Friday, September 28, 2012

Coyote Medicine

Those of us who live in urban Southern California acknowledge that the wily coyote is growing in numbers and becoming braver. Even in city neighborhoods, the coyote roams freely in the light of day.

Living with coyote means being protective of your canine and feline companions. Some people believe that the answer is to attempt to remove coyotes from neighborhoods. But where would they be moved? We are living in their former territory and, quite frankly, coyotes are very intelligent beings who are adaptable and are content living among us!

For those of us who pay attention to nature and the balance/imbalance therein, Coyote is viewed as the trickster with many lessons to teach us. Coyote represents the two sides of every coin, every issue, every situation, and urges us to examine all the facts before we take a position or offer an opinion. Coyote is the shape-shifter and the transformer. He is here to teach us the value of living and walking in balance.

Coyote is skillful but would rather find someone else to do the work if he can. He doesn't want to overextend himself, so he finds others to help in tasks so he can drop back. Coyote uses his instincts skillfully to tune into his environment and use the resources around him, including humans living in his former territory, to make life easier. Coyotes are very clever and adapt easily to changes in their environment.

Coyote is devoted to the family unit and the male takes an active role in parenting. He is adaptable, and can make his home in any environment and make it work for him. Coyotes don't take things seriously. There is a sense of humor to their actions and you can't help but laugh if you observe them carefully.

I live in a little canyon at the beach in Southern California. This canyon connects to a wilderness reserve so coyotes are expected. Recently I was enjoying my view with a visiting friend when we spotted a family of four coyotes walking across the hillside landscape in the middle of the afternoon. This sparked a wonderful conversation between my friend and I and led us to reflect about the message Coyote was offering. That night the coyotes were exceptionally active, howling throughout the night. I must admit is was a bit eerie! 

The next morning my friend and I talked at length again about the teachings from Coyote. My friend and I went outside and discovered that one of my red gardening shoes, which I always leave on the front porch after coming in from the garden, was missing. We looked everywhere for that shoe but it had disappeared! When I saw coyote scat under a nearby fruit tree I realized how close the coyote had been during the night.

That led us to begin story-telling about what had happened to my red shoe. The final version of the story was that Coyote had been feasting on fallen fruit under the apricot tree when he smelled a much more delicious treat - the fragrance of my kitty, Bentley! He navigated his way up the garden path, over the two gates separating the garden from my cottage, and down the stairs that lead to my front door. I never let my cat go out into the yard but he has the enclosed patio to lounge in during the day while I'm home. That's where Coyote's keen sense of smell guided my patio. How disappointed he must have been to find no feline dinner after all! So, he grabbed my red shoe and trotted off with it. Better to come back from a hunting expedition with a memento of the the adventure instead of empty handed!

Coyote can help see the humor in life, to lighten up and trust our instincts. He can also teach us to be mindful of our actions and be wary of playing tricks on ourselves or others. Coyote also reminds us that the consequences of our actions affect more than just ourselves.

When we are being too serious about life, Coyote may appear to teach us to laugh at ourselves and life’s ironies. Be prepared for your sense of humor to invite you to expand your perspective.

Sometimes Coyote comes to us with a message about learning from our mistakes. This learning can mean communicating with "our pack" for better understanding and a broader perspective. Or the learning might be an individual lesson like recognizing a personal mistake, seeing its consequences and vowing not to make that same mistake twice.

If Coyote shows up in your life, look for the magic. Be grateful that Coyote has appeared to remind you that you are ready to manifest miracles if you are willing to adjust the imbalances in your life. If he warns you about a "trap" that needs attention, be mindful. Coyote is a powerful teacher who is not out to get us but to teach us about magic, freedom, joy, and
the alchemy that is available to all who seek it. 

Blessings of peace, love and light ~