The Green Wolf


Be aware that this Tumblr frequently includes pictures of art made with animal remains, as well as occasional liberal political ideologies. Mostly it's nature photography and art (and not just of charismatic megafauna).

Artist, author, ecopagan, and wannabe polymath living in the Pacific Northwe(s)t.

Creator of Curious Gallery, a two-day arts festival celebrating the wunderkammer revival in Portland, OR on February 1-2, 2014. Details at http://www.curiousgallerypdx.com.

I discovered neopaganism in the mid-1990s, and shortly thereafter began my work with animal totems and neoshamanism. Over the years I've wandered through various paths, ranging from Wicca-flavored neopaganism to Chaos magic, and for several few years I created (and followed) Therioshamanism, a post-industrial neo-shamanic path. These days I've relaxed into a more integrated ecopaganism, less about rituals and journeying, and more about the sacred in every moment.

I've also been creating various neopagan ritual tools and other sacred art from hides, bones, beads and other such things since about the same time. And I've written several nonfiction books on totemism, animal magic, and related topics. My next book is "Plant and Fungus Totems: Connect With Spirits of Field, Forest and Garden", due out from Llewellyn in May 2014.

A few places to find me, as I'm all over the internet:


http://www.thegreenwolf.com
http://thegreenwolf.etsy.com
http://therioshamanism.com
http://paganbookreviews.net
https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenWolfLupa

Ask me anything

My Little Planet: Nature is Magic →

Riding on the momentum of my last post, I’d like to trot out one of my pet peeves: the notion that this world doesn’t have any magic.

It’s a sentiment that I’ve heard here and there over the years among pagans and others. It generally starts with a discussion about how we can’t actually fly without support or shoot fireballs or change the color of our eyes with a spell, and complaints that there aren’t any dragons or unicorns or telepathic horses running around. This sometimes devolves into speculation that, as in some urban fantasy novel or White Wolf RPG, this world once had magic but somehow lost it when technology took over. Of course, no one ever provides any compelling evidence that this was the case in the past, and the speculation is usually defended with “Well, you can’t prove it wasn’t that way, so I believe it was!” This is then postulated as being as real a reality as that explored by science over the centuries, and no one can dissuade the speaker that there isn’t some huge government conspiracy to hide magic from the commoners.

Read the rest here.

Tagged: paganpaganismnature paganmagicmagick

Tagged: paganpagan humoralchemymagicksilliness

Source: College Humor

If only I had an apartment full of zombie animals that would pick up after themselves, do the dishes and laundry, and unpack the last of the boxes from moving.
Well, okay, I do have the animals, but they’re more inclined to sit around and stare at me than lift a paw to help with mopping the floor. On the other hand, hides and bones don’t shed much, so I suppose we’re even.
(Note to self: Get better at practical necromancy.)

If only I had an apartment full of zombie animals that would pick up after themselves, do the dishes and laundry, and unpack the last of the boxes from moving.

Well, okay, I do have the animals, but they’re more inclined to sit around and stare at me than lift a paw to help with mopping the floor. On the other hand, hides and bones don’t shed much, so I suppose we’re even.

(Note to self: Get better at practical necromancy.)

Tagged: zombiestaxidermynecromancymagicksilliness

ravenousnightwind:

From the The Green Wolf. This is a silver fox mask and tail that I plan to use in my daily practices as a form of clothing but also to induce a form of shapeshifting to loosen the hame from the physical body so that I may fair forth in hamfarir

Oh, lovely pics! I’d love to hear more about your work with them over time. 

ravenousnightwind:

From the The Green Wolf. This is a silver fox mask and tail that I plan to use in my daily practices as a form of clothing but also to induce a form of shapeshifting to loosen the hame from the physical body so that I may fair forth in hamfarir

Oh, lovely pics! I’d love to hear more about your work with them over time. 

Tagged: taxidermyfox tailfox maskpaganmagick

midnightcharmx:

~ Magick Corner ~

midnightcharmx:

~ Magick Corner ~

Tagged: moss agateagatepaganwiccamagickcrystalmeditationwitchcraftwitch

Bone and Fur and Feather: "Found" Animal Parts in Magic [by Lupa] →

[Another article, this one published on Llewellyn’s blog last month (didn’t want it to get lost in the holiday craze!)]

Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Lupa, author of New Paths to Animal Totems.

This is a quick guide for working with “found” animal parts—naturally shed fur and feathers from pets, farm animals, or wild critters; bones discovered in the woods; and so forth. It’ll work with other animal parts, too, but found ones are relatively low-impact, don’t cost anything, and are relatively easy to find.

Read the rest here.

Tagged: dead critterstaxidermypaganpaganismmagicmagickfurbonesfeathersanimism

Therioshamanism: Masks in Ritual Work →

I’ve had a few people ask me specifically about this topic as of late, so for the curious, here you go–a late Solstice present!

Some of you dear readers are already acquainted with the purpose of ritual garments and the like. For those who are not, the short version is that rituals are special occasions. It can be powerful to have a set of clothing that is reserved solely for spiritual practices. Just putting them on signals to your subconscious mind that it’s time to do special things you don’t normally get to. To an extent, it appeals to that part of us that likes to play dress-up with costumes and fancy clothes and the like–it touches on Homo ludens, the part of us that learns and develops through play. (Of course, as grownups we often feel we have to come up with some “serious” reason to dress up in funny clothes any time besides Halloween–though there are those of us who will come up with any reason to don a costume of some sort, hence steampunks and cosplayers and SCAdians and…)

At any rate, most religious traditions have some form of ritual garments that are worn by the officiant(s), and sometimes for the laypeople as well. Even churches are full of congregants in their Sunday best. These clothes and other wearables are also often a form of identifying people of a similar tradition–if you see someone with a kippah you can pretty well bet they’re Jewish, while someone wearing a cross is likely to be Christian of some denomination or another. In paganism, there’s no single set of garb that will denote “that person is pagan!”, though flowing robes, historical clothing, and a variety of symbolic jewelry (far from limited to the pentacle) will be in abundance at many pagan events. (There will also be a cranky minority grumbling about how we all need to dress like normal civilized people, not Harry Potter or our long-lost Viking ancestors.)

Wolf mask by Lupa, 2012.

Wolf mask by Lupa, 2012.

Masks are a particularly specialized form of ritual wear. We most commonly focus on a person’s face when identifying them and communicating with them. (I’ve yet to meet someone who could tell who was approaching by carefully examining their elbows.) A mask covers up the face, and thereby the person’s identity. A person putting on a mask also temporarily puts on a different persona. Even someone trying on a rubber werewolf mask will briefly “get into it” by making claws out of their fingers and going “RAWR!”

Read the rest here. 

Tagged: masksritualpaganpaganismshamanshamanismtotemtotemismceremonymagicmagickcostume

Pocket-sized antler rune and ogam sets with recycled leather pouches. $30 each on the Green Wolf Etsy shop.

Tagged: runesogamoghamCelticNorsepaganheathendivinationmagickmagicEtsyantlerdead critters

Always Follow Your Heart: Wolf Spell →

faerylizzy:

Spell of the Week: Thursday


Theme: Wolves



Items needed:
• a statue, drawing, representation of a wolf
• brown, silver, or black candle
• a piece of paper

1) Taking the items place the representation of the wolf before you. Take a moment to watch it then give a slight bow.

2) Like the…

This sort of thing is a lot more effective if you actually get to know Wolf the totem, or an individual wolf spirit, than just chanting “Wolf, give me what I want!” This is pretty well true when working with any spirit, totem, or deity. Totems, for example, have their own bailiwicks, and additionally there are many misconceptions about them based on our biases about animals. Deer, for example, is often touted as a totem of gentleness—but male deer in rut are dangerous, to include to humans, and deer have been known to kill and eat baby birds right out of the nest

Really, totemism is largely we humans projecting our ideas and observations about animals onto those animals. A totem is partly “made of” the stories and myths we tell about its physical counterparts, as well as our relationships with those animals throughout our history. So as much as we get to know the totems as they are, we also need to be aware of what we’re emphasizing in the relationship through our biases.

I do think the original spell is pretty and well-crafted; it would be much more effective if you took some time to get to know Gray Wolf (or Red Wolf, or whatever totem you’re working with) before working the spell. 

Tagged: book-of-shadowsSpellsSpellmagicmagickmajickwitchcraftwitchwitches

thiscrookedcrown:

gods-save-anonymous:

soredtherose:

wyld-magik:

thespiritfox:

Anyone can be a witch- but not many are born natural witches.
Natural witches do not need herbs, a full moon, wands or crystals to accomplish spellwork. At times and some of them even cast spells without meaning to.
 That has happened to me on several occasions through out my life. The reason why I made this post was on a situation that happened Sunday night. My daughter’s father was coming by to drop her off and the whole day I longed for him to stay by some means. I deeply desired some minor catastrophe to befall him so he would spend a few days with me. Needless to say at the stop light 2 houses from my own his car dies after an hour long journey here. He was able to push it out in front. He came into the house and glared and my smirk. He knew and has always known. Long story short I spent an extra 2 days with him while it was being fixed. He still is grumpy with me for that, haha. Could it be a coincidence ? It could. Of course I would never want to hurt him, and the car conveniently came to a halt 2 houses from mine, but you know, it could always be… just a fluke. <|;)
We will be getting a place together soon in the Summer… and he is always so over joyed at the spiritual activity he will be forced to harmonize with.
How can you tell if you are a natural witch?
Psychic dreams
Are strongly drawn to the Sea or Gardening
Exceptionally gifted at tarots, runes, or any divination
Reading people, picking up on their emotions
Family history of these signs/witches
A healing touch
In tune with animals
Making things happen just by wishing on them
Anxiety around the time of the full moon
  There are more of us than you think and some people go through their whole lives without realizing their bond with the Earth.
What are your stories?


I have to laugh each time I see a post or article especially on Witchvox or somewhere like that that says there are no “natural” or “hereditary” witches. Seems funny when your family can trace it through the generations and you experience it yourself and yet people say that “it doesn’t exist”. Funny how it’s always the people that are so tied into ritual for their “magic” that make the claims. Honest heartfelt magic doesn’t need the rituals, robes… it just needs you. 

Huh. You’ve just accurately described my spiritual practice. I didn’t know there was a name for it. I’ve just been calling myself Pagan which is fairly vague. Thanks for this, loves!

Lmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
tell me please oh wise witches
how you trace
your witch powers
through literal generations in your family
past your grandmother at the most
Proof please and thank you

This ^.
Seriously though, do you really think you’re a special snowflake? ANY practitioner can do and/or feel these “traits” you’re stating. ANY practitioner can “cast a spell by wishing”. The art of magic doesn’t need herbs or crystal or cards. It needs you and your faith in yourself. Having your gods and/or spirits, if applicable, will certainly aid in the spiritual side but the practical magician? Doesn’t need anything but themselves. All the “tools of the trade” are there to help, to amplify.
Think of it like screwing a screw into the wall. You could do it with your hand, but that’s painful, can go crooked, and time-consuming. So you get a screwdriver (screwdriver being a metaphor for herbs in this case). Well, that’s useful, but it’s still painful, still time-consuming so you grab another tool, a battery operated screwdriver (let’s say a combo of herbs, gods/spirits, other ritual shit). That’s much more useful; powerful and fast.
Tools aren’t there to make a witch. You can be one without a tool on your shelves or a god or spirit to summon. Anyone who says otherwise is in denial and wants to feel special, important.
Unless you have a book or documents that can be dated by an unbiased, third-party historian there’s no way to trace your ancestry back to a “witch line”. Oh, your granny told you her mother was a witch. OK, we’ll have to trust you because all we have it word of mouth. No evidence. We don’t have to believe you because you can’t provide evidence. And just because your granny could read a tarot deck doesn’t make them a witch. My grandmother could and I would never call her a witch. She wasn’t. It was a skill she picked up as a teen. I’m not saying there aren’t witches out there who have a long line of practitioners. I would be the first to admit knowing a few. They have letters, books, from the “Old Country” dating back to the mid-1800s stating that a many-great-grandfather was a shaman for lack of a better word. And his children learned his skills. It’s all written down, on paper, in barely legible script. I believe it. This family provided evidence and I have no proof to contradict them. As far as I’m concerned, they are a hereditary witch. They are one of the rare few who can claim that because they can back up the shit they’re saying.
Another point to make is just because your parents or grandparents follow superstitions doesn’t make them a witch. Even if the superstitions are something that a practitioner would classify as a spell. That doesn’t make them a witch either. There’s a lot of people that use superstitions or learned behaviors from family or culture along with their deep faith in Christianity to protect their home. I know a Christian who keeps a pair of scissors on every window sill to keep evil spirits at bay. That’s a technique practitioners have been using for years. That doesn’t make every person who uses that technique a witch. It makes that person a person using a tool and their faith to keep shit out of the house. I would never call that person a witch. Hell, doing so would insult them. Point is a lot of people, a lot of our ancestors would have used these simple techniques to keep themselves safe, to see their future love, etc. That doesn’t make them a witch. Your great-grandfather could have easily been one of these folks who put scissors in the window, onions in the corner, and left a bottle of wine on an uncle’s grave and still consider themselves a good Christian. And calling him a witch would probably piss him off because in all likely he wasn’t.
tl;dr: STFU. Why can’t being a practitioner or a witch just be enough?

The whole “natural witch” thing? Is all in your head. Tools are lovely, and they can have strong spirits, but in the end they’re sort of an aesthetically pleasing Dumbo’s feather. They can help teach you the skills of focus and will that you need to be able to do “empty handed” magic. But they are not the magic themselves—they do not imbue you with power in and of themselves. The most powerful spirit-laden tool can be in the hands of the most inept magician in the world—and the magician won’t be any less inept.
It’s like my practice with swords. I can have the best-balanced, most expertly made, pattern-welded longsword in my hands, but if I don’t practice my drilling, the sword won’t make much difference. An expert swordsperson with a wrought iron rod can knock that pretty sword out of my hand if I don’t know what I’m doing.

thiscrookedcrown:

gods-save-anonymous:

soredtherose:

wyld-magik:

thespiritfox:

Anyone can be a witch- but not many are born natural witches.

Natural witches do not need herbs, a full moon, wands or crystals to accomplish spellwork. At times and some of them even cast spells without meaning to.

 That has happened to me on several occasions through out my life. The reason why I made this post was on a situation that happened Sunday night. My daughter’s father was coming by to drop her off and the whole day I longed for him to stay by some means. I deeply desired some minor catastrophe to befall him so he would spend a few days with me. Needless to say at the stop light 2 houses from my own his car dies after an hour long journey here. He was able to push it out in front. He came into the house and glared and my smirk. He knew and has always known. Long story short I spent an extra 2 days with him while it was being fixed. He still is grumpy with me for that, haha. Could it be a coincidence ? It could. Of course I would never want to hurt him, and the car conveniently came to a halt 2 houses from mine, but you know, it could always be… just a fluke. <|;)

We will be getting a place together soon in the Summer… and he is always so over joyed at the spiritual activity he will be forced to harmonize with.

How can you tell if you are a natural witch?

  • Psychic dreams
  • Are strongly drawn to the Sea or Gardening
  • Exceptionally gifted at tarots, runes, or any divination
  • Reading people, picking up on their emotions
  • Family history of these signs/witches
  • A healing touch
  • In tune with animals
  • Making things happen just by wishing on them
  • Anxiety around the time of the full moon

  There are more of us than you think and some people go through their whole lives without realizing their bond with the Earth.

What are your stories?




I have to laugh each time I see a post or article especially on Witchvox or somewhere like that that says there are no “natural” or “hereditary” witches. Seems funny when your family can trace it through the generations and you experience it yourself and yet people say that “it doesn’t exist”. Funny how it’s always the people that are so tied into ritual for their “magic” that make the claims. Honest heartfelt magic doesn’t need the rituals, robes… it just needs you. 

Huh. You’ve just accurately described my spiritual practice. I didn’t know there was a name for it. I’ve just been calling myself Pagan which is fairly vague. Thanks for this, loves!

Lmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

tell me please oh wise witches

how you trace

your witch powers

through literal generations in your family

past your grandmother at the most

Proof please and thank you

This ^.

Seriously though, do you really think you’re a special snowflake? ANY practitioner can do and/or feel these “traits” you’re stating. ANY practitioner can “cast a spell by wishing”. The art of magic doesn’t need herbs or crystal or cards. It needs you and your faith in yourself. Having your gods and/or spirits, if applicable, will certainly aid in the spiritual side but the practical magician? Doesn’t need anything but themselves. All the “tools of the trade” are there to help, to amplify.

Think of it like screwing a screw into the wall. You could do it with your hand, but that’s painful, can go crooked, and time-consuming. So you get a screwdriver (screwdriver being a metaphor for herbs in this case). Well, that’s useful, but it’s still painful, still time-consuming so you grab another tool, a battery operated screwdriver (let’s say a combo of herbs, gods/spirits, other ritual shit). That’s much more useful; powerful and fast.

Tools aren’t there to make a witch. You can be one without a tool on your shelves or a god or spirit to summon. Anyone who says otherwise is in denial and wants to feel special, important.

Unless you have a book or documents that can be dated by an unbiased, third-party historian there’s no way to trace your ancestry back to a “witch line”. Oh, your granny told you her mother was a witch. OK, we’ll have to trust you because all we have it word of mouth. No evidence. We don’t have to believe you because you can’t provide evidence. And just because your granny could read a tarot deck doesn’t make them a witch. My grandmother could and I would never call her a witch. She wasn’t. It was a skill she picked up as a teen. I’m not saying there aren’t witches out there who have a long line of practitioners. I would be the first to admit knowing a few. They have letters, books, from the “Old Country” dating back to the mid-1800s stating that a many-great-grandfather was a shaman for lack of a better word. And his children learned his skills. It’s all written down, on paper, in barely legible script. I believe it. This family provided evidence and I have no proof to contradict them. As far as I’m concerned, they are a hereditary witch. They are one of the rare few who can claim that because they can back up the shit they’re saying.

Another point to make is just because your parents or grandparents follow superstitions doesn’t make them a witch. Even if the superstitions are something that a practitioner would classify as a spell. That doesn’t make them a witch either. There’s a lot of people that use superstitions or learned behaviors from family or culture along with their deep faith in Christianity to protect their home. I know a Christian who keeps a pair of scissors on every window sill to keep evil spirits at bay. That’s a technique practitioners have been using for years. That doesn’t make every person who uses that technique a witch. It makes that person a person using a tool and their faith to keep shit out of the house. I would never call that person a witch. Hell, doing so would insult them. Point is a lot of people, a lot of our ancestors would have used these simple techniques to keep themselves safe, to see their future love, etc. That doesn’t make them a witch. Your great-grandfather could have easily been one of these folks who put scissors in the window, onions in the corner, and left a bottle of wine on an uncle’s grave and still consider themselves a good Christian. And calling him a witch would probably piss him off because in all likely he wasn’t.

tl;dr: STFU. Why can’t being a practitioner or a witch just be enough?

The whole “natural witch” thing? Is all in your head. Tools are lovely, and they can have strong spirits, but in the end they’re sort of an aesthetically pleasing Dumbo’s feather. They can help teach you the skills of focus and will that you need to be able to do “empty handed” magic. But they are not the magic themselves—they do not imbue you with power in and of themselves. The most powerful spirit-laden tool can be in the hands of the most inept magician in the world—and the magician won’t be any less inept.

It’s like my practice with swords. I can have the best-balanced, most expertly made, pattern-welded longsword in my hands, but if I don’t practice my drilling, the sword won’t make much difference. An expert swordsperson with a wrought iron rod can knock that pretty sword out of my hand if I don’t know what I’m doing.

Tagged: paganpaganismwitchcraftWiccamagicmagick