HOWL. Honoring our wild lessons. Becoming an “aware” wolf. This was my mindset while working with the wolf archetype recently in my SoulCollage® practice. With a little research regarding the wolf as a recurring symbol of wildness, the unknown self, the feminine, the forbidden or shadow woven into the cultural stories around the world, I found I could relate to a few its archetypal representations.
First I learned that throughout our human history of relating to wolf qualities or wolf energy (for example in warring and/or matriarchal and/or pagan and/or indigenous groups), the wolf initially appears as a positive force of encouragement, instinct, strength, protection, and power—also embodying the feminine. Its wildness is often attributed to a time when humans were “wild” in their connection to the natural world and the cycles around them, a knowledge needed to survive. Later, with early European Christian influences, the instinctual nature of this survivor grows in contrast to the struggle for human nature as we become more “domesticated” and the wolf figure emerges as a symbol of the untamed, an aggressive threat, and deceit. Its “wildness” transforms into a perverse shadow self that should be tamed or suppressed, resulting in human emotion or qualities such as anger, cunning, sexuality, or aggression for example, to be seen as punishable, savage, undesired, or forbidden expressions.
Because of its dualistic nature, the wolf can symbolize a wide variety of archetypes. With so many human-like qualities, or is it that we share so many qualities with the natural nature of the wolf, one need only peruse a short list of archetypes to begin to feel your inner wolf connection: Nurturer, Protector, Shapeshifter, The Great Mother, The Guard, The Loner or Lone Wolf, The Wild Woman/Wild Man, Wanderer, Shadow, Destruction, The Orphan Child, Deceitful One, Shaman, Messenger, Healer. These examples may reveal a glimpse into our inner wolf wisdom.
In journaling with a series of questions that brought to light some my own wolf qualities at this time, I recently created two wolf cards to give voice to these archetypes within me. The wolf card shown above evolved quickly and immediately spoke as a “Wanderer” archetype:
“I am one who is not a loner, but a wanderer. I am one who tends to veer off, away from the pack now and again, in a strong need for space, space to reconnect with Mother Earth and my spirit, and space to test my primal senses, to confirm my instincts alone—without the feedback of the pack. I am not an effortless shapeshifter, wandering between realms of the higher consciousness and spirituality, but rather I seek to stay grounded in the two worlds of my pack and my sense of self.”
It seems more recently the wolf archetype has returned—or rather now embraced—as a devoted symbol for the feminine (thank you Dr. Clarissa Estes). And an even more modern archetype has emerged for the wolf: as a keystone species to the health of our natural environments, becoming a “spokes-creature” for world-wide environmental platforms.
I discovered I have archetypes already represented by the wolf in my SoulCollage® deck, like my “La Loba” card inspired by Women Who Run With The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Immediately after creating The Wanderer wolf card shown above, an incomplete card I had been carrying around became another wolf card brought to completion:
There are other wolf cards revealed through my journaling which I plan on including in my deck as the images present themselves. I feel a sense of fulfillment by adding these latest wolf cards.
How about you, are you an “aware” wolf? Have you discovered your wolf archetypes? Which are found in your SoulCollage®deck? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
* * *