There are many Native American Indian teaching stories that are simple and yet utterly profound. You may remember the coyote road-runner cartoon show when you were a child. That series was actually based on the famous coyote stories Native Americans used as teaching tools for their children. Coyote is always trying to outwit everyone only to end up hurting himself rather than the innocent one he tries to con out of something.
One story, you see frequently (often on facebook and elsewhere) is the story of the Two Wolves. The story describes two spirit guides or totem spirit guides who walk with every person. One is a black wolf and would lead you astray and the other is the white wolf, who leads you out of the forest and into the light. You maintain your alliance with the wolf you feed. The black wolf loves bitterness, anger, annoyance and all negative feelings. The white wolf eats love, truth, kindness, compassion and all good things.
So of course the moral to the tale is to only allow the white wolf to guide you by working with light, love and unity. Sadly, this is only half the story. The full story actually goes a lot deeper and states that the black and the white wolves are teachers who have to be kept in balance. They both bring gifts of wisdom and your job is to integrate them into oneness. In other words, just like the Buddha declared that the road to enlightenment is the middle path of balance, so do Native Indian teachings.
The white wolf represents the conscious mind. Most of us want to be “good” but then suddenly we might feel anger or even jealousy when we see someone else having a happier life than we do. Then, recognising this is the black wolf, we may feel guilty or remorseful; or even numb those feelings with an alcoholic drink or worse. And so it goes. We tend to zigzag between the two wolves, and no matter how hard we try, that darned black wolf keeps turning up!
If you have this kind of experience the chances are that your shadow (black wolf) is rising up from the subconscious and trying to pull you off your path.
C.G. Jung in particular wrote about the shadow, and included the collective shadow of each nation or country too. You may also be aware that he studied with Native American elders of the Navajo people and others. If you study any of Jung’s writings you soon discover that he wrote about integrating or healing the shadow. He did NOT suggest we repress, ignore, pretend that it is not there! The fact is you cannot ignore or pretend you do not have a shadow side because to do so means you are neglecting a vital element in your spiritual growth.
Many people, when they first step upon the spiritual path, endeavour to only connect with the white wolf. They love the Indian story that they have heard and meditate on aligning only with the white wolf, or something similar. The problem is that as they do more and more psychic work and connect with guides and energies the lost, repressed and abandoned shadow within will automatically rise in order to be healed. So often, when a person has this experience they go into deep remorse or even anger with themselves imagining that they have gone wrong or even been mislead by negative spirits etc. Although that can happen it is rare. For the most part the shadow rises in order for you to heal and balance it.
And... the very first step is to acknowledge that you have a shadow!
To misquote Shakespeare, that acknowledgement is the rub. Most of us immerse ourselves in deep denial (also known as that river in Egypt) It is so much easier to blame others or to say it is your karma or that you are anchoring the light into the universe and don’t have time for all of that stuff.
Bottom line is that the best thing you can do for the world, the planet, the universe or life itself is to do your inner work! Your inner work must include transforming your shadow into gold.
This is why shamanism is such a profound and amazing tool. So many people get caught up in psychic development classes, or watching psychic mediums talk to deceased Grandmothers, that they do not realize that they are only scratching the surface of the multi-layered multiverse. The deceased loved ones are, for the most part, only echoes. They leave their trace vibrations in the first Astral and move on to higher levels. These echoes are not your loved ones, but rather a final echoing “voice mail-type” message.
If you want to truly connect you need to go to the higher vibrations offered by shamanic work. Whilst others can give you a glimpse you can never truly connect until you do the inner work required to ascend energetically to match that vibration. That includes integrating and healing the shadow, for the shadow becomes a dark and heavy weight that will hold you back.
The Timber Wolf:
The traditional people knew this which is why the story of the two wolves actually ends with the Timber Wolf. The Timber Wolf is that silvery-gray-black wolf that is the same colour as the silver birch trees. He blends into the trees and you cannot see him until he is right next to you. In the deeper story this wolf blends both the black and white wolf into oneness and becomes silver (a metaphor for spiritual or energetic ascension!) That is the true goal or the true end of this beautiful Native Indian story. It is called the story of the “Timber Wolf Brother” who shows you have to integrate, heal and align your shadow with your light, and thus reach ascension in the truest sense.
So, next time you feel your shadow rise up, instead of repressing it see your black wolf as your most profound teacher. This wolf will show you what you need to heal, forgive or bless in your life. When you do that the black wolf starts to transform into the Timber Wolf. When you have a “good” day and are being so sugary sweet with goodness; ask your white wolf how to maintain balance and embrace the wisdom of giving and helping others. Again, this helps you integrate and balance your two wolves until they transform into the powerful Timber Wolf.
Most of us are already doing this work, even if we are not familiar with the Indian story. Yet we make it so much harder for ourselves when we ignore the gifts of the black wolf and shun him instead. All wolves are teachers. All wolves have gifts of light and beauty; but they insist we all do our inner work with the lessons they bring us.
I am busily writing a small book on the Timber Wolf which will be an eBook. Email me if you’d like the details etc.