Spirit Animal Coyote
Gifts: Trickster. Play. Shapeshifting. Everything matters, nothing matters. Balancing risk and safety, wisdom and folly. Adaptability.
Challenges: Getting caught in your own trap. Getting stuck on “nothing matters.” Forgetting your true form. Taking on too much risk.
Coyote is the archetypal Trickster. Even its name is derived from the Aztec word cóyotl, meaning trickster. Don’t let that Trickster quality scare you off, as it does so many people. The archetypal Trickster crosses boundaries, breaks down barriers, and blurs lines.
The Trickster obfuscates black-and-white in order to illuminate the gray. You may find this disorienting as everything you’ve known gets turned on its head. But when you are open to the lessons and gifts of Trickster, you will discover its underlying purpose: to destroy illusions.
Coyote uses play and shapeshifting to blur your own lines between black and white, good and bad, right and wrong, sacred and profane. Coyote teaches that these artificial constructs create separation and compartmentalization, which can result in a sense of isolation from the oneness of all that is.
Coyote’s destruction of boundaries results in the creation of ideas, connections, epiphanies, acceptance. As with other Trickster-type spirit animals, this is a Shiva-like destruction that clears the way for creation. It is not a random “destroy just for the sake of destroying” energy. There is purpose within the destruction.
Coyote is a powerful ally to call in when you need to explore and harness your own creativity. When you feel any kind of creative block, ask for Coyote’s help to see and then destroy the barrier that separates you from being in creative flow.
Coyote’s gift of recognizing simultaneously that everything matters and nothing matters can fall into an unbalanced fixation on one or the other. When fixated on “everything matters,” your fear of losing control can result in creating tight codes and strict routines around your time, your environment, and your body. In contrast, when fixated on “nothing matters,” you can fall into chaos.
Yes, spiritually everything is as it should be, no matter what happens physically. But we’re here, in the physical world, to experience choice and to discern for ourselves what matters in this moment and what doesn’t.
Unbalanced Coyote energy can lead to forgetting your true Self, your true form, your true nature. Imagine an actor who embodies their character during weeks or months of filming. After years of shapeshifting from one role to the next, they often lose their own native accent, in addition to losing track of part of their psyche. When Trickster Coyote becomes unbalanced in you, you can forget your own values and your own beliefs. You can lose track of who you really are.
If you start to lose yourself in your Trickster qualities, step back and refocus on the purpose of being a Trickster. You will find yourself again when you remember that breaking down barriers is a means, not just an end.