Wolf Symbolism (8 Meanings) – Wolf Dreams & Spirit Animal

The main symbolism of wolves is guardianship because many people think a wolf looks out for you from a distance.

Wolves normally travel around in packs, so they aren’t too exposed to attacks. However, you’ve probably already heard about the “lone wolf” phrase, which describes someone who likes to wander the world alone, just like a lonesome wolf does. This signifies freedom.

Other meanings of wolves include intelligence, instinct, loyalty, spirit, and appetite. As a spirit animal, the wolf can provide you with some guidance when it comes to your personal freedom. On the flip side, the wolf can also have some negative meanings as a spirit animal, which we’ll explore in this article.

> This article is from our A-Z series on animal symbolism.

8 Meanings of Wolves

What is the wolf symbolism telling you? Let’s see what wolves represent in our society today.

1. Guardianship

Even though wolves have some negative meanings, too, guardianship is one of the most important meanings we can think of. These animals are heavily dependant on their families but also on their packs. Young wolves will always look to their parents for protection, and the male wolf has to protect its own pack.

They live and hunt in packs of up to 10 wolves, and they’ll cover up to 12 miles per day when they’re in a pack. It allows them to stay safe against any potential threats they might encounter on the way.

Another way we can interpret their meaning of guardianship is how ferociously they’re prepared to defend their territory. They’re very territorial, and will not easily give up ground, even if they’re threatened.

2. Freedom

Occasionally, male wolves will steer away from the pack and wander out on their own. This led to the term we know today as “the lone wolf”, a term that’s often used to describe a lonesome person, or someone who prefers to do things alone.

Wolves are symbolic of freedom, too. Even though they have their own territories, they like to wander around. Small packs of wolves might travel several miles per day, even up to 20 miles. Because of that, they represent freedom and they’re willing to fight for this freedom, too.

3. Instinct

Have you ever heard the wolf’s howl? Perhaps it might carry a meaning for you, but for wolves, it’s simply a means of communication. This spine-tingling sound might appear scary to some people. Wolves only use it to communicate something to other wolves.

Sometimes, it’s used as a warning, while other times, it’s to attract the other gender for breeding. These calls are just like their own language that they use to communicate with each other.

Also, wolves rely on their instincts often, as they have developed strong senses in order to both find prey and locate danger. As spirit animals, they tell you to trust your instincts (more on that later).

4. Loyalty

Wolves are loyal creatures. They prefer to move around in packs and will rarely leave it. They don’t forget where they come from, and they will always stand by their companions no matter how hard things get.

This can be a lesson to all of us, but especially for those who have the wolf spirit animal.

5. Ferocity

As ferocious as they are, wolves are some of the most formidable creatures in nature. Many people have heard tales told by their ancestors of wolf attacks, and these tales still haunt many of us today.

You probably won’t encounter a wolf in nature because it will do everything it can to avoid you. But in case that happens, it can be an unpleasant meeting for you. A wolf attack is lethal for almost any species it attacks, including cows, goats, and other types of cattle farmers own – which is why they’re almost demonized by farmers.

But it is this ferocious nature that earns them respect in their natural habitat. They’re considered as a strong species so they don’t have many challengers for their territory.

6. Appetite

Wolves are known to be able to survive in rough conditions and without food. But when there’s an abundance of food, they won’t waste their time before they get it. They’ll eat most types of meat as they’re one of the deadliest carnivorous animals on the planet. For instance, only in Germany, there were more than 500 wolf attacks on livestock in 2017 alone, and the numbers are rising each year.

7. Greed

This is a more negative symbolism of wolves. Many people affected by wolf attacks, especially farmers, see them as greedy animals. Perhaps that mentality is sometimes justified, especially when there are other sources of food around wolves other than livestock. In some cases though, wolves will do that out of need.

8. Fear

The last symbolism of wolves is another negative one. As much as these animals can be an inspiration to us in some ways, they’re a big source of fear for many around the world. Whether it’s because of their experiences with them, or simply because of how wolves are often depicted in our culture, the fear is there.

> See also: Fox Symbolism

White Wolf Symbolism

White wolves are a special kind of wolf species, and they’re slightly rarer than grey wolves. The white color plays a big role in white wolf symbolism, too. White wolves are normally found in arctic areas, although they’re sometimes seen in other colder areas around the world, too.

For example, Native Americans perceived the white wolf to be a symbol of the warrior.

But white wolves normally symbolize something that’s hidden, unattainable, invisible, or sometimes even something that’s extremely rare. This has a lot to do with the color of their pelt, because white wolves are unique and are not found commonly.

And while wolf symbolism usually means that you want to be a part of the group, the white wolf symbolism is telling you the opposite – to become a more independent and free person, not connected to people from other groups.

White wolves are also fearless. They’re not afraid of people like some other wolf species, and they’ll approach them with curiosity instead. And they are like that because they don’t see many other species, so any interaction with other species is welcome to them.

Wolf Spirit Animal

Do you have the wolf as your spirit animal? This is what it can bring to you.

  • The wolf spirit animal teaches you to trust your instincts more and not rely on your thinking process sometimes. This might help you become more spontaneous in some decisions where you tend to overthink some situations.
  • Also, it encourages you to stay confident even when you feel threatened. Wolves are perceived as ferocious animals although in truth, they tend to avoid conflict, especially when they feel like they are up against it. Instead, they know their power and strengths and they use them wisely, and when they do, they do it confidently. That’s what you can take away from the wolf spirit animal and do the same in your life.
  • Additionally, the wolf spirit animal can come to your help whether you want to get more involved in your community, but also if you want to have more freedom and independence as an individual. They are great at both – even though they have a strong connection with their pack, they’re not afraid to wander away and have a life of their own.

Wolf Totem Animal

If you’re someone with the wolf totem animal, then you have a strong connection with nature, and you crave for more freedom in your life.

You also have very strong instincts and you respect them. You are protective to your friends and family, and especially to people that are close to you. Although sometimes, it feels great to get away and be independent and free.

You want balance in your life between having too much social connections and feeling free. That’s where the wolf totem animal can come to rescue in your situation.

Wolf Dreams Meanings

Have you recently dreamt about wolves? Here are some meanings those dreams can have.

  • Seeing a wolf in dreams means that you’re being helped by another person that’s close to you in personal matters, and that you can always rely on this person to help you out in need.
  • Being attacked by a wolf is more of a negative dream, and it might mean that this person is leaving you and you should be wary of them in your life.
  • Seeing a pack of wolves, on the other hand, means that you should connect with the people that are close to you more, and embrace them as they are instead of running away from them.


wolf symbolism and meanings as a spirit animal and in dreamsThe wolf is one of the most fierce animals in nature. Many people fear them because of the many depictions of wolves as these ferocious animals that attack us. However, wolf symbolism can have some important meanings to you, and you can also count on the wolf spirit animal to help you out in need.

The wolf is a strong spirit animal. Wolf symbolism carries some important meanings that can change your life – they represent the qualities of guardianship, freedom, instinct, and loyalty. It also has some negative meanings, such as greed and ferocity. Overall, the wolf spirit animal helps you connect to your intuitions and connect with the people close to you more.

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