Running With the Wolves -or- Wild Thing

Greg, 17 year old male

I am surrounded by greenery of the forest. I don't know what's happening but I know I had to follow something...It was something attractive. I moved real fast on all fours (I think I was dreaming as an animal) and encountered a female wolf and then the up-down motion happens. It felt good.

Mr Hagen's Reply: Call of the Wild

The wolf is an animal that we can readily find in fables, fairy tales, literature, film and dreams. The metaphoric use of animals to anthropomorphize our thoughts and feelings thereby providing moral lessons is a time honored literary method. Jack London's Call of the Wild and White Fang are classified as juvenile literature, playing and emphasizing the thematics of the nature of wildness and the civilizing process. This process can move forward or be reversed. Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book which features an orphaned jungle boy Mowgli, is raised by wolves providing fuel to the adolescent imagination and dreams. This Nietzschian poetic conflict between primordial instincts and domestication form the fantastic basis of these tales. The anthropologist Robert Eisler Man into Wolf:An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism and Lycanthropy using dreams viewed from a Jungian perspective investigates human pre-history and the archetype of the wolf.

The wolf can be found in folklore, Aesop's fables (The Boy Who Cried Wolf) and stories such as Romulus and Remus who were said to be the founders of Rome. These stories are part and parcel of our inherited tales of the "wild". The "Big Bad Wolf" is personified and found in Grimm's fairy tales (such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs). Grimm's tales also evidently provided the background for Freud's famous case of "the Wolfman". In horror films the "Wolf Man" is a shape shifting sub-type known as lycanthrope which is but one form of therioanthropy  the ability to magically transform into any animal.

The writer Hermann Hesse Steppenwolf used the metaphor of the inner wolf to promote a Jungian and Buddhistic philosophy (a theme Hesse explores further in Siddhartha). The idea is brought forward that humans are but poetic fragments of relationships, intentions, thoughts, feelings and hallucinations. Our inner nature is divided, we have a spiritual side and an animalistic side, the dramatic conflict between these two sides is what causes our suffering and despair. In this partly autobiographical, partly fantastic (blurring the distinction between fantasy and reality) book Hesse's protagonist Harry Haller is in search of transcendence and healing. The metaphysical and transcendental way of overcoming our dramatic duality and conflicts is to be found in the "Magical Theatre", this theatre acts a veiled metaphor for sleep, dreams and hallucinations. Hesse suggests that this magical theatre of the dream and mind are not for everyone. In this magical theatre we can find peace with ourselves and others.

In your dream you appear to be an animal who encounters an attractive female wolf. This archetypal feminine theme has been discussed by Clarissa Pinkola Estes Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype who has attempted to make "archeological digs" into the ruins of the female unconscious underworld. Estes finds feminine archetypal themes of the wild woman in fairy tales, myths, stories and dreams. Estes tells women; "Women across the world---your mother, my mother, you and I, your sister, your friend, our daughters, all the tribes of women not yet met---we all dream what is lost, what next must rise from the unconscious. We all dream the same dreams worldwide. We are never without the map. We are never without each other. We unite through dreams." For Estes, "dreams are compensatory, they provide a mirror into the deep unconscious most often reflecting that which is lost, and what is needed for correction and balance. The unconscious is constantly producing teaching images. So like the fabled lost continent, the wild dream-land rises out of our sleeping bodies.... "It is the continent of our knowing. It is the land of our Self." "The wild feminine is not only sustainable in all worlds, it sustains all worlds." For Estes the dream has a compensatory function, in other words it plays a therapeutic role.

Estes tells women about their relationship to men; "if women want men to know them, really know them, they have to teach them some deep knowing." This deep epistemology  (knowledge) of a woman's dreams, is what your dream is attempting to show you.  

On a final note, from a popular music culture perspective The Trogg's Wild Thing and Steppenwolf's Born to be Wild seems to fit the sentiment of your dream.

Hope this provides some understanding. 



All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.