by Jennifer Dodge
January’s full moon is often referred to as the Wolf Moon. Since this moon brings the wolf into our consciousness, let’s take a few moments to explore the meaning the wolf has in your life. Nature can be a wonderful teacher and healer, if we allow ourselves to be open to her messages.
When you think of wolves, what emotions stir in you? What do they represent to you? The wolf has many attributes. Notice which of them stand out. The wolf may mean something different to each person, but within your initial reaction to it, there is likely an important lesson. Does the wolf evoke fear in you, for example? When something triggers a strong emotion, it can be healing to learn why.
Wolves are widely depicted as symbols of the untamed wilderness. They have an opportunistic nature, and prey on the weak, so they are frequently cast as villains in folklore and movies. The stories evoke the fears that hide inside the shadows of our collective unconscious, which are projected onto the wolf so that we can see them outside of ourselves, in order to confront them. Perhaps it’s the fear of entering the unknown and unpredictable wilderness of our own minds, and of confronting the dangers we find there.
Wolves give form and expression to those wild parts of our subconsciousness that seem untamable. They can represent the potentially uncontrollable natural world. The wolf, being such a strong and adept predator, brings our own weaknesses and mortality into focus. They reveal the places we don’t trust our instincts. The wolf reminds us we are afraid to step off the trail alone and forge our own paths into unknown territory.
What if we could channel the positive traits of the wolf to help us confront our fears and conquer them, instead of giving in to them? The wolf is fearless, and has great stamina and strength, which allows it to live in freedom and power. Wolves are also known to have very good instincts; they make a quick decision and follow through without the fear of failure stopping them. They have the support of strong social bonds to fall back on but feel comfortable straying from their pack.
How is your fear holding you back from living in power and freedom? Allow the wolf to help you explore your inner wilderness. Confront the shadows inside yourself that you’ve been hiding out of fear.
Wolves command respect. Challenge your inner sheep and allow yourself to wander away from the herd. Trust your own instinct, rather than relying on the words and beliefs of those around you.
Embrace your inner wolf and attack your fears relentlessly.
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Photo credit (top): Joanne Delabruere