Wolf Medicine According to Native Americans

· December 6, 2018

Wolf medicine is a medicine of the soul. It has nothing to do with alternative therapies or other derivatives. It got its name because Native Americans think that observing wolves and their behavior helps heal people internally.

Native Americans see wolves as sacred animals or totems. They most likely accumulated significant knowledge about them throughout the years which led them to admire this creature so greatly. They even reached the conclusion that imitating wolves is a way to grow, compensate wounds, and have the ability to move forward despite adversities.

We don’t know a lot about wolf medicine in Western society. In fact, these animals have a bad reputation in our culture. They’re the antagonists in many children’s stories, where they’re basically presented as evil beings. There’s also the myth of the “werewolf”, which is fierce and harmful. However, we’ll soon discover that there are many things we can learn from this animal.

The wolf: A sacred animal for Native Americans

The wolf is an animal that has a very defined behavior because it’s “ritualistic” in certain aspects. The first one has to do with hierarchies, which are quite rigid among them. The alpha male and alpha female are the undisputed leaders of the pack. Unlike other species, the leader isn’t necessarily the fastest, but the most intelligent and skilled.

Contrary to popular belief, wolves are neither lonely nor wild. They’re very social animals, which explains why they’re always in packs. If they do something alone, it’s because it’s convenient for their pack. Wolves only resort to violence in extreme cases. They prefer to avoid combat (or end it as soon as possible). Additionally, wolves don’t kill those of their own kind.

“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

-Rudyard Kipling-


Wolf painted in colors.

Native Americans say that the 3 great powers of wolves are stalking, invisibility, and family protection. These animals don’t show off their fierceness or power. Instead, they observe, analyze, and prefer to go unnoticed while doing so. They like to analyze their environment and calculate their next step. It’s impossible for their enemies to see them because they know how to “disappear”. Wolves only attack when necessary and with a strategic plan.

Wolf medicine

For Native Americans, the wolf is a guide. We all carry something wolf-related inside of us. There are moments in life where we must take advantage of our brave, wise, and prudent spirit and let it out. That’s basically what wolf medicine is all about: resorting to our inner strength and strategic capacity to face important challenges. 

Two Native Americans and a wolf.

Native Americans believe that the spirit of the wolf becomes our temporary ally in determined situations. By this, they refer to those circumstances where the daring, loyal, generous, and free facet inside us emerges. The spirit of the wolf is reckless and courageous, which is why it appears as our ally when we decide to do something forbidden or dangerous.

Wolf medicine has to do with cultivating and allowing this untamable force to come to the surface. Native Americans think that wolves and witches always go hand in hand and that they feel more comfortable in the dark. This means that our most magical and free facet arises when no one else is looking at us. In these conditions, we find a solution to our problems and discover paths we hadn’t seen before.

Figure symbolizing wolf medicine.

Awakening the wolf we have inside

According to tradition, the first way to awaken the wolf inside us is to pay attention to our dreams. Wolf medicine is above all a reencounter with our essential strength. Everything that’s inside of us in the hidden areas of our being comes out of our unconscious through our dreams, which is why it’s so important to understand the dream world in order to get to know ourselves better and gain courage.

Likewise, according to wolf medicine, it’s fundamental for us to spend some time observing ourselves and trying to be spectators of our own actions without judgment. The aim of this is realizing the elements in our daily life that may be obstacles. What binds our spirit? Fears, obligations, or past experiences?

The next step is acting. If we want to do something, we don’t have to wait for the perfect circumstances to arise or for our reality to change. We can start working towards what we want at this moment in time with determination, generosity, and loyalty. According to wolf medicine, if we have this attitude, the spirit of the wolf will guide our way.

“Be the wolf. The wolf is relentless, never quits, and doesn’t look back.”

-Dhruv Rathod-