My Spirit Animal

It was the summer of 2009. I had recently become single after being married for 5 years to my second wife. Emotionally, I was a wreck. She was the one doing the leaving, and proved over and over again how much she didn’t respect our marriage by sleeping with other men. I became homeless at that time. I searched and scrambled for friends to let me either use a spare bed or sleep on their couch. I was unemployed at the time and didn’t have much to offer. Just when it looked like I was going to sleep on a bench, a friend invited me to crash on his couch out in Manton, Michigan. Manton is only 10 miles from where I currently was. It’s a small town surrounded by the great Michigan woods. The house was a 3 bedroom single wide trailer. My friend had 3 kids then, all under the age of 6. It was pandemonium the first night because of the excitement of my being there. When I say “friend”, it’s more like a brother or sister. I have friends that have supported me far more than any blood relative. So I made my own family. Added David as my brother and Cory and Gregg as brothers. Non-blood but nonetheless they were family.

The first night happened to be a full moon. I had a rough time sleeping, and because of the kids they pretty much shut everything off early like 10 pm. I remember it being really warm inside the trailer. After hours of tossing and turning, I walked out of the trailer at 2 in the morning.  It was definitely much cooler outside and much more comfortable. The moon was high in the sky illuminating everything fairly well. I decided to go for a walk into the woods.

I should mention at this time that I had been investigating the pagan path for about 6 years. It was in 2003 that I really started on that path. So I was aware of the power of the full moon, and now it was 3 am, typically known as the witching hour. I had walked a good ways into the forest. Owls screeched into the silent night. Whitetail deer could be seen bouncing away from me. Eventually I came to a meadow about the size of an acre. I sat down with my back to a tree and lit up a cigarette. The moon tucked herself in behind the trees. I crossed my legs and laid my arms, palms up, on top of them. I made many wishes that night to my moon goddess, as well as give thanks for what has already been done for me.

But then I heard a rustle in the trees across the meadow. I thought it to be a deer, or any other of the many woodland creatures we have in Michigan. I sat still, ears perked and desperately seeking the location of the noise, and what might have made the crunch in the night. I heard it again. Leaves were rustling in the wood line across the meadow from where I sat and there was no wind. My senses were on full alert now. I know I wasn’t just hearing things. I called out mentally. Who’s out there? What are your intentions? Please don’t harm me. I’m just a simple man living a simple life. I did not dare utter a word aloud in case the strange noise was from a bear or cougar. I didn’t hear anything else. The moon peeked out from the treeline illuminating the meadow, and out of the woods and into the meadow walked a coyote. She didn’t advance across the meadow. She sat at the edge of the meadow directly across from me. I say “she” because I started hearing these soft subtle noises at first, and then they turned to words and it was a females voice. I asked out mentally, why are you here? I received no response. I asked out mentally, am I in danger. This time I heard in my head a simple “No”. She was average sized for a coyote. She was brown and white, dark tail and perky white ears. So here I am, in the woods, telepathically communicating with a coyote. I wasn’t even drunk or high!!! We exchanged many words. She empowered me. She encouraged me. I felt a strange power come over me like walking through a waterfall. I was on the path for greatness. I had a purpose in life as do all people and mine was to be of some great importance. There was much more information conveyed in the short 3 hours before daylight.  When the sun broke the horizon, she had vanished without a trace.

After taking all of what happened in, and relegated it to have really happened, I started researching what it meant.

Quite a few of my pagan web sites and even native american folklore talks about the Spirit Animal. In my research, the spirit animal refers to a spirit which helps guide or protect a person on a journey and whose characteristics that person shares or embodies. I was presented with a coyote, so I researched that meaning as well. The coyote totem is strikingly paradoxical and is hard to categorize. It’s a teacher of hidden wisdom with a sense of humor, so the messages of the coyote spirit animal may paradoxically appear in the form of a joke or trickery. Don’t be tricked by the foolish appearances. The spirit of the coyote may remind you to not take things too seriously and bring more balance between wisdom and playfulness. The coyote often symbolizes the trickster or joker. However, its symbolism is associated with a deep magic of life and creation. It can be considered as having the following meanings:

  • Jokester
  • Adaptability
  • Reveal the truth behind illusion and chaos
  • Playfulness
  • Paradoxical nature, personality difficult to categorize
  • Beware of the dark side of things and play on your resources

I think the largest and most profound word I have written in this entry thus far is balance. Since that day, everything became a balancing act for me. I take the good with the bad and the bad with the good. Nothing can be good all the time, dark days are inevitable. Being aware of this has improved my mental status dramatically. The key to friendships is balance. The key to relationships is balance. The key to life itself is balance.  I would refer to the yin and the yang. I would refer to day and night. Everything in life, when looked at in the right perspective, has some alteration or balance associated with it. For every negative there is a positive, and that’s how I started to live my life.

9 years has passed since that epic encounter. It confirmed the belief I was walking down the right path, and that my journey really has only just begun. Everything prior was simply put in front of me to prepare me for whatever the Goddess has in store for me. I never ask the Goddess directly for anything. I merely ask for the tools to better myself, or simple guidance when faced with a big decision. I do so with logic and precision now after that fateful night in the summer of 2009.

 

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