Coyote Medicine




Oh that Coyote! Up to his usual tricks no doubt and creating chaos and mischief every where 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 Coyote medicine.

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 that 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 humour 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 are experiencing.

Coyote medicine is Heyoka, the shamans and teachers who act in sometimes truly bizarre though often humerous 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 what ever they feel and use this medicine as an excuse for bad behaviour. 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 humerous 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, humour 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 behaviour 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 out.

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 colour 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 treasures.....

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 soley 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 realise 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 whinge 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 out wit 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 humerous 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, tred 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 behaviour 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 neighbours 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 could be.



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