Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wolves as Archetypes in my Novels

Hey all,

It's time for another guest blogger. Today I have the honor of introducing Eva Gordon,
a fantasy and paranormal author who has a BS in zoology, so she knows her stuff! She says her background in science and her passion for wildlife add credibility to her writings.

She has taught workshops on wolf lore and falconry for writers groups and she volunteers at a wolf sanctuary as well as being involved in other aspects of wildlife education.

A girl after my own heart, Eva writes some creative hot were tales that I'm sure you will all enjoy!!!
So please join me in welcoming the magical, wild, Eva Gordon!!!!


Hi CJ,

Thanks, for letting me blog about why I’m so fond of wolfish characters.

My blog is about why my fantasy and paranormal novels center on wolves as main characters, or spirit guides. In my debut fantasy novel, Mystic Stone of the Tenth Realm, my hero is a Scottish werewolf, an alpha of his own pack (to be re-released soon). My current series is an epic lycan series, The Wolf Maiden Chronicles. Book 1, Werewolf Sanctuary released May 2009 followed by Beast Warrior (August 2009), which takes place during the Viking era. White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight is my most recent release. My totem guide is the raven but my heart guide is the wolf. I’m not alone. Numerous authors are following the call of the wild.

Why is the wolf a common archetype in many myths and stories, even today? Nothing sends a chill down your spine more that hearing a wolf’s howl in the night. While at a wolf sanctuary, I spent the night in a trailer on the grounds and was privileged to hear night after night of thirty wolves in their nightly serenade. No sound is more awesome.

Yet in the past the wolf had a more sinister reputation. During the development of agriculture and domestication of livestock people settled down and pushed out old hunting deities. Wolves were vilified as part of pagan beliefs and turned the wolf into Satan’s ally. Fear of the wolf once ruled Europe. Wolves were hunted and exterminated. Legends of werewolves were rampant. Little Red Riding Hood and the story of Bisclaveret brought fear to the hearts of many. Many accused of being werewolves were tortured and or burned at the stake.

Today there is more of a movement to save the wolf and what was once considered a savage killer is now becoming a spirit guide for folks who need a strong archetype and for environmentalist who see the wolf as a “spokes creature” for nature. So why is the admiration and fear of the wolf so universal? My own explanation is that the wolf’s biogeography, high intelligence; and social interaction helped them enter into the mythos and literature.

The wolf is ubiquitous, found throughout most of the world from the icy Tundra in the Northern Hemisphere to the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. Even in countries where the wolf is not found such as Australia, there are canines that serve as a wolf proxy such as the dingo. Here in our modern homes and cities our pet dogs are constant reminders of our “wolfen” companion. We after all, created the dog from the ancestral wolf, as our most loyal companion.

Wolves display common social and intelligent behavior similar to our own. They both play and have a strict social status, just as some of our cultures have. They communicate with their kind, much the same way we do, both vocally and in non-verbal ways. We have kings and presidents, they have the alpha pair. Humans low in status such as slaves and peasants certainly were low on the pecking order or in a wolf pack the omega. Wolves also mate for life, which endears them to people who long to have a long and loving relationship with a mate. How romantic! What impressed me the most about the wolf sanctuary was the relationship between two wolves, Beasly and Barksalot.

Beasily a white wolf had been rescued from a cruel man who gouged his eyes out, leaving the wolf blind and helpless. He was brought to the sanctuary and became friends with another rescued wolf, Barksalot, who literally became his “guide dog”. Beasly grabbed on to Barksalot’s tail and would be lead around. Barksalot would also bark to communicate with Beasly. Barking is unusual for wolves. Beasly was unusual in that he was the only blind alpha known. He passed away last year and soon after his two other companions joined him. These similarities to human behaviors let us see the good and bad in us in them.

We long to emulate their hunting prowess. Wolves use team strategy and their powerful carnassials to bring down a much larger prey. Imagine a hero that can do damage without a weapon.

The wolf is universally regarded as creatures of prophesy and omens, and have connections between the worlds of the living and the dead. The wolf is affiliated worldwide with magic, medicine, healing and transformation. In Native American culture the wolf is an important archetype. They had great respect for the wolf and often offered prayers before a hunt to the wolf spirit. Wolf spirit was also powerful medicine for shamans who traveled to the world of the dead. In the New World, there never was an attempt to eradicate the wolf from their land by the indigenous people. In Europe just as in the New World, myths and stories about wolves are universal. Early Europeans Respected the Wolf as Protector and Teacher. From the Steppes of Asia Minor to the British Isles the Wolf was mighty totemic protector. Hecate, an Ancient Greek deity was worshipped as a goddess with three wolf heads. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus who were fed by the she-wolf, Alcala.

Ancient Celts respected the wolf as a totem and often as a spirit guide. In Ireland, King Cormac was nursed by a she-wolf. In the Viking world to be a member of the Wolf Clan, Ulfhednar was the greatest honour. Viking warriors believed that if they died a heroic death they would be turned into magnificent wolves. Vikings also believed wolves chasing and devouring the sun and moon caused eclipses. Two wolves accompanied Odin, ruler of the Norse Gods. He created the wolves Freki (Hungry One) and Geri (Greedy One) as loyal companions.

Today the wolf is once again a positive force in literature and as an important part of the predator/prey relationship that keeps nature in balance. And those hot one mate werewolf lovers make us long for the coming full moon.

To learn more about Eva... check out all the information below.
Eva Gordon
Author of Paranormal and Fantasy Romance/Werewolf Expert
ISBN: 978-1-935407-30-0 for Werewolf Sanctuary
ISBN 978-1-935407-31-7 for Beast Warrior, Viking Werewolf

ISBN is 978-1-935407-32-4 for White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight video link to the short is
Print Available now on Amazon and on Kindle

Fan me on Face Book

Thank you so much, Eva for coming and giving us a closer look at the romantic figure of one of my favorite creatures...the wolf. I've used him in several books and my were hero Lucas in my Peacekeeper series is just as hot and alpha as Eva says they should be. LOL

Let me know what you think of wolves and tell Eva how she did in the comments below! Thanks all for coming and I'll see you on Friday with another blog about Singapore, my home away from least for another month!

Hugs to all,
CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Michelle Houston/Houston Michaels said...


How cool that you get to work with wolves!

I am working on my bacholars in biology, and I do volunteer wildlife rehab work, but I focus on the raptors. It's a truly rewarding experience being able to help some of these animals.


Phylis said...

I LOVE wolves too! What great facts I had not heard before. I love your picture. To be so close to them. AWESOME! To be able to hear them howl in person would just thrill me beyond anything! Just cool!

Bestiary Parlor: The Musings of a Zoologist Turned Author said...

Hi Michelle,
I love raptors as well and just did a workshop for writers on Ancient Falconry.

Hi Phylis,
I currently docent at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary and they have 2 wolves and 2 hybrids. Love the howlings.

Anonymous said...

A WONDERFUL, very interesting Blog, Eva and CJ! I love wolves. I had a hybrid (the mother was full chow and the father was full timber wolf). I rescued her as a puppy from boys trying to dump them onto a highway! She lived to be 15 before passing, and I loved her dearly. Your story about Beasly just broke my heart! How cruel people can be in regards to things they fear or dont understand!
I hope your Blog, and your work reaches more people out there, Eva, in regards to the majestic wolves and their plight.

Just a quick question: HOW do you know what your Totem animal AND your Heart animal are?

hugs, Kari Thomas, Paranormal Romance Author,

Amy J Ramsey said...

Very insightful and amazing session. Thank you for giving us information on such an experience with these magnificent creatures. I will have to check out you book in the future.
Good luck with your writing!

Amy Ramsey
Ramsey's Reviews

Anonymous said...

Hi Eva,
Your passion for and knowledge of wildlife, especially wolves, shine through your exciting and inspiring blog.
Thanks for sharing both.
You look right at home with the beautiful wolves in your picture. They remind me of pictures I’ve seen of sled dogs. Do domesticated wolves work with sleds or are the sled dogs relatives?
Along with Kari, I’d like to know how you determine your totem and your heart animals.
Best Wishes,
Sara J. ~ : - ]

Bestiary Parlor: The Musings of a Zoologist Turned Author said...

In terms of power animals I have done Shamanic drumming journeys to find out. This involves a guided drumming meditation to find your power animals. Some are teacher animals and others are guides and influence in a deep heartfelt way.

You can find a local Native American Shamanic group in your area. However, many of us know our power animals because we are obsessed by them. If you keep statues of frogs or horses around your house, chances are these are your power animals. If you go in the woods does a fox or deer always appear? Do you see owls in the daytime? Often the animal will come to you.

I also do animal cards to determine my friends' animal.