Advent Calender Day 5: A Wolf Who Wants to be Tame
Welcome to the fifth day of the Dream Well advent calendar! Today, we continue our journey into the wild places, but consider the idea of the wolf, and what if she wanted to be tamed?
I have written a general post on wolves, which is certainly one of the most popular posts on The Dream Well. It seems many people resonate deeply with the wolf symbol, so I think it is certainly worth exploring in more detail here.
We must never never forget the power of the Wolf (or indeed, any wild animal.) They exist in our consciousness as such strong metaphors for a reason. Few of us have reason to actually fear real wolves in this modern age, but in previous generations both in North America and Europe, our ancestors lived close with these animals, and while they were respected, they were also deeply feared. Wolves are clever, powerful, cunning, persistent animals. Their wiliness, persistence, strength and ability to co-operate mark them out as distinct from other predators. If we dream of such an animal who wishes to be “tamed” we must remember, that taming does not mean losing this essential freedom.
So what does it mean to dream of a wolf who actually wants to be tamed? We need to start this inquiry by taking a moment to reflect on what dreams of a wolf mean. Wolves or a wolf in dreams often represent our wild nature, that which is free, uninhibited and at one with nature. They can symbolise us at our most uncivilised, and therefore most pure. They represent our need to belong, as to a pack, or they can symbolise a threat and something we are afraid to face. What then, does it mean, if this wild side wishes to be tamed?
“Taming” in itself is a fascinating concept. What does it mean to “tame” a wild animal? No wild animal can be really tamed against its will. The idea of taming really means that the animal we once perceived as a threat will no longer do us harm… so long as the conditions of our relationship remain in place. At its essence, taming is not about behavioural control, but about trust. It is never possible to truly tame a wild creature, it will always remain inherently wild, that is its nature, its true self. If we violate the conditions of that trust, we can be assured the creature will quickly return to its “wild” ways. But a creature can appear to be tamed if we have earned its trust, if it will allow us to interact with us in safe and even playful ways. There is always a mutually beneficial relationship in such situations – there is of course the breaking down of barriers and the authenticity of the interactions, but before this occurs, there are often much more basic, simple rules laid down. In order to tame a wild animal we may offer it food, shelter, protection from harm. A creature that wishes to be tamed may seek protection, nourishment, sustenance… If you dream of a wolf who wishes to be tamed, you may be seeking to trust your own wild Self. Are you feeling you are making decisions others would view as wild, or reckless, but which you inherently believe are for the best for your self and family?
To think about a wolf in a dream who wishes to be tamed, we must put ourselves in the position of the wolf. Why do we seek this interaction with a human? What do they have to offer that is worth relinquishing, even temporarily, my wild and free nature for?
Often, the most most obvious answers are the most basic. A wild animal will befriend us when we feed it, or give it shelter. An animal who is hungry or threatened may be willing to become less wild for security. In a dream of a wolf who wants to be tamed, this may be a sign that we have been doing it hard for too long, that we are willing to start accepting the kind hand that wants to help us. But we have wild natures, and becoming “tame” may be uncomfortable. We are naturally cautious when accepting “free” support (food, shelter, emotional support or otherwise) fearing it may be a trap to lure us into a world we do not wish to be a part of. It is one thing to accept help and a free meal, it is quite another to give up the wild wolf ways and live in a cage. Dreams of being tamed may lead us to question compromise, and what we are prepared to give up in order to receive what we desire.
A wolf who wishes to be tamed in a dream may be sign of weariness, a symbol of being alone in the wilderness for too long, of having felt alone, unsupported and having to rely on the basic instincts of nature simply to get by. Wishing to be tamed may symbolise a need to let down our guard, to stop viewing the world as a hostile place and to be able to relax in a safe environment.
In my post about the dream symbol of the wolf or wolves, I referred to the role of the Wolf Mother. This is a very strong and special symbol, associated with the foundation of Rome, upon which our current civilisation is based. The Wolf Mother challenges our ideas of the wolf, for on the one hand she is the wild, fierce animal, but on the other, she is the nurturing protecting mother. In our current society, we have very few symbols of a strong, fierce, kind, supportive, nurturing mother – though most of us would be familiar with the concept. If it is a wolf mother in dreams who seeks to be tamed, this could be a sign that the She Wolf wishes to come in from the wild (for a time) in order to focus on her primary care, her offspring. In waking life this may be actual children, or a special creative or personal project(s).
In dreams, a wolf who wishes to be tamed may be a symbol of the wild nature wishing to come in from the cold, of seeking support and trust in order to relax into a more domestic and harmonious time. Any wild creature that wishes to be tamed in our dreams is usually not a sign of weakness, but a sign of seeking trust. We may seek that trust from another, but at the most basic level, we need to trust ourselves. We need to trust that we can live an authentic and free life, but still provide the basic material needs we require to be comfortable. To dream of a wolf who wishes to be tamed can be a symbol of reconciling our opposing interests, our desire to run wild and free with our need to nurture and protect something vulnerable within ourselves.
A dream of a wolf who wishes to be tamed is is a very positive sign, it is our wild nature reaching towards our conservative, domestic selves and saying “I want to work with you, I want to befriend you.” Integrating the wild with the safe is a wonderful symbol of personal growth and reconciliation. And have no fear, the “wild” is never, ever truly “tamed.” We just develop a bond of trust with it. What is wild will always remain, forever wild….
From “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
….”What does that mean–‘tame’?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”
“‘To establish ties’?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .”
“I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince…
“My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .”
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