The Call of the Coyote is a path to ecospirituality. Last week we talked about the emerging “dark green religion.” What is ecospirituality, and what does it have to do with a dark green religion?

The original meaning of the word “spiritual” comes from the Latin spiritus, which means, “to breathe.” So originally, that which was spiritual was simply that which was breathtaking. A spiritual experience is an awe-inspiring experience. Such inspiring events can be had by people of all religions, or of none. You can be spiritual without being religious.
In my personal experience, those breathtaking moments most often occur when I have made some sort of connection. It could be a connection with nature, or with others, or with my own inner self. Such a connection opens up a channel of communication, or perhaps communion. Such a connection allows me to feel that I am a part of everything, and everything is a part of me.

In this ecospirituality workbook and the accompanying program, we will be exploring the possibility of making such connections through the eyes of Coyote.

Coyote’s motto could well be, “If I weren’t crazy, I’d go insane.”

Many Native American tribes consider Coyote to be the Trickster, the one who teaches by becoming a mirror. Coyote’s tricks and jokes reflect our own folly and stubbornness back to us until we realize what is happening and learn from it, if we are fortunate enough to realize what is going on. Coyote will continue to hold a mirror up to us until we learn to see our true selves, or until we become so angry and frustrated that we lose sight of our spiritual paths.

The Way of the Coyote teaches us that wisdom is the twin of foolishness. In an insane world, the sane man must appear insane. When following the Way of the Coyote we learn to see our own foolishness in the antics of others, and we learn from their mistakes. Likewise, when we follow coyote medicine, we show others their own foolishness by our own antics. If Coyote is your teacher, he will frustrate you, anger you, and make you furious. But if you can learn to see through the rage and frustration to the lessons beneath, Coyote can teach you much.

Coyote’s Archetypal Energy

Coyote teaches through humor and the ability to laugh at life’s absurdities and ironies. The Way of the Coyote is to strip away the masks we all wear so that we may get to the truth underneath. Coyote teaches us to cast aside all the fronts that we put on for others and for ourselves.

Coyote’s humor also teaches us that what we do to others, we ultimately do to ourselves. He teaches us that we reap what we sow, so if we use Coyote medicine on our friends and family, we shouldn’t be surprised or offended if they do the same to us.

Coyote energy is reflected in the phrase, “Simplicity is perfection.” He teaches us to learn to distinguish what we need from what we want. Coyote won’t give us everything we want, but he will lead us to everything we need.

The Call of the Coyote stirs up something primitive and passionate in our souls, and reminds us to return to the place of the beginning; that childlike sense of wonder and fascination with the beauty of the world.

Coyote is a survivor, and is able to adapt to new situations by learning to bend and flow with skill and cunning. The Way of the Coyote is to understand that all things are sacred, yet nothing is sacred. If you have any sacred cows in our life, coyote will be sure to devour them. It has been said that, “insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting things to turn out differently.”

Another way to put this is that if what you’re doing isn’t working, then doing more of it isn’t going to work either. In fact, it may make things worse. So when we begin to walk the Way of the Coyote, we may find ourselves lost in the unfamiliar. Some of the things Coyote may ask us to do will seem strange, even weird. But that’s okay. If it didn’t feel weird, we’d probably already be doing it. If we stay on the path of the comfortable and the familiar, we are in danger of doing the same things in the same ways and getting the same results we’ve always gotten. If, however, we have the courage to step forth and try something different, we may find that our world will change for the better.

But setting about doing things differently can be a scary experience. We often fear the unknown, and Coyote loves to take us into the mysterious. That is the art of the Trickster. It is also the reason Coyote can often be frustrating. She asks us to leave our comfort zone.

If you have heard the Call of the Coyote, learn to look for things you may have been avoiding or refusing to acknowledge in your own life. This sometimes manifests in strange ways. Look at what you criticize the most in others, and see if you yourself have those same characteristics. For example, if you find yourself constantly judging others for their anger, could it be that you have a problem with anger yourself? If you are constantly demanding that other people be more forgiving, could there be someone in your own life that you need to beg for forgiveness? If you are constantly telling others to be more tolerant and loving, could it be that you may need to learn to be more tolerant and loving as well?

A danger to Coyote medicine is that Coyotes tend to spend all of their energy caring for others. Coyotes would do well to remember to take some time and energy for themselves as well. Another pitfall of coyote medicine is that those who don’t understand Coyote’s ways are often angered or alienated by the mirror because they don’t wish to acknowledge what it shows them about themselves. Sometimes the Way of the Coyote can be a lonely way because of this. If you have heard the Call of the Coyote, it could also mean that you need to look into your own mirror and see if there is something about yourself that you have been afraid to acknowledge. By refusing to acknowledge it, you give it power over you. But acknowledging our weaknesses and shortcomings is the first step to conquering them.

If Coyote has chosen you, look closely at ways you may have been giving energy to foolishness. This is especially true in relationships, since we often fool ourselves in relationships, and refuse to see what is plain to everyone else. As they say, “Love is blind.” Remember that Coyote’s ultimate goal is not to anger or frustrate, but to teach. In order for Coyote to teach, we have to be willing to learn. It helps to remember that sometimes the best lessons are also the most painful lessons. If Coyote is causing you pain, it is not out of malice, but out of love. It is so that you may grow on your own path.

To answer the Call of the Coyote is to be a strong protector of family, relationships, and connections. Coyotes often mate for life, and will fiercely defend mate and cubs. If Coyote is your ally, family is probably very important to you. Coyotes will often adopt cubs who have become parentless. They realize that family is not always a matter of blood, but of spirit, so for those of us who follow the Way, Coyote medicine is concerned with our spiritual families. To follow the Way of the Coyote is to realize that members of the same spiritual family rarely grow up under the same roof. It is also to realize that our family need not be restricted to our two-legged brothers and sisters, but it can include our four-legged brothers and sisters as well, and ultimately all of nature.

Sometimes Coyotes go to extremes to defend the family. In such a case the Coyote medicine has become too strong. Coyotes are fiercely loyal to their own, sometimes to the point that they may even alienate those whom they are trying to protect. In such a case, the coyote spirit is overprotective to the point of becoming overbearing. When this happens, Coyote needs to learn to let go.

The Way of the Coyote is about achieving balance. A dark green religion is also about achieving balance. All life on Mother Earth is in danger largely because of the greed of human beings. If we continue our pursuit of trinkets and baubles, always wanting more and never satisfied with what we have, we will eventually destroy everything. A life of rampant materialism is a life out of balance. Things can never fill the void inside. Only true spiritual wisdom can fill that void. The Call of the Coyote is about finding a balance between the material and the spiritual so that we cease to destroy our Earth Mother and each other. It is about learning to distinguish between our wants and our needs.

The only true necessities in life are food, clothing, shelter and love. Once those needs are met, anything else is a luxury. Material possessions are a poor substitute for love and spirit. When we learn this lesson completely, we will be embracing a dark green religion and learning to walk the Way of the Coyote. When we learn to share this knowledge with our fellow travelers along the way, we will have fulfilled our destinies as spiritual seekers. We will have achieved the ultimate in ecospirituality.

The upcoming Ecospirituality Group Program, due to be released on June 1, 2024, is a synopsis of what it means to answer the Call of the Coyote. It is a seeker’s journey of self-discovery. If you choose to purchase the upcoming Ecospirituality Group Program, it is my wish that, as with everything else in life, you take what is useful and discard the rest.