What Do Dreams About Wolves Mean?

Updated on June 5, 2019
EsmeSanBona profile image

Aisling is the author of Dog Funeral Evangelism. Her articles on dream interpretation and Jungian psychology have over 1.9 million views.

Wolves might not have starring roles in many dreams, but because they are such powerful, evocative symbols with a firm foothold in cross-cultural mythologies, it's best to pay attention when one trots into your dream.

In dreams, wolves can symbolize:

  • Communication
  • Unexpected help
  • Hidden danger
  • Love
  • Loyalty

Because mythology is crucial to understanding a dream's symbolism, we'll also have a look at mythological folklore. And because amplifying a symbol is a marvelous way to get to the heart of its meaning, we'll also look at waking life wolf traits and habits. Lastly, we'll cover wolf packs and even werewolves!

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Dreams of Howling at the Moon

It is rumored that wolves howl at the moon, but like all the best rumors, that idea exists in fantasy, not in fact. When wolves howl, they're communicating and their howling communicates three basic ideas.

  • If an animal strays into their territory, when they howl they're saying, "All of this is mine!"
  • If they're traveling away from the pack or hunting, a howl says, "Hey, guys! I'm over here and I've found some nice venison on this side of the forest!"
  • Or, and I personally love this one the most, if they're just hanging out, they may just be chatting it up telling their pack mates, "I love you guys!"

Howling in the waking world is all about social communication—it isn't mindless barking at inanimate objects. The same is true in the dream world.

What Does a Dream About a Howling Wolf Mean?

  • If you're dreaming of howling wolves, ask yourself if you feel like your territory, either at work, home, or play, is somehow being invaded by someone. Ask yourself if you're feeling isolated or alone and need to get back together with your pack. Or consider if you are actually longing to tell those around you just how much you love them.
  • Do not ever be afraid to set boundaries, even with loved ones—that includes family members.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. We're social beings. We love feeling wanted and needed. They people who love you will love knowing you trust them enough to ask for their aid.
  • Lastly, never ever fail to tell those you care about just how much they mean to you. Sometimes, the best way to do just that isn't with words, but with action.

Are Wolves In Dreams Evil... or Good?

In the Middle Ages, wolves were often associated with the dregs of society, or outcasts, or even Satan himself. But a number of saints were helped by wolves. Some saints even helped the wolves themselves either physically or spiritually.

In dreams, wolves can stand in for help coming from unexpected sources. Here are a few stories of the help wolves provided to saints or that saints provided to wolves:

St. Brieuc

Saint Brieuc, one of the founders of Brittany, converted Conan of Cornwall after the chieftain witnessed a pack of wolves who initially threatened him on his chariot ultimately bow down before him.

St. Maedoc of Ferns

Irish saint famed for sharing his food with a starving wolf.

St. Francis of Assisi

Roman Catholic saint who, according to the manuscript, Fioretti di San Francesco, tamed the wolf terrorizing the city of Gubbio.

St. Ailbe

6th century Irish saint said to have been suckled by a she-wolf.

St. Anthony

The manuscript, "The Life of St. Anthony," recounts that once, when St. Anthony set out to visit St. Paul the Hermit he met up with various animals on his trip, the animals, some of whom were demons in disguise, pointed St. Anthony in the wrong direction until he found himself utterly lost in the desert. It was a she-wolf, of all creatures, who guided St. Anthony safely to St. Paul whereupon all three fed upon bread brought to them by a raven.

Saint Brieuc, one of the founders of Brittany
Saint Brieuc, one of the founders of Brittany

Wolves in Mythology

Wolves are stars in many of the cultures where human inhabitants encountered them. Sometimes, the mythological wolf is a good wolf; sometimes the wolf is the Big Bad. Below is a cross cultural sampling of wolves in mythology.

Famous Mythological Wolves

(click column header to sort results)
Culture  
Wolf  
Mythology  
Norse
Fenrisulfr, Sköll, Hati
Trio of malicious wolves who assist in bringing about the apocalypse.
Norse
Geri and Freki
Odin's faithful, loyal, and devoted pet wolves.
Roman
Lupa
Name given to the Capitoline she-wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus.
Roman
Romulus and Remus
Twins whose uncle ordered killed, they were instead left on the Tiber's riverbank and raised by the Capitoline Wolf. They eventually went on to found Rome.
Egyptian
Wepwawet
Wolf god said to accompany the pharoah when he hunted.
Inuit
Amarok
Giant, solitary, man-eating wolf who preys on anyone hunting alone in the dark.
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Dreams of Wolves Reveal Hidden Danger

A classic, recurring Looney Tunes duo are Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. Ralph and Sam are co-workers. Ralph's job is to carry off the sheep, Sam's is to guard them.

In one episode, the Ralph puts on a zip up sheep costume to trick Sam and steal his sheep. Sam is neither fooled nor amused as he unzips Ralph's disguise. After unmasking, or rather, unzipping him, all that saves Ralph from Sam's wrath is the sound of the time clock whistle signaling the work day's end.

Unfortunately, we're not always as sharp as Sam Sheepdog. We allow anyone sporting a seemingly kind smile into our lives, failing to check for fangs past the lips.

Sometimes our intuition warns us that something is amiss. We'll feel just a bit uneasy around a person for no discernible reason. Or we'll find ourselves trying to avoid someone and feel guilty for it because the person just seems so nice. We discount intuition because it seems ridiculous.

Intuition feels ridiculous because it accesses information the brain overrides. Dreams will sometimes try to reinforce intuitive information previously ignored.

If you're dreaming of a bad wolf, look around and see where the wolf is. Is it at home? At work? At school? On a road you travel or a place you frequent? Carefully examine your life and ask yourself if there are any pricks of intuition you've felt and ignored—be Sam Sheepdog and don't be fooled by a wolves wearing wool.

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Wolves in Literature

Whether hero or villains, wolves are among writer's favorite characters to add to their tales. Here's just a small sampling of literary wolves.

Famous Fictitious Wolves

Author
Novel
Wolf/Wolves
George R.R. Martin
A Song of Fire and Ice Series
Ghost, Jon Snow's direwolf
Rudyard Kipling
A Jungle Book
Akela and Raksha, wolves who adopt Mowgli, the human child
Michael Ende
The Neverending Story
Gmork, wolf servant of the Nothing.
C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Maugrim, Narnian wolf and the White Witch's Secret Police Captain
Kathryn Lasky
The Wolves of the Beyond
Faolan, outcast wolf left to die but who ultimately "jumps for the sun."

Wolves as Symbols of Love

Rarely does one hear the phrase "raised by wolves" used in a positive context. Normally, when someone accused someone else of being raised by wolves the accusation is that one lacks anything remotely resembling human civility or manners.

But once again, folk tales and sayings have it all wrong.

Wolves are, in fact, exceptional parents.

And it's not just the stay at home mom wolves who are great with the kids. No. Father wolf is as attentive and protective of his children as Mother wolf is. In fact, the reason wolves are in packs is because packs are primarily families—Papa Wolf, Mama Wolf, and Baby Wolves. It is for this reason that wolves are, for the most part monogamous—they do not mate with their offspring. While a wolf will find a new mate upon the death of the current one, wolves do not, in general sleep around.

If wolves are in your dream, they might be showing up as symbols of love—either love that you are seeking to find or for the love you currently have in your life.

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Did You Know?

One of the reasons wolves travel in packs is because the pack is a genetic family consisting of mom, dad, and offspring.

Wolf Packs and Loyalty

Because wolf packs are made up of wolf families, you might assume they are ferociously loyal to one another. If that is your assumption, congratulations, you are correct!

One of the reasons wolves are so territorial is because they are not simply protecting land, they are protecting resources and their own families. Wolves will kill other animals, including other wolves, if they perceive the animal a threat to their pack.

A pack of wolves in a dream can indicate a loyal team of friends or family who will defend you to the death, if necessary. If you have such people in your life, count yourself lucky and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Your pack will be there to help in whatever way they can.

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A Dream of a Lone Wolf

Wolves are primarily pack animals. However, because there is typically only one breeding pair of wolves in a pack, the offspring, particularly the females, will voluntarily leave the pack to go find their own mates.

Unless a wolf is old or infirm or driven from its own pack for some other reason, wolves do not typically stay solitary. Because they have no other pack members to rely on, lone wolves must fend for themselves. This makes a lone wolf stronger and far more dangerous than the average pack member.

If you are dreaming of a lone wolf, ask yourself if it's possible the wolf represents you. If so, are you just temporarily on your own or have you isolated yourself to a dangerous space? Either way, you might want to consider seeking out some companionship.

Source

Werewolves in Dreams

Wolves might occasionally show up in dreams as werewolves. Like all dream symbols, even werewolves have both positive and negative associations.

Werewolves can appear in dreams as stand-ins for the parts of us that react rather than respond to. Reaction is a knee jerk impulse, an act we engage in without thought. Whenever we react, we are not in control over ourselves. Werewolves, with their uncontrolled reaction to the full moon can be apt symbols for the parts of us that are out of our control because they're being controlled by others.

However, a werewolf is also known as a shape shifter. As a positive symbol, a werewolf can symbolize a response, rather than a reaction to, one's environment. A response is not a mindless reflexive jerk of the knee. A response is measured and thought out. Responses to situations can allow us to transcend them. If your werewolf appears somewhat in control of itself, it might symbolize your ability to transcend a situation and shift into a version of yourself with authentic power.

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What Say You?

Have you ever dreamed of wolves?

See results
Do sleeping wolves dream of electric sheep?
Do sleeping wolves dream of electric sheep?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 Aisling Ireland

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    • profile image

      hamish robert pilbrow 

      6 days ago

      BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!! thankyou : ) for putting this site together online. it helps to x-plaine some of two dreams i have had about wolves and werewolves within the last 8 years. hamish

    • profile image

      Sarah Bennett 

      3 weeks ago

      My son has a dream about a wolf who kills him. The wolf chases him and he’ll be running away but always dies by the wolf (a bit horrid here but the wolf ropes his guts out). He’s only ever managed to run away once. He’s had these dreams since he was around 6 he’s 11 now what do they mean and what can I do as they really affect him.

      THANKYOU

    • profile image

      Rhodoniteruby. 

      4 weeks ago

      I had this dream in the death of the night while i was out there in a plantation farm with the full moon at its peak i suddenly heard this howling sound up in the sky when i looked up i a sow a wolf crossing over the moon(can't say what colour it was bcos it was too close to the moon which radiates it light on it.)i was so scared that i started running back to the house which was not too far from the farm. I was so scared that the wolf was looking for food and might catch up with me that i ran for my dear life. Can you pls explain what that means? I have never dreamed about a wolf in my tire life.

    • profile image

      mary 

      4 weeks ago

      I had a dream i was at home home and i heard my mom scream but i was with my small child so i said to her stay inside then this big brown wolf came up to my slidind door and kept trying to get in i saw my nabors trying to do something but they were covered in blood then it walks like a human and hads something like a rage fit couse it cant get in then all of a sudden it starts trying to climb though my windo and i was so sceard i managed to pull my self out of the dream

    • profile image

      Lilli 

      2 months ago

      I have a dream about a wolf pack and there chasing me but then this big , beautiful white wolf comes out all the wolves bow to me and the other wolf . I don’t know what it means

    • profile image

      Vanessa 

      2 months ago

      I dreamt of lots of wolves along a a path and i was about at the 4th or 5th wolf standing there working with or against the wolf can barely remember i dont know if i was scared or not or if the wolf was to harm or guide me. I already knew it was drean because wolves right? So i had to google and i found this article. It could mean all of the above for me.

    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR

      Aisling Ireland 

      3 months ago from Bolingbroke, GA

      Hi Lorrie, thanks for writing. In the dream, did the wolf seem to be protecting you from something or did it seem to be trying to communicate something to you?

    • profile image

      Lorrie Moffatt 

      3 months ago

      First of all I love wolves I always have. I have a question anyone can tell me a little more insight. I recently had a dream where I was running through the woods and I was crying. I in the following and was laying on my back and I don't know where this huge white wolf came up and lay across my stomach make my chest and he had his two front legs stretched out and he was looking at something and fiercely growling. It is anyone out there that can give me some insight on what this meant because it was really intense and I just know that it's telling me something but I'm not quite sure what that is thank you

    • EsmeSanBona profile imageAUTHOR

      Aisling Ireland 

      4 months ago from Bolingbroke, GA

      Thanks for your comment, Solace spark. Have you had other dreams of wolves since that one?

    • profile image

      Solace spark 

      4 months ago

      I when I was young for seven days straight had dreams where this wolf would walk into my room and talk to me and on the seventh day it said don't forget what I'm about to tell you and after it talked to me it bit my hand and woke up in pain on that hand I no longer remembered what it said

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