Of Course There’s a Wolf in Here!

Why should I be surprised?


I first became aware of the wolf while listening to one of my ambient soundscapes. What was that faint, distant howling? Odd, I’d never heard it before, but there it was, as plaintive and distinct as if I were really sitting in  forest clearing. A wolf’s cry.

Dakota, a grey wolf at the UK Wolf Conservatio...

Dakota, a grey wolf at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, howling on top of a snowy hill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I didn’t see the wolf right away. Not until I sat down for an afternoon meditation yesterday. At once, the words came into my head:

“You have to give the wolf a name before you can proceed.”

What wolf? I looked, and there he was, staring back at me with glowing eyes.

“Fire eyes,” I said. “His name is Fire Eyes.”



Now, for the record, I didn’t actually check to see whether the shaggy creature was male or not, but this is my meditation, my imagination, and if I say the wolf is male, the wolf is male.  I sighed and accepted the fact that I’d be traveling now with a wolf at my side.

Probably left over from Odin’s visit, I thought. Odin has two wolves, you know. Geri and Freki. Maybe one stayed behind, although you’d think I would have noticed.

A short time later, my meditation ended, I began browsing through links I’d gathered about the moon.  Yeah. That’s when I had one of those palm to forehead, “Duh!” moments.

Wolves. Howling at the moon. Full moons. Werewolves. No! I’m not going to spend my time with a werewolf. Thank you, but no, thank you.  There was a time, maybe back when I was about 8 or 9 years old, when I think I actually believed in werewolves. Of course, that was back in the days when “Gregory Graves” was on local TV hosting “Friday Fright Night” and my friends and I enjoyed being scared silly.

I even remember having a dream once of a werewolf slipping into my room and coming toward my bed. It was so real! I could hear him panting, could feel his hot, wet breath on my cheek. I opened my eyes to find my beloved Tuffy Lee — my dog — at my side.

I don’t believe in werewolves now.  Werewolves, vampires, and “shape-shifters” who can transform themselves into myriad creatures are all the rage in fiction and film, but I have no interest in reading — or writing — paranormal stories.

What is the attraction? Why have these stories become so popular? How has our culture taken these myths and legends and turned them into something so different from the original? In the past, werewolves were feared, persecuted, and put to death. Now, we seem to embrace them.

Is it the wildness of the creatures? Do we crave a power that we’re unable to find in our own civilized existence? Is it freedom that draws us?

Maybe I can answer that question. I said I don’t believe in werewolves. True. I also said I don’t care to read or write about werewolves. True, too…except that in the past — about 15 years ago — I was actively involved in LARP — Live Action Role Play. And, yep, you guessed it, I was a living, breathing werewolf.

I don’t remember my name, I don’t remember much about my character at all. But I do remember my pack. I remember howling at the moon as we played our game on a late summer’s night.

There is something about the werewolf mythology that speaks of freedom and power, but I think it speaks, too, of a bond of kinship, a sense of belonging, a feeling of shared experience.  Maybe that’s what’s we’re really looking for.


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