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Legends of the wolf: An in-depth look.

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posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 03:22 AM
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Being a great "fan" and admirer of wolves I always get a bit defensive when people have negative "theories" and stories about wolves. So this thread is
1. To figure out exactly why there is a negative air around wolves.
2. Do some myth busting.
But most important
3. Find a source of the werewolf and/or shape-shifting legend.

Myth: Wolves are dangerous to humans.
Fact: You stand a better chance of getting hit by a meteorite than killed by a wolf. Although wolves are large, powerful animals that could kill humans, they do not. According to a 2002 study about wolf conflicts with humans, there is no documented case of a healthy, wild wolf killing a human in North America.

Then why is a wolf always the bad guy? Why is the wolf portrayed as evil? Little Red Riding Hood lied!

There are several legends amongst the Native American Tribes about Shaman's being able to "shape shift" (transform) into wolves. There is also the well-known legend of the werewolf. Not to forget Count Dracula which can transform into several animals including a wolf (according to some versions of the story)...

The Native Americans probably have the most legends surrounding wolves. But most importantly they had great respect for the wolf. The Wolf is one of the most highly regarded and sacred animals within Native American culture. The wolf is considered a teacher, and a pathfinder.

Then there are also the Roman legend of Romulus and Remus who was brought up by wolves. Not to forget St. Francis of Assisi who "tamed" a wolf.

Medieval myths and legends (European)
Many wolf legends

OK, so here's what I'm looking for:

1. Personal opinions and theories as to how and why the Werewolf myth came to be.
en.wikipedia.org...
Wikipedia has a thorough "investigation" into the origin of the legend. The general feeling is that the legend had its origin in Germany. The question is now - how the Native Americans had similar human/wolf transformation legends?

Thus I'm looking for theories as to why it was believed that certain humans can transform into wolves? I.e. where does the werewolf (European and/or American) legends come from.

2. Personal experiences with wolves
I'm also looking for modern "myths" and "urban legends" surrounding wolves. Personal experiences anyone had with wolves (maybe werewolves?) or a story your grandmother told you when you were young. I'm NOT looking for fiction or anything that is already on the Internet.

3. Personal views on wolves
What do you think about wolves, and the negativity that surrounds them? Do you have any other theories about other wolf legends?

Thanks for anyone who care to share their thoughts. You need not respond to all 3 points, and I'm looking for personal views, opinions and experiences, and not a copy and paste job from existing articles on the Internet. Looking forward to new ideas!




posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 06:42 AM
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I don't think that wolves are any more dangerous than any other wild animal. I'd rather be faced by a wolf than a bear or a cougar, that's for sure. But I'd probably feel more comfortable around a fox than a wolf too. It's mostly just a power thing.

It's my understanding that wolves don't attack animals unless they are weak or sick, so as long as you don't go limping and coughing around them you should be fine. I could see a wolf attacking an elderly person, but that's about it.

I think wolves were brutally hunted and such just because people fear what they don't know about. If you saw a pack of wild dogs running around you would probably fear for your safety and shoot it. Also, people might have associated a wolf's howl with the devil or something, cuz ya know, everything was 'of the devil' back then
. Plus they probably kill weak farm animals and the farmers don't like that.

The only thing I hate about wolves is the parts that doesn't actually have to do with wolves.... the people who claim that they are 'half wolf' or werewolves, or vampire werewolves, and all that crazy stuff.

I don't like how people label animals "good" or "evil". Animals cannot be innately evil! And ironically, it is only the ones that pose a threat to us that are considered evil. (Wolves, sharks, large snakes...)

[edit on 5-12-2005 by Yarcofin]



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by Yarcofin
...
It's my understanding that wolves don't attack animals unless they are weak or sick, so as long as you don't go limping and coughing around them you should be fine. I could see a wolf attacking an elderly person, but that's about it.
...

The only thing I hate about wolves is the parts that doesn't actually have to do with wolves.... the people who claim that they are 'half wolf' or werewolves, or vampire werewolves, and all that crazy stuff.

I don't like how people label animals "good" or "evil". Animals cannot be innately evil! And ironically, it is only the ones that pose a threat to us that are considered evil. (Wolves, sharks, large snakes...)

[edit on 5-12-2005 by Yarcofin]


Thanks for your input, Yarcofin!


"so as long as you don't go limping and coughing around them you should be fine"
Now that's funny!

Interesting what you say about animals being labelled "good" or "evil" ... As I said before, Native Americans did NOT see wolves as "evil" (nor did they see many other animals as "evil"), although they did include snakes (rattle snakes) on their "list of evil animals". So, somehow it feels to me like the "wolf is evil" idea, is a western (European) concept.

But I don't completely agree with you that all animals that pose a threat to humans are considered evil...
Bears, aren't seen as evil? And lions? Lions are "considered" all but evil in most literature. The same goes for elephants that are far more deadly than most animals, and even leopards that often kill humans. Not to forget hippo's that kill more people in Africa than the crocodile (also considered evil)... So what exactly does an animal have to do to be seen as "evil"? There must be more to it than to just "pose a threat"?


[Edit: Spelling]

[edit on 5-12-2005 by Gemwolf]



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 07:04 AM
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I live in the Northern New Jersey area where there are lots of deer . At one time we used to have wolfs. Wolfs would take care of the deer population in a natural way. There are so many deer in this state and lots of dianostic of Lyme disease that its almost imposible to take care of the herds. I say bring back the wolfs to take care of the natural herds. Here is a link to the only wolf perserve in NJ.

www.lakotawolf.com...


[edit on 12/5/2005 by zman]



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 10:12 AM
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Its not that they will attack or anything, i mean, go near a foxes babies and you might just prefer to be with the bear.
Although wolves have become slightly more docile over the centuries, probably due to their habitats being destroyed, or simply less need to be aggresive, so its naturally bred out of them.

You have to remember that nowadays we travel everywhere by car. Back in 1600's or whenever people had to travel vast distances by foot. The thought of being ambushed by a pack of wild animals in the dead of night would constantly be at the edge of your mind.
nowadays we just drive up to tigers and rhinos and them claw and bang at the windows till there heart's content! The whole wolf story has been nullified by time.



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 01:33 PM
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Wolves, like any animal, aren't evil. They all follow nature and do what they evolved to do. As for wolves becoming more docile naturally, that wouldn't happen unless there were more instant benefits to it.
I have never considered wolves dangerous but if I met one I would treat it, and any other potentially dangerous animal (herbivores included) with respect. If you don't impose on them, they won't attack.

Wolves can become more docile but that is due to domestication (human interference). As history and present day shows, any animal can become docile.
Lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) act like normal dogs or cats when they've had prolonged contact with humans. And one of the largest land predators (the liger/tigon) is actually bottle fed even though its mature.



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 06:20 AM
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Fact: You stand a better chance of getting hit by a meteorite than killed by a wolf.

You stand a better chance of getting killed by a someones pet dog than a wolf...

In fact we see that happen every year, especially kids getting killed.



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 06:51 AM
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First not all NA peoples consider snakes evil. Many have ceremonies
in which the celebrant becomes "brother to the snake". In the traditions
I was taught all in the natural world have a spirit and their own tribe. You
should respect their tribes as you would the two-legged tribes/peoples.

IMO the entire fear/ hatred of Wolves ( and snakes for that matter) rests
entirely with the christian church and its myths. That is the root of the " wolf in sheeps clothing" faery tales, and the evil snake faery tale.

Every culture has an evil trickster "god", maybe evil is the wrong term,
prankster fits. NA's have Coyote and Old Man of The Shadows, and
long before JK Rowling penned He who must not be named there was a
tradition in the Norse of not mentioning their trickster God by name



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 07:03 PM
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Text I also believe that wolves are not bad animals like in stories i've heard or read about. in fact wolves are my favorite animals. so when people say that they are dangerous or "bad" it's just sad!



posted on Oct, 9 2010 @ 07:02 PM
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I found this thread by searching for a dream interpretation and think it should be revived
.



So what exactly does an animal have to do to be seen as "evil"? There must be more to it than to just "pose a threat"?

That's very easy to answer - cattlemen created this myth. I feel like bashing the meat industry whenever "wolf issue" comes up but I won't. Cattlemen of North America exterminated wolf population so millions of people could stuff themselves with infinite amounts of good ol' beef on daily basis for minimal free. That was part of an American dream, weekly BBQ for everyone. Japanese wolf peacefully co-existed with humans until first American ranchers came to spread gospels of BBQ
- within very short time the last wolf was destroyed. Japanese people held great respect for wolves until recent generations decided that wolf was evil arch-enemy of mankind that needs be eliminated.

Therefore whenever you eat your juicy stake, remember the wolves who died so we can all have it. No lunch is free. I actually became vegetarian because of evergrowing predator extermination, only afterwards I learnt about all the horrors of meat industry. Most wolves today are in Alaska and Russia while those in Alaska depend on Federal protection - otherwise, people would exterminate them all with no second thought.



posted on Oct, 10 2010 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by JackofBlades
Wolves, like any animal, aren't evil. They all follow nature and do what they evolved to do. As for wolves becoming more docile naturally, that wouldn't happen unless there were more instant benefits to it.

Wolves can become more docile but that is due to domestication (human interference). As history and present day shows, any animal can become docile.


I think wolves are brilliant. They let us tame them to the point of their descendants being human's best friend. Some people are still trying to domesticate the wolf by breeding them with dogs. The hybrid wolf dogs that some people have made into pets, mostly turn into good pets for the owner, as long as the owner is really careful to keep them under complete control, and away from children and strangers. The biggest problem seems to be that they are so stubborn, I think because they recognize their own brilliance, and think they know better than the owners.

Hybrids are illegal in many areas, still thought of as dangerous. Some are, but any large dog can be, depending on how they are raised. One has to be careful. You can never admit your hybrid is a hybrid, or they ( TPTB ) might take them away from you.
hubpages.com...
www.ctv.ca...

This one is shepherd / coyote, although I have had people stop me when I am walking her, thinking she is a grey wolf. She walks with her head low like a wolf, and has the fur markings, but I live around farmers, so many of them have recognized the coyote in her. The same stubborn quality, she thinks she is smarter than me.



It's sad so many people think they are evil. They're not.



posted on Oct, 11 2010 @ 01:17 PM
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I don't have much to add other than that I think wolves are beautiful animals as I do other animals.

I'm a "dog person" and love to study how dogs and wolves are similar and different. There is a lot of misinformation about the relationship between dogs and wolves.

Here's a neat YouTube channel I came across recently:

www.youtube.com...







 
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