Wolf - Dream meaning and symbolism
Main symbolic meaning
Wolves are on the top of the food chain. We consider them as predators, carnivores. They live secluded, far away from civilized cities, deep in the woods (more about Wolves species).
The wolf’s meaning in your dream is in many aspects similar to dog‘s meaning. But dog, in comparison to wolf, is tamed and domesticated. On the other hand, wolf is a wild animal longing for blood, aggressive and absolutely free.
To dream about wolves symbolize your inner unbridled wildness (your own uncontrollable sexual passion, desire to gain wealth or proper career...) or the fear being threatened by aggressive passion from outside (unscrupulous people around you, predatory competition, envious neighbours ...).
Most difficult question considering your dream is to distinguish between inner and outer meaning. There are in fact two basic explanations:
Inner and outer wolf
- Inner wildness – When you dream about a wolf it means you are facing your inner wildness. You may fear that your deep wild passion (sexual desire or longing for any material prey) may be unleashed in a way that will cause harm to you or to others. In such case the wolf in your dream symbolizes a part of your own personality.
- Outer wild passion – To encounter pack of wolf or a lonely wolf in your dream may signal, that you fear the world around gets mad, irrational and uncontrollable; you fear that some deep instincts of other people may overwhelm them and hurt or kill you (remember that werewolf is a human turning into a wolf). People as wolves symbolize whole palette of eventual threats: from genuine and open violent attacks to more subtle forms of aggressive behaviour in love, work, family or friendship
Submissive, shy, injured or sick wolf
Something strange is going on. The wild animal is deprived of its power. It means that you fell some potent elements in your life as limited, suppressed or too weak. It is similar to an extinct volcano, that is interesting but boringly safe. Try to find out, who or what this powerless wolf may symbolize in your dream.
You know the proverb "Barking dogs seldom bite", but this can't be easily applied to wolves. Howling helps the pack of wolves to stay together and howling may also strengthen social bonds of the group. Howling is useful to identify the territory for possible neighbours. To dream about howling wolves means to be confronted with the cooperation of a social group (colleagues, friends, rivals ...) – to receive a warning to avoid direct confrontation.
Being chased by a wolf
Wild instincts and desires are chasing your rational, confident and awake self. The dream symbolically depicts who has the upper hand in your life – you are being chased by a wolf, not the other way around.
Being bitten by a wolf is one step further than just being chased (above). You can't escape to wild instincts and desires. Wolfs (instincts, greed, desires) are winning and causing real harm – or at least you are afraid of such development.
Wolf and sheep
Wolf and sheep are in fundamental symbolic opposition. The wolf represents greed, power and wildness and the sheep symbolizes innocence, dependency and inferiority. Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
White, brown, gray, reddish
Light-coloured wolves are common in arctic regions. For different colour meanings see (colour meanings).
Mythology and fairytales
The symbolic meaning of wolves may be understandable thanks to some well known fairytales.
- Little Red Riding Hood – a very cunning wolf tries to outwit a girl walking through the woods to deliver food to her sickly grandmother.
- Three Little Pigs – a wolf want to catch and eat three pigs who build three houses from different materials (straw, wood, bricks).
- Wolf and Seven Baby Goats – a big wolf is creeping behind the doors and tries to sneak into the house. The wolf pretends to be baby's mother and convince them to open the door.
- The Boy Who Cried Wolf – a shepherd boy repeatedly tricks nearby villagers by a series of false alarms, but when a wolf actually does appear it is too late to call for help.
- The Wolf and the Lamb – fable of Aesop
- Gmork (Never ending story) – wolf-like creature, the servant of the power behind the Nothing.
Wolves in Art
Paintings and sculptures
- Romulus and Remus – Roman mythology
- Peter Paul Rubens, Wolf and Fox Hunt, 1616
- Jean-Baptiste Oudry, The Wolf and the Lamb 1700 – 1755
- Jan Weenix - Jagdbeutestillleben, 1702
- Christopher Paudiss – Wolf, Fuchs und Schaf, 1666
Wolf in movies
- The Grey Official Trailer (IMDB)
- Never Cry Wolf (IMDB)
- Top 10 Werewolf Movies
- TOP 5: Werewolf Movies