Keynotes: Guardianship, Ritual, Loyalty, and Spirit
Cycle of power: Year round, full moons and twilights.
Contrary to public perceptions, they are friendly, social, and highly intelligent.
Their sense of family is strong and loyal, and they live by carefully defined
rules and rituals. They are the epitome of the wild spirit. Their positive
characteristics are so numerous that it is no wonder that Native Americans
nearly deify them. Many believe the true test of America's sincerity about
protecting the environment will revolve around whether or not the wolf remains
protected and is allowed to be reintroduced into areas of the country where
it has heretofore been eliminated. The wolf is the true spirit of the free
and unspoiled wilderness.
Wolves have a complex system of vocal communications. They howl, whimper, whine,
growl, and even bark. Even the howls for which they are famous have a variety
of meanings. The howls may serve as a signal to call others of the pack or
to locate the other members. They may be a social expression. They are used
to greet one another and to define certain territories. They even howl just
for the joy of it.
The alpha male and female often mate for life. Breeding season is usually in
late winter, with the female birthing about two months later. All members of
the pack show great care and affection toward the playful pups. They are extremely
tolerant. If a mother or father is unable to care for them, then another member
will adopt the young. Some wolves will even serve as babysitters. Adult wolves
are friendly and amiable towards pups, and wolf medicine teaches respect and
honor for family and for children. Wolves become sexually mature at about the
age of 22-24 months. For those who have a wolf totem, look for it energies
and influence in your life to take this same possible time pattern.
Wolves usually consume all that they capture, gorging themselves. For those
with wolf totems, this can indicate a need to make use of all that is available
to you. Sometimes wolf totems show up to remind us not to waste, as much as
to keep our spirits alive.
It has extreme intelligence. It goes out of its way to avoid trouble or danger.
Some believe that wolves even use Raven as an aerial spotter for possible food
sources. The raven has a connection to the moose in Eskimo lore, and since
Moose can be a prey of wolves, raven is linked to them as well. Ravens will
often follow wolves. They will fly ahead, land in a tree and wait for the wolves
to pass, and then fly on again. A playful behavior is sometimes displayed between
wolves and ravens. Ravens should also be studied by those with wolf totems.
Wolves have extremely keen senses, particularly that of smell. It is said to
be one hundred times greater than that of humans. The sense of smell endows
it with great discrimination, and the sense of smell has often been associated
with spiritual idealism in metaphysical circles.
The wolf also has an excellent hearing sensitivity. Its hunting depends strongly
upon its sense of smell and hearing. this would be a reminder to those with
this totem to listen to their own inner thoughts and words. The intuition will
The wolf has a capacity for making quick and firm emotional
attachments. Learning to trust your own insights and to secure
your attachments accordingly is part of what wolf medicine
teaches. The wolf can help you to hear the inner and guard
you from inappropriate actions. It will guard you as it teaches
strongly, sometimes gently—but always with love. When wolf shows
up, it is time to breathe new life into your life rituals. Find a new path,
take a new journey, take control of your life. You are the governor of
your life. You create it and direct it. Do so with harmony and discipline,
and then you will know the true spirit of freedom.
Ted Andrews, Animal Speak