I'm decidedly not New Age-y (having no problem at all with the "archaic" concepts of "competition" and "merit") and have never given much thought to "animal totems" or anything similar (except maybe when contemplating some of Ted Hughes's poetry and HIS exploration of animal totems). But early this morning I had a discomfiting dream in which a, specifically, white wolf played a part at the end.
I was in a big building where various groupings of people had supposedly separate living quarters, except there weren't any doors, and people kept milling about in other people's areas. I shared an area with 3 or so other girls and was trying to get some clothes together so I could go take a shower and get ready to go to a class (taught by, yes, Sandra). I REALLY felt the need for some privacy, but people from other rooms kept coming into mine/ours. And, worse, they kept coming up to me and telling me that they didn't like me! Which was merely annoying at first, but then I started to get panicky about it since the vibes were getting worse and worse. And I could not get any personal SPACE. I gave up on trying to find any clothes and on arguing with people, and wandered off to another, less populated part of the same building, where someone pointed out to me what was once Shakespeare's desk. This area had hardwood floors and antique furnishings and far fewer (and older) people, but the few there were STILL giving me dirty looks! I kept thinking that I should find an area to live in THIS part of the building (since we all were free to sleep wherever we wanted), but ended up back in the crowded area, again trying to find some clothes to wear to the class...which by now I realized I had missed.
Completely stressed out, I now wandered outside, where there was maybe a foot of snow on the ground. Some people were milling around. Others were wearing dark clothes and sitting in a widely spaced circle. I remember thinking, "Well, it's slightly less hostile here; maybe I can just stand here and watch and not get hassled." Just then a small woman ran in my direction. I wasn't part of the circle that she was initially running around, but as she neared me, she veered from the circle and ran up to me and thrust a torch into my hand, basically saying, "You're it!" The woman was... Snooki. Yes, Snooki from "Jersey Shore." And the people in the circle were, apparently, playing some kind of "Duck, Duck, Goose" game. I absolutely did NOT want to be "it" -- I'd already felt singled out for unpleasant attention inside the building and didn't want any more attention at all -- but, for just a sec, I started to participate in the game by slowly jogging around the circle with the torch, wondering how I was going to get rid of it and just be a spectator again. I then came across Snooki again and, to me "jokingly," I put the lit end of the torch to her hair, which, of course, caught fire. I immediately helped her put the flames out, but I realized, "Geez. Now people are going to be mad at me for THIS, too."
Just then I spotted a white wolf making its laconic, but purposeful, way through the snow toward our group of people. There was no great sense of panic amongst the humans, but we all did, nonetheless, eye the wolf and start to make our ways away from it. I pretended not to see it while walking in the opposite direction, but of course soon realized that it was following ME. I tossed the torch that I was holding straight at it, hoping either that it would think it was a treat or that it would simply be distracted by it. But the torch just fell in the snow as I walked on, knowing the wolf was still behind me. I went back into the earlier building, aware that I was being stalked, but still not overtly panicking or running. I walked upstairs and found a row of closets that I thought I could be safe in once I closed a door. But there were several dogs, including small Dobermans, in each closet. They weren't aggressive toward me, but I realized that I couldn't close any of the closet doors behind me with all of these dogs scrambling about. I was inside one closet, trying to figure out how to shut the door behind me for safety, when I turned and saw the white wolf standing right there at the doorway looking at me.
And then my alarm went off in real life. I woke up in an extreme state of alertness and attention/tension. Initially feeling very hunted by all from the dream, but as the morning wore on, I started thinking more about the white wolf. Like I said earlier, animal totems have meant nothing to me, really, nor have I spent time contemplating wolves, white or other. In conscious life, I've always thought cats, big and small, were cool in both a general way and a personal way (having had a couple of beloved cats that I felt spiritually connected to), but have never really been that interested in wolves, dogs, foxes, etc. The wolf in this dream was, indeed, following me and I was nervous about its presence, but it also wasn't 100% negative or "evil" or anything. And I was curious about why it showed up so strongly in a dream of mine when, on a conscious level, the symbol didn't mean anything to me. Interesting to learn online today about the wolf's importance in the subconscious of humans throughout history. After wading through dozens of shallow interpretations of "the wolf in dreams," I came upon this interesting, lengthy article: Jungian Archetype of the wolf...
Now, Jung I'm definitely interested in. I haven't read his works in-depth at all, yet I'm broadly/shallowly familiar with his theories on both the Archetype and the Shadow, mainly from reading more-intelligent astrologers, of all things! Here's a quote from the page:
The wolf reminded men of their domestication and their inner struggle with it. The wolf became also an image of remaining wild and sexuality, in a Jungian sense became men’s Shadow of undesired and unwanted. For those of us with Western background do often not realize the depths and subtile differences and similarity of Pagan German or Norse, Eastern or Native American stories. Especially wolf stories examine reincarnation, spiritual energy, gift exchange, the vitality of the body, and the spirit of the soul. In the old worldview everything is in flux and begins, balances out from, and ends with polarities akin to yin and yang. Even the gods are subject to this, undergo transformation, and often pay for what they gain with a corresponding loss. For indigenous people–including the indigenous Celts and Germanic--religion as such did not exist. Native views of spirituality wed it to time and place, land and sea and sky. Our forbears lived side by side with the wolves in an inspirited world, and that world abides, as do its instinctive but sacred dimensions:
Axe-time, sword-time, shields are sundered,
Wind-time, wolf-time, ere the world falls;
Nor ever shall men each other spare….
Now do I see the earth anew
Rise all green from the waves again…