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November 2010


Coyote banner crop The Trickster. Trips us up. Tests us. Makes fun of us. Plays us for the fool. Coyote’s eager sexuality often draws him into trouble. North American Indigenous Coyote stories are frequently bawdy, sexually graphic. Their medicine is potent. Coyote’s tricks are the most sacred way.

Coyote represents life crashing into us so we can wake up. Run-ins with Coyote can look and feel like disaster. My first reaction is fear, and digging in to hide from and resist the medicine. I used to have nightmares of coyotes chasing me. Walking on the land in Hope at night, the hair on my neck would suddenly stand up, and I’d feel Coyote near. The Animal or the Spirit? I don’t know.


One Day, I met a Coyote face to face on Hatchet Mountain.  For an instant, I came in contact with the wildest creature I have ever seen. This Coyote ran up the trail in my direction. She/He skidded to a stop at the sight of me, and the animal bounded off the trail up the mountain through the woods. The pack followed the leader.  It was only an instant, but I had received the Wildness. I felt I had an invitation to join the Pack.

This was two years ago. I’ve been learning my place in the Coyote pack ever since. I see myself mirrored in Coyote’s wild eyes.

Coyote’s trickster gift is to show me my fear. It awakens me to opportunity, which comes from unexpected places. Coyote medicine pulls me out of my patterns, my false safety. Coyote says, Run with the pack and we’ll teach your our medicine. But you must be humble and be willing to run with us into the wild.

Don’t be afraid when Coyote appears. He’s chasing you down to give you a gift you can’t receive from anyone else.