I don’t want it to be said that I have anything against modern rituals / celebrations. Wolfenoot is, to my mind, the best thing since sliced bread for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost I love wolves and anything that celebrates and honours these magnificent animals is a worthy event in my book.
Secondly, *a kid* came up with it! Imagination is a powerful tool, and for a seven year old to come up with such a well thought out and structured celebration, even if it has been his parents and the internet to help make this thing go viral, is an awesome thing. Perhaps he has the makings of a future cult leader, who knows, because his Mum (Mom?) has wisely kept his name separate from the celebrations internet presence.
Thirdly, although Wolfenoot is not directly associated with any form of denominational belief (though is does embody everything that pagans love such as animals, spirits and cake!) it is a really good example of how “spiritual but not religious” works.
The celebration does, however, have the potential to turn into one of my biggest bugbears with the wider Pagan community. The wider collective seems to have this deep, ingrained desire to make everything we do ancient and connected to civilisations that would barely recognise our spiritual and religious practices.
The cynic in me wonders when Wolfenoot will be transformed into some kind of Native America/Norse/Celtic celebration of the Winter Wolf where we appease the spirits of Wolf and Winter for a successful year ahead.
No! That is not a suggestion because there simply isn’t the need.
There is beauty in the modern idea, even more so when it in its innocence is touches of chilling developments such as the repeal of Obama-era hunting bans which included the killing of wolf pups in the den (source 1, source 2).
The creators of Wolfenoot are refreshingly honest and open about its origins but I wonder how long it will take before such openness is lost to the sands of time. Modern celebratory creations can exist under their own sheer presence and have no need to have spurious ancient connotations attached and I truly hope that Wolfenoot can weather the storm.
How to Celebrate Wolfenoot
Let’s take the concept straight from the words of the creator.
“My son has invented a holiday called Wolfenoot.
It is when the Spirit of the Wolf brings and hides small gifts around the house for everyone. People who have, have had, or are kind to dogs get better gifts than anyone else.
You eat roast meat (because wolves eat meat) and cake decorated like a full moon.
A holiday to the spirit of wolves that celebrates people who are kind to dogs? I can 100% get behind this. So we will be celebrating Wolfenoot. It’s on the 23rd November if anyone else is moved to celebrate it. 😉 If you do, please post pics, so he can see how his idea has spread.
If you’re posting publicly about it, use #wolfenoot.”
Seems straight forward right?
The Wolfenoot creators have recognised the adaptability of their creation and it is clear in their FAQ’s that they are happy for people to take this idea and run with it so long as the core purpose remains.
One of my earliest guides as a callow pagan youth was the wolf, and its presence is still around me from time to time and I thought that Wolfenoot was a good time to honour and re-establish that connection. I asked the eldest if she would like to celebrate Wolfenoot with me and despite neither of us really being dog people she was more than up for it.
So, we went for beauty in simplicity in no small part because we had a very busy weekend. I spent the week leading up to the day wearing a particular wolf necklace that I own and on the day created a simple focus using the Wolf Card from Philip Carr-Gomm Druid Animal Oracle deck.
Then I attempted to lead the eldest through a meditative journey and quickly learnt that I am not able to meditate and give instructions at the same time. So, instead, I gave her a simple journey and allowed her to go into her own space with the card and (electric) candle so she could journey to meet the wolf as a spirit guide.
In addition for requesting guidance and strength for ourselves I will also incorporate a pledge of support for the species, later making a one off donation to a relevant animal charity. Unfortunately there was no cake or roast meat, though we did have our fill of both over the weekend so we probably made up for lost time at that point.
I do intend to make this an annual event in our household, writing it up into the appropriate calendar, though I will be deviating from the original purpose. I will celebrate on the November full moon, which next year will be the 12th November. I realise that this isn’t consistent with the original intent of Wolfenoot but it would fit my ritual calendar better.
So whether you were howling to the moon this Wolfenoot or not, I hope you enjoy the full moon this weekend.