Wolf Medicine

Keynotes: Guardianship, Ritual, Loyalty, and Spirit

Cycle of power:
Year round, full moons and twilights.

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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 be strong.

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 you—sometimes 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


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