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Canadian Coastal Wolf: My Spirit Animal

A person’s spirit animal is discovered in numerous ways which could be through a dream, spirit-walk or by other means in which they connect. For me it was a personal experience I prefer keeping private but the out come has led me on a path of deep connection and passion to a species of Wolf known as the Canadian Coastal Wolf also known as Sea Wolves. The Canadian Coastal Wolf is said to have “one paw in the forest and one paw in the sea” which is a saying that deeply resonates with me. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and spending a lot of my adulthood in Oregon, Washington and even British Columbia I have always been partial to the coastal forests. Even more so being a man of the sea who had a career in the U.S. Coast Guard I have a passionate love of the sea. I resonate so deeply with these Wolves on so many levels from their diet to their lifestyle that it is almost overwhelming at times when I get to see new footage taken of them in their coastal environment on the coast of Canada.

The Canadian Coastal Wolf is so unique that they get their own classification as a sub-species of the Gray Wolf. So now I am going to load you with a tone of great resources of articles, documentaries and books I highly recommend you browse through. This species of Wolf is so unique and special yet very few are aware of them and their essential part in the balance of the Canadian coastal environment. Sadly they are in danger of hunting and humans encroaching upon their environment. It for me and others so important these Wolves are protected and their feeding grounds be preserved so that the Sea Wolves can carry on with many generations to come.

The amazing sea wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest By Ziya Tong

The wolves eat the brains” says William Housty. If you’re walking along the creek beds of the Great Bear Rainforest and see decapitated salmon scattered about, it’s a tell-tale sign that sea wolves have been in the area. “They just take a bite take out of the head, and everything else is left fully intact.” This unusual feeding strategy has evolved among the coastal wolves that live in and around Bella Bella, B.C. 

First, sea wolves — or marine wolves as they’re also known — are fast, powerful swimmers. Housty remembers an encounter he and his father once had while boating: “We looked ahead of us and we could see something in the water. We couldn’t tell what it was, but it was moving. As we got closer, it was actually two wolves swimming across the channel.” One reason the wolves are tricky to spot, is because they move stealthily in the water, their backs and bodies submerged, and with only their eyes, ears and snouts peeking above the surface.

The wolves aren’t just dog paddling, either; they’re distance swimmers. There is at least one pack on Goose Island off the coast, about 13 kilometres from Bella Bella, and there is no other way to get there except to swim. We also know that the wolves aren’t sedentary. Many of them migrate through the archipelago, swimming from island to island throughout the year. At times, they’re tracking the salmon, but other times they show up even when there’s no salmon to be found. That’s because sea wolves have a diverse diet. A recent study found that it can be up to 85 per cent marine-based: lone wolves take down seals and otters, while packs have been spotted feasting on the occasional whale carcass. The carnivores also, surprisingly, eat shellfish. Using their paws, they dig in the sand for clams, and use their powerful jaws to crack open the shells of mussels. As for the remaining terrestrial diet? Like their larger mainland counterparts, the timber wolf, sea wolves also hunt moose and black-tailed deer. SOURCE

Canadian Coastal Wolf going for a swim

Unfortunately as far as books regarding Sea Wolves there are only two I know of and one of them I recently ordered from Canada which I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. The one I do have is absolutely fantastic which is called The Sea Wolves: Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest. This book is filled with stunning photography and wonderful detailed information about these special Wolves. The two men responsible for this excellent book are Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read. Ian is and award winning photographer and filmmaker as well as a co-founder of a great organization called Pacific Wild which supports the protection and preservation of the Canadian coastal environment. Nicholas Read is a life long lover of animals and a retired journalist and was an instructor at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I absolutely love having this book as a part of my library.

The other book which I am eagerly waiting for can be found on Pacific Wild’s website store which is The Last Wild Wolves by Ian McAllister and you can get your copy HERE.

My Recommended Documentaries

I really enjoy documentaries of many different subjects but to find some all about my beloved Sea Wolves is fantastic. Below are three videos I thoroughly enjoy and are a part of my online video collection.

This wildlife mini documentary follows the daily life of one wolf pack as they fight to survive along the wild west coast of Canada. Some of the most secluded beaches of British Columbia are home to a unique wolf species that has evolved to gather their sustenance from both land and sea. Call of the Coastal Wolves follows a group of filmmakers over a two week expedition as they endeavor to film the elusive wolf. This short film asks us to reflect on our impacts to the natural world as we witness these compassionate, loving animals that deserve more attention and respect.
In the towering rain forests along the northern shores of the Pacific, scientists recently discovered a new subspecies of the gray wolf. Unlike its genetic kin anywhere else in the world, this wolf swims, fishes for salmon and roams great distances from island to inlet across both water and rough terrain.
An introduction to the wolves of the coastal rainforest

Further Resources

Moving like ghosts along the shoreline, these wolves forage for their meals and can swim miles between islands and rocky outcrops to feast.

The Extraordinary Sea Wolves

Meet the Rare Swimming Wolves That Eat Seafood

Biodiversity: Coastal Wolves

The Coastal Wolves of British Columbia

These Rare “Sea Wolves” Have Researchers Utterly Captivated

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Shapeshifters of the North

Shapeshifting in Old Norse Religion as well as other native religions throughout Northern Europe and into Siberia is known but perhaps not spoken of enough about its importance with the practices of Shamans, Witches and with the use of Seiðr. We do see shapeshifting in the stories of the Norse Gods and Goddesses mainly with Odin, Loki and Freyja but not as much with humans like Fafnir the Dragon from the Saga of the Volsungs who used to be a man. Like what we can see with other ancient cultures and even to present times, Shamans will dress in animal hides and become Therianthropic during rituals which is a symbolism of shapeshifting itself. An example that is quite well known during the Viking Age are the fierce wild warriors known as the Berserkrs and Úlfhéðnar which were special warriors that dressed in the hides of Bears or Wolves and they themselves became animalistic.

Besides what was written down or passed by word during and after the Viking Age, as well as other Northern regions across Europe and Asia, regarding shapeshifting, there also is some physical evidence of its spiritual importance with such examples as the Khakassia Petroglyph in Siberia. Shapeshifting depicted with Petroglyphs can be found in other parts of Europe, Asia and especially the Amerindians of North America.

Personally I find the subject of shapeshifting quite fascinating and have read much about it as well as watched a number of documentaries that touch on the subject. Below you will find a selection of resources I highly recommend having a look at.

Three Awesome Magical Powers in Norse Mythology

Shapeshifting in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature

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Wild for Wild

Wild for Wild

© Eiríkr Haf Úlfrsson

He can never truly be tamed; pure in ferocity

She runs wild with unabated Magick

Only ever matched in wildness and passion

The Woman who sees his Darkness

Creates a primal and equal understanding

Darkness and Light

Wildly running at night

Together understanding this;

Wildlings love Wildlings

Under the stars they dance

Around the fire of spirits

And Magick

Wolves of the Hearts

Ravens of the Mind

Fire and Ice of the Souls

That is the unity craved

By the Wildlings of the Ironwoods.

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The Wolf – The Folklore and Myths

Still today, many people associate wolves with the “bad evil wolf” of fairy tales, like the “Little Red Riding Hood”. For the past centuries, wolves were systematically demonized, especially in Europe and North America. It is important to change people’s underlying attitudes if we want to protect wolves in our modern world and since early childhood, people are being shaped by fairy-tales and werewolf movies. The aim of this page is to show the positive image that wolves once had, and still have today, in many cultures, and the important role wolves play(ed) in mythology and religion in various cultures across time and space: from wolves as divine messengers, to the role of wolves in creation myths and even to “wolf gods” that were (and still are) worshiped. Once, when people lived closer to nature, they observed and respected wolves. Wolves were also important as teachers for humanity, telling people how to live as a family, how to hunt and survive, as in this North American quote: “The wolves followed a path of harmony, and they did not like anything to upset their way.” “Wolf was chosen by the Great One to teach the human people how to live in harmony in their families. Wolf was to teach a truth, as each animal… would do also for the humans to survive”. But with increasing urbanization and exploitation of resources, wolves were more and more given the part of the ‘evil’ predator who was competing with humans.

Below you will find the following sections: -Wolves in Rome (she-wolf, Lupercalia, wolf & Mars, etc.) -Wolves in Greek religion (Apollo/Zeus Lykaios; Lykoreia; Leto) -Italic Wolf Cults (Hirpi Sorani; Etruscans) -Wolves in Norse, Germanic & Hittite Mythology-Wolves in Celtic Mythology, ancient & medieval-also Iberia, Scythia & Mesopotamia (Gilgamesh epos)

Click here for 1st page: https://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html?fbclid=IwAR1NZlxJIyv8JgCDWtXHHaU55Iz-yTT970ELx2DpDTlcC6nInuWKNLB-sKk

On the 2nd page, click here: https://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythologie-creation-japan-americas-inuit-egypt.html?fbclid=IwAR24h7aDDbLnqBJ6OKQRvAO3G-ygZJ6jWAVvWa2qO5c51d6IHBowiFHgbMA

On the second page you will find these myths & cults:

Wolves & Creation Myths (Japan/Ainu, N America, Chechenia, Mongolia/Turcs, Hirpi, Dacians) -Wolves as Divine Beings & “wolf gods”, notably in Japan -“Wolf Gods” in Egypt-Inuit Wolf Myths-and many more.

Further Resources:

https://treesforlife.org.uk/into-the-forest/trees-plants-animals/mammals/wolf/

https://www.learnreligions.com/wolf-folklore-and-legend-2562512