Totem Animals

Page 167

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The Power of Wolf
By CinnamonMoon

There is great power around us, and with this power we
can achieve wondrous things. Open your minds to the power.

The power of Water, the flow of life. The rain gives
birth to the seeds, plants and relives our thirst. It
can move mountains and fill valleys.

The power of Mother Earth, the cradle of our birth.
She offers her breast to feed her people, even while
we dig at her soul.

The power of the Tree, the giver of the air we breathe.
The leaves offer shade, the wood for our lodges and

The power of Wolf, the keeper of the family. Holder
of the Sacred Circle, Wolf protects us, she calls to
her young ones; "Come home".

The power of Fire, the giver of new life. It consumes
us, only then can our souls be renewed. To continue
on our path of life.

The power of Sky, it gives Grandfather Eagle a home.
It gives the stars a place to rest and for us to
dream, our dreams.

The power of Drum, the echo, the Thunder of the
Peoples’ Hearts.

The power of Spirit, that which is us. This is the
greatest power of all, the Creator gave us this gift
to do good only.

©Copyright 1999

Information on Wolves:
Source: World Wildlife Fund
Wolves are the foremost member of the dog family, Canidae. Most wolves are classified as
Canis lupus, and go by the common name "gray wolf," regardless of coloring. A separate
species, the red wolf, (C. rufus) is distinguished by its smaller body size and reddish coloration.
Only elderly wolves that have lost pigmentation are gray. Actual coloration depends on habitat,
and provides camouflage. Tundra-dwelling arctic wolves are snow white touched with gray or
black, while most forest-dwelling wolves range from shadowy shades of gray or cream to brown
or black.

The wolf pack makes their den on a knoll or other high place and near water. This provides a
good lookout against approaching danger and answers the nursing female's daily requirement of
water. Wolves may move their den site two or three times to ensure the pups' well-being. In
summer, the mother moves her pups from the den to the pack's rendezvous site, or meeting place,
which is accessed by numerous routes. Here, the pups play while the adults hunt. Reunited after
the hunt, young and old alike share in the bonding activity of play. Wolves live on average about
7 years, but can live up to 13 years in the wild or 17 years in captivity. Elderly wolves are cared
for by younger members of the pack.

Native Americans revered the wolf as an exemplar of the right way for humans to live on the
Earth: as a skilled and efficient hunter, a lover of family life, and a partner to communal living.
Unjustifiably vilified as "the big bad wolf," the wolf is the most persecuted animal in history,
hunted practically to extinction in all but the most remote wilderness regions of North America
and Eurasia. The wolf is now known to be an important predator to keep populations of
ungulates such as moose and deer in check.

In the United States, the gray wolf (Canis lupus) is listed as endangered in the Southwest and
threatened in the East and West. The red wolf (C. rufus) Is critically endangered, surviving only
in southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas; its genetic uniqueness is further threatened by
interbreeding with coyotes (C. latrans).

Hunting primarily at night, wolves prey on elderly, young, and sickly animals, since attacks on
healthy ones often end in defeat or injury. Their primary food source in winter is ungulates such
as moose, elk, and deer, as well as smaller prey such as snowshoe hare. In summer wolves take
advantage of the availability of beavers, geese, fish, insects, and berries. Wolves have a keen
sense of smell, but they depend on wind currents to bring them the scent of prey. Downwind,
they can pick up the scent of deer as far away as 1 mile (2.5km), but upwind they cannot smell
moose as close as 325 feet (100m). By the time they are three weeks old, pups begin to eagerly
greet adults returning from the hunt, who bear gifts of food in their mouths. The pups jump up
and nip at their mouths until the food is regurgitated, then fight with each other and their den
guardian over the spoils. In crusted snow, wolves have the advantage over larger animals such as
caribou, which cannot run through the snow and are easily overtaken by the 'snowshoeing' wolf
pack. Wolves are efficient eaters, consuming everything but antlers, bones, fur, and stomach

During a blizzard, a wolf hunkers down by covering its nose and paws with its tail and letting
itself be enveloped by the fallen snow. Snow cover provides insulation from the cold while the
wolf waits out the storm. Beginning at dusk and sometimes continuing until dawn, howling
keeps pack members in touch during their nighttime hunts, delineates the boundaries of other
packs, and helps lone wolves attract mates. Wolves live in packs of varying sizes, generally
comprised of about five to twelve related members. The alpha male and female, who mate for
life, are the only breeding members, but all members care for the pups. This social hierarchy is
altered only under special circumstances, such as death, disability, or environmental pressures.
Traveling in single file, wolves follow in each other's footsteps to give the appearance of
traveling alone. In snowy terrain, this also conserves energy. In deep snow, wolves take
advantage of trails made by men or dog teams.

Wolves communicate vocally-by howls, growls, barks, yelps, and whines-as well as by body
language. When reunited, they greet each other by wagging their tails and by sniffing each
other's fur and licking muzzles. The dominant male often remains aloof to his subordinates'
greetings. Wolves have tow coat layers. In summer, pups begin to grow the long 'guard hairs' of
their outer coat, which covers the thick undercoat of soft fur. By autumn, pups attain the fullcoated
look of adulthood, but with the return of warm spring weather they shed excessive fur to
keep cool.

A wolf's howl can signal warning or welcome, depending on the pitch. A low-pitched howl
warns against intruders, while a high-pitched howl welcomes pack members back to their
rendezvous site. Depending on the sentiments of the human eavesdroppers, wolves' howls have
been described as either disturbingly plaintive or hauntingly beautiful. Howling is perhaps the
foremost distinguishing characteristic of wolves. It is believed that wolves not only howl to
communicate but even for play. Everyone in the pack joins in on the communal howl, including
pups. Like human singers, each wolf has its own unique voice.

Size of a pack's territory depends on the availability of food. When food is adequate, the pack
may occupy the same territory for many generations. If the food source is migratory, the pack
will follow the migration of prey. Wolves in search of food can travel as many as 20 miles
(32km) in one day, and up to 185 miles (300km) in a few weeks.

A 'lone wolf' is an individual at the bottom of the pack's social hierarchy who has been driven
out. It may follow on the tails of the pack and survive on leftovers, or try to attract a mate and
establish its own pack. If it stumbles into the territory of another pack, it may be killed. Only
about 10 to 15 percent of wolves are solitary.

The grasslands of the Northern Great Plains once teemed with wildlife such as bison, elk, grizzly
bears, and wolves. Now designated a Global 200 ecoregion, the plains re targeted for protection
and restoration by WWF and its partners in the Northern Plains Conservation Network. The
wolf's habitat originally spanned most of the Northern Hemisphere. Long persecuted by humans,
the gray wolf had been hunted and poisoned to near extinction in the United States by the midtwentieth
century, narrowing its range to remote wilderness regions. In North America, the wolf
can now be found only in Alaska, Canada, the northern regions of Idaho, Montana, and
Minnesota, and a few parks and other areas where it has been reintroduced. Fortunately for
wolves living in the artic, human encroachment has been slow to penetrate their frigid wilderness
habitat, consequently their territory is less disturbed than other wolves'. WWF conservation
efforts in Alaska include protecting the wolf's habitat from industrial development.

Survival of gray wolves depends on availability of large undisturbed forest land in which packs
may delineate their territorial boundaries. WWF and other conservation organizations cite
ongoing deforestation and fragmentation of territory as the greatest threats to the wolf's survival.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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