Trailokya Trilogy, Book One: the Shadow Soul features a lot of recognizable themes, myths both ancient and current and introduces its audience to a mind blowing way of reimagining them all. To the delight of many, it also includes the theme of animals as contributing members of society, powerful beings with their own autonomy and paths to pursue. In the middle of this, every atman (soul/being) selects another being with which to walk that path. In fact, they choose several soulmates. And, so the journey goes for centuries as each reaches toward higher experiences.
The most prominent of animals, or souls as the book calls them, are canines, more specifically, Canis Lupus—the wolf. Captain Maiel, the central figure of the narrative, is almost always accompanied by her cohort of wolves. The pack is led by Argus, the Arctic wolf, and his gleaming coat of white fur (they come in white, gray and black, the last being an indication of mating with domestic dogs). At his side is his mate, a black coated female from the wilds of Elysion, Zion, named Shee. The pack is filled in by various grays and their first litter of pups.
The other prominent animal is the Mountain Lion. Not only is Captain Maiel what her world terms a guardian, but her make-up is part muse, a sort of ethnicity that allows her to alternate forms between her native duta (what we call angels in Judeo-Christian and Islamic practices) appearance and that of a North American Lion of Earth. The captain is also a twin, and her brother Joel carries the same abilities. These abilities are almost always expressed in an effort to quell anger, but more importantly as a defense.
Why wolves and cougars? We humans have developed an understanding of the animal world, in respect to our culture. Wolves and cougars are viewed as warriors–hunters and tough as nails, fierce beings. However, the characters of the trilogy regard all animals as citizens of their world, with autonomy and inherent worth beyond the power they can augment into our beings through belief based ritual. They’re integral in the success of each concerned, as equals. Instead of a dangerous predator – wolves and lions are seen as souls filling an important niche and contributing to the success of the entire world and the others lives living in it. This is a theme that humanity still struggles with, caught between latent memories of the forest and the modern era. Fear still separates us from proper stewardship of our fellow travelers.
Wolf ambassador Atka from NY Wolf Conservation Center spends a great deal of his time teaching modern humans about the benefit and reality of wolves in the ecosystem and their communities. The wolf is essential, is the message. However, in much of the United States and the rest of North and Central America, the wolf is still dwindling in population—a victim of old world thinking and fears. Many conservation efforts face and uphill battle erasing what is ‘known’ in common culture about predators.
Petitions against wolf hunting in the Western United States:
- Wolf Killers for Hire
- Idaho Has Gone Too Far “Idaho is paying this federal agency $225,000 to help decimate the state’s wolf population. Demand that Wildlife Services stand down!”
- MoveOn Petitions – Protect America’s Wolves! – MoveOn.org
- Howling For Wolves: Stop the Hunt.
Watch this National Geographic video on studying the Mountain Lions of California, for a lighthearted look at the job.
Likewise the Mountain Lion, and all of her incarnations over the States and Canada, is being hunted and their populations decimated out of fear for what they will do to those encroaching on their territory – because it’s more important for people to be able to jog in the mountains than allow nature her course, or build and develop on top of their hunting grounds. For example, the Florida Panther is on the verge of extinction, every now and again coming back from that edge, but never to the numbers the animal enjoyed in days before European settlements, which pushed out the native human population who had lived in harmony with them.
Many organizations work worldwide to ensure a future for these animals, echoing the themes of cooperation in Trailokya and showing humanity a better and more sustainable way of existing together. The reality is, these animals are essential to our well-being more than we can ever understand. This video that went viral on Facebook attempts to explain the need for wolves, despite arguments against them, as dangerous menaces to human life. I have enjoyed donating some of my earnings to the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem New York (Atka’s home) for the past year. The strides they make in teaching about these essential predators are remarkable. Understanding is the key to any great predator’s survival. I also donate to the Mountain Lion Foundation in California, USA.
Whether culling is the answer or not, and I agree that there should be culls done by the forestry service and not average hunters jacked up on power trips—but only when absolutely necessary for the animals’ health. Education about these animals and cooperation with them is necessary for everyone’s survival. If we are going to cull them, then the resultant corpses should be used in the best way possible: food, clothing, and religious pieces for those adhering to that Medicine – there are artisans/crafters in the Americas, who produce such work with respect to these animals in the traditions of their ancestors. I am blessed to have one of their cougar pieces, not for the fun of having such a piece, but in respect to North American Indigenous Traditions and teaching–I do not condone buying such products outside of a real need.I want one isn’t enough justification. When people create a market for animals parts, the animals will be wholesale slaughtered, so it is best to make them few and only as religious icons, teaching tools and museum pieces.
It is my hope that The Trailokya Trilogy will instill readers with a sense of respect and cooperation with their fellow souls.
For more information on Wolves and Mountain Lions, or to watch Atka on live came http://nywolf.org/wolf-cam/ambassador-wolf-atka/enclosure, go online:
Alawa, NY Wolf Conservation Center
Did you know that you can sign up for Amazon Smile and support NY Wolf Conservation Center’s efforts? NY Wolf also has a wishlist, so you can know exactly how you’re donating!
The Trailokya Trilogy, Book 1: The Shadow Soul by K. Williams