It all began one night with a fuzzy zebra robe, two frying pans and a small gang of bedlam Coyotes yipping it up in the street at 3 a.m. in the otherwise quiet neighborhood. Three attempts at shutting them up and running them off by banging the frying pans didn’t work but I was victorious in setting off a neighbor’s house alarm (typical Coyote Medicine!) So, I skedaddled my stripes back inside before anyone called the cops on the crazy zebra lady. The little four-legged hooligans kept up their shrilliffic street band (not the symphonic howls and trills one can usually enjoy on a lovely moonlit night) until sunrise, so, amid their piercing staccato riffs, I propped myself up in bed and journeyed to find out what the hell they were up to.
I immediately found myself in a vast wriggling body made up of dozens of smaller wriggling bodies, furry and warm but not squished. Everyone moved easily in and around each other. Once communication began, my focus was drawn to a clear voice that sounded above the murmur and shuffle but it wasn’t from any particular individual. It spoke from the body of the whole even as the bodies in the whole maintained their own soft chatter which, all together, sounded more like a furry hum.
I was at a Council–had been granted attendance, I think, just because I had asked to learn about them. But, unlike other Councils, consisting of only a few members, a Coyote Council is ALL of them. I soon found out why. The questions started coming, initially from some interesting tidbits I had recently learned about wolf packs. I wondered if Coyote pack life was similar. “Does the alpha female lead the pack from the rear? Do you have designated trackers and hunters and scouts and caretakers like wolves where everyone has a role within the pack?” To my surprise, the answer was “No, not in the way you mean.”
I began to “see” and feel how the individuals merged in and out of all the roles that might be necessary in their lives together without becoming “stuck” in any one role in particular. Like a lightning bolt, I got it. After years of only sort of understanding Coyote in the spiritual sense, I finally saw why their Medicine has so much to do with lessons of ego. While each individual may perform better in some functions than others, no individual will limit or constrain themselves by claiming, “I am the leader” or “I am the scout” or “I am such and such.” The concept and habit of self-identification doesn’t really exist for them. If a single Coyote were to lock him or herself into a role, he or she would become vulnerable to pride, possessiveness, self-aggrandizement, stagnation and diminished development and experience in other functions. That Coyote would then be a weak link and could not be relied upon to “be there” when and as needed. WOW! The ripple effects through my own psyche… flash images of red-faced humans blustering about how This is my stuff, territory, idea, etc.! I’m in charge! This is how I want it or what I need! And then, of course, the ways that I’ve gotten caught up in that clanging “me tornado.”
In Animal Tarot decks, Coyote is often the Fool card: pure Spirit, pure potential, the immense power of innocence and faith. To live without egoic follies allows one to be totally present, completely open and receptive to spiritual wisdom and guidance (intuition) and available and response-able in any situation. Again, WOW! I was awed (and am re-awed while writing this) by how stunningly clever yet gentle their Medicine is, flowing with each other, flowing with life, flowing with Spirit.
More Coyote Council stories to come but for now, just be all things and nothing in particular.