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Coyote represents heroism, trickery, laughter, and magical powers;
adaptability, the Moon, lessons, and
The wisdom of Coyote comes through his artifice, wile, and illusion.
His skill of distraction teaches you
to see what is not obvious; to look beyond the surface at what
is being hidden. He speaks of mystery and
challenge; of truth and deception; of laughter and tears. He
is the cosmic clown; who, in his foolishness,
finds himself caught up in his own trap time and again only
to barely survive and do it all again. Through
him you learn the humor of life. You learn to laugh at that
foolishness but must take care that the trick is
not on you. Coyote enters your life when you are being blinded
by things and he behaves in a manner that
makes you see the folly. Just as you are laughing your hardest
the lesson will hit home. He is the Great
Trickster who goes out of his way to teach you a lesson while
entertaining you with his antics.
Coyote's powers of magic are great; and he uses them in the
art of deception for his are never quite what
they seem. he is able to adapt to any situation and call down
the powers of Grandmother Moon. She aids
him in the lessons he needs to teach clouding judgement with
emotion. Then she draws back to reveal the
truth when he is ready to let it be known. Without the ability
to laugh at yourself the lesson is lost.
Through his humor he heals and eases the harsher realities and
in that there is great wisdom. He can teach
you to use his Medicine to ease stress, lighten a serious situation,
or change the subject--and always with
a moral to what is being done.
Through this creature-teacher you learn to accept your mistakes
or continue to make them until you do.
Each time he appears it is to lend new perspective and warn
that you need to prepare for the unexpected
for he is deception incarnate. Coyote walks the grey areas of
life darting between light, darkness, and
hiding in shadow. He does not settle down until he has stirred
things up in a stew pot of hilarious chaos.
Watch for the backfire where passion gets the better of you
or leads you into walls of stone. The Great
Trickster helps you to sharpen your instincts, utilize your
creativity, warns of danger, and stimulates your
mind. He is the Dean of the School of Hard Knocks holding several
degrees and starring at his own prize
pupil. He is as sacred as he is funny and if you see his tracks
be on alert for whatever comes next.
Keynote: Wisdom and Folly
Cycle of Power: Year-round
The coyote is an amazingly adaptive animal, and the Native American
lore about this animal is rich and
plentiful. It is the creator and the jokester. Much magic has
been associated with the coyote, but the magic
does not always work. Even in its not working, it serves a purpose.
There is always hidden wisdom where
the coyote is concerned. In many ways the coyote is to the plains
Indians what the raven is to the people
of the Northwest--creator, teacher, and keeper of magic. Both
are playful and love to have fun. Both are
skillful, but often look for ways to do things that will not
involve the use of their own skill. They often
look for shortcuts. Both remind us not to become too serious,
and both remind us that anything is
possible. Oftentimes in many of the tales, the coyote makes
things more complicated than they need to be.
If coyote has shown up as a totem, you may wish to ask yourself
some questions. Are you or those around
you being too serious? Have you forgotten that play time is
essential to health? Are you complicating
what is really simple in some area of your life? Is someone
playing tricks on you? The coyote teaches the
balance of wisdom and folly and how they both go hand in hand.
The image of the wise fool has been
used in the lore of many societies. This is the individual who
seems to be a simpleton and yet the words
and actions have a much greater wisdom than is initially recognized.
Are you not seeing the wisdom of
your life and its events? The coyote will help you.
In the tarot deck The Fool card. This card is good for anyone
with a coyote totem to meditate upon. Its
energies are tied to simplicity and trust. Itis the card for
developing poise in the chaos of life. It stimulates
and renews innocence, and it reawakens a childlike wisdom in
response to the world. It is the card that
reminds us that true teachers of wisdom have a wonderful sense
of humor. Through the coyote, we learn
to become again as little children with a reawakening of the
intellect, creativity, the artistic mind and all
the intuitive faculties. Although often seen as a pest to be
eliminated by many groups, it has managed to
extend its range. It is found in every part of the country.
It has been able to do so because it has used its
keen intelligence and adaptive ability. The coyote used to be
most active hunting at dawn and dusk.
Today it is most active at night. This is done to avoid the
The coyote will often use cooperative hunting techniques. They
have a well-organized system of running
down smaller prey. The chase occurs in relays. While one coyote
rests, another gives chase. This kind of
cooperation hints at the energies that coyote can bring to your
life--an ability to stimulate cooperation to
accomplish important tasks in the most efficient manner. Sometimes
the coyote has even teamed up with
badgers and they have hunted together, reflecting the coyote's
ability to adapt to the situation.
The howl is one of the coyote's most significant qualities.
It is generally accepted to be primarily a social
gesture. It can express loneliness, warn of danger, or call
for assistance. It touches the soul of whoever
hear, reminding us of our primal connections.
A coyote's den can be located anywhere. They usually prefer
the side of a hill near a water source. The
coyote will often return to the same den for each litter, but
they rarely use the den year-round. It is a place
they work out of. This same kind of pattern is common among
those who have a coyote as a totem. They
are most effective when they work from a place, but do not limit
themselves strictly to it. It hints of the
need for mental stimulation, and those with this totem require
a lot of it.
Coyotes have a very close-knit family unit. They will sometimes
mate for life. The father is very
conscientious and participates in the care and raising of the
young. Both parents train the young in
hunting techniques. The male cares for the mate while she is
pregnant, helping to protect and feed her. If
something does happen to the mother, then the male takes over
the care of the young. The coyote is one of
the most fascinating animals, and it is not easily locked into
any particular category. It is filled with
paradox, but at the heart of its energy is the balance of wisdom
and folly that makes for a fulfilling life.
The Coyote holds a most unique place in the legends and folklore
of North American tribes. Although
intimately associated with the Great Mystery in the very act
of creation, his wily descendants are both
pests and relentless competitors in the serious business of
survival on the Earth Mother.
One of the tribes of old California believed that the coyotes
were the first humans who ever existed. In the
beginning, of course, they walked on all fours. Then, gradually,
they began to grow certain human body
parts--a finger here, a toe there, an ear here. Over the course
of generations, they eventually became
perfect humans with beautiful tails. Although the tails were
handsome, they slowly wore away through
the human habit of sitting upright.
To another southwestern tribe, the coyote became an early, god-like
savior of humankind. Originally, so
goes the old legend, the Great Sun Chief had nine brothers,
all flaming hot like himself. The native people
down on Mother Earth were about to wither and die under the
terrible heat of ten suns burning down on
them. Brother Coyote, quickly assessing the situation and immediately
perceiving the answer, leaped into
the sky and slew the Sun Chief's fiery brothers, thus saving
the tribespeople from baking to a crisp.
However, this problem had no sooner been solved when Sister
Moon's nine sisters, each as cold as she,
began to turn the night into a freezing torment. Once again,
the tribespeople were helpless, for they had
no way to keep warm, and they appealed to Brother Coyote to
help them lest they perish.
Coyote had to have time to think, so he retreated to the far
eastern edge of the world. After a time, the
Great Mystery sent him an idea. Coyote picked up his flint knife
and struck it against a rock. Sparks flew
into some leaves, and almost before he knew it, he had created
fire. He took a few moments to warm his
paws over the flames, then leaped into the sky and slew each
of Sister Moon's frigid sisters, thus saving
humankind from freezing to death. But as an aid to their keeping
warm on cold winter nights, Coyote
gave the tribes the gift of fire.
So it was the coyote who gave humankind the knowledge of how
to make fire, how to grind flour, and
how to find the herbs that would bring about the quickest cures.
But Brother Coyote has a very strange
temperament--or maybe he didn't think he received enough thanks
for his gifts--for he is a also a
Trickster. True, he brought fire and food, and healing herbs
to human kind, but he also brought death. The
tribespeople soon learned that when you ask such a creature
to grant you a wish, you had better hope that
there will not be some twist attached to it.
Medicine teachers Star-Spider Woman and Rattling Bear caution
that if you must be foolish enough to
ask Coyote a favor, at least be very precise in what you request.
The Navajo regard the coyote as the very essence, sign, and
symbol of the Dark Side of witchcraft. If a
Navajo were to set out on a journey and spot coyote crossing
his path, he would go home and wait for
three days before setting out again. Borrowing the devil from
the Christian missionaries, the Navajo
believe that Satan uses the coyote as his steed on evil nocturnal
If you have received the coyote as your totem animal, you must
first remove all negative connotations
from your mind about the creature being a representative of
the Dark Side of spirit. The coyote is an
exceedingly resourceful animal with amazing powers of adaptability.
Listen carefully to your coyote
totem guide, for it will teach you the fine line between wisdom
The coyote totem spirit may well have come to you because you,
too, are a survivor, a person who knows
how to adapt to any situation, good or bad. Ancient wisdom lies
within the vibration of this spirit helper,
but to gain its greatest spiritual treasures, you must truly
pay very careful attention to the essence of each
and every message that your guide relays to you. This totem
animal will teach you your discernment, one
of the most valuable of all survival lessons on the earth plane.
*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
Coyote is one of the most ancient mythic symbols for most Native
tribes. He is often portrayed as either
the creator or trickster. He is full of magic, special powers,
and teachings. We learn from the lessons that
Coyote gives us about the mistakes and/or accomplishments he
has made in life. Depending on the
circumstance or situation in your life, the sign of Coyote is
usually a good sign, but beware, it can also be
misleading. This omen, or sign, always requires careful study
and an change from time to time, from
person to person, and from situation to situation. Here is an
ancient story I heard Okanogan/Lake Band
friend, Glen Raymond. It is a "Coyote story" that
tells how Coyote got his name and special power.
In the Beginning of the world, the Great Spirit called a council
meeting of all the Animal people. He said:
"Some of you do not have names yet, and some of you do
not like the names you have now. So tomorrow,
before the sun rises, I will give a name to everyone. And I
will also give each person a special arrow."
This caused a big uproar and chattering, but the Great Creator
continued. "Come to my lodge as soon as
the darkness is gone. The one who gets here first can choose
any name he wants. And I will give him the
longest arrow, and that power symbol will mean he has the most
As everyone was leaving the meeting, Coyote turned and said
to his friend the Fox: "I don't like my name,
so I am going to make sure I am there first. I think I would
like to be called Grizzly Bear or Eagle."
Fox just laughed and laughed. "Nobody wants your name.
I think you'll probably have to keep it," he said.
"No!" said Coyote. "I'll prove it to you. Just
wait and see. I'll be there first. I won't even go to sleep
tonight just to make sure."
That night he sat by his fire and stayed awake for a long time.
Owl hooted at him, making him feel
nervous. Frog croaked in the marshes and sang songs that made
Coyote sleepy. Coyote heard all the
animals, even the Crickets. He kept staring at the sky, and
soon even the stars began to slowly disappear,
making his eyelids feel heavier and heavier. He became very
Suddenly he jumped up and said: "I've got to do something
about this!" So he looked around, found two
sticks, and propped them under his eyelids. "Now I can
stay awake," he said to himself.
But soon he was fast asleep. When he did finally wake up, the
sun was already passing over the
mountains, and Coyote's eyes were dry from having been propped
up all night. And even though his eyes
were sore and he could hardly see, he ran as fast as he could
to the Great Creator's lodge. It was empty
except for the Great Creator.
"I want to be Grizzly Bear," he screamed, thinking
he was the very first one there. The Great Creator
responded: "That name is already taken, and Grizzly Bear
has the longest arrow. He will be chief and
medicine man of all the animals on Earth."
"Then I will be Eagle," said Coyote firmly. "That
name has also been taken," said the Great Creator. "And
Eagle has the second-longest arrow."
Coyote became frustrated and worried. "Then I will be Salmon,"
he cried sadly. "That name has also been
taken, and Salmon has the third arrow," said the Great
Creator. "So he will be chief of all the Fish people.
Only the shortest arrow is left, and it has only one name on
it. Here, take it," said the Great Creator.
Coyote sank down by the sacred fire in despair. His eyes were
still sore and dry, he couldn't even cry. So
the Great Creator put water in them. Coyote sat and thought
about his perdicament.
"I know," he said, jumping up. "I will ask Grizzly
Bear to change names with me." And off he went. "No,
no, no," said Grizzly Bear. "I cannot do this for
you because the Great Creator game me this sacred name."
Coyote returned to the fire and thought some more. "Then
I will go look for Eagle. But how can I fly? I
know! I will go look for Salmon. But how can I swim?" He
was so sad and disgusted he began to cry.
The Great Creator heard him and came out of the lodge. He said:
"Don't feel so bad, Coyote. I have a
special power for you. I wanted you to be the last one to come
because I have special work for you to do,
and you will need a special power and ability to do it. Now
study your arrow and gift. With it you can
change yourself into any form. And when you or someone else
needs special help, call upon your power.
"And lastly, Fox will be your little brother and messenger.
He will help you when you need assistance in
your work. If you die, he will have the power to bring you back
to life again. Now go throughout the
world and be a teacher."
That is how Coyote got his name and special power; he teaches
us about the powers of Nature, behavior,
*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Versatile, persevering, clever
Magical Influences: Adaptability, wins the favor of the Lady
of the Moon, magically changes other's
opinions, draws down Moon power.
Personality: Coyotes are true loners; they are wary of strangers
and usually have a better time alone than
with another person. But coyotes mate for life and they make
long-lasting companions for those who get
close enough. Coyotes are "jacks-of-all-trades"; they
are able to survive all odds because of their
adaptability. Eventually they try to master internal and magical
*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Trickster. There are thousands of myths and stories about Coyote,
the great trickster. Many native cultures
call Coyote the "Medicine Dog." If you have pulled
this card, you can be sure that some kind of medicine
is on its way--and it may not be to your liking. Whatever the
medicine is, good or bad, you can be sure it
will make you laugh, maybe even painfully. You can also be sure
that Coyote will teach you a lesson
Coyote has many magical powers, but they do not always work
in his favor. His own trickery fools him.
He is the master trickster who tricks himself. No one is more
astonished than Coyote at the outcome of
his own tricks. He falls into his own trap. And yet he somehow
manages to survive. He may be banged
and bruised by the experience, but he soon goes on his way to
even greater error, forgetting to learn from
his mistakes. He may have lost the battle, but he is never beaten.
Coyote is sacred. In the folly of his acts we see our own foolishness.
As Coyote moves from one disaster
to the next, he refines the art of self-sabotage to sheer perfection.
No one can blindly do themselves or
others in with more grace and ease than this holy trickster.
Coyote takes himself so seriously at times that
he cannot see the obvious; for example, the steamroller that
is about to run over him. That is why, when it
hits him, he still cannot believe it. "Was that really
a steamroller? I better go look," he says. And he is run
over once more.
Contained within the trickster medicine is the humor of the
ages. The cosmic joke is not just on ourselves
but on everyone else, if they are following Coyote or have strong
Coyote medicine. Someone like this
may be able to convince others that a skunk smells like roses,
but the fact remains that it is still a skunk.
Snooze time is over if you have pulled the Coyote medicine card.
Watch out! Your glass house may crash
to the ground at any moment. All your self-mirror may shatter.
The divine trickster is dogging you, and
you may trip. Coyote scratches under his arm. he does a crazy
dance. He catches his tail on fire playing
with matches. He jumps in the fishpond to save himself and nearly
drowns. Coyote secures a concrete
statue. Coyote thinks he has found a bone, but it's a rattlesnake.
Everyone watches the comedic scene.
Coyote is you, me, booby traps, jet airplanes with toilets that
don't work, blind dates, and all the
humorous and whimsical things we encounter along life's way.
Get ready for more of the laughs--lots
Go immediately beneath the surface of your experiences. Ask
yourself what you are really doing and
why. Is Coyote your medicine? Are you playing jokes on yourself?
Are you trying to fool an adversary?
Is someone tricking you? Do you want to give the office "geek"
the phone number of the beautiful new
secretary? Or do you want to pull a boner on your best friend?
When was the last time you did something
just because it was crazy and fun?
On the other hand, you may not be conscious of your own pathway
of foolishness. You may have conned
yourself, your family, your friends, or even the public at large
into believing you know what you are
doing. But listen, Coyote. You are balled up in your own machinations.
You have created a befuddling,
bewildering, confounding trick. Pick up the juggler eyes from
the ground and put them back in their
sockets. See through the genius of your acts of self-sabotage.
Find it amusing and laugh, trickster, laugh.
If you can't laugh at yourself and your crazy antics, you have
lost the game. Coyote always comes calling
when things get too serious. The medicine is laughter and joking
so that new viewpoints may be assumed.
If you have Coyote medicine, you may use it to make stuffy old
fogies lighten up, to add cheer to a party,
or to break a "death-grip conversation" with ease.
Look at the positive side of sabotaging nosey questions
about your personal life. Have fun telling some gossiper that
you just returned from St. Tropez in your
new Lear Jet!
If Coyote appears in the reversed position, you can be assured
that he is going to be contrary and a pain in
your side. Look around yourself and watch which direction he
is coming from. If Coyote is approaching
you from the outside, beware of this master of illusion. Coyote
may put you in his spell and take you to a
briar patch to pick berries. It will be a painful lesson for
you if you follow him. Coyote reversed can
appear in your life as a supposed all-knowing teacher, a scam
artist, a get-rich-quick business planner, a
rare coin door-to-door salesperson, a femme fatal, a movie producer,
or anybody who wants you to follow
their lead. Coyote is not the recommended business partner or
Contrary Coyote may signal a time when everything you touch
backfires. All your jokes may be
exploding in your face. In this reversed position, Coyote also
signals a time to be aware of the intentions
of others, and to look for the boomerang you threw at another
person coming back to knock you from
behind. Someone else's trick may be on you, or there could be
deception in the wind. Whatever Coyote
reversed has conjured up, it could be coming from any direction.
Remember, this joker is always wild!
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Coyote signifies a preference for solitude.
*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
This animal, a small wolf (Canis latrans), is sometimes called
the prairie wolf or brush wolf. It is found in
the western sections of the United States. It is less than four
feet long and weighs about thirty pounds. I
looks much like a small German shepherd, but has a bushier tail.
It has a sharp, yapping bark.
The coyote has learned to adapt itself to human civilization,
often living within the outer boundaries of
cities and towns. It is intelligent; sometimes a female will
deliberately lure a domesticated dog out where
the rest of the pack can kill it. The coyote can run for short
distances at a speed up to forty-five miles an
hour. These creatures are best known for their howling at night.
To Native Americans, the coyote was the archetypal Trickster
Hero, who stole fire for humans, but also
could bring floods. Coyote was a spirit of the night, with great
magickal powers. Although he was said to
be able to lead one out of danger, he was more often associated
with death, pain, and evil.
Magickal attributes: Take care as Coyote is a Trickster! Cunning,
shape-shifter, stealth, opportunity, dark
and light magick, illumination, truth, creativity, new life,
experience. Don't be foolish or you could trip
yourself up. Seeking opportunities.
Coyote is often seen as the Spirit Keeper of the South because
of his ties to Fire. The Trickster portion
comes in as he is always being burned by it, the wisdom comes
in as his ability to bring it to humanity.
He is also tied to solar energy for he is said to have pushed
back the Sun when it was scorching people
from being too close to Earth.
Lesson: Trust & Seeing through Illusion
Wind: South~Recalling the Child Within~
Wisdom & Folly Guile & Innocence Stealth
Ability to laugh at ones Self Hidden Lessons
Teaching the Importance of fun & play
Intelligence Childlike Trust
Song of Life Trickster
A cry fills the night
the haunting sound, a familiar one.
Carried upon the ribbons of moonlight,
a song that has been heard for centuries,
never changing, yet heralding change.
Generations & tribes of two-leggeds have long since come
and always, across shifting times and People
Coyotes song lingers on . . .
the melody often strong in our ears,
in other moments, but a distant echo we vaguely hear.
He sings to us of Family and the sacred bond of love.
Coyote asks of us to expand our hearts beyond blood ties
to include all the People
human, winged, four-legged, finned,
as members of our Clan.
Coyote sings to us of Changes to come.
He is Trickster, Joker, the Fool & the Sage.
Both the Wise Master and the Servant of Folly,
Masleca sings to us
that Truth lies within the Paradox
Native American culture is rich with lore featuring Coyote as
a central figure. ~Masleca~ is
known as ~The Trickster,~ a paradoxical mixture of wise sage
and foolish prankster.
The Trickster, always carries with him, lessons that are crucial
to growth and change, yet the
lesson he brings is usually one that is contained within a grand
joke that Coyote plays upon the
unwitting human. As such, though he is a Teacher Spirit, his
lessons are taught via the vehicle of
humor and wisdom found within folly.
***For the two-legged beside whom Coyote walks, there will be
an aspect of their personality
that is deeply playful and mischievous, yet they are equally
capable of deep contemplation and
introspection. Though this may at first appear to be a great
contradiction, such dichotomy is all
a part of the paradoxical Medicine of the Trickster that is
both the Wise Sage and the hapless Fool.
Coyote souls will most often learn their lessons the hard way
as they go through the Earthwalk
trusting those who are incapable (or unwilling) to be worthy
of such innocent trust. Such faith in
Others is beautiful in its simplicity and geniuses, yet ultimately
it brings to Soul of Masleca,
lessons in discernment.
The Coyote individual will often make things much harder on
him/herself than they need be, and
part of their Lesson as they journey around the Sacred Hoop
of Life, is to uncomplicate their life
and enjoy the simple pleasures. For one whose outer
personality is marked by a great
curiosity, this can be exceptionally difficult to master as
the focus tends to shift frequently and
they become easily bored or distracted. Yet if they can learn
to discipline their sharp intellect,
much can be accomplished.
This is not to say that they should attempt to focus only on
one project until completed, but
rather to find their own way of following projects through that
can also appease their proclivity
for multi-tasking. Perhaps in realizing that it is acceptable
to have a variety of projects going
simultaneously, so long as the projects are completed, Coyote
Soul can begin to own their
success. Often times, society teaches us that we must focus
on only one thing at a time and to not
veer from that one venture until it is completed. For those
who walk beside a Totem that is
singularly focused (such as the Mountain Goat), this is a natural
and easy process, yet for one
beside whom Coyote journeys (a multi-tasking Totem), this is
contrary to their inherent Nature.
Attempting to meet societal expectations and then failing,
Coyote can become discouraged
and lose faith in him/herself. By recognizing that it is part
of their nature to have several projects
going simultaneously and combining this self-acceptance with
a degree of discipline geared
toward finishing those projects (even if this is done simultaneously),
the two-legged with this
restless Animal Spirit comes to recognize that there is nothing
wrong with their approach, it is
Trust & seeing through Illusion
In Earth Medicine, it is recognized that each Wind or Direction
possesses its own unique
Medicine. In the South, we see the Cycles of Summer and Mid-Day.
The Directional Totem for
the South is Coyote with the Medicine of this Direction being
that of herbs and the ~Standing
People.~ Three is the ~Sacred Count~ for the South and it governs
the Soul with the Powers of
Trust, Faith of the Child, Enthusiasm for Knowledge, Understanding
forged in the fires of
Experience, Innocence and the ability to heal through the use
of Herbs and Plants. The South
Wind teaches us the importance of retaining our child-like (as
opposed to childish) Faith and
Trust despite the adversities and challenges we all must surely
face on this Walk of Life.
As the Animal Spirit that is recognized as the Totem for the
South Wind/Direction on the Hoop of
Life (Eagle is the Totem of the East, Grizzly Bear is the Totem
of the West and Buffalo is the
Totem of the North), Coyote reminds us of the importance of
~Keeping our Faith.~
Observing the Coyote in his/her natural environment can be a
study in comedy and drama as this
beautiful wild canine endures all that is currently stacked
against it to survive as the two-legged
encroaches further and further into the wilderness and is becoming
increasingly intolerant of
Coyotes rightful place on the Sacred Hoop of Life. Yet
in watching the enthusiasm of Coyote
interacting with members of his/her family, or (as seen in the
background to this page) when
chasing prey, there is an unbridled and child-like playfulness
about this Creature Being that
reminds us all of the need to retain our joy and discovery of
***Coyote as a Primary Totem will bring to the two-legged beside
whom Masleca journeys,
many lessons in Trust and Seeing through Illusion. This can
be a challenging aspect to Coyote
At heart, the Coyote individual will be an exceptionally trusting
individual who will enter the
Sacred Hoop with a heart that is virtually wide open and trusting.
Unfortunately, the two-legged
with Masleca as a Totem Spirit begins the process of discovering
not everyone is worthy of
such trust as he/she encounters many individuals who take advantage
of their open and trusting
The lessons themselves may be presented in a variety of ways
from lending money to a friend
under the guise of being reimbursed only to be left holding
the bag to having unquestioning
faith in a romantic partner who betrays such trust in acts of
unfaithfulness and/or deceit. These
will be exceptionally painful experiences that often leaves
the Coyote with blaming the Self for
being so gullible.
If the lessons represented by those painful experiences are
not embraced and integrated in
Conscious Awareness, the result can be a developing sense of
disillusionment and the Coyote
will become suspicious of even the most trust-worthy of individuals.
For those who are operating
from a standpoint of automatic suspicion, partners, friends
and associates who are honest and
faithful, unable to operate any longer under such questioning
of their integrity, will ultimately
leave. Hence, the wounded Coyotes belief that the individual
couldnt be trusted in the first
place will be reinforced and justified as it becomes a self-fulfilling
The irony is that the Coyote individual is often very keen and
perceptive, and on some level they
will intuitively know those who are worthy of trust. A subtle
knowing will inform them of those
who are out to take advantage of their nature, and they will
invariably be proved right every
time, yet equally that same inner knowing will tell them when
another can be trusted.
When operating from the Shadow or Contrary Medicine, the Soul
of Coyote will be
untrustworthy themselves, weaving tales and betraying the faith
of loved ones. If this is the
instance, then the lessons encountered are much harder, as ultimately
the lies spoken or
unfaithful acts will ultimately be exposed. The culmination
of these lessons will often result in the
Coyote losing one whom they cherish until they are forced to
face themselves in honesty and truth.
In both instances, when the two-legged beside whom Coyote trots
can learn to listen to his/her
intuition rather than what they either want to believe or refuse
to see, or if they are the
individual who cannot be trusted and learn to become honest
and truthful, the lesson in Trust is
well and truly absorbed as Masleca learns to pierce beyond the
veil of Illusion of Self and Others
to the Truth that dwells beneath.***
Song of Life
The desert Southwest is often filled with the haunting cry of
the Coyotes howl. Higher-pitched
than that of their cousin Wolf, the Coyotes song drifts
across mesas and through sandstone
canyons with a song that is simultaneously mournful and wise.
It is the call of unity amongst
family members sung back and forth across vast distances as
a means of staying in contact.
This same song is also a rallying cry between pack members before
a hunt or to chase of
intruders, or the serenade of a lone Coyote in search of a mate
beside whom they will journey
the rest of their lives. As there are so many circumstances
in which Coyote will sing, the call has
become known as the Song of Life.
***The one beside whom Coyote journeys will be an individual
that feels they are here for a
specific purpose or mission. However, the irony
often is that despite this strong sense that
there is a goal to be accomplished on this Earthwalk, the Coyote
Soul will spend many years in
attempting to discern what that special purpose is. At times
glimmers of their destiny will
appear clearly before their questing eyes only to suddenly disappear
ensuing doubts and issues of self-worth clouds their vision.
Only through exploring many different avenues will the Coyote
eventually find the Path that
his/her heart resonates to, and along the way a variety of interests
will capture their restless
curiosity. Above all however, the Coyote individual needs to
explore and investigate as theirs is
an active and inquisitive mind. Hence, fields in which they
are challenged intellectually or
spiritually will resonate the strongest with them as well as
a field in which they can share their
insights and knowledge gained with Others.
Some professions which the combination of qualities mentioned
above might be found are in the
communications field such as writing or journalism, the educational
field or any Role in which
they are able to transmit their philosophy, ideas and ideals
to their fellow Two-Leggeds.
Once the Pathway has been found, the Coyotes soul with
resonate with a sense of ultimate
fulfillment as they begin the exploration of their mission,
their voices will raise in celebration
as their Song of Life rings forth.***
From: wolfs_moon.tripod.com/CoyoteTotem.html (watch out for
the pop ups there though)
Copyright © Lynx Graywolf
Oh that Coyote! Up to his usual tricks no doubt and creating
chaos and mischief everywhere he goes! Yet
Thank God/Goddess/All that Is for Coyote medicine and the people
who carry its energy, for without him
and them, this world would be very drab and dreary indeed! And
have a little sympathy for those of us
who do carry this medicine; like Raven and Crow, its not
an easy path to walk.
There is a wonderful Native American story that tells of how
Coyote and Silver Fox sat dreaming one
day, trying to see which one could out-do the other in their
creations. Everything was going fine until
Coyote got the idea to think up a creation that was smarter
than itself. Coyote focused and concentrated
very hard indeed, (see, it really does take a lot of energy
to get into trouble, VBG!) and when he finally
opened his eyes, he found he had created the first humans. Poor
Coyote, because we are his creation in
this story, we are also his responsibility and he has had his
hands full with us ever since! Coyote thought
he was being very clever indeed and was so clever, he ended
up tricking himself, truly a hallmark of
Stories about Coyote abound in Native literature. He is the
practical joker, the trickster, the chaos aspect
of all creation. For the most part in Native American "myth",
his focus is primarily on himself and his
own gain which is always his undoing and for people that carry
this medicine, they too would do well to
heed this example. People that focus only on their own benefit
and gain at the expense of others tend to
attract folks that would love to give them their comeuppance.
Coyote once heard a pair of Chickadees
saying how they had learned to throw their eyes up into the
air and catch them again. Of course, they
knew Coyote was near and they had decided to play a trick on
him to teach him a lesson. Over and over
Coyote heard them chanting "I throw you up and you come
down in". Coyote, deciding to give it a go,
took great delight in informing the Chickadees that he already
knew about this wonderful game and that
he could do it even better than they could. So he took his eyes
out and threw them up in the air. They
returned to their sockets so he decided to try it again except
this time, the Chickadees stole his eyes and
made off with them. It took Coyote quite some time to finally
get them back! There is a double moral to
this story for so often, Coyote really is able to do many things
that others might find difficult. However,
Coyote also needs to bear in mind that he too needs to keep
his eyes wide open and firmly in their place,
lest someone else get the better of him/her. If Coyote is really
guilty of anything it can be of hubris or
thinking that one is better or more gifted than everyone else,
assuming one's self to be on par "with the
Gods". Coyote is actually very clever but the problem usually
occurs when Coyote forgets that just
maybe, he or she doesn't know everything and that there is much
more one can learn.
Coyote is the Divine Fool. Think of The Fool from the Tarot
and there is Coyote in a nutshell. About to
walk off a cliff and yet there is also a sense that somewhere
below there is a strong safety net waiting to
catch Coyote as he/she falls. Knowing Coyote, not only will
the net catch him, it most likely will bounce
him back up to where he was before so he can do it all over
again! Coyote people and I am one of them,
often do find that they tend to repeat the same blasted mistakes
over and over and over and over again.
Its not that Coyote folks are stupid, far from it! There
is however a sort of innocence that Coyote people
carry that leads them into the same silly (or very challenging)
situations repeatedly both as a means of
learning and too, to show others how they do NOT want to be
or what paths not to walk! Its as though
Coyote people at some level have volunteered to go ahead and
be the clowns, the ones who fall into some
truly bizarre and even heart rending situations because they
know that can be the best way to teach
others the potential pitfalls of life. Bless Coyote people and
if you know one, give them a hug and a pat on
the back! Truly they don't mean to repeat the same mistakes,
Its just in their nature to be both teacher
and fool. Learn from these folks, they can be some of your greatest
teachers in life if you allow them to
be. And in your learning from their mistakes, they too are blessed
and allowed to move a little further
along in the game of life. Coyote people do make the most wonderful
teachers. They are well known for
taking an unorthodox approach to teaching (as well as everything
else in life!) and often have a
wonderful sense of humor that makes learning a great deal of
fun. And they truly are so often very clever
people, insightful, quick studies themselves, and not as apt
to be impatient with others if they are
struggling to learn something new. Coyote people have had some
very painful and difficult lessons of
their own to learn and so they deeply empathize with what others
Coyote medicine is Heyoka, the shamans and teachers who act
in sometimes truly bizarre though often
humorous ways in order to get a message or point across. For
those who carry this medicine, sometimes
it feels as though something "takes over" and they
suddenly find that they are saying and doing things
that cause more than a few raised eyebrows. Yet, this is not
meant to imply that a Heyoka can say or do
whatever they feel and use this medicine as an excuse for bad
behavior. There are strict, spiritual rules
and guidelines that a Heyoka must follow if what they have to
offer is going to bring peace and healing
instead of hurt feelings and problems for others. Among the
Confederated Nations of the Northeast,
Heyokas would be called in to act out (in a very humorous fashion!)
the possible consequences of any
new laws that might be set into place. This allowed the elders
to see quite clearly the ramifications from a
totally different perspective. Through the antics of Coyote
medicine, there is indeed much wisdom!
Among many Native American Nations, humor was used to gently
bring someone back into alignment
with the rest of the group if that person was starting to behave
in ways that were not for the good of all.
Often we really cannot see how our behavior is impacting others
unless someone else makes us aware of
it. Yet the teasing was done in ways that would not hurt the
person, and quite often, many other members
were teased at the same time so that no one person felt singled
Coyote can also teach us how to balance work and play, to have
more fun in our lives which also helps us
to manifest anything much more quickly because we are vibrating
more closely to the true nature of
ourselves and the Universe. We can go through the process with
a feeling of joy, ease and excitement,
knowing that when Coyote appears, we can re-create our lives
in ways that we might never have dreamed
if we are willing to lighten up, let go and follow our inner
guidance. Think of something you would like to
release - how does it feel when you think of just letting it
go? If you feel a sense of relief no matter if also
underneath that is a feeling of fear, then you know you are
right in your wanting to move on. The fear is
our old way of responding to change because we don't see the
bigger picture. Not yet anyway. We will
though, as soon as Coyote has managed to trick us into going
for what we really want! So often, what one
really wants in life may seem very far away or impossible to
achieve. Coyote people though, have this
sense of innocence and trust in the Universe that allows them
to keep following their dream, no matter
where it may take them. To Coyote, everything that one experiences
is valuable. There is no right or
wrong, up or down, black and white in Coyote's world. Its
a hodgepodge of color and experience and
sensation that makes life to Coyote worth living. Anything less
is too grim for Coyote to contemplate and
this is why many Coyote people say (as do their friends and
family) that they have lived several lifetimes
in one. Granted, some of the experience has been painful, even
terrifying at times. Sometimes the Coyote
person feels like shaking their head and wondering how in God's
name they managed to get themselves
into such a terrible mess. Yet when the dust settles and the
light dawns on a new day, the Coyote person is
GLAD to have had the experience. They gained far more by their
risk taking than they could ever have
lost, even if its just that sense of total aliveness that
comes from having been to hell and back and having
lived to describe the journey.
Coyote can also teach us how to laugh at ourselves and our own
folly. We all make mistakes and do/say
things we really wish we hadn't. Its part of being human and
part of life. Yet instead of beating ourselves
up or feeling shamed, we need to remember that we have learned
something very valuable and hopefully
won't need to make the same mistake again. If we do, oh well,
we can learn to laugh at what we have
done and accept that maybe we had some more learning to do around
a particular situation. The blessing
in this can be too that perhaps there will come a time when
someone will come into our lives that will
really benefit from the mistakes we have made. We may be able
to pass on navigational information in the
sense that we can say to the other person "see that road
there? Trust me, that is not the road you want to
take! There's a big pit at the end of it." Well, sometimes
I have to admit that Coyote and I both then go
running down that road once again to show just how big and deep
that pit really is. But we have learned
how to climb out of it rather well at least! Sometimes, people
with Coyote medicine really do need to go
down into that pit yet again to help someone else climb out
of it. Maybe they have fallen in and didn't
notice on the way down the ladder that Coyote had made sure
to bring with him the last time he was
headed this way. Maybe the pit is just a little too dark and
the person doesn't have the keen perception
and sense that Coyote does. Coyote will be happy to help the
person hone their own senses once they
have both managed to climb out of the pit. Or maybe they will
choose to stay down there a bit longer.
After all, Coyote did hear someone saying something about buried
Coyote and the folks that carry this medicine often work best
in cooperative ventures. Coyotes hunt in
packs, and this too helps to balance the medicine so Coyote
is not focused solely on itself but must act in
a way that benefits the whole. In the Roadrunner cartoon, you
can bet that had Wil E. Coyote been
cooperating with another Coyote, Roadrunner would not have stood
a chance. On the other hand, maybe
the Acme Company WAS another Coyote and thats why everything
Wil E. tried was bodged so badly! Yet
he never gave up, each new cartoon there he was with another
plan and another device that he was sure
was going to help him get that Roadrunner. This is something
that is also important for Coyote people to
bear in mind: patience and persistence win the day for these
folks more often than not. So what if we look
a little foolish from time to time on the way to achieving our
goals. At the end of the day, other folks are
going to have a lot to thank us for, for they will have learned
how, through our example, what is the best
route to take and which should be avoided.
Coyotes also use a technique called "charming" to
get their prey. A Coyote may dance around like it has
gone completely mad, leaping and rubbing its nose on the ground,
twisting and turning this way and that.
Its prey becomes so fascinated watching what Coyote is doing,
that it doesn't realize that suddenly Coyote
is right on top of it. So too may Coyote people find that they
need to use diversionary tactics to reach a
goal. Coyote people in their innocence can also be a little
naive as to others true intentions and before
they know it, someone else may have snatched their idea or plan
right from underneath their noses. Or
taken credit for work that the Coyote person has done. This
can be very painful to the Coyote person
though they often will never show it but will lick their wounds
in silence and then think up a new idea or
plan. And these are some highly intelligent folks when all is
said and done, adaptable as well. Coyote
always has another plan, another goal to pursue! Hopefully though,
they will be a little bit wiser and use
the technique of "charming" to hide behind until the
energy comes into manifest form.
Part of Coyote's wisdom is its adaptability. Coyote takes life
as it comes and doesn't whine about the dark
times but simply gets on with things. It knows how to survive
and so do the people who carry its medicine.
Coyote may be the archetypal Fool and yet Coyote has managed
to spread far and wide across the US.
They have been poisoned, shot, run down, trapped and yet every
effort on the part of a few misinformed to
eradicate them has not only failed, but also failed in a rather
spectacular manner! So who is the real fool
in all of this? Certainly not Coyote who continues to thrive
and do quite well for itself, thank you very
much! Its a paradox, but the more efforts are made to eradicate
Coyote, the more of them there are. Like
Fox, Coyote is a master of disguise and can easily outwit its
enemies through its ability to adapt and
remain in the shadows until its safe to emerge once again. I
also find it a most humorous paradox that the
very creatures that are considered to be the greatest fools,
Coyote, Raven and Crow, are also among the
most intelligent creatures in the world. Perhaps it is their
willingness to take risks, tread where angels
fear to go, and not caring whether others think them fools or
eccentrics that allows these creatures to
thrive in a world where so many other species that are more
"refined and focused" are dying out. Coyote
goes with what catches its interest at a moments notice.
And while in the real world of day to day life it
can be difficult to follow one's impulses and do as one will
(with harm to none), perhaps what we all need
is a good dose of just not giving a flying squirrel what someone
else or many someone elses might think
from time to time about our behavior and just cut loose. Coyote
would also say, just who are those
"someone else's" anyway? Certainly not anyone he knows.
They can't be much fun to be around anyway.
For a time I was living with a friend in the Hollyweird (my
name for it) Hills. Sometimes at night, Coyotes
could be heard calling and a few times we spotted one trying
to get into the dust bin. While other folks
were locking up their cats and dogs, I would be out there just
waiting to hear Coyote call, and frequently
would call back. Sure I got some very odd looks from neighbors
the next day. It didn't matter to me
because Coyote had taught me how to survive on my own in big
cities by acting just a bit crazy if needed.
It guaranteed that others of not so great intent would give
me a wide berth! The least I could do was to
acknowledge it when my "pack" came round for a nightly
go at the bins.
Coyote brings us many gifts, many of which are greatly unappreciated
in modern day society. Coyote is
our right to be individuals while learning how to cooperate
and work with others. Coyote is our ability to
adapt, to hide when needed, to act the fool to discourage others
from invading our space or doing us
actual harm. Coyote is the ability to speak the truth about
a given situation, to tell it like it is and the devil
take the hindermost. Coyote is our ability to play, to take
risks, to not conform so just maybe we might
find a better way of going about things that will be of greater
benefit to all. Coyote brings us the gift of
laughter which has been shown to heal dis-eases such as Cancer.
Laughter is powerful medicine and one
that all of us would do well to take more and larger doses of!
Coyote is the part of us that knows what it
feels like to be at the bottom and how to climb back up again
with patience and persistence. Coyote can
teach us how to live in a world that really has gone completely
batty, being run by conservative "sane"
individuals who can no longer see the need to work for a greater
good. Coyote can teach us how to walk
into our full potential as unbounded human beings if we will
but listen for its call and respond. Our
greatest teacher is waiting! It is said that if all the other
creatures of the world were to die off, one would
remain. Coyote. Somehow Coyote would find a way to survive and
who knows, perhaps all the creatures
would be brought back to life again because Coyote one day decided
to close his eyes and envision what
Copyright © Lynx Graywolf
For a long time humans have been attempting to shoot, poison
and trap coyote into nonexistence.
Instead, birds like the Condor have been nearly wiped out with
poisoned meat, and the
clever coyote may be more numerous today than ever. Despite
humanities encroachment and
aggression, coyote has found a way to walk its walk and survive.
Coyotes usually mate for life. They live in the sides of hills
or in underground dens where the
family unit is well protected. They prefer open grassland and
thinly wooded brush, but can adapt
to almost any environment. Because of this they have been able
to survive and grow in numbers.
I once heard a story about a female Coyote who got caught in
a trap and gnawed off her own
paw---twice. At last report she was doing fine, hobbling around
on her two front stumps, and she
had borne a healthy litter. Coyotes hunt small game not with
speed, but by pouncing and
snapping with their jaws. She was able to do this quite well
and was fulfilling her role as a
mother. Those with this medicine will go to extreme measures
to protect and nurture family
members. Words that rip and tear another to shreds should be
avoided. Sporadic bursts of
energy are common and balanced action is required for ones
overall well-being. Excellent
caretakers coyote medicine people put other peoples needs
before their own. Care is advised
however to give to yourself equally.
In some native tribes the coyote is referred to as the trickster.
I prefer to see the coyote as
cunning and clever. There are many stories about the coyote.
He is known as the great one and
the foolish one. Coyote does not consciously try to trick us,
he mirrors our own human capacity
for displaying cleverness and stupidity.
Like the coyote we can work with others to get what we want
in life, or we can dive into a lake to
catch a reflection. We can send troubles away or invite them
carelessly. When coyote wanders
into your life you are being asked to look at something you
have been avoiding. Coyote is our
mirror for the lessons we need to learn in order to walk a good
sacred road. It will hold up the
mirror relentlessly until we finally get the picture.
Call on coyote as an ally for negotiating a difficult situation.
Or thank him for coming and
showing you a trap that you are caught in, or a way that you
are fooling yourself. Coyote is an
especially powerful teacher with regard to relationships because
it is when we are in a
relationship that we can fool ourselves the most. Coyote is
not out there to get us, but to teach us,
whether we want to learn or not.
This came to me today. I think coyote is very well described
with one word. * drum roll please *
HINDSIGHT Indeed it's always trough retrospect that we see are
tail was burning and I guess to learn to
dance with this totem is noticing that your tail is burning
while it's happening and eventually not burning it.
This is a Coyote story I used to tell kids when I lived
in America and worked in the Little Feather Indian Center in
Pipestone MN with my late husband, Chuck Derby (Running Elk).
The kids always ended up laughing.
One day Coyote decided he didn't
want to be a Coyote anymore, so thought 'now what can I be?'
As he was walking through the woods he saw a red headed woodpecker
up in the trees, 'Oh' he said, 'that bird looks good I think
I will be one of those'. So he got some fire and put it on his
head and went into his den for a sleep.... and burned it all
down. 'Oh that wasn't so good' said Coyote 'I will be something
As he was walking along the river he spotted some fish in the
water, 'Ahah' said Coyote, 'it is a hot day and being a fish
will cool me down,' so he jumped in the river and tried swimming
under the water.... oops he drowned!
Now Coyote could do something that
no other animal could, he could come back to life.. so on his
next life he saw a whole bunch of crows in the air, caw, cawing
away, he thought they were having a party and so thought 'I'll
be a crow, they are having a lot of fun....'
He shouted up to the crows, 'Please
crows I want to be a crow, come and make me a crow...' The crows
laughed and said, 'Don't be silly Coyote, you are a 4 legged
and they don't fly...' 'Oh please, please, please, said Coyote
hundreds of times, 'please meke me a crow'. In between laughing
at Coyote's pleas, the crows decided to make him a crow. Each
one of them came down and pushed a crow feather into coyote's
fur, every time they did it he went 'ouch' and flinched, but
he was really excited as he was being changed into a crow!
Pretty soon there stood a strange
looking creature, 4 legs, tail, head, covered with black feathers
and looking very pleased with himself. 'Now I want to fly' said
Coyote... 'What!' said the crows, 'you can't fly you are a dog.'
'Oh PLEASE', said Coyote, 'show me how to fly' ..... In the
end the Crows said, 'ok try flapping your wi... oops front legs
and see what happens', so he did, and guess what?..... He flew,
he actually flew... he went up to the crows and said OK I am
here where's the party? They looked at him in amazement... 'What
party?' 'I know you have parties up here I hear you' Coyote
said, again the crows laughed at him, but didn't continue as
at that moment a huge gust of wind came by .. whhhooossshhhhhh......
and blew all all the feathers from Coyote and he came whooshing
back to the ground with a big bump. Rubbing his head he said,
'I think I will stay as I am, being something else is too dangerous'.
and he slinked off to a safe place on the ground to lick his
wounds. Ready for his next adventure...
We had a coyote standing by our front
door to welcome people, he had done the same job at another
shop in town for many years, when they sold up we bought Charlie
from them. He is now in another Pipestone shop doing the same!
Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.)
All rights reserved.
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