The Navajo word for wolf, "mai-coh," also means witch, and a person could transform if he or she donned a wolf skin. So the Europeans were not the only ones with werewolf legends. However, the American tribes have an overwhelming tendency to look upon the wolf in a much more favorable light. The Navajo themselves have healing ceremonies which call upon Powers to restore peace and harmony to the ill, and the wolf is one such Power.
"The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong."
-Keewatin Eskimo saying
Native American tribes recognized the wolf for its extreme devotion to its family, and many drew parallels between wolf pack members and the members of the tribe. Also, the wolf's superior and cooperative hunting skills made it the envy of many tribes. Finally, the wolf was known to defend its home against outsiders, a task with which each tribe had to contend as well.
Some examples of the wolf appearing throughout Native American religion and mythology include the following. The Eskimos told of an old woman, Qisaruatsiaq, who was abandoned and forced to live by herself, and who eventually turned into a wolf. The Sioux called the wolf "shunk manitu tanka," or "animal that looks like a dog but is a powerful spirit." Cheyenne medicine men rubbed warrior arrows against wolf fur to bring better success in hunting. The Nootka celebrated spiritual ties to the wolf, in a ceremony whereby they pretended to bring back to life the chief's dead son, by wearing wolf clothing. The Cherokee would not kill a wolf, believing the dead wolf's siblings would enact revenge. They also imitated the wolf's walk to help ward off frostbite to their feet. The Crow dressed in wolf skins to hunt. The Mandan displayed on their moccasins wolf tails, signs of success in battle. Women of the Hidatsa tribe rubbed their bellies with wolf skin to alleviate difficult childbirth. The Cree believed divine wolves visited earth when the northern lights would shine during winter. The Ahtena would prop dead wolves up, sometimes feeding them ceremonial meals. Chippewa myths tell of wolves supplying humans with food and hides. The Delaware tribe thought a change in weather might be announced through a wolf's howl. The Hopis include Wolf as one of the Katchinas, the costumed dancers who represent the powers of the universe.
Indian creation mythology sometimes involves wolves, as in this example from the heritage of the Arikara tribe:
"In the beginning, they say, was water and sky. Here on high you could find Nesaru the sky spirit, and Wolf and Lucky-man. Below lay a watery vastness, empty, it seemed, with only two small ducks swimming about, making eternal, small ripples. Envisioning another kind of earth, with space and variety for myriad creatures, Wolf and Lucky-man asked the ducks to dive down for mud. Using his endless energy, Wolf took half of the mud to build a great prairie for hunting beasts like himself. Lucky-man, his partner in creation, built hills and valleys where the Indians could hunt and live. Last they pushed up the remaining mud into banks of a river, which you can still see, to divide their territories.
Earth was ready. Wolf and Lucky-man understood that large creatures must emerge from the reproduction of smaller, humble ones. They enter deep into the earth to find two Spiders who are meant to begin propagating the world. Imagine their disgust when they find the Spiders to be not only ignorant of the business of reproduction, but so dirty and ugly that they aren't interested in each other. Wolf and Lucky-man scrub down their charges and explain the pleasures and responsibilities of fertilization. Clean and enlightened, the Spiders give birth to earth's many creatures - the
eight-legged like themselves, the six, the four, and finally the two-legged ones."
- Cottie Burland
Perhaps the tribe with the closest of all associations with the wolf is the Pawnee, in the lands now known as Nebraska and Kansas. The Pawnee felt such a close kinship that their hand-signal for wolf is the same as the hand-signal for Pawnee. They were known as the Wolf People even by neighboring tribes. The cyclical appearance and disappearance of Sirius, the Wolf Star, indicated the wolf coming and going from the spirit world, running down the trail of the Wolf Road, otherwise known as the Milky Way. The Blackfoot tribe also called our galaxy the Wolf Trail, or the Route to Heaven. The Pawnee, like the Hidatsa and Oto tribes, used wolf bundles, pouches of skins from wolves in which to keep and protect treasured implements used for ceremonies and magic.
"The gaze of the wolf reaches into your soul." ~ Barry Lopez
Wolf song (Celtic version)
Hey, my friend, the student is now the teacher. Thank you. The eyes of truth reminds me of this video.
The Eyes Of Truth
I am a wolf,
Forced & Unexpected Change
The Red Wolf stood upon the crest of the sun bleached hill, her eyes cast across the valley spread out before her, searching, yearning to see another, such as she. Yet none came.
Where had they all gone, her Brothers & Sisters? This valley had once rung with their sweet music, washing across the rolling hills and nestling into the dips of the valley like gentle ribbons of morning mist, vibrant and alive. Now . . . the silence was thundering.
As she turned toward the setting sun, her eyes caught the sight of an approaching wolf. Red Wolf`s noble heart leapt in joy. Then she noticed this Wolf was unlike any she had seen before. The approaching figure was larger than any other clan member she had known, and all about his reddened fur, was a white light that glowed and pulsed like the fading sun. Then, as the Other One raised his head and called to her, she knew . . . she was returning Home to where her Brothers & Sisters would greet her with howls of ecstasy and joy.
The Red Wolf is now considered to be extinct in the wild, having been slaughtered by humans and robbed of their natural resources by the encroaching spread of the two-leggeds.
In 1973, the US Fish & Wildlife Service garnered protection for the Red Wolf with the passage of the Endangered Species Act. A captive breeding program was then successfully initiated to bring back the Red Wolf from the brink of complete extinction, and thus today, the population of Red Wolves has reached the near 300 mark. Perhaps through the awareness of, and the due respect of this beautiful creature, we can prevent what would be a tragic demise of a splendid and wise fellow inhabitant of Earth Mother.
***It is said that at the door of each of the Four Winds, a wolf keeps silent
vigil, each bringing change to the life of those who walk the Good Red Road and with the change, a lesson unique to that Wind.
The individual who has been blessed to have Red Wolf walk beside him/her as their Totem, can expect a life blessed with abundant change and, hence, tremendous growth, as this is the Wolf that stands at the Southern Gate.
Growth is often initiated for the Red Wolf with unexpected events catapulting the Red Soul into action. She does not assess the change in logical, controlled movements, rather she approaches these changes with instinctual timing and instantaneous decisions that lead her exactly to where she needs to be.
If Red Wolf Soul can tap into her ability to elicit positive change and growth in this life, then the full potential of her ability to Create Positive Change will be manifested.***
The heart of the Red Wolf beats strong as he gazes into the eyes of the prone female, listening to her faint cries and whimpers. His mate is dying, her physical form writhing with the currents of pain that assault her and he, Alpha male of the last surviving wild red wolf pack, is powerless to help his beloved.
Finally, the ~transition~ comes and he watches her form go still, watches as the air leaves her lungs and her chest sinks back, then watches as the sparkling mist of energy leaves the body and feels her as she moves through him on her way to the Blue Road of Spirit.
Sensing their pack leader`s grief, the other pack members gather beside him, eyes cast at the lifeless body before them as they huddle close to comfort him with their presence. Then, on some silent cue, they all raise their heads and sing a song of temporal parting to a friend, and a song of comfort to the one left behind.
***The individual with the Soul of Red Wolf is one who is profoundly compassionate, sensitive to the pain of others and will do anything within their ability to alleviate suffering. As such, these individuals will often be found in the healing professions, either in terms of "medical professionals" or as energy/spiritual healers.
One of the greatest challenges of one who has Red Wolf Totem, is to learn that true compassion comes from knowing when to assist another, and when to draw back enough that the one they are assisting can walk the Path they have come into the ~physical plane~ to fulfill.***
Red Wolf trusts that all that which she needs will be available to her, be it the prey she will eat to sustain her own life, or the shelter of the earth in which she makes her den. She knows that Nature is Kind, Loving and Provides. She has belief based upon experience that tells her her pack members will defend her if/when needed against attack. She gives love and receives love with the acceptance of one who has known no rejection, no judgment and no fear . . . she is the essence of Innocence.
***Red Wolf Totem walks with one who operates from an ~innocent~ heart, and thus, the individual blessed with this Totem is either born with an instinctual innocence, or they have come into this lifetime with one of their key lessons being that of maintaining, or re-kindling, innocence.
This is where they facilitate their primary Role of Teacher, to teach others the humbleness of Innocence, the gift of Belief and Trust. Yet in order for the Teacher to impart his Knowledge and Wisdom, he must first walk through the experience himself in full awareness and facing his own personal Truths.
To do so, and then embrace others, free of judgment for the betrayals that may have gone ~before~ . . . to come back to himself with belief that all will be exactly as it is meant to be, is the returning Home to Self, it is the ~Return to his innocense,
I have been called the Red Wolf.
Enigma. Return- To- Innocence
Wolves Are One (Lion King 2)