions, arthritis, and serious issues with the spine, kidneys, legs or feet are all examples of physical dysfunctions that relate to an imbalanced Root Chakra.
Visualizing your tail glowing a strong healthy shade of red, the color of balance for this energy point, is helpful during meditations, or you could try a soothing hot bath with a red-tinted bath product. For whatever reason, I have always imagined my tail to be like that of the brushy red fox. Physical activities like dancing, walking, horseback riding, or even house cleaning and cooking are all useful in balancing or energizing this chakra. Involving yourself with the element of Earth with activities like gardening, going barefoot into grass, getting buried in sand or leaves can be used. Protein rich foods, root vegetables and spices like horseradish, paprika, chives, cayenne or pepper are also stimulating to this Chakra. "All is One" is a truth held by the Root Chakra, and the concept of everything in Life being connected, that our choices and beliefs exert influence on all of Life is very much a Wolf lesson.
For a little more basic information about chakras...
"The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. ~Robert Maynard Hutchins
"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack" ~Rudyard Kipling
According to most Native Traditions, it is the nature of Wolf to travel out in each direction, learn the Wisdom held there, and then return to the Pack to share what has been learned for the benefit of all. The obvious directions, South, West, North and East, hold lessons on: self-reliance, developing and learning to trust ones own keen instincts, recognition and reverence of Creator and the divine spark of Spirit or Soul, learning from the mistakes of the past and carrying the best lessons (both our own and our Ancestors) forward into the future, respecting our Elders, finding and maintaining a balance between our Physical and our Spiritual selves, and, most importantly, sharing all that has been learned and experienced.
It is said that there is a Wolf who guards the door of each of the Four Winds, and each direction holds a different set of Lessons to be learned. I've written here about what I have heard of Wolf in regards to this story, but the best advice I can give anyone seeking to connect to any Teacher is always to research, meditate and find your own unique connection for yourself!
Arctic Wolf would be the obvious guardian of the North Wind, and he teaches us how to sift through our experiences for the Wisdom to treasure, as well as how to fashion that Wisdom into a useful course of action in life. It is important here to both be flexible in the face of Change and Adversity, and to remain true to our values and higher purpose. That which doesn't kill us does, indeed, make us stronger. Arctic Wolves survive amazingly harsh conditions by being adaptable, tenacious, resilient, creative and bold. While they can make it look easy, it is by no means an easy balancing act and running to any extreme can bring an abrupt and harsh end to everything!
Capable of incredible stamina against seemingly insurmountable odds, such people will pull themselves up by the bootstraps time after time...learning, adapting, and setting their sights on new horizons each time they pull through the last bout of Adversity. Perhaps the most valuable lessons the Arctic Wolf can teach though is the vital importance of caution and conservation. Knowing when to be bold and in what measure is even more important than the ability to be bold in the first place! This Wolf knows, better than most, that sometimes it is more important to conserve energy, to retreat and revitalize ones self while waiting for a better opportunity.
Gray Wolf stands at the door of the Western Wind. Gray is a color of neutrality; a conservative color, it is closely linked with sorrow, moodiness, temperance, uncertainty, and intelligence. West is the place of water and all it symbolizes, wisdom brought from across the Void, and represents the door or bridge between ourselves and the Universe. Those that follow this path are personalities that see everything in life as a lesson and try always to improve themselves through the lessons they have learned. Change and opportunities to grow are always present in the lives of those who follow this Teacher. The trick is to recognize and then work with the natural cycles, like Seasons, in ones own life. Adapting to change is vital to Gray Wolves.
Foxes are very distantly related to Wolves, and like other near relations of these Canids, should be studied by those interested in this Teacher. As all Canids are related, so too I can see reflections of myself in each of them. For example, my email id since I first plunged into the Internet has been eternal chaos inc., because I have long recognized Change is the only constant in my life... and I also know that at the heart of chaos is a kernel of order. Chaos being both eternal and necessary to incorporate into life started as a joke between friends, but I can't help laughing, even now, at the countless times I have bumped up against this same lesson as time goes by.
Rather than worrying about the unknown variables of present or future though, it is best to simply accept that what will be will be. There will be Change, of that you can be certain, just as you can be certain that we will all make mistakes or be blindsided from time to time. Better to focus on finding our best path to future events by making the best choices in the present that we are capable of making. After all "change comes from within" and ultimately it is our choices that will determine where we go in life. Set reasonable and clear goals for yourself. You'll be happier and so will everyone who loves you!
Gray Wolf people recognize that all Life is sacred and work to protect Life in many ways. Some actively participate in, or support groups that protect and preserve the world around us. Some volunteer time at animal shelters, wildlife rescue organizations, forestry agencies, neighborhood clean-ups, community oriented drives and activities, or simply do their best to recycle and conserve in day to day life.
Wolf also teaches us that Loyalty is of great importance. Wolves are one of the few in the animal kingdom that mate for life and even the bond between pack mates is strong enough that one will lay down their life in defense of the others. So... Listen to your instincts, follow the rule of three (As in, three strikes and you're out!) without exception, and do your level best not to blind yourself to the faults of others simply because you love them.
In the end, we save ourselves incredible soul and heartache by letting a disloyal or destructive person go, no matter who they are to us, rather than holding on to them out of our own fierce sense of loyalty or love. I spent a lot of years learning this, most painfully at times, and hopefully I have well and truly learned my lesson this time. I still feel that I struggle against myself more than anything else in life, especially in this area.
Gray Wolf seeks constantly to balance Reason and Intuition. Indeed, such people are either drawn to others who seem to them to walk a firm balance between these two traits, or they are drawn to those who struggle with this balance. Uncertainty, moodiness, snappish or erratic behavior, sorrow/depression, self-indulgence (especially in a sensual way i.e. through food, uncontrolled emotions like rage or jealousy, sex, etc), and choosing to isolate one's self as opposed to enjoying periods of solitude are all signs of unbalanced Wolf energy.
"Modern cynics and skeptics... see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing." ~John F. Kennedy
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." ~William Arthur Ward
"The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind." ~Kahlil Gibran
The Red Wolf is a survivor of the Ice age and (late) Pleistocene epoch. She stands at the door of the South Winds; home of the creative fires of life, passion, fertility, and courage. This magnificent Creature Teacher teeters now on the brink of extinction because of the predations of mankind. This is a great sorrow to me as this is such a compassionate and creative Teacher.
Red is also the color of passion, life, creativity and courage, as well as the color of a properly balanced Root Chakra. Those called by this Teacher have the greatest potential to become the quintessential Wolf. Looked at another way, this means they are also the most challenged by abundant Life lessons! Balanced Red Wolf people would do well to follow their strongly developed Intuition without question. Once you start questioning yourself, it's hard to stop! Red Wolf holds the Wisdom of the Compassionate and Innocent Heart. Red Wolf people tend to be very creative and artistic, and one can easily see the influence of their strong Intuition reflected there. They also tend to be very passionate individuals with a great willingness to shower others with compassion, to be trusting of new people. Such people should watch their impulsiveness and be careful of their tender hearts.
In general, Wolf people probably vary widely in their success at seeking to balance Reason and Intuition. Both are valuable, both should be nurtured, but neither one should take precedence in my opinion. Personally, I find that I struggle not to let Reason limit my Intuition. Like many, I am often my own worst enemy and second-guess myself far too often.
I do not know, according to this tale, which Wolf stands at the East door of Enlightenment. My own intuition says that We are the Wolf that stands at the door to the East, for this is the place of New Beginnings with the sun rising like molten gold over the horizon. Here is where Wolf begins the journey of discovery by following the motion of the wheel South, West, North and then finally returning to the pack and family in the East as an illuminated Teacher to share all that has been learned and complete the sacred circle. Eagle is the Spirit Keeper for that direction on a Medicine Wheel, and the Golden Eagle is still used in falconry to hunt wolves and foxes. An excellent balancing energy, Eagle brings lessons on clarity.
"A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not." ~Author Unknown
"Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success." ~Author Unknown
"Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it." ~Bill Bradley
Knowledge begins with Awareness, and peace begins with Balance. These are inextricably bound lessons essential to Wolf people. To all Wolves, it is the Pack that takes precedence over any other consideration. Two-legged Wolves need to be aware, need to look within and around them with clear eyes to be good pack members. "Know yourself" is a good maxim to keep in mind, both flaws and strengths, for if we are dishonest with ourselves, how can we clearly see anything else in life?
Likewise, we need to really know those we consider "pack mates". In a successful pack, everyone knows their place and can rely on the others to do their part. Being a team player, looking out for the welfare of your fellows, and feeling secure in their abilities, knowing how they will respond, brings contentment to Wolf far more than pushing for the Alpha position. The famed Canine sense of Loyalty makes it especially important that we be ware whom we deem worthy of loyalty.
In any event, a true Alpha does not lead because he/she is stronger, fiercer, bigger, or better at throwing their weight around. A true Alpha, Canid or human, leads by consensus of the pack because... in the eyes of the pack, the Alpha exemplifies all that the pack strives for and has all the qualities needed to bring success to the pack. A leader is born, not made, and the best man for the job is usually the one who doesn't want it! As Joel Rosenburg said, "Wanting to rule as opposed to being willing to govern is evidence of a diseased mind."
Wolf understands this better than perhaps any other, and this is what makes aware and balanced Wolves such wonderful leaders and great Teachers. For every Wolf knows that someday, they may have to lead the pack and all that they strive for is to be worthy, whatever their position within the pack. I wonder how many "dog people" out there have found or expressed their connection to the Canid Teachers through their pets?
My favorite story about Wolf is often attributed as a Cherokee tale... An elder is teaching his grandson about life.
"A fight is going on inside of me," he says to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thinks about it for a minute and then, eyes round, asks his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee replies, simply, "The one you feed the most."
Wise words and very true! I love to share this cautionary tale with kids. There have been plenty of times in my own life where I've had to remind myself, "Don't feed that one!" According to the Lakota the seven virtues everyone should strive for are: Generosity, Truth, Humility, Faith, Kindness, Hope and Joy. Wolf, as the Great Teacher, can help us find the path to each of these virtues.
Wolf people should beware gorging their appetites. Allowing anger, lust, gluttony or any similar emotion to rule you is always unwise but perhaps especially so to Wolf people as it can give one a false sense of power or contentment. Controlling one's instinctual impulses, like our sex drive, is often an issue with Wolf people somewhere along their path. Be especially careful who and what you invest your faith in. Loyalty is a theme that can be found running through all of the canine banners, and it is an important issue to all those who are drawn to any of these Teachers. Wolf people often struggle to find a balance between their individuality and their genuine care of and concern for others.
It is very important for Wolf people in general to feel "needed" and to actively contribute to the Greater Good, but it is just as important that these social souls remember to take time for themselves, to contemplate in quiet solitude and reflect upon the needs and lessons of self, family, community and the World in which we all live. Personally, I know that if I don't make sure to spend at least a little time purely by myself on a regular basis, I definitely begin to feel off-balance, depleted, and less capable in every aspect of my life. Many people in life actively fear solitude and even silence, which I had never really understood as quiet time alone is how I best replenish and revitalize myself.
Some of my most painful life lessons have revolved around another common problem that many Wolf people face. All Canines are rather sensitive souls. This means both sensitive to the world around us, which can be very beneficial, and sensitive to how we are treated by others, which is not so beneficial. The more we feel "driven into a corner", the more likely we are to be overly defensive too. This is when most folks, four-legged or two, are at their most dangerous. Sometimes the harsh nature of Life's lessons can drive us into feeling like we would rather remain aloof from society, build up a protective wall between us and others.
"I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire! Why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" ~William Shakespeare Hamlet
During the year 2006, for the first time in my life I was so battered by painful life lessons on loyalty and balanced root chakra, I actually looked around me at my fellow humans and was shuddering in very real revulsion and fear. At that point, I would have seriously contemplated removing one of my limbs rather than come in any closer contact with people in general. This was just a reaction though to the pain that this last lesson caused me, and I chose not to harbor or nurture these emotions, so they eventually faded. Like the Wolf, Coyote, and Fox that have been pursued and hunted so vigorously, and like the Dog that has been beaten or abused until it's great Spirit has been broken... I've been shy of people since and still struggle sometimes not to either retreat, burst out in emotions or become overly defensive. I still have to remind myself that any interaction between myself and others is not a trap from which I have to escape at all costs.
Healing takes time though and I'm trying to be patient with myself. I don't want to feed that Wolf. I never have, and have worked my whole life to spread positive emotions and values with an optimistic attitude by living what I believe. Wolf, and all the Canine Cousins, have taught me a great deal, and I am grateful... even for the painful lessons. After all, I'm far less likely to forget them, and they probably would have hurt a lot less if I hadn't resisted them so!
In Native Tradition, those born between February 19th and March 20th are born under the Wolf Moon. Wolf is placed in the North, the place of Ancestors Compassion and Wisdom, on the Medicine Wheel. Sacred to Apollo, Odin, Mars, Brighid, Wepwawet/Upuaut/Ophis better known as the "Opener of roads", Holda, Skoll, Fenrir the Wolf of Chaos and son of Loki, and Rumina the She-Wolf of Rome whose temple was erected at the foot of Palatine Hill in remembrance of the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus. Sometimes this wolf was depicted as an ordinary creature, sometimes as the goddess herself, and believed by some to be the wife of Faustulus, a shepherd to the king. Rumina, Lupa, Luperca and Acca Larentia seem to be interchangeable from this end of history, and Lupercalia was an ancient fertility festival dedicated to this deity that translates as simply "Wolf Festival". It was held from February 13-15th and may actually pre-date the Roman culture.
A few possible balancing energies would be: other canines, trees, felines, deer, rabbit, mouse, moon, sun, north wind, buffalo, sheep, raven, and crow. The Wolf has made us shiver in the dark with his eerie song, lured us out into the moonlit night, and inspired us with his many skills. Noble, sensitive, passionate, always learning, always changing, compassionate, skillful scout, guardian, and relentless hunter... How does Wolf appear in your life?
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." ~Albert Einstein
"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
"These things I warmly wish for you.. Someone to love, some work to do, a bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer, and a guardian angel always near." ~Irish blessing
"Wolf is the Grand Teacher. Wolf is the sage, who after many winters upon the sacred path and seeking the ways of wisdom, returns to share new knowledge with the tribe. Wolf is both the radical and the traditional in the same breath. When the Wolf walks by you - you will remember." ~ Robert Ghost Wolf