The Many Aspects of the Wolf in a Dream
The meaning of a wolf in a dream will depend very much upon your own feelings and personal experiences. Feared, maligned, misunderstood, yet also worshipped and revered, the wolf is a potent symbol through-out much of Europe and North America, and now thanks to cultural diversity, through much of the world. Wolves star in folklore and fairy-tales from many generations ago, and still capture our imagination through popular films and television today.
A wolf in a dream may be scary, threatening and vicious, she may be noble, protecting and wise, or maybe something else entirely – mysterious, elusive, wild. To understand the meaning of a wolf in a dream, we can start by understanding the wild nature of these animals, and the very attitudes that society has to them can reveal much about our own wild selves.
The Wolf as a Symbol of Wildness
Wolves in dreams can represent all that is wild and “uncivilised” about ourselves. This can be a scary thing to confront. What is wild in our polite and safe day-to-day existence can damage, hurt and upset. But what is wild can also free, excite and release. Wild can be untamed and bad mannered, but wild can also be pure and uncorrupted.
Understanding what it means to be wild to you will help you understand the meaning of a wolf is a dream for you personally. Consider not just how you feel about the wolf, but how do you feel about the wilderness and wild things in general?
Sometimes the meaning of wolf in a dream is to guide you to find your true, authentic nature. This may come up if you fear revealing yourself because of pressures to conform. Other times a wolf dream will be a warning that you are behaving too wildly, that you may be threatening something else that is important to you.
Wolf Behaviour in Dreams
The behaviour of wolves in their native environments can give clues as to why you might be dreaming about them. Do you long to feel isolated of lonely, and wish you were part of a group? Perhaps you seek the support and kindred spirit of a pack. A wolf in a dream can be exploring the role you think you play in society. This can be around themes of belonging or feeling outcast. A wolf in a dream may also be about leadership. Do you feel ready to step into a leadership role? Or do you need to become a better team player and work with the rest of your “pack”?
Do you feel a need to protect something that is important to you? The fierceness of a wolf mother may appear to inspire you to levels of courage you have within, but didn’t realise consciously. Or perhaps there is a threat in your waking life, but this dream is reassuring you that there are protective forces around you to call on.
Or maybe you need to approach a situation carefully, using the stealth of a wolf to get close without being discovered. Do you feel a need to express your true self more freely, let go of inhibitions and howl at the moon? By exploring your own inner feelings, you can start to understand the message of the wolf in your dream.
The Wolf as a Symbol in Fiction
Looking at the role wolves play in fiction, folklore and films may also give insight as to what the wolf means in your own personal dream.
The mythical She-Wolf who nurtured Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, as well as Mowgli from the Jungle Book, can help us understand how wolves in our dream can be a sign of seeking or offering nurturing, care and protection. This may to a part of your self or to someone else.
The Big Bad Wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood” may be sign of your own wild nature, or it may symbolise a person who is threatening or bullying. Take care and consider if you have been behaving in a potentially threatening or intimidating way to someone else. The wolf in a dream may also be associated with a predatory nature in a sexual sense, so those who have suffered abuse, or who fear some sort of sexual overtones they are not comfortable with may dream of wolves in this way.
The Wolf and Threat
Wolves can appear in our dreams when we fear or are experiencing loss, especially of a material or financial nature. The old saying that “to keep the wolf from the door” indicates security and not going hungry. In the this way the wolf maybe a threatening symbol, exploring you need to protect yourself and possibly also your family.
Wolves may also appear in dreams when your subconscious has picked up something is not quite right, and is trying to warn our conscious mind that we should be careful of what or who we trust, that there may be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Wolves and Spirituality
Many people report their interactions with a wolf in their dream as having a sense of something deeply sacred to it. You may gaze into the wolf’s eyes, it may follow you, lead you, or gaze at you from a distance. There may be a slight sense of fear with it as well, or you may simply sense a profound connection.
These dreams seem to have a spiritual aspect to them, and speak to our long and deep relationship with nature. Sacred interactions with animals in dreams seem to occur when you are seeking something. You may be on a quest for wisdom, you may have suffered a significant pain and seek healing and understanding. Or you may feel lost, and yearn for a deep connection. This dream can manifest as desire to reconnect with our wild, pure origins, and escape the artificial trappings of a modern, technological, capitalist world.
We can also trace our origins back to a time of wildness. And while this time be associated with danger, risk and challenges, it is also a time of purity and sacred connection. The meaning of a wolf in a dream may be to guide you to the inner pure, wild aspect of yourself. It may be there to remind you that you can find the sacred and the meaningful by journeying within. The wold may be guiding you home.
Good Wolf or Bad Wolf?
No animal itself is inherently bad. The values that we assign to them are the result of years of cultural associations. Remember when we dream of any animal, they also represent a part of our selves.
You cannot understand what a dream means in its entirety by looking up a symbolic reference. We always need to go the next step and ask ourselves, “what does the wolf mean to me?” Chances are, it will be as complex, nuanced and subtle as you are…
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PS. I have mentioned this book previously, but it is also relevant in this post for those who may have missed it – a very empowering and insightful look at how to live wildly and freely: