Monday, August 31, 2009

A Coyote's Tail

Back at the beginning of the month, I required a “mental health weekend”. I was nearing a point of completion with a shamanic death and restructuring process that began with the full moon and lunar eclipse in July and was due for the final integration at the full moon and lunar eclipse in August. This was a intensely deep process that completely picked my bones clean, disintegrated me down to my DNA and slowly began the process of recreating me. Needless to say, this certainly rattled my cage and shifted many things in and around me, much to the dismay of some people and situations that no longer fit into the new me. But, that’s another story. Verging on the point of explosion, I called for a “mental health weekend”.

Often I’ll tell Gary “I need a vacation” and we both agree and that’s where it gets left. Not this time. Immediately after I made my declaration, I returned and asked just where we were going camping. I needed to spend time with Mother Earth and the Elementals. So, we packed up the Taj Mahal (our roomy tent), air mattress and the rest of our camping gear and headed toward north eastern Arizona.

We found a lovely primitive place to camp, amidst the noise of several families with little ones. And, in spite of the screaming babies, we reveled in the cooler weather, journeyed to the moon and stars, danced with the fire spirits and played with the Elementals and ravens that happened by, and just sat and did NOTHING!

On Sunday we did take a trip along an old Forest Service road. The road had markers along the way pointing out special points of interest from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. We had headed out to see the petro glyphs and the Apache cliff dwelling along the route, which by the way were fabulous. I don’t do well with heights and the trails were rocky and steep. I kept reminding myself the whole way “I am a goat, I must be a goat, I’m climbing these rocky trails”. The cliff dwelling and petro glyphs were well worth shape shifting into a goat. I have visited other rock art sights before, and these were extremely clear and protected from the elements, as you can see. The energy at the cliff dwelling was sublime. We had left our pipe in camp and proceeded to offer a pipe ceremony to the ancestors from journey space. The ancestors were happy to be recognized and honored in this way. It was one of those “way cool” experiences.

For me, the highlight of the trip happened before we reached the cliffs. We had stopped at the first marker that was one of the original ranger stations in the area. We got out and read the marker, and I decided I had to pee. So I headed off to a stand of trees to take care of nature’s call. On my way I heard an “over hear”. I looked around and there was another stand of trees off to my right that was calling me. Now, I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes to peeing in the woods, as long as there’s no one around, so I headed for that stand of trees. As I reached the group of standing ones, I was informed to “pay attention and look”. As I looked down, right at my feet was a decayed coyote carcass!

The carcass was pretty clean, no meat and the bones were somewhat scattered. But, directly in front of me was a fully intact coyote tail! The tail was perfect, with a couple of vertebrae still attached. I squealed with delight and called Gary over to the sight. What a find! I gathered my medicine bag from the truck and returned to the coyote. We checked over the carcass looking to see if any more parts were usable. The leg bones were still intact as well and I thought they may be good for rattle handles for my upcoming rattle making class, but they were too small. The skull had been crushed, but the tail… the tail was so perfect and waiting just for me.

I made my offering and blessed the coyote’s spirit and sent it on its way, gathered my tail and a nice tuft of fur into my “road kill bag” and stuck it in the truck. During this time, you could hear the coyotes off in the distance, bidding farewell to their clan member.

Now mind you, I still had to pee! (I can get side tracked pretty easy sometimes). So off I went to finally water the forest floor. When I returned and walked past the coyote sight, right at my feet was a hawk feather!

Coyote and Hawk medicine all in one day! This was a very special find. It’s not often one finds a tail perfectly intact like this. When we returned home, we placed my little tail (it looked like a pup as the tail was small) in the freezer to be sure to kill any critters. Don’t want to bring them into the house. So, right now, the tail sits in the freezer, awaiting the full moon on Friday. It will be time to journey with my coyote tail to find out the “coyote’s tale” and see what medicine and message it brings.

So, next time… the Coyote’s Tale.

Until then,

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),