The Universal Appeal of Three Wolf Moon
This rad fad isn’t going away. It’s getting stronger.
The image is visual and majestic. If you saw it on a guy’s T-shirt, you would immediately assume this was the kind of man who was smart, sensitive, and better at most things than you are. Of course I’m talking about Three Wolf Moon.
Three Wolf Moon is a T-shirt that features three wolves howling at the Moon. Countless satirical reviews on Amazon.com have made it an Internet phenomenon. Artist Antonia Neshev designed the T-shirt.
So, why is it so popular?
Okay, let’s start with the basics:
1) Fascination and wonder with the Moon.
It’s our closest celestial neighbor. Witness it shining in the night sky like a giant Pearl, and you instantly feel connected to the cosmos. The Moon: an almost impossible destination, which makes it more like a dream than a huge rock orbiting the earth.
Every early civilization has a god of the Moon. Moon in Norse mythology. Konshu in ancient Egypt. (Check out the most recent interpretation of Konshu in Marvel Studio’s Moon Knight streaming now on Disney+)
It’s no wonder wolves howl with loneliness at the full moon — feeling so close, yet forever so far away.
Also, we know the word “lunatic” is derived from Luna, the name for the Moon in Latin. It makes sense, because the Moon sure makes us crazy. Don’t worry! Secretly, I want to howl at it too.
That brings me to my next point:
2) Primal kinship with wolves.
From that very first campfire — the moment when a lone wolf crept out of the woods towards humans for scraps of food, we have bonded with this wonderful animal. They eventually evolved into the domesticated canines of today. “Man’s Best Friend” is a moniker I’m sure you’ve heard.
But, wolves are different. They’re wild. They’re mysterious and magical. No doubt that they’re mine, and probably many people’s favorite creature in the Animal Kingdom; however, they’re even more than that. A kindred spirit. A guide through our lonely existence.
3) The idea of a Wolfpack.
If you’ve seen the film The Hangover, then you remember the scene where Alan, Zach Galifianakis’s character, makes a toast. In it, he dubs his group of good buddies a “Wolfpack” — implying the connection between these men of the desert is deeper than friendship. Thicker than blood.
Wolfpacks feed each other, never letting anyone go hungry. They protect each other. The Alpha hangs way back when the pack moves, watching over the smallest and slowest. The young and old.
Loyalty, love, sacrifice. All these images are conjured by saying the word Wolfpack.
And speaking of images…
4) Image composition.
What makes a classic a classic? What is it about Mona Lisa’s smile, Shakespeare’s sonnets, or Beethoven’s symphonies that capture us in an emotional, visceral, and numinous way? The simple answer: composition.
Alone the elements of a song, piece of writing, or painting may not be anything special — a music note, a woman, a word, a smile. But, together they are more than the sum of their parts.
Wolves. Threes. Moons. Assemble these pieces of the puzzle, and you get a pure, unstoppable formula for success.
Thanks for reading!
I’m just a struggling writer living with my own little Wolfpack — wife, son and daughter, in chilly Alberta, Canada. Yes, we can still see the Moon in Canada. In fact, it’s bigger.
If you liked the article, feel free to leave a tip! And if you didn’t like it, go ahead and tip anyway! There really is no need for us both to be unhappy.
Ha! I’m totally joking, you guys. If you’ve read this far, then that’s all I could ever ask.
Besides, my family is worth more to me than all the riches in the world.
About the author
Insurance broker by day, library owl by night. Avid writer, proud father, devoted husband, and novice chess player. B.Sc. from Queen's University.
Currently living in Alberta with my wife and two children.