Friday, May 24, 2019

Animals in Folklore Part 2

Wolves in European Mythology

Wolves play an integral part in European mythology. They are found in almost every major culture in European history. I thought I would wrap up this small sample of their role with what I thought was the most interesting. 


In Celtic mythology the wolf plays many roles. As in other cultures the wolf was seen as a bringer of death and destruction. The Celts never feared them though. These things were necessary for new life and re-birth to occur. Wolves had their own month at the end of winter, which they ruled over, called Faoilleach. This was a time of death and purification. To the Celts though death was celebrated, their loved one's spirit was free and living a better life.

In Celtic mythology the wolf was associated with several famous figure. They are the companion Cerridwen, the goddess of fertility and the moon. Brighid is the goddess of flame, hearth and a patron of warfare and has a wolf as one of four sacred animals. The Morrigan, the goddess of war, death and destruction also took the form of a wolf. The Celtic hero Comac was raised by wolves and was said to speak their language. All his life he was seen with at least four wolves.


The founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were rescued by a she-wolf after the king ordered them thrown into the river Tiber. The river god, Tiber, slowed the river and the basket eventually stopped on the roots of a fig tree where the city of Rome was eventually founded. It was the she-wolf, Lupa, who found them in their basket and saved them and subsequently suckled them. Eventually, a couple of farmers finds the wolf with the boys and adopts the children.

In Roman culture wolves are also associated with the gods, more specifically with Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, and Leto. They typically act as divine messengers. There is also a legend of Zeus transforming a king that tried to trick him into a wolf as a punishment.

Lupercalia, is a religious wolf festival, that had strange rites. It was primarily a fertility festival held on February 15th that included a chase through the town. It started at Lupercal, which was supposedly the site where Romulus and Remus were suckled by the she-wolf. It was suggested that a dog, and even puppies were sacrificed for purification.


While Britain has a vast amount of folklore that stems from it the most well known is the Legend of King Arthur. Merlin the king's friend and loyal advisor lived as a hermit for a period of his life and kept an old grey wolf for a companion. To this day both Merlin and the wolf are known as guardians of Britain.

A wolf plays a key role in my newest paranormal romance Honor Bound. If you want to see how my great white wolf features in my story you'll have to read it to find out. The book is featured in the Moonlight Mystique anthology so you'll get 9 other steamy romances as a bonus.

I am a mother, pharmacist and author. I love all things fantasy and sci-fi. Romance is always a welcome bonus. I have two little girls and I love dogs, I have two of those as well, a Boston Terrier and a Pittie mix. So technically some would say I have four kids. I am currently on a writing hiatus but hope to get back to my romance series or my fantasy series soon. Right now my girls are my priority. My all time favorite series of books is the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I've read all 12 of the original series at least twice and some 3 or 4 times. I know I'm a little obsessed but who doesn't like a normal guy that becomes a hero. Oh Richard Rahl! If you'd like to know more about me or my books please see my website. If you would like more info about my books you can find it on my store.