The She-Wolf was another aspect of the Triple Goddess, as shown by her triadic motherhood. She gave three souls to her son, the legendary King Erulus or Herulus, so that when Evander overthrew him, he had to be killed three times. She is also the mythical mother of Romus and Remulus, the founders of the city of Roma.
The Amazons, who worshipped the Triple Goddess, incorporated a tribe called the Neuri, who “turned themselves into wolves” for a few days each year during their main religious festival, presumably by wearing wolf skins and masks. The same story was told of a certain Irish tribe in Ossory, who became wolf-people when attending their yuletide feast, devouring the flesh of cattle as wolves, and afterward regaining their human shape.
South Slavs used to pass a newborn child through a wolf skin, saying that it was thus born of the She-Wolf. After their conversion to Christianity, the people claimed this ceremony would protect the child from witches. But its real purpose, obviously, was to assimilate the child to the wolf totem via a second birth from the wolf.
Lovers of the She-Wolf sometimes found her on a holy mountain, which the gypsies called Monte Lupo, Wolf-Mountain. Young men could learn the secrets of magic by celebrating the sacred marriage: masturbating over the Goddess’s statue and ejecting semen on it. She would guide and protect them, provided they never again set foot in a Christian church. Her votaries’ shape shifting followed the phases of the moon, which was another form of the Goddess herself.
The Gaulish Diana had numerous wolf-cultists among her votaries, in both ancient and medieval times. Under her totemic name of Lupa she was a mother of wild animals, and certain women seem to have impersonated her in southern France.
A Provencal troubadour named Pierre Vidal wrote a love poem to a lady of Carcassonne, whose name was Loba, “She-Wolf”:
“When loup-garou the rabble call me,
When vagrant shepherds hoot,
Pursue, and buffet me to boot,
It doth not for a moment gall me
I seek neither palaces nor halls,
Or refuge when the winter falls;
Exposed to winds and frosts at night,
My soul is ravaged with delight.
Me claim my she-wolf so divine;
And justly she that claim prefers,
For, by my troth, my life is hers
More than another’s, more than mine.”