The wolf is a species of Canidae native to the wilderness and remote areas of North America, Eurasia and North Africa. The largest member of its family, males average 43–45 kg (95–99 lb) and females 36–38 kg (79–85 lb). They are similar in general appearance and proportions to a German shepherd, but has a larger head, narrower chest, longer legs, straighter tail and bigger paws. Its winter fur is long and bushy, and predominantly a mottled gray in color, although nearly pure white, red, or brown to black also occur.
The gray wolf is one of the world's most well researched animals, with probably more books written about it than any other wildlife species. It has a long history of association with humans, having been despised and hunted in most agricultural communities due to its attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected by some Native American tribes. It is the sole ancestor of the dog, which was first domesticated about 500,000 years ago.
Wolves are legendary because of their spine-tingling howl, which they use to communicate. The wolf is a common motif in the foundational mythologies and cosmologies of peoples throughout Eurasia and North America. The obvious attribute of the wolf is its nature of a predator, and correspondingly it is strongly associated with danger, destruction, making it the symbol of the warrior on one hand, and that of evil on the other. In many cultures, the identification of the warrior with the wolf gave rise to the notion of Lycanthropy, the mythical or ritual identification of man and wolf.
Wolf moon is the name that the Native Americans gave to the full moon in January. Part of the reason the Native Americans chose this name was due to the howling wolves outside their villages this time of year. The full moon is a time of great power. This is a good time to work on magic related to protection, both physical and spiritual. Use this time to develop your inner self, and advance spiritually, becoming closer to the higher aspects of your deities.
Wolves feature prominently in Norse mythology, in particular the mythological wolves Fenrir, Skoll and Hati. Fenrir, a son of Loki, served a dual role in Norse mythology; as the maimer of God Tyr, and as the killer of God Odin at Ragnarok. The giant Fenrir wolf was feared and hated. Fenrir is bound by the Gods, but is ultimately destined to grow too large for his bonds and devour Odin during the course of Ragnarok. At that time, he will have grown so large that his upper jaw touches the sky while his lower touches the earth when he gapes. He will be slain by Odin's son, Vidar, who will either stab him in the heart or rip his jaws asunder according to different accounts.
Skoll was depicted in Gylfaginning as a wolf which pursued the setting sun, while Hati chased the moon. Wolves that chase the horses that drag the chariot which contains the Sun and Moon through the sky, trying to eat them. At Ragnarok, both Skoll and Hati will succeed in their quests.
Other known wolves are Geri and Freki, who were the Norse God Odin's faithful pets who were reputed to be "of good omen." It was once told that Odin and his brothers created the world. In loneliness while traveling, Odin created the First Wolves, Geri and Freki, to accompany him in his travels and to be partners in the hunt. The wolves became Odin's special companions. Wherever Odin went, the wolves went with him. Odin was also a God a battle and wisdom, and encouraged his men to fight like wolves. This was due to Odin's admiration of wolves, who fought together as a team with strength and intellect.
The wolf has a reputation which is undeserved as a fearsome creature. Most of us grew up hearing stories about the "big, bad wolf." The fact is that wolves are not really all big or bad. Wolves are just animals trying to survive in the world, just like we are. They belong to the same family of animals as the dog you may have as a family pet. There are many wolf organizations and government agencies working to both save wolves and educate people about them.
This totem imparts learning, wisdom and access to communication. Tame wolves tend to be less predictable and manageable than dogs, as they lack any alteration of their predatory behavior. But with wolf populations in danger in some areas, or others living in a urban land, a domesticated dog does make a good symbol. Both wolves and dogs are strong, loyal, protective, teamwork and have great senses.
"I call to those who went before me for guidance to travel this days path I ask those who are yet to come what this holds for me of Wolf and Man is what I seek I ask for the Wolf to be at one with the Man and for the Man to walk beside the Wolf I offer this prayer to the Spirits above and humbly ask for their divine help to live my life to the fullest and bring honor to myself and my people."