The wolf is a mysterious and powerful spiritual teacher. In this the second part of the Journey of the Timberwolf I will illustrate how traditional shaman teachers help people understand the two wolves, black and white, who guide us to the transformative Timber wolf. This is the teaching of the three wolves! And it is this story that creates full spiritual transformation.
The shamanic journey is one of self-healing. Your totem on this journey is the Timber Wolf.
Most people love the story of the two wolves and of course everyone wants to focus on being guided only by the white wolf. He is the good wolf who leads you to the light. Yet we cannot find the transcendent wolf, the Timber Wolf, without taking a journey with the black wolf....!
This is the story of the Three Wolves, which is the deeper aspect of the Black and White Wolf story. The ancient ones tell us that the white wolf’s teachings include taking the journey of losing, divesting, releasing, removing and cleansing all that does not serve us, or our community. These are the hardest, most stressful elements of the journey. Most of us understand this, yet when something “bad” happens in our lives such as losing money, prestige or status, they often blame the black wolf. This is a very immature way of looking at your wolf guidance. The white wolf's job is to help you remove obstacles and those obstacles to your inner truth can, and often do, include material possession. The white wolf is determined to make you less so you can be more than you ever dreamed possible! He does this because he loves you and doesn’t want you to get stuck in materialism of any kind, bless his little white cotton socks!
Native American Indian shamans knew this, as do the eastern yogi masters. Both my eastern and western teachers taught the same thing in different ways. In both cases, they shunned materialism, lived in poverty (by our standards) and spent their time releasing (the Yogis) or giving away (Native Indians) This is the key to spiritual growth but generally we westerners fight it tooth and nail!
The reason is, of course.. your friend and mine... the Black Wolf or the ego
The Black Wolf: aka the ego
Ego loves inflation. It is always hungry for more.. more... more... The ego loves to be stroked, gently cajoled, flattered, pandered and indulged. This is how salespeople sell you stuff you do not need. This is why they drape a bikini-clad girl across the front of the little red sports car (subtle or what!) This is why there is no shortage of Viagra and this is why people spend a fortune at the high-sell Certificate Psychic courses in order to be a “qualified” blah blah. It is all ego.
The ego is not inherently bad; it is an inner program (like a computer program) created to guide an eternal spirit through a world filled with potential disaster. You need an ego to cross the road safely as well as to remember to check if the fish is safe to eat. You do not need the ego to help you find happiness.. that is not its job. Problem is, that most people use the ego for everything.
The fact is that the ego is a false and brittle self that we use as a “floatation device” (like the one under the seat in the airplane) when we feel bad about ourselves.
When I encounter anyone with an ego problem I know it is because at some level they hate themselves. If you can remember this next time when someone is ranting/screaming and accusing you of being in ego, it helps to remember that... ONLY ego can be offended.. spirit just shrugs and smiles sweetly!
The ego, or the black wolf is the manifestation of low self esteem and an aching need to be something or someone of consequence in our world. The ego/black wolf believes that if it is considered to be important by others that this will make it “special” therefore less vulnerable and safer in this often frightening world. The more power it can garner the more people observe it to be different, elevated, special, above the herd and therefore, further away from death, the better. The black wolf considers insignificance to be death and must be avoided at all costs.
Another vital teaching of the black wolf is obsession. Anyone with an ego problem is always obsessed about something. A case in point is the obsession expressed by frenzied cyber trolls. I wrote a blog about it called “stay present”. These people often have several facebook accounts with false names, or a series of weirdo friends who band together to collectively obsess about every little detail and then worry themselves into a tizzy over the “perceived” actions of others. I say perceived because facts and truth usually have very little to do with their frenzied and obsessive rants!
Obsession keeps you occupied on another, and all kinds of distractions ... It stops you finding your white wolf.. it keeps you unbalanced (sometimes literally!) and distracted by "others." and.. it is absolutely exhausting!
Obsession is governed by the black wolf but he is not doing this to torment you, although it may seem that way. He is doing this because as you work on your spiritual growth, you will inevitably bring up the shadow self, or the part of you that you will not acknowledge. The shadow is a Jungian theme; when unacknowledged the shadow automatically builds to counter balance the growing light. When someone engages in spiritual work such as developing psychic skills, meditating or practicing yoga their shadow rises to be healed and released because the light (white wolf) insists on this. Then the black wolf (shadow) steps forward to guide you towards what must be healed in your life.... This is the true gift of the Two Wolf Teaching Story
When this happens many people resist it. In many cases they project their shadow onto other people and blame, scream, have tantrums and more.. This kind of thing forms the impetus for poison pen letters (or facebook posts!), or go into rants in the supermarket or when someone pinches their parking spot; or even worse, bottle it all up and push it into their internal organs and create cancer and a thousand other dis-eases!
It is all shadow, it is all ego, it is guided by the black wolf.
If in the moment of potential rant (blame, scream, hysteria!), you can stop, breathe deeply and ask black wolf how to show you how to transform this, you will step closer to the Timber Wolf (hiding in the silver birch trees!). Everyone works with both wolves because everyone, whether they know it or not, everyone feeds both of them with their energy. Only when we transform the two wolves into the Timber Wolf do we ascend the shadow.
The key, as always is love.
The key is to love both of your wolves. They come to guide you and teach you and show you where you need to heal your life. Learn to love your shadow wolf, stop projecting out and blaming others, and truly own it. Then and only then will you love yourself. It is easy to love your good points but it is challenging to love your bad temper, your perceived failures and your jealousy, but nonetheless, love is transformative and it takes you to the Timber Wolf’s home!
Once you have embraced both wolves and thank them for their valuable lessons... they morph into this most beautiful timber wolf. He is a soft gray/silver with the biggest amber eyes. This is the third wolf who transends the yin/yang and up'n'down of the ego versus spirit. This wolf then walks stalwartly at your side, sometimes to the left giving you a little nudge, and then to the right, doing likewise. When my spiritual teachers saw someone with a Timber Wolf guardian they would nod and send congratulations to them.
The Puppy Wolf: Many years ago I took a sacred Vision Quest in the cold Rocky Mountains of southern Alberta. I have written about this in my book: Ghost Mountain. In my vision a small, cute timber wolf puppy came bounding into my cave to cuddle me. He had a fluffy little body, and licked me furiously. I knew I had made the leap forward from my two wolves to embrace this gorgeous puppy. You may find your Timber Wolf arrives as a spiritually puppy, but he will grow as long as you feed him with your love and your trust. He will be the eternal guardian of your pathway and gently lead you back to the love of who and what you are!