Of Witches and Wolves: Are Werewolves Real?

wolf-red-riding-hood“Are werewolves real?” This is a question many witches and pagans, including those in Europe not long ago, would have never thought to ask. Wolves are closely tied to witchcraft and paganism in Europe, North America, and around the world. It is especially true among many native American Indians to this day in the United States and the remants of the pagan past of Europe tell of all of our ancestors’ relationship to wolves.

I'm a werewolf! What's your excuse? Humorous sticker.

I’m a werewolf! What’s your excuse? Humorous sticker.

Wolves and the transmogrification (or shapeshifting) of humans into wolves or wolf-like forms are aspects of shamanism. The shaman works for not just his or her own benefit, but for the benefit of the entire tribe, for protection, for success in hunting, and in fending off dangerous enemies. The wolf and the practice of voluntary lycanthropy is regarded as beneficial and, in this context, there is nothing baneful in the image of the wolf or in the practice of lycanthopy.

Lycanthropy started getting a bad reputation as our historical enemies invaded and began their defamation campaign against pagans and witches. Accused werewolves, those who were accused either of lycanthropy or of being on too friendly of terms with wolves, were arrested, tortured, and systematically murdered in much the same way accused witches were. Sometimes witch trials and werewolf trials were one and the same during the MIddle Ages.

Benevolent Lycanthropy

Lycanthropic Society Sticker

Lycanthropic Society Sticker

In the history of pagan cultures, lycanthropy is beneficial and wolves are part of our cosmology. Among American pagan civilizations, the creators are wolves and, in some instances, the first men were born wolves and later became men.

“Manido,” “manito,” and “manitou” are terms related to the concept of primordial forces. A manitou is such a force, which may be beneficial or destructive, and it is also a term applied to those who have ability to transmogrify. This term, is also related to such terms a shapeshifter and skinwalker. This is a common ability of many pagans and witches and in traditional witchcraft these concepts are almost inseparable.

In some modern pagan cultures, there are those who are born with the ability and who are closely associated with wolves. This concept was illustrated in the fictional novel series, Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. While the story is fictional, there is truth in the existence of tribes or clans whose members possess this ability through heredity.

Some stories from North American Indian cosmology, which tell of the wolf’s role in creation and in relation to humanity:

white-wolf“Glooskap the Divinity: Of Glooskap’s Birth, and of his Brother Malsum the Wolf,” The Algonquin Legends of New England, by Charles Leland, 1884. https://sacred-texts.com/nam/ne/al/al06.htm

Manabozho’s Wolf Brother: A Menomini Legend. (Note: This story describes manidos taking the shape of a wolf to hunt for food.) https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/ManabozhosWolfBrother-Menomini.html

Ojibwe Oral Tradition: Wenebojo and the Wolves. http://www.mpm.edu/content/wirp/ICW-141.html#wolves

Menominee Oral Tradition. http://www.mpm.edu/content/wirp/ICW-138.html#manabush

Remember the Old Ways

werewolf-littleredridinghoodIn many modern, popular books on witchcraft and neo-paganism, the authors tell their readers to “remember” and to “re-member,” which means to reach down into your soul-self and reconstruct–or reassemble–the knowledge your were born with which was terrorized out of your ancestors. There is valuable information that has been only temporarily forgotten, which is rightfully yours.

Part of this act of remembering includes revivifyingy our natural relationship with the wolf and lycanthropy.

Wolf: Remember Who and What You Are

Wolf: Remember Who and What You Are

The wolf is not mere symbolism. Your relationship to the wolf, to werewolves, to the manitou and transmogrification, as a practice, is factual. It is not merely myth.

To learn more about the subject of voluntary lycanthropy, enjoy a free episode of The Occult Files of Sophia diGregorio, available at The Occult Files of Sophia diGregorio Blog. You can also try clicking the following link, which–with any luck, at all--should take you directly to public Monologue 5 of 2019, “Werewolves: Voluntary Lycanthropy.”

For cool witch, wolf, and werewolf designs, check out our “Werewolves and Shapeshifters” on Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/traditionalwitchcraft/occultism/werewolves-and-shapeshifters

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