Monday, August 26, 2013

Are wolves our forgotten symbol?

Movie thoughts

Just a thought: Are wolves our forgotten symbol?

              Hi guys. So I am going talk about history of wolves symbolism comparing to modern day, because I recently saw my favourite movies again, Blood&Chocolate and Underworld anthology and as I like  wolves, I decided to make a topic about it. And I m pretty excited.

Brief introduction:
               Underworld is a series of action horror films directed by Len Wiseman, Patrick Tatopoulos, Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein.  It´s about classic werewolf vampire fight, but werewolves are freed slaves in this one. I am not going to spoil it for you, these are good movie series so go watched them if you want.
                Blood & Chocolate is a 2007 film directed by Katja von Garnier, produced by Lakeshore Entertainment and distributed by MGM. It is very loosely based on the young-adult novel of the same name by Annette Curtis Klause, which was adapted into a screenplay by Ehren Kruger. The movie was released on DVD on June 13, 2007 in the USA. In this film instead, werevolves are living double life and they distinguished themself from humans, and it´s a thriller type movie. I highly recommend it. Very highly.
                And no I am not going to talk about Twillight. I watched it, because nobody wanted to go watch it with my


sister, and she wonders why. I mean it´s a really bad comedy for me. Did you saw that scene when main character Hell-a Spawn takes X-ray of her baby as she is pregnant? I laughed my ass off, because it reminded me of Bomberman game, where you play as Bomberman, that lays bombs to destroy walls and kill other creatures or players, if you are playing multiplayer. That 
x-ray definetly explains how Bomberman lays those bombs :D. And don´t even feed me with that bullshit that her child is from Retard Cumllen. Vampires don´t have blood circulation, so that means no erection, which means no baby-making, as someone else stated before, and werewolves aren´t hopelless and they don´t take their shirts off every five minutes. And I am going to end it here, because it would be a different topic. 

Wolves in Nordic culture:
           The most powerfull wolf in the Nordic regions is mythological wolf Fenrir or sometimes
mentiod as Fenrirsulfr. For those that didn´t know what I am talking about, I am taling about Norway Sweden, Denmark, and we can sort here also Germany because of the mythology. Old Germans, or Alemans, had similiar mythology based on Scandinavian countries like Roman Empire had similiar mythology based on Greece. Irish people were more into the trees. I mean there is a book from Fred Hagender called Trees, which I read, and it´s about Trees, from their symbolism (based mostly on Irish mythology) to their biology and physics, but back to the wolves. Another well recognized wolves were Fenris sons (which I think that one might be more of a daughter than son) and they will end the world. I am not writing abou this again, why they are ending the world or so, because I wrote it in my topic "Is Loki a true villain?", because Loki was Fenrirs father, so it would be better for you to go to read the topic, before continuing, so you can understand how the Nordic people saw Fenrir the wolf, which as a mythology figure, was impersonating hidden wisdom and devastating truth. Also, wolves were seen as wariors and protectors of theri family, and really wise creatures in the early ages. They also were the "badges of bravery and manhood", because young man that was in his teenage ages was send to woods to kill a bear or wolf, and he must make a some sort of hood or cloak from it, as to show his social status as a man. That´s how he became Ulfsark, first stage of becoming a one kind of warior. But for higher respect, as for example as Hersir (chief or honored  main warior of village), if you tamed a wolf pack, you have became more honorable in the eyes of others, and strangers would take you more seriously. I like to think about dogs nowdays, as a piece of honor from the north in our homes.

Wolves in Slavonic Culture:

          Wolves were sacred in the early ages for Slavonian. They didn´t have a wolf mythological figure, but that dosen´t mean they didn´t respect them. The wolf cultures was mostly centered around Kyjevan Rus Empire (so for better understandig, I will use incorrect term, and that is "Old Russia"). "Old Russia" was centered around Ukraine, Belarus and way up to Russia, and the legend from those days even said, that to became a Slavonic Emperor, you need to be a werewolf first, to rule above the people at daytime, and guard the forests at night. Werewolf wasn´t a beast, but a calm, wise person that will stand for whatever it takes, to protect their families, which were the people they had ruled. Slavonians have a friendly relationship with wolves, they respected their teritories and they probably as can be seen by latest archeological explorations, tamed them and live with them. At one point, it is said that Slavonians were closesto wolves than any other nation at that time. But because they didn´t wrote anything, the early history of ancestors of countries such as Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosna and Hercegovina and Czech Republic are lost, and most importantly, documents about wolves are lost with them too. But few fragments of history of these countries indicates, that wolves were seen as wise elder of the forest, protectors of families and symbol of family itself. This was before "Old Russia" happened, because in the time of creation of "Old Russia" Nordsmen and Eastern Slavonians were mixed up, so the symbol of wolves, or as they personification of something mixed up, but in the positive way. Wolves then started to signify another virtue, and that was dignity wich then was associeted with honor too.

Wolves in Indian Culture:
                 Indian people were more aware of, as I like to call it "Darwin symptom". They, as hunters,
recognized significance between human actions and animals actions so they started descriptions of ones mind, behaviour and personality based on similarity. They were aware of their bodies and mentality or psyche so this system leaded to creation of concept of spirit animals, which  thanks to conditions that this concept was created, can really work in some sort of way. Also wolves have similiar qualities with other ancient nations as described before, which is a bothering question for historians and archeologist. Also their seeing of wolf is identical to tribes in Central Russia, especially tribes near the river Lena in Siberia. The rituals to "invoke wolf qualities of they personality" is reason why it´s performed, even though it doesn´t deal with actual wolves as themselves. and you know, that having a spirit animal as a wolf, was a respectable status amongs others. But I must say, that later wolves started to symbolize wanderers, too, but it began in the Indian Culture.

           To read about mythology of nations around the world, with wolves and non-wolves mythological characters, i recommend book from Michael Jordan, The Encyclopedia of Gods. I got my hands on the Czech translated version, where they added Slavonic gods, so I would be glad if they translate it back to english. 

Wolves in Medieval ages:
                   So you probably already know, that at medieval times, shit went down, and yes I must agree, because wolves are not exeption for this rule. But let me clarify some facts. Yes, Christianity came, and somewhere in other parts of Europe went, and came, but church was not only the reason that throwed wolves from their pedestal. Feudal society was based on farming and lands, so people started to invade territory of wolves. The population grew bigger, hunting was increasing, and the wolves were forced to leave the forests. That´s were wolves to started to looking more like beasts.                         
                         Church stopped the wolves to making widespread into family crests, blazons, or family shields, because people started use things, referring to their history(also depending on if it was demonized by church or not) or mythical beigns reffering to supernatural ancestory, or things as a symbol of their family destiny. Wolves at this point fit the role of demons and ravage beasts, because they´ve been forced to move from their homes, and as they´ve were hungry, they started to be defensive and started to steal livestock and attaking humans. During this period even Nordic Fenrir the wolf was fully demonized. In literature they can also symbolize lust, for example like in book from Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, which I recommend. Highly. 
                     But here are few exceptions too, mainly in later medieval ages. Wolves, beside they have negative qualities, like bestial anger in warfare, no mercifull agressive status, scary and so on, they became to symbolize also grieving, and even their color grey started to symbolize it, too. For example on some blazons they´ve even symbolized reward from perseverance in long sieges and/or hard industry.

Wolves in Modern age:
                      These days wolves almost vanquished as a symbol, but the ongoing image is mainly based on Indian ancestry. After the age of Enlighttenment the main focus of humanity is on human itselfs, so wolves are coming back as werewolves which are based on medieval depictions of wolves and that´s why I liked movie Blood&Chocolate more than Underworld, because in the movie Blood&Chocolate they based the werewolf on the medieval depiction but the main character is based more like Slavonian or Nordic depiction. In Underworld they were enslaved, but it´s ridiculous, because Vampires are enchanted corpses, but the trend turned them into something more, thirsty, and into a reasoning being, because  they once were people so they depict humans hunger for power and immortality now. Humans have changed, and you can not denied that. So think about it for a second. If you have such qualities as wolves show to each other, would you be a ravaging beast to your friends and family? Does the saying "Human to human as wolf" makes sense?
                         Another aspect of wolf in these days as a spirit animal of some sort can be for example found in book from Hermann Hesse, Der Steppenwolf. I don´t know if there is an english version, I got my hands on slovak version, so you must find it on your own. I recomend this book. The moral of this book is pretty much summed in this picture (no this is not  a spoiler, book is deeper than movie Inception): 


Conclusion:
                     So basically, the image of wolves mutated into a symbol with good and bad qualities. I just want to say, that is funny how people say and categorize things and giving some meanings withou asking or finding out. I mean how can be wolf a symbol of lust? Because dogs often hump legs, and by turning that dog in a wolf will make this symbol more wilder, more boisterous? But it is in human nature to fit the pieces together for their own purpose, I suppose. I mean that people need to redifined wolves as a symbol of threat.
                       I heard a story on the internet, so it must be true, right? :D But no I am going to believe this one. There was once a pregnant lady, that was alone. Her husband left for pregnancy, like any other classic story. She was leaving somewhere in Aljaska, so when the contractions came she sat into the car and she tried to drive herself to the near town. Her car died on the road, so she decided to take a shortcut through woods, because it will only take her some 20 minutes t reach the town she headed. In the middle of  the woods she was ambushed by wolf pack. From that shock and terror she started to giving birth. She layed on the ground, and the wolves surrounded hear. They slowly came to hear, they lay next to her to keep her warm and even they bite off funis. I am going to belive that, because wolves have respected for pregnant women and babies, and also there are many more stories about them. They even don´t attack  their own puppies.
                          So I am saying, redefine the wolves as a symbol, and also redefine werevolves if they are coming back, but please not in some "romantic" shit, but in their true image.
                          And don´t forget be like a wolf, live likea wolf. There is more meaning and philosophy in this, but I am just going to end it here, because it is not the theme of this topic.

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