When understanding the endlessly captivating beings that are wolves, we must take into account the roles they serve for us on the Universal level. Many are entranced by their majestic fur and the deep wells that are their eyes, but little do most know that they are some of the greatest teachers.
Among my people -The Mohawk tribe of the Six Nations- wolves were respected and seen as teachers for life and death. They exhibit grace when making a kill or howling to one another, raise their young dutifully and are loyal to their mates for life. Tribes were also envious of the wolves ability to defend their home territory again outsiders with ease and efficiently.
The Keewatin Eskimo saying, “The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.” speaks of this animals part of the balance of life and of the give and take that has to happen for the cycle of the universe to continue.
This is so as the wolf only preys on sick, old or stranded caribou, picking off the weak so the strongest generations live to pass their genes on to offspring. Born from this sense of respect and envy came many practices, rituals and titles for these beings, one title being “shunk manitu tanka” which for the Sioux Tribe meant “Animal that looks like a dog but is a powerful spirit.
” With a wolf as a spirit animal / power animal, this gracious being comes with a nurturing aura, love for teaching, seeking ones personal power, and honing our animal instincts to be closer to understanding our true selves.
I notice many assume wolves are vicious or violent beings, when in reality they are family loving, chatty animals who avoid conflict unless they feel forced to stand their ground. This totem gives one a innate power and desire for freedom of all kinds. Connected to Nature and the rhythms of the Universe itself, people with wolf totems are deeply passionate about this world and making a positive impact upon it. In other mythology such as Celtic, wolves are an emblem of bravery, faithfulness, and integrity. The wolf was a guide and often seen with the God of the Forest, Cernunnos.
This reinforces that many older beliefs understood wolves and their part in the Universe, to teach and balance oneself, trusting your instincts and power.