Enter Coyote

Coyote stood on the brink of the void looking down into one of her favorite places on earthCoyote Scrying 2012 – scrying (perhaps the better word is “spying”) on that little Mahonia and Nekelew world. She could feel the portal more open now than in recent years. Folks had been doing their work even if they were still mostly unaware of the possibilities of connection with the spirits. Pineal glands were creaking open, the crystals inside getting polished and cleared. A few even had more advanced hits about capital “S” Spirit aka their own Higher Self. Reincarnation was no longer a foreign concept. Finally. It had taken proverbial pliers, crow bars, and an occasional wrench, but it was worth it and hopefully soon they would be more conscious of the portal. Especially if she nudged them a bit more. She was grateful to Spider and the others for doing a lot of the advance work.

She herself had been making “scattered shower” appearances here and there over the years. Mostly as the Heyoka Trickster, the Zia Clown, i.e. being the one who turns things upside down. Messes up the status quo. A little sickness, a little death. A heartbreak or two. Lots of general confusion. Heyoka specialize in out-of-the-box solutions for mundane troubles as well as for life’s bigger challenges…. All for humans’ own good of course.

Sure, Coyote had a reputation of being something of a fuckup, but that was mostly the male version of the mythical archetypal adventures. He-Coyote was famous for having a great idea with all good intention, but then tripping over his own four paws somehow. She-Coyote considered herself much more balanced. (Was that the other Council Spirits laughing?) What the humans couldn’t see from their limited perspective was that Abuela Coyote, like most sacred clowns, was in touch with the bigger picture. Usually. She knew their soul missions and contracts – their agreements in the Spirit World before they incarnated to play these roles in their present lives. Operation Karmic Krew and the Pinky Promise. Not that they remembered this. Or that they always appreciated what came their way as learning experiences.

But since the turn of the millennium more were getting the drift – seeing how they benefited from the dark times and the seemingly “tragic” experiences. They were increasingly willing to peek at their shadow selves. Making the choice to surrender to change voluntarily like the Tarot’s Hanged One, rather than have to submit to the Tower’s slaps upside the head…. the blow that Coyote was so good at. She giggled thinking of it.

She wasn’t the only one doing this of course. She was part of the Council though she didn’t always show up when a powwow was called. When she did appear the various spirits often disagreed with her ideas, so then she went at it alone. Coming to consensus was such a pain. Kwan Yin, for instance, was apt to advocate for more lenient lessons and was always there to pick up the scattered pieces of the bomb blasts (both literal and metaphorical) of Coyote’s more dramatic – and okay, admittedly less successful endeavors. Pluto, on the other hand, tended to delve into even more shadowy corners and had a morbid sense of humor that Coyote thought was over the top. Jupiter aka Zeus was obtusely heavy handed in his angrier moods, though nobody was more beneficent when the good times rolled. Thank goodness the Hindus kept Kali Ma around and active. She was usually an ally – she had clarity about when to slash confrontively and when to be tender. Humans didn’t always realize that both could be true at the same time and from the same being…. Everything was so black or white to humans stuck as they were in the duality plane. Controlled burns in forests were often needed to allow new growth, though conflagrations did get out of bounds sometimes if the wind shifted unexpectedly.

Good news was that those in spirit form could see the patterns laid out in the Universal matrix and they had access to the so-called Akashic Records where millennia of past life annals were kept. Thus they could follow the history of each soul and keep track of the overall process. On the good days. “When I’m not stirring up the chaos like dust from a whirlwind.” Coyote chuckled again at some juicy memories. Many of those incarnated in this place at this time were also part of the Council. Not that they remembered that, usually showing up around the fire in their dreaming state.

“I’m wondering if I should take a more active role again,” Coyote muttered to the large rodent-like creature who had appeared near her around the portal vortex.

“It would seem so,” said Mountain Beaver. “It’s all very well appearing out of the corner of someone’s eye, but you could be a little more open about your shenanigans. I think these humans are ready to make the connections more consciously now. Isn’t that what we’ve been aiming for?”

“You should talk,” said Coyote. “Most people in the region don’t even know you exist.”

“I don’t threaten them,” responded Mountain Beaver, who in her spirit form sported a Mohawk of green fur. She liked to live a little more out loud in this dimension than she could on the earth plane. “Unlike some I could mention…. Except when my diggings undermine their hillsides,” she added thoughtfully.

“Is it more effective to be myself or should I be a human this time?” wondered Coyote fixated on her own issues. “I could be someone new wandering into their sphere.”

“Perhaps this time it’s more subtle than incarnating and starting from scratch.”

“I don’t have the patience for that anymore and I’m too old for the forgetting.”

“You could skip the growing up process and enter stage left as an adult….”

“Maybe as a walk-in? Like take over someone’s body?” Abuela Coyote eyed the possibilities thoughtfully. “There’s that Raven guy, of course, but Spirit Raven already has dibs on him. ReBound Seth used to be an effective carrier of my energy and I’ve noticed he’s been nosing about again in his spirit form…. Who else?…. Jay Goodwin-Brown? He likes to stir things up. I can easily spur him to open his big mouth to cause havoc. I’m pretty sure it will create growth…. Teacher Stella has always had a fair share of my gifts…. She gets it….”

“She’s been away for a while,” said Mountain Beaver. “Maybe you can convince her to come back into circulation….”

“We could even revive Wild Woman.”

“I always thought that was you,” Mountain Beaver muttered.

Grandmother Coyote ignored the last comment enigmatically. “Yeah, I think I’ll just pounce wherever it feels right in the moment. Who needs a plan? Don’t worry, I won’t do anything rash…. Right away….” She gave Mountain Beaver a wicked grin over her shoulder and did a graceful swan dive into the void.

“Uh oh,” sang Mountain Beaver who knew from experience it was next to impossible to talk Coyote out of anything once in motion. “Watch out, Mahonia and Nekelew Valley. Let’s hope the landing isn’t a belly flop.”

 

Four in the Hot Tub 2

Conjuring Together

“What else do we need?” asked Charley coming back to his  question of the evening.

“Hey! You guys want to share this place and this view more? How ‘bout you open it up for retreats or the seasonal holy days or some such? It sure was lovely hanging out here last Summer Solstice,” said Pia.

“You could have your classes here anyway,” added Raven. “It would fit in with the retreat business we keep talking about.”

“How’s that coming?” asked Charley.

“Things are starting to gel in my mind,” said Pia. “I’ve got some ideas of people to call to do workshops.”

“We’ve actually been talking about using this place a little more. Like the hot tub, it seems a bit much to keep it all to ourselves now that the kids are grown and we have the office and store in town. The Aerie we built for the teenagers isn’t getting much use these days. We’re happily private when we’re here, but I think there are ways we could structure things, both physically and timing-wise, to achieve a good balance.”

“Balance is a good thing to be taking into account during the Equinox window. Especially balance like yin yang, not our Western seesaw image,” said Pia.

“I’m hardly using my little hut either,” said Ursula. “What if I change it from my private space to being available for people who want to hide out for a bit? It’s pretty primitive, no electricity and only 10×10, but it sure saved my sanity back in the day.”

“That’s a big relinquishing of a haven that’s been very important to you,” Raven observed.

“It came to me last summer on one of those nights I couldn’t sleep. Full Moon of course. I was sitting here in the tub ‘til I got too pruney and then wandered out to the stone seat to watch the dawn. Looking down over the hut, I saw it as a shared nurturing womb place – and not just for women. Everyone should have a chance to retreat back into the Mother now and then. There’s so much richness and comfort to be gleaned – or challenge, if that’s what a person needed. I was feeling pretty good about the idea when suddenly an eagle swooped in over my head and out through the trees.”

“Wow!”

“Yes, BIG WOW. ‘Ok, ok. I’ll do it, Eagle.’”

“Here’s something I keep dreaming but I haven’t even told Ursula – what if we could manifest ownership of some of the houses here on the turnaround circle,” added Charley. “That one Crystal designed with the great view of the end of the mountain would make such a fabulous conferencing space. It kills me that it’s only used a few weeks a year. It’s all still dreams, of course. Nothing substantial yet.”

“It fits in with our on-going idea of this area for re-creation in some sweet ways,” said Pia.

They all were quiet for a few beats, imagining, feeling, conjuring the possibilities. “So mote it be!” said Pia. “We’re mages enough to get that one in motion.”

“Speaking of getting wrinkly, dear fellow hags, I’m cooked,” said Charley.

“Time for us to get going,” said Pia.

“Wait! One more idea.” Ursula’s creative juices were flowing and she couldn’t quite bear for the evening to be over. The other three groaned noisily to tease her.

“Here, have some water,” she said to stave off the inevitable. She handed them the bottle she kept by the step. “I’m really tired of thinking about what to charge for stuff. I have to do that in the store where the accounting is important. But for other things, I’ve been thinking of putting out a Begging Bowl. You know, like the monks in Asia do, when they go walkabout.”

“’Walkabout’ is Australia but I get the idea,” said her husband.

“It could be used for classes and dance sessions, even here in the retreat spaces. People can put in what they feel they can pay. Sometimes more than the going rate. Less when they’re feeling tight.”

“It would change the old money thing nicely,” observed Raven.

“Exactly! I just have a feeling that it’s time to have more trust that dollars will appear as we need them. Even for an expensive vision like getting those neighboring houses. We’ve done it before. Let’s envision. No. Let’s ASSUME. Plenty. Abundance.

“Abun – DANCE!” crowed Raven.

“It doesn’t do away with currency but it does put things on a different footing,” added Pia. “A nice kind of magic.“

“People could also put in chits for service trades and food and stuff,” said Charley. “I know just the bowl we could use.”

“Ok. I’m done. Let’s do dance on Wednesdays and I’ll teach my class on Thursdays after yoga. Does that work for ya’ll? Cuz I hope you each will come help now and then.”

“That Ursula!” said Raven.

“Fellow Queen Bee,” said Pia. “Now you’re stepping into your Leo Rising in a bigger way. Good for you!”

“Good for all of us. Didn’t you say that our Rising Sign is the energy and skills we need to work on in this lifetime?”

“Yes, in Shamanic Astrology, the Sun sign provides the flavor of the work. With your Cancer sun everything you do will be motherly and nurturing. The Moon sign is what you already have a PhD in. If you do that too much it will become an addiction. You slipped a little into your Capricorn self tonight – organizing things again like you do so well and so easily. Obviously I recognize it in you and I’d appreciate you pointing it out to me when I go there in excess. The Ascendant is what you are here to learn. Your Leo rising means you can now show up big and playfully and not just be making it all happen. I love it that you are still present for everyone, but so much more for yourself now. Good job!”

“Let’s look at everyone’s rising signs and see how we can help each other move forward.”

“Not tonight,” groaned Raven. “This bird needs bed. And Yew Dog needs release.”

“Not tonight,” Ursula agreed. “But would you do another Medicine Group session on it, Pia? It could be an important tool for us each to grow into our true selves over the coming days and weeks and months. ‘Coming into True,’ as Owen says. That’s what we’ve been doing as we sit here under the full moon next to the Oregon Grape. Let’s walk over to The Rock while you’re here. I’m finding it a great place to power up these days. I use it when I am heading off to priestess in circle or communing with the land.”

Wordlessly and still naked, the four of them trooped the few yards to the huge flat piece of basalt that Charley had unearthed with Owen’s help some thirty years ago when they first owned the place. Fallen off the top of the Mountain in a cataclysm centuries before, it now stood like a low table on the promontory at the base of a large Sitka spruce. Ursula bowed to the tree remembering the evening last year when a psychic passing through told them the tree was thanking her and Charley for their reverent attention to the details on the land.

They all stepped up on the table ignoring the sticky spruce droppings. Their arms encircled, Raven began to tone and the others wove their voices around his deep one. With the moon high now in the sky, the power was huge coming to them from the cosmos, the stone at their feet and the Mountain that rose behind them, as well as from the ocean stretching forever in front of them, and the loving trust between them.

“Fire, Water, Earth and Air,” intoned Ursula.

“Spirit,” breathed Pia.

“HO!” They spoke as One, feeling the power deep within their very bones and blood fed by the elements and the spirits of their home territory.

 

“That was a little better,” said Spider to the Council Fire.

“Yes,” said Elderberry, “they seem to be finally learning about generations and manifesting layers of growth.”

“But they went off into organizing and DOING,” complained Snake, “When are they going to learn to just BE?”

“They just can’t resist, can they?” observed Sitka Spruce. “It’s those friggin’ thumbs. I’ve never understood the attraction.”

“You wouldn’t,” countered Spider, the hard worker. “I’ve been inspiring them to be creative….”

“You have been rather showing off this year,” said Sitka.

“I know, but the conditions are perfect and I’m so happy. Things are moving even if it seems too slow for you long lived types. Some of us have to keep time in mind,” said Spider a little huffily.

“Ursula’s class will light up some new ones,” said Hummingbird, another hard worker who liked to see the humans flitting about productively. “That should get some new energy flowing.”

“And you know the dancing is what some of us have been calling for,” said Grouse.

“That’s all probably important but part of me wishes that Ursula, at least, would just hibernate this winter for a change,” said Bear with a yawn.

“What a lot of different influences we are,” observed Beaver. “No wonder they get confused sometimes, poor dears.”

Four in the Hot Tub 1

“This lentil stew is really delish,” said Pia, rubbing her tummy. “I love that it has the kids’ vegetables in it and your own kale. Thanks for making it vegetarian, but I can’t eat another bite. What a treat to share it with us. And it’s so good to get caught up on the details of each others’ last few weeks.”

“Thanks. And don’t worry, I didn’t make any dessert.”

“What?! No more juicy bits about all the people we love to nurture?”

“I’ve been thinking,” Charley spoke up over their giggles, “about new things we could be doing to move things along magically in our community. Now that I’ve got my feet on the ground in the community organizing realm, I’m wondering how to mix a bit more in spirituality.”

“Bravo on the PSU coup, by the way. There were a lot of other communities vying for their adjunct program.”

“Don’t forget that consensus building is a spiritual practice.”

“And so is sustainability consciousness…”

“And so is gossip,” added Ursula. “It has a bad rap but I’ve always maintained that the news we exchange about each other and our talk about the others’ problems are ways of checking out our information as well as our gut feelings and energy hits. I really needed confirmation of you-know-who’s subtle icky energy a while back and I welcomed reassurance from others that I was in my own drama about that new massage therapist that pissed me off. Right now, I’ve been noticing Sylvia’s depression. Do you think it’s a long term problem we need to pay attention to or is it a passing thing?”

“Good example – in fact, I am concerned about her too. That no-good boyfriend of hers finally took off but she doesn’t seem to be able to get her feet back on the ground. I’ve tried reaching out but she’s angry at the world.”

“I wonder if….”

“Now wait, you both jumped right over my sincere conversational gambit,” complained Charley.

“Sorry,” said Pia. “We did, and you’re right that it’s time to up the ante again on the magical and intentional content of our activities.”

“Hey – before we’re off and running on all that, let’s get in the hot tub,” interjected Ursula. “You guys have time? That little rain shower seems to be over and there’s a full moon arisin.’ A good time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished and get ready to move forward.”

“That would be lovely. We haven’t done that together in a long time.”

“Just leave the dishes. We’ll get them later,” Charley and Ursula said to Raven as he started to clear.

“Guess you must be sure since you said it in unison. Is it ok if I leave my clothes out here?”

“Sure, I will too,” agreed Charley. “That leaves room for you female types in the bathroom.” The guys stripped down quickly and headed out to the tub through the south facing sliding door, Charley stopping to pee over the railing on the way out.

“I’ll need a hair tie,” said Pia as she and Ursula headed the other direction.

Soon they were all in the hot tub knees not quite touching. They’d only had to apologize to a few autumnal spider webs on the path between house and tub. The moon was indeed just peeking between the trees to the East, having risen behind the Mountain a while ago.

“A-a-a –rooo!! Yip! Yip! Yip!” they all howled, Pia and Ursula adding a vocal belly dance flourish at the end, while Charley yodeled. “Awk. Awk,” called Raven.

“Yip Yip Yip,” echoed a real coyote from across the hollow on the mountainside. They were all silent for a moment taking in the beauty and power of the night.

Charley broke the silence, “I keep getting that we have this opportunity to create the world we want to see. What do we still need to do to move things along? That’s my visionary Aquarian moon talking and being the Virgo sun that I am, I want to stay on task.” He looked at Pia with a twinkle.

“Even in the hot tub,” Ursula chuckled.

“What better place? You’re such a water creature, I know you do some of your best creating here!” said Pia.

“We did a good job of calling in help a few years ago. Look at all that’s been happening,” said Raven. “Damn birds landing everywhere!”

Pia laughed. “We’re enjoying having Arlo around again. Even though he’s living upriver, I love bumping into that sweet son of mine at the Post Office and Natural Foods Store. It was fun to see your Salal and his lovely sweetie at the coffee shop this morning. How long are they here for?”

“We don’t really know. He’s pretty closed mouth with us. But we had a nice supper with them last night. They’re staying down at Cali and Carlos’s. Thank goodness those guys are attracting interesting younguns’ with their farm. And surely the baby is part of the arrivals.”

“You lucky grandparents, you.”

“Salal is one bird who hasn’t landed back here yet, and I’m pretty resigned to the idea that he might not,” said Charley. “Whether or not Marina will is still an open question.”

“On the good days we’re resigned,” laughed Ursula. “And we’re still not sure if Jay is really here to stay. His relationship with Fern is looking solid but you never know. But I’m feeling much better about it all since our Demeter and Persephone ritual.”

“Ariel Lyons is back,” said Charley, taking the heat off the thought of his longing for all his four kids to be around.

“Really? Ariel was one of the early Illahee School kids but her parents divorced and moved away when she was seven,” Pia explained to Raven since he was a relative newcomer, having flown in himself only about ten years ago. Pia had been a single mom during the early Illahee days.

“She’s staying at Sitka House while one of their housemates is in the Amazon and she’s been hired by the Arts Center to develop their teens program – both theater and visual arts. I guess she has an actual degree of some sort.”

”That’s so cool. I wonder where her parents are.”

“I didn’t have the strength to ask about them and we had so much else to talk about. So how do we up the ante again?” Charley wasn’t going to let this one get away.

“We have manifested help for ourselves,” Pia responded. “And if the astrology stuff I follow is to be believed, and I do, then big changes are nigh upon us and we don’t have much calendar time. Now, magical time is another story, as Raven here would say.”

“Awk!”

“The end times predicted by the Mayans so long ago seem to overlap with the notion of the shifting of the ages from the Piscean to the Aquarian. It’s the completion of a 28,000 year cycle. Some say even a 104,000 year cycle. I can hardly grok what that means in time or in practicalities, but it’s of Galactic proportions. And the stuff I’m reading now on the Internet is saying that we’re already well within the window of that cosmic astrological event.”

“We’re hearing that too,” said Ursula. “So many of us are making big changes – doing the deep work – that the New Age is coming to fruition faster than anyone – even the spirits from afar – thought we’d be capable of.”

“Hurray for our side,” said Charley. “Even though sometimes it feels like things are inching one step back for every two steps forward and that the bad guys are still in control.”

“The layoffs and closures just keep happening, plus there’s Global Climate Change….” Ursula’s voice trailed off. “Makes me feel guilty about this luxurious hot tub and all the electricity we are using.”

“I figure as long as we share it and use it for most of our bathing, that we’re doing ok. We’re all still learning to wean ourselves….”

“I wanna dance!” shouted Raven.

“Right now? I mean it is the Full Moon and all but personally, I’m not feeling that jazzed,” said Charley.

“I mean let’s add Ecstatic Dance to our Medicine Group offerings.”

“Trance dance?”

“Yogic dance. Whatever. Pia and I have been using Gabriele Roth’s music most days for at least a little bit.”

“Do tell.” Ursula could feel her energy lift after the dip of the last few minutes.

“When I started doing yoga on my own beyond my usual two classes a week,” said Pia, “the movements kept turning into dance. Slow and stretchy but flowing and intuitive rather than the long held poses of the yoga of our teachers. I love that too. There’s nothing better after a long physical or mental pushing sort of day. But we’ve really been having fun with this extrapolation. When I heard Roth’s music and read up on her Five Rhythms I realized it was just what we needed to add more dimensions to the process. She’s been doing it for years. I can’t believe I never heard of her.”

“I think the young people have been dancing that way in the Barn,” said Ursula. “Sometimes even with live music. Maybe we could set up a regular time at the Community Center. What days would work for you?”

“That’s one of the things I love about you, Ursula,” said Raven. “You just hone right in there on the details to make it happen.”

“It’s her Capricorn moon. You’re so airy you need us administrative types around,” said Pia thinking of her forays into Shamanic Astrology. “I’ve got it too.”

“Don’t I know it,” rejoined Raven. “But I love you anyway. I’ll put together music for the dancing.”

“I’ll bring scarves and things so we can be like little girls…kids, I mean,” said Pia.

“It would definitely improve the playful element around here for us. I just know that’s an important piece of what the New Age is about,” said Raven.

“I agree,” said Charley. “And I predict it will spill over into the healing aspect of what we’re up to for ourselves, the land and the community.”

“Our soul tribe at least. Thank you, Raven, for the idea and for personifying that playful piece,” said Ursula. “You double Gemini you! Even if you make us uncomfortable at times, your teasing Heyoka energy is important to show us who we really are…. Now here’s another idea,” she continued. “It’s not as playful, though it could be. I’ve been getting that it’s time for me to do more active mentoring, starting with teaching a class. It’s about all the things we’ve been exploring together over the years in our Medicine Groups – basic stuff like calling sacred space, smudging, grounding, and moving on to dousing, pendulums, tarot….”

“Kinesiology, hands-on healing,” added Charley.

“Manifesting,” said Pia.

“Speaking of moving things along.”

“Exactly. Thanks to Charley taking over the bulk of the organization work from me and with some new help the store can now afford, I’ll have more time again. We need to be more formally sharing the skills we’ve developed over the years and not just one-on-one like I’ve been doing.”

“Bravo! I’ve been thinking that might be a good next step for you,” said Raven, perching on the side of the tub to cool down.