I have loved animals as far back as I can remember. I played with my "imaginary" animal friend as a child, not knowing at the time what a power animal was. I had vivid dreams and visions throughout my life. I also felt drawn to different animals at different times in my life and when I found out about power or spirit animals, I finally understood why. Reading up on those animals and then going on shamanic journeys and meditations afforded me the entry point into the world of animals on a spiritual level. The reason I prefer the term power animal to spirit animal is simply because it feels more grounded and manifested to me. You are, of course, welcome to use whatever term you like; power animal, spirit animal, animal guide...You choose. The important thing is to have a strong, loving connection and to trust and ask your animal to teach you and share its wisdom with you.
Wolves are social animals. They live in nuclear families, which means, a mated pair and its adult offspring. The average pack consists of a family of five to eleven animals (1–2 adults, 3–6 juveniles and 1–3 yearlings), or sometimes two or three such families, with exceptionally large packs consisting of up to 42 wolves have been known to exist or still do. In ideal conditions, the mated pair has pups every year, with their offspring typically staying in the pack for 10–54 months before leaving. Triggers for dispersal include the onset of sexual maturity and competition within the pack for food.
Wolves are apex predators, which means, there are no predators hunting them, so they are on top of the food chain. Wolves are canine and inhabit remote areas and wilderness in Eurasia and North America, but sub-species can also be found in other parts of the world, like Africa. Only humans and tigers pose a serious threat to them.
Wolves feed on larger vegetarian mammals, smaller livestock and, thanks to human wastefulness, garbage. Due to the fact that they prey on livestock, they have been despised and hunted to the point of near-extinction in many areas of the world. In other cultures, however, they are respected and revered. Wolves, when non-rabid, don’t usually attack humans, are they are very shy creatures who have developed a fear of humans through being hunted. Attacks on children have happened but are extremely rare occurrences.
The Grey Wolf, the largest of all his kind, has been the best and most widely researched mammal on earth and countless books have been written about him. I encourage you to read further if Wolf is one of or your main Power Animal. Most of my life, I had had only feline Power Animals that stayed with me throughout my life thus far or for longer periods, like several years or even decades.
When I suddenly started dreaming of wolves and saw them all over the place in social media posts, on TV or in paintings, wherever I turned, I was quite helpless at first because I didn’t even have a close relationship to dogs – or any canines for that matter, dogs being the most accessible in our urbanised society, as many people have them for pets.
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Care & Compassion
I had to do a lot of research, basically starting from scratch, because I felt, in order to best learn from this beautiful Power Animal’s wisdom, I could best understand it by getting to know better the real-life animal and its traits, characteristics and way of life first. Unsurprisingly, I found myself spending a lot of time reading page posts and website entries, as well as books with a Native American, often shamanic background and discovered a whole new world.
Where felines, apart from lions, are more likely to live alone or at least, do their own thing very much, being very independent, wolf, with all his power, showed me the benefits of acting as a team, a family. It was around the time my son, my firstborn, started to grow into a teenager and our relationship transitioned in that respect as well, closely followed by my middle one, his three years younger sister. With my youngest one, who was born five years after her elder sister, we were very much comparable to a wolf’s nuclear pack family during these last few years.
Wolves defend their territories from other packs through a combination of scent marking, direct attacks and howling. In this way, Wolf teaches us to draw clear boundaries for ourselves and loved ones. Being a monogamous and faithful mate, he also teaches us loyalty and fidelity similar to the related Power Animal Dog.
Wolves also practice alloparental care, which means, they don’t only take care of their own young, but also adopt cubs from others parents when those through death or separation are unable to care for their young themselves. Thus, Wolf teaches us to care not only for our own families but also be personally caring about those who need our help and cannot help themselves who are not close to us through personal familial ties or those of close friendships.
We are asked to look at the wider picture and held to take personal responsibility, not only for ourselves and those closest to us alone but also for other members of our society who are in need of help. For example, we might get involved with projects at our children’s learning institutions, child adoption, or helping out an elderly and or handicapped neighbour, volunteer as a trainer or tutor for the disadvantaged or take up a profession in which we personally help individuals in some form.
Wolf is also very protective of their children and pack. He is often a Power Animal of warriors, soldiers, and people working in security. He teaches us that we are always protected and safe when we trust our intuition. This helps especially when we find ourselves in situations that have us confused and unable to find a positive solution or see the next step on our path, the right direction to take.
In my romance novel Christmas in Montana, the male MC Ace is protective of and caring towards the female lead Sutani who is injured and Ace wins her affections by his gentle care and making sure, she is alright, rather than trying to flirt with her as his friend does. In turn, she takes him to meet the wolves she takes care of professionally in the West Yellowstone Wolf & Bear Sanctuary.
When you connect with the Spirit and energy of Wolf, through meditation or a shamanic journey, for example, Wolf is a wonderful guide to show you the way and encourages you to follow your inner guidance, rather than cling to emergency solutions that are more band-aids to symptoms, rather than addressing the root causes of the situations we find ourselves in. The crux of the matter here is to develop trust, in our own intuition and the innate kindness and helpfulness of others.
Freedom & Passion
Admittedly, there are some bad apples about, but the majority of people on this planet, individually, are kind and helpful. When we adjust our energies accordingly, expecting and visualising interaction with others being positive with an innate trust that we are safe and taken care of, we will draw these experiences more and more into our manifest reality and life experience.
Wolf is also a very intelligent creature and his energy is one that encourages dealing with matters in an intelligent and well thought through manner, rather than acting out of misguided panic or other strong emotions. When we feel anxious and cannot think clearly, drawing on this archetype’s energy will bring clarity, calmness and foresight when dealing with the issue at hand.
As opposed to dogs, wolves are not easily domesticated and live wild. They have a strong taste for freedom and follow their instincts. Wolf as a guide can teach you to express yourself more freely and live life to the fullest with passion. He will show you that following your intuition will make for a much more fulfilled life than playing it safe and having a life that is only half lived.
Wolves play a central role in mythology the world over, such as Romulus and Remus, the founder of Ancient Rome, Artemis/Diana, Leto, the mother of Artemis and Apollo, the Norse deities Odin and Skadi, the Irish Celtic Morrighan, Mars, the Ancient Greek King Lycaon, and many different Native American myths also relate to Wolf.