There are many wonderful Native American Indian teaching stories. You may remember the coyote road-runner cartoon show which was based on the coyote teaching stories of Native Americans. Naughty coyote tries to outsmart the innocent ones but always ends up making a fool of himself.
The other well known story is the tale of the Two Wolves which pops up on Facebook frequently.
You will recall that a grandfather tells his grandson that everyone has two totem spirits walking either side of them. One is a black wolf and would lead you astray and the other is the white wolf, who leads you to the light. You are guided by the wolf you feed. The black wolf feeds on all negative actions and feelings and the white wolf feeds on 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. Yet this is only half the story. The complete story actually states that the black and white wolves are both important teachers who have to be kept in balance but they BOTH bring gifts of wisdom. Your job is to integrate their lessons, heal your wounds and bring your life into oneness. As in Buddhism, the road to enlightenment is the middle path of balance.
The white wolf represents the conscious mind. Most of us want to be “good” but seem to fall when we experience anger or envy. Then, recognising this is the black wolf, we may feel guilty or remorseful; or even numb those feelings with an alcohol 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 offer you a wonderful gift.. the gift of insight!
C.G. Jung in particular wrote about the shadow within yet he also wrote about the collective shadow within 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! If you ignore or pretend you do not have a shadow you are neglecting a vital element in your spiritual growth. It is one that will stiffle/prevent your inner growth until it is recognised and acted upon.
Many people, when they first step upon the spiritual path, endeavour to only connect with the white wolf, which is only natural yet as we do our inner work, via psychic development, working with guides/angels, meditation etc, the wounded, hidden parts of the psyche will rise to be healed. This happens automatically because it is supposed to! Yet if we repress, deny or blame/shame others or ourselves, we remain in a half-baked spiritual state for liftimes. You CANNOT HEAL WHAT YOU REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE!
When you get a glipse of the shadow you can be horrified and quickly fall into denial, yet if you can sit quietly, look without judgement, you will see this insight as the gift it really is. It is vital that you stop living in denial or repressing, pretending, playing "sugary-sweet" games and get real with yourself... and take the first step --
which is to acknowledge that you have a shadow!
When we can acknowledge darkness without blaming or hating yourself we have taken a HUGE step. Most of us immerse ourselves in deep denial (also known as that river in Egypt) It is so much easier to stuff it all down and sing the "Happy Song." We need to dig deep -- stop playing little baby games by finding excuses and pretending that the black wolf is just not there! (wolf you say? what wolf?)
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 (Mr Black wolf) 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 many-layered multiverse. If you want to truly connect you need to go to the higher vibrations that are only accessed by shamanic-type 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 can be a dark and heavy weight that will hold you back, but it can also be the booster rocket that will propel you forward...(clever little black wolf!)
(I want to stress, that shamanism is a description that includes all deeper medative work such as Kriya Yoga and much more..NOT just Native American-influenced shamanism.)
The Timber Wolf: ...Traditional shamans knew this truth which is why the longer and complete story of the two wolves culminates 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 or judging yourself, try to see your black wolf as your most profound teacher at this moment. You will be tempted to get back on that river of denial.. but remember it leads no where! Instead embrace the Timberwolf for he will reveal what you need to heal, forgive or bless in your life and that is a true gift!. When you thank the black wolf for this knowing, and then gently heal the situation, the black wolf morphs into the Timber Wolf.. a profound gift!
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. 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.