Dr CJ Rogers lives in far western New Mexico, with a pack of wolves whom she cares for and studies. She is known as “The Jane Goodall of Wolves.” To get to her research station, you go waytheheck out from I-40, along a road that looks like this picture.
You can find out a bit about CJ’s* work and see photos of the wolves at http://raisedbywolvesinc.com/index.html.
The reason CJ and the animals are waytheheck out there is that when they lived closer to so-called civilization, people shot at the animals, and some were killed. Even though they were quite safely kept behind a high chain-link fence and could not possibly have harmed anyone. Some people seem to have the idea that any and all wolves should die, no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
That was a long time ago, but the trauma still reverberates. In more recent years, some of the wolves have naturally reached the end of their lives and passed on. Each one was a beloved, important, and individually known and understood member of the community, and each was greatly mourned. The wolves have their own ways of dealing with grief. CJ, who worked as a Jungian psychotherapist before the wolves came to her, painted mandalas to work through her thoughts and feelings.
These mandalas were done through an intuitive process with the symbols arising spontaneously, not planned ahead. They have been put up on the Web in the past, but somehow became lost there, so I am taking this opportunity to put them in front of more eyes. I wish I had had the equipment available, while visiting out there, to take clearer photos. I also wish you could see the real thing close up, because they include dimensional gel ink and have texture as well as color.
Often mandala-making is recommended as a means of spiritual and psychological development or working out problems, finding out what’s in one’s head. I’ve taken a class or two that involved it, but I couldn’t do anything remotely like this. Recently, CJ recommended that I try making a mandala again. I demurred, but then a patient brought me some adult coloring pages, with of course a mandala on top. OK. I pulled out the colored pencil collection and got started.
I hope you will enjoy these images whether you are inspired to try your own or not. Feel free to zoom to see the rich detail.
Please note: Raised By Wolves is always in need of donations, but the address given for donations on the website is no longer correct. If you would like to donate, and I hope you will, please contact me at EleneDOM@aol.com for the address.
* I don’t mean any disrespect in referring to Dr. Rogers this way– it just doesn’t feel right to call her by her formal title in this context.