17 December, 2013

A Clash with Cockroaches

I was born in NYC, and have spent over 16 years of my life there (my Queens accent only seems to come out on rare occasions now).

Although I have always loved animals, plants, and insects, there are some Nature Spirits that I can Never Ever Work With during this particular incarnation of my life. And even though my spiritual growth has brought great lessons from Insects, I will not be able to ever work with Cockroaches. Ever.

from www.freepik.com

Cockroaches are everywhere in big cities, and in NYC, they definitely have a presence. Some are able to work with them as Insect Totems, but not me, not after this story from my past...

Ocotober 2003:

Last night, the bathroom was a warzone.

After washing up for bed around 11pm, I noticed that the drain in the bathtub was uncovered. I cover it ever night to keep most of the roaches that are in the pipes out of the bathroom. I put the cover over it, turned off the light, and made my way into bed. Not even 20 minutes later, I had to use the restroom. I grudgingly got out of bed, walked over to the bathroom, and snapped on the light.

*dramatic Psycho slasher music*

The walls, ceiling, sink, bathtub, toilet, and door were COVERED in roaches. And not just small itty-bitty roaches, but roaches of all shapes and sizes! Was it a nightmare?- No! It was my worst fear come to life!

I ran back out of the bathroom and searched for Dad's one remaining can of roach spray. Armed with a deadly weapon, I sprayed and sprayed until my fingers stopped shaking.

When the smoke cleared, 32 roaches lay dead, or paralyzed.

I decided not to clean up the mess, as by this time I was practically peeing my pants, and put the can of spray on the sink and used the restroom. As I sat, I observed the carnage around me. Suddenly, a shadow moved underneath the door. A HUGE roach, easily 3 or 4 inches (as compared to the standard 1/2 to 1 inch), skittered into the bathroom and began trying to climb the wall. This roach was not sleek and long as a waterbug, but squat and fat and of the same species as those dead around me. I determined that it was the King of the roaches, come in response to the many death cries of its commrades. My jaw dropped, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I realized that I was too scared to continue peeing.

That was the moment it decided to attack me.

As it made for my left foot ( very quickly, I might add), I hopped up and grabbed the can of roach spray and started going to town. Not only did the roach NOT die, it didn't even slow down! I jumped out of its way and made for the hallway. I deftly turned and sprayed the King with all the roach spray left in the can. At last, it staggered, turned, ran back in, and died at the edge of the tub.

I did all this with my pajamas still around my ankles.

The squick factor remains too high at this time for us to repair our relationship...*shudder*

What totems are YOU unable to work with, because of their physical presence in this world? Have you tried to work past it? 

12 December, 2013

Dragons: a "Hello" from the past

Every now and then, I enjoy reading through my old Shamanic Journeying notebooks, to try and remember all the different spirits I have met and places I have seen.

It can be difficult to remember Journeys, as they are sometimes like dreams, but each detail can be symbolic, and adds to the Inner Landscape of each shaman's Worldview.

Coyote wasn't always the first one to come to me during Journeywork; I had a menagerie of interesting Spirits trying to get my attention!

Who loves "Flight of Dragons" on VHS?!?
Dragons, especially the sleek, Asian-style water/air dragons, were very powerful images for me, and I adore them. Here is a story from one of my first Journeys 10 years ago (when I still lived in NYC), that can illustrate the instinctual symbolism of shamanic work:

September 2003
Went to a Shamanic workshop today: I had to take a subway, transfer to a subway, transfer to another subway, and then hop on the NJ Transit RR. Sheesh, it sucked (2 hour travel time!) but it ended up being worth it.
GOG (Grove of the Other Gods, ADF) was originally planning to hold the workshop outside, but of course, it rained. After I got off the RR, it was only a short walk to the Senior Druid's home. I found the place easily, and I didn't even need to knock on the door b/c they were keeping an eye out for me in case I got lost. I walked in to the coolest house on the planet: there were books everywhere, musical instruments, crazy mardi gras and jimmy buffet decorations, and a plethora of Spanish Day of the Dead memorabilia! It was the normal assortment of fun pagan-y people that one could find at just about any workshop, and funny enough, it put me right at ease.
On this shamanic journey, a medicine wheel was made out of stones and crystals: to aid our travel to find a spirit animal. I had done a few other shamanic workshops before, but I had never found a specific animal that appeared more than once. I was looking forward to perhaps finding one this time.
We were directed to relax, deep breaths, etc. and to find a safe spot within ourselves. We were also directed to invite/honor our Ancestors. For the first time ever, in any ritual/workshop, I actively invited Brigid, Hecate, QuanYin, my Grandpa, my Tante Annie & Uncle Charlie, my friend Brittany, and all others that had died. Back to the meditation: The first thing that came to me was the smell of cypress trees. Huh, who'd have thunk it: my safe spot opened up into the area of cypress trees beside Mirror Lake at Ohio State! Boy, was I surprised! I could feel myself grin while in trance. A cave opened up into the hill beside the trees (before the Main Library) and I began walking through it. Surprisingly, instead of seeing a totem animal right after making it through the cave passage, I saw my Grandpa Butke. He had a small smile on his face, and tears stung my eyes. I took his hand and said, "Come with me," and we went to find my spirit animal together.
I found Them; and I say them b/c there was more than one. In a clearing in my mind, there stood/floated/slithered a dragon: a dark red, skinny, long, wingless Eastern dragon. I patted it on its head, surprised that it looked so much like my dragon figurines at home on my dresser. My Grandpa forgotten, I looked around and was pleased to see two more Eastern dragons: a total of three, slithering and floating around me. The 1st one "spoke" of what they symbolized: power, strength, balance, and Luck (along with other things that I have forgotten since coming out of trance). I remember being a little wary of the concept of Power, since I was always taught that power corrupts, it very bad & dangerous, and it is best to stay away from any desire of it. It understood my fears, and gave me a message, something close to: "Power is not a bad thing; seek it and it will help make you feel whole again..." something like that, I can't remember now for the life of me!
We were then directed to "adopt" our spirit animal's gifts for a while: fly if one had a bird, hunt if one had a lion, etc. Something strange happened: I felt I was the dragon- I can't even explain the strangeness of it. I could not fly per se, but I was able to instantaneously move from place to place. Using this ability, I checked in on my sister, my mom & brother, my aunt & uncle in Colorado, and my dad smoking a cigarette at work. It was creepy: I felt like I had appeared in the ceiling of each place and my looong body was coiled around the room as I watched over my family. This was shocking to me, and I quickly returned to my safe spot with the other 2 dragons and my Grandpa. I thanked them immensely, and I again grabbed my Grandpa's hand and we walked back to the cave passage. I can't remember if I said bye or not, but suddenly I was at Mirror Lake again; just sitting on the stones near the water.
Brittany came up to me: my dead best friend from high school. Again, the tears stung my eyes as I wondered what to say. I apologized for not visiting her in the hospital when her cancer was bad. She understood, and told me that I was a wonderful friend now just talking to her now and again. We hugged, and I said goodbye, and I came out of my trance.
4 amazing things:
1) I had never seen my totem animal before today.
2) I had never seen my Grandpa or Brittany EVER before today.
3) I had never seen ANYTHING or ANYONE in trance, other than glimpses of deities, before today.
4) I have never Astrally Traveled (if that is indeed what I did) before today.
Hail to the Ancient and Awe-inspiring Dragons!

What Spirits surprise YOU when they show up in Journeys??

10 December, 2013

Updates to the blog!

Snow day in Baltimore today, which brought me time to feed the birds, decorate my apartment for Yule, and streamline this website a bit.

I've added space for some of my most-read blog articles on shamanism, as well as a link to my Witchvox account (it's within the Coyote head!) and most-used labels.

Hope you enjoy it!

09 December, 2013

Diamond Phurba Empowerment, via 噶千仁波切 Garchen Rinpoche

During the weekend before my birthday in November, fellow shaman Nicholas Breezewood, who is editor of Sacred Hoop, notified many of us of an amazing opportunity. The Garchen Buddist Institute, located in Arizona, was hosting H.E. Garchen Rinpoche himself, and facilitating a Diamond Phurba Empowerment and Drubchen. And for those of us not local to AZ, it was also being broadcast live over the internet!

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, from WikiCommons
I have worked with phurbas in my shamanic practice for a few years. I was gifted one from Caroline during my studies as her apprentice in Gryphons Grove, and received another (that practically jumped into my hand!) while shopping at Bell, Book, & Candle.

Of course, I am not Tibetan, nor Buddhist, but I Journeyed to meet the Spirit of Phurba, and got a very strong presence in both of them! Phurbas are unlike many other shamanic tools that I work with; they have spiritual consciousness upon being forged, and they are Ready To Work. So even though there were numerous obstacles for us to overcome (language barrier, lack of cultural knowledge, different symbol sets), the Phurbas wanted to work with me.

I was given specific instructions for how to use them, and how to store them between appointments. There were some difficulties in translation, as they gave me images in my head that I didn't quite understand, but after reading about them in the Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols..., it became a little clearer.

However, even though I respectfully request their help in each shamanic session, there are still times in which I am unable to understand what they want me to do, or how they communicate via specific symbols. I am sure they get just as confused and frustrated as I do, but our relationship is strong because they Want to do the work of healing others, removing blockages, and assisting with transmutation.

So this is why I jumped at the chance for the empowerment. In the way that I understand magic and healing, I believed that the empowerment will facilitate greater communication, a more common symbol set, and stronger lines of energy between us.

I made sure I had the perfect set-up from home!

And it has! My first few healing appointments afterwards were amazing; the Phurbas quickly identified intrusions/blockages, "sucked" them up, and sent them to the Nagas for transmutation. Our shared symbol set in my head is becoming clearer, and I am better able to use my instincts in determining what They want for a particular client. I will never be as well-versed in their use as a Tibetan-trained phurba master, but they are satisfied with being able to do what we can, together, in Maryland!

The weekend-long workshop was also beautiful and moving. Although H.E. Garchen Rinpoche required a translator for his teachings, the genuine compassion and empathy in his words could be felt hundreds of miles away, even through an Ethernet cord.

I felt so blessed after the ritual empowerment, and am so thankful for the opportunity to learn more about the Tibetan Buddhist/shamanic culture (within its own context, and not diluted/lost in translation). I know that I still have many things to learn, especially about Vajrakilaya and Mahakala (who have made Their presence known in dreams and Journeys)!

How do you work with other cultures that are so different from your own? How do you work respectfully with new tool/concepts, and keep away from cultural appropriation?

08 December, 2013

Upcoming Shamanic Healing Ceremony (local to DC, Maryland, and Virginia!)

Hello to you all!
I haven't spoken to many of you in the past few months, so I hope that this post finds you all healthy and happy. I am updating this blog to inform you all of a large Shamanic Healing Ceremony that will take place in the new year, on January 5th.
Here are the details:
My teacher, Caroline Kenner is organizing a group Healing Ceremony at the Blueberry Gardens in Ashton, Maryland. I will be there, along with my fellow healers Christian Stone (of Central Maryland Pagans) and Niall Sheehan (amazing acupuncturist in Laurel). Other graduates of Gryphons Grove will also be in attendance, providing support and healing energies.
The doors will open at 10:30am, with greetings and scheduling starting around 11am. The Healing Ceremony itself will begin at 11:30am (song will be sung at that time, don't be late!). Myself and the other healers will work until around 2pm, and then we will share a meal and discuss the different healings and imagery (of course, specific details will remain confidential, to protect your privacy). The ceremony will end around 4pm.
The charge for attending the Healing Ceremony and receiving a healing will be on a sliding scale of $75.00 to $100.00. This is quite affordable, compared to normal rates, and you will receive the benefit of many healers and many years of experience! For those interested, please leave a comment or send an email and I can send you the specific link to the PayPal account (payment in advance is required for this event, as it can fill up fast!).
While you are waiting for your specific appointment, you will receive subtle but powerful benefits from a large crystal grid that will be set up in the main Octagon Room to strengthen and empower the healing ceremony. There will also be lots of singing, crystal and Tibetan bowls, Native flutes, and other sacred music.
If you attend, please bring a chair or mat to sit on (Blueberry Gardens has some Yoga mats, but not enough for all), lunch for yourself, any food/drink that you would like to share with others, and a notebook to take notes from the Spirits.
I hope that this post inspires many of you to seek healing, and if you have a schedule conflict, please email me and we can work together privately in my Healing Room in Baltimore (or via Skype).
Hugs and well-wishes to you all,
Monika Lonely Coyote

02 December, 2013

Travel Altars for the Holidays

During the Holidays, and long-distance conferences, I like to creat little mini-altars before I start driving. This helps me align my Will with the goal at the end of road. It also helps me to make the travel a Spiritual Act. And on some occasions, it helps me to "plug in" to the Urban Nature Spirts (like I-95 and Amtrak) and work with them for smooth travel. 

I like talking with Ganesh, Asphaltia, Mercury/Hermes, and of course, Coyote. 

My drawings are entertaining to Them :) And cookie offerings are mandatory!

27 November, 2013

Sneaky Coyote!

It is so extremely difficult to find images of Coyote on clothing & Knicks-knacks. It is almost always wolves, or dogs, which aren't quite the same energy. With my birthday recently passing on the 19th of November, I closed my eyes, settled my mind, and began Hunting through the internet.

Coyote is elusive, and giggled at me at each website. Images were close, but not quite right... Finally, I stop looking; tired of loosing the Game. Of course, that's when His ears pop up, and he gives me a Look:

Yes! Perfect!


10 November, 2013

LATE POST: End of Life issues

It has been a rough month.

One of my clients*, who was diagnosed with a fast-moving terminal illness, has had some difficulty working through his acceptance of the end of his life.

Even though I have had numerous trainings in Grief Counseling, Palliative Care, Soul Retrieval, and Psychopomp work, I am struggling with my dual role as his primary counselor and his Universe-Appointed healer.

My overarching goal is to help him die gracefully, in the way that he wants, with any (or no) pomp and circumstance. There have been some close calls at hospitals, and even some near-death moments.

He self-identifies as Roman Catholic, and has slightly increased his spirituality and prayer, as priests have visited his bedside.

With this in mind, I have tried to work within his own religious paradigm for healing. However, my greatest fear is that he will die without preparing his Soul for its Journey.

In working as a shamanic healer, I have spent numerous Journeys doing Psychopomp work for homes, buildings, battlefields, and sites of natural disasters. I have learned that the Dead sometimes need assistance in crossing over fully, or "directions" on where to go, or help with linking to Ancestors, family members, etc. If these types of services aren't provided, then it can affect the passage of the Soul, as well as the energy of the place in a detrimental way.

During a particularly scary hospital stay, my intuition guided me to have a priest perform Last Rites, an effective and beautiful ritual that helps guide the Soul after death. Amazing, he used his considerable willpower to pull through, and continues to work as hard as he can to keep his life as independent as possible.

I know that once he dies, my role as his counselor will end, and my role as shamanic guide will come fully into fruition.

But how do I balance those roles now? What can I do that facilitates healing in a supportive way, within his religious knowledge? What would you do in my situation?

*anonymous and vague details for this blog article only-- all client information is confidential.

09 October, 2013

Completed my Certification!

I work two different but complementary jobs; psychiatric rehabilitation and shamanic healing. My ongoing lessons from both Coyote and Bear involve seamlessly inter-weaving the philosophies of both, and providing as much excellent and empowering healing that I can.

Many of my clients go through devastating crises, and I am always trying to juggle different counseling techniques, passive energy supports for the environment, prayer, laughter, and heart-centered love. This mix of spiritual healing and mental healing is very important to me, as I love the work that I do (for both therapeutic clients and shamanic clients)!

Recently, I passed a very important certification for work. I am so happy that I found the capacity to study and convey the work that I do in an effective and ethical way! So, even though this certification announcement is important for my job, I am including it here because it helps inform the work that I do for spiritual clients:
"Congratulations to Lonely Coyote for recently achieving her Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) designation! The Certification Commission, on behalf of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA), is the exclusive credentialing body of the CPRP designation and has developed and administers the certification exam to advance the availability and practice of quality psychiatric rehabilitation services.To sit for the exam, candidates must meet rigorous eligibility criteria based on level of formal education, employment experience, and continuing education.
 Obtaining the CPRP designation demonstrates Lonely Coyote's dedication to and current competence in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation. More than any other credential or degree, the CPRP signifies a deep commitment to the principles of person-centered recovery that form the core of the psychiatric rehabilitation ethos. Earning the degree also reflects  Lonely Coyote's compassion for the persons under their care and a commitment to their dignity and maximum recovery.

On a global scale, the CPRP increases cooperation between like-minded organizations and professions, and provides a means to establish and enforce an ethical code. The exam provides avenues for psychiatric rehabilitation practitioners from a wide variety of educational backgrounds to become certified and is unique in the mental health profession – the CPRP is the only credential available to practitioners who may have completed a post-secondary academic program.

We applaud Lonely Coyote's efforts."

08 September, 2013

House Clearings & House Blessings: Big, Major Work in Shamanic Headspace!

Over the past few months, I have worked with many wonderful people on House Clearings/Blessings. I've noticed an interesting surge in these type of requests around the beginning of Fall, to coincide with "Back to School" season. In my Coyote-Brain, this time of year was always easiest to clear away clutter and make new goals (at least compared with New Year's Day, which reminded me of vacation, not resolutions!).

I often get asked numerous questions about House Clearings (what are they? how do they help? what is the process? how much? etc.), and felt that it would be wise to put everything in an entry for future discussion (tiny blip here from a year ago):

"What is a House Clearing/House Blessing? Is there a difference between the two?"
A House Clearing is a type of shamanic healing for a building/structure. Many of us live, work, play, and socialize in buildings that are not new, and have history in them. In my philosophy, humans leave energetic imprints constantly, which can easily attach themselves to buildings (as well as other animals/humans: see blog post about different bodies here). Many terrible things can take place in the privacy of a building, which can completely affect the atmosphere of the building in the future. A few examples are suicide, murder, drug addiction, emotional/physical abuse, trauma, etc. Depending on the history, and/or who may have died within the building, some Thing may attach itself to the structure, and need professional removal. The shamanic techniques used in House Clearing include energy resets, psychopomp work, wards, and depossession (oh yes, a home can definitely be possessed!).
A House Blessing is a type of shamanic healing that takes place immediately after a building/structure has been cleared (see above).  As I've written before, Nature hates vacuums (unless you're a black hole), and it is just as important, if not more so, to Invite In the types of energies that should exist within a structure (i.e., healing energies for a doctor's office, focus and concentration for a school library, etc.). Anyone, whether shamanically trained or not, can concentrate and Invite In certain energies with his/her willpower and intent, but shamans are able to facilitate this process, set up effective relationships between residents and buildings, and work with House Guardians (to insure that nothing untoward tries to make a home again).
"How long does a House Clearing/Blessing take?"
As you may have seen from my Services Offered page, it really depends on the building. A two-bedroom apartment in suburbia may take 1.5 hours, while a Brownstone in the West Village in NYC may take upwards of 2.5-3 hours! Not only does the location contribute to the energetic imprint of the building, but the amount of space/rooms is really key. I work with a partner, and we check every room, closet, plumbing, fuse box, basement foundation, window, door, adjoining wall (if connected to other apartments), toilet, drain, fireplace, etc. to make sure that everything is sealed up tight!
"Why do you work with a partner?"
Because of the instruction I received from school, and my Helping Spirits, I always complete both a House Clearing and a House Blessing within the same appointment. I work with a fellow graduate who was at the Top of his Class in resetting the energetic blueprints of buildings and structures, and it really helps to have an additional person check your work behind you!
"Can a House Clearing/Blessing be done remotely (like over Skype)? How effective is it?"
Now this is an incredibly tricky question, and I may piss off a few fellow shamans in the way that I answer it (Coyote laughs, and licks his teeth). The most effective House Clearings/Blessings are done in Person, hands (and paws) down. Problematic energies can be identified and taken care of much quicker in person, as well as conversations with the Land Spirits that are part of/surround the building/structure. Offerings can be made immediately, and there is a smaller chance of spirits tricking the shaman inside his/her own headspace.
This doesn't mean that House Clearings/Blessings done remotely are ineffective; it just means that the shaman needs to be fully focused and have great communication with his/her Helping Spirits. However, opening a dialogue with the Land Spirits can be very difficult if the shaman is not physically there. If the House Clearing is done completely remotely, then the vitally important Blessings (see above) is not done with those residing in the building, which can sometimes allow Other Energies to take the place of the ones just cleared! Finally, it is extremely difficult for any shaman to be able to Ward each faucet, toilet, window, door, wall, floor, ceiling, fuse box, etc. when s/he is not physically there. Essentially, it is best to do House Clearings/Blessings in person, but a Skype connection, with video, can work if travel is not possible.
These are some of the most-asked questions when scheduling House Clearings/Blessings. Please comment with additional ones, if you have any, and I'll update this blog post in the future!

31 August, 2013

My own Hawaiian Woodrose Friend!

With regards to my last post, here is a picture of the Hawaiian Woodrose Spirit with whom I am beginning a friendship. She appears to be enjoying the warm, humid days with sunshine, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do when the temperature starts dropping...!

I love her heart-shaped leaves. They are so soft and malleable that I find great healing in sitting with Her after my own heart is a bit too exhausted from working in the mental health field each day. 

I haven't seen any Katydids lately, but I'm sure they are there. 

Stay tuned for further lessons, as we work together for Healing!

18 August, 2013

Plant Spirit Shamanism: Hawaiian Woodrose

Argyreia nervosa (public domain image from WikiCommons)

In the past few months, during my Spirit-imposed hiatus from blogging and Healing Ceremonies, I have had a really profound, "HELLOOOOOOOO!" from the Plant Spirits and Mother Earth.

I have been slowly expanding my focus and concentration, and have started to be able to listen to the softer, more subtle voices of plants (as compared to all the animals in my head)! For this playful and distractable Coyote, it has taken a lot of work to be able to Listen and not second-guess what I think I am hearing. There are many numerous books on animal spirits (Animal Speak is a good one, and so is Bird Medicine, by a friend), but not very many on Plants. Or at least not very many in my library at home.

Although I miss the back-and-forth discussion of shamanism classes, I am trying to increase my confidence, and communication, by writing down my UPG insights and comparing them with others via books, Skype, healing ceremonies, etc. later on. Many times, they overlap (upcoming entry on Oghams soon!), which is always a delight and builds trusting relationships.

Which brings me to Hawaiian Woodrose. Recently, I was introduced to this plant in a discussion of visionary plant spirits. I did a bit of research, and learned that it has been used in Latin American and India as a hallucinogenic, healing plant. And even though hallucinogenic plants have been used by shamans for many many years for healing, I do not have that type of training, and I have not established that type of relationship with this plant.

So what to do? Hawaiian Woodrose has given me a gentle tap on the head to get to know Her, and yet I live in a country in which all hallucinogens are considered illegal drugs (even if they are not technically schedule I - V)... Aha! Time to get my hands into Mother Earth, and do some gardening!

I soaked and planted some seeds (9 to be exact, cause I like the number), and seven sprouted and took root. In the past two months, She has grown many gorgeous heart-shaped leaves that are covered in soft, fine hairs. I've had to re-pot Her, as Her root system is immense, and have noted that small, light green Katydids rest on her leaves when I am sitting outside (what a great symbiotic relationship!).

Katydid (public domain image from WikiCommons)

We have slowly started to get to know each other, and She has been a great healer for me so far! I enjoy Her compassionate energy, after a looooong day working at a psychiatric rehab., because She just sits with me and helps me to focus on myself, and my own compassionate nature after I feel drained and cranky and can't be around humans for a few hours. It's also been very easy to hear Her in my head, after I take a few deep breaths, and so I've not needed my rattle to help calm my Coyote-brain.

I look forward to learning more from Her, and building our relationship of mutual healing through spiritual gardening!

Have you ever started a relationship with a plant from seed? What did you learn?

12 August, 2013

Lonely Coyote emerges from her den!

(photo taken at Smithsonian in DC by me)
It's been two months since I've updated this blog. Normally, I'd feel a bit guilty about that, but during those months, I have gone through some pretty profound self-healing.

I've gone through one of the many Long, Dark Nights of the Soul.

I've questioned my senses, forgotten and re-learned my experiences, taken a leap of Faith, focused on mixing my Spirituality with my Mundane job (until they are completely intertwined!), increased my awareness, set up strong Boundaries (so that I am able to ground my energy better), and really learned to Trust My Instincts!

Now that I'm starting to re-emerge, I feel as though I am ready to put more work into my Spiritual Relationships. Talking to different spirits in my head is all well and good, but they like a visit every now and again, too!

I am also trying very hard to reduce my anxiety about explaining to others, in a logical way, about the imagery and symbols during appointments. I need to focus more on the lesson, and less on the wacky ways that Spirits got me there. Even among groups of healers, we don't "see" things the same way, but we all work hard to help Spirits help our clients!

I look forward to updating regularly again, and describing more lessons of spiritual expansion and silliness!

12 June, 2013

Free Spirit Gathering 2013

I'm on my way to one of my favorite summertime activities; Free Spirit Gathering in Darlington, MD. 

This will be my fifth year attending, and I will be working with my former teacher and dear friend, Caroline Kenner. We are co-presenting a group healing technique that she learned with Sandra Ingerman. Here's the info: 

Please join Caroline Kenner and Monika Lonely Coyote for a group rite of Soul Retrieval dedicated to and empowered by Brighid and Manannan MacLir. Attended by phalanxes of spirits and supported by powerful healing crystals, you will receive a Fire and Water purification, and welcome your own soul essence back to you. Caroline and Monika will sing your soul home to you while you call to your own true self. This rite is based on Sandra Ingerman’s teachings. Please bring a mat or blanket to lie on, and a sincere desire for your own healing. 

I'm really looking forward to this, as well as relaxing with like-minded people all weekend!

Hope to see you there, readers! I'll be setting up camp at the "Shamans' Grotto" underneath the pine trees; look for the Gryphons :)

02 June, 2013

Internal Magical Work: Sweat Lodge

Wow, it's been over a month since an article has been posted! My apologies to all, but I have been working very hard on self-healing, and working with the incredible energies of the last 3 eclipses that occurred in rapid succession!

Back near the end of April, I received a flood of emails from different astrology websites and blogs that described the intense "happenings" over the following 5-6 weeks. Around April 25th-26th, there was a Full Moon Eclipse in Scorpio, and then a New Moon/Solar Eclipse in Taurus (with solar flares, too!) around May 9th-10th, and then a final Full Moon Eclipse in Sagittarius on May 25th!

There are a few blogs that I enjoy reading, that helped me to highlight the self-work needed during those intense weeks:
  • Diotima blog )
  • Mystic Mama (blog )
  • Wild Woman Sisterhood (blog )
I did different things to celebrate each eclipse, and will have different blog entries for each. But as for the first, I worked with my fellow pagans in Sweat Lodge.*

I had only ever joined in a sweat lodge one other time in my life; a Sister Sweat held in Bel Air, MD, by dear friends Leanne and Mark. This sweat occurred in January, and although I remember the ordeal, I don't remember anything that was said!

I vowed to better prepare for the sweat at the end of April, so that I could write notes in my notebook, and last the whole way through. The purpose of a Sweat Lodge is to Release things into the Lodge that no longer serve you (ideas, fears, emotions, etc.) and ask the Spirits to bless you with new things that you want to Invite into your life (opportunities, prosperity, blessings, etc.). Each culture and tradition has its own way of conducting a Sweat Lodge (this is not just a Native American thing; see Wikipedia and Google ).

Preparing for a sweat is like preparing for the longest, hottest, sweatiest day of hiking ever. I woke up after a full night's sleep, ate a light breakfast (granola bars, a banana, and small iced coffee), and hydrated with almost two water bottles in the 3-hour drive to Seelie Court in Delaware.

Everyone usually has their own lists of What Not To Do/Eat, but I stayed away from alcohol for 3-4 days, refrained from heavy foods (fast food, meats (sushi ok for me!), too much bread, etc.), and completed a Two Powers meditation before entering in the Sweat Lodge. I felt grounded and centered in my body, but still felt a slight "buzz" on my skin from excitement and spiritual thoughts.

Each culture/religion uses their own methods of Sweat Lodge, but some of the characters are the same. The Water-Pourer sits with all members inside the lodge, leads the meditations, pours water over the stones (called "Ancient Ones" in many traditions), and monitors everyone's health. The Fire-Tenders heat the Sacred Stones in a special fire, and brings them into the center of the Sweat Lodge. The Kitchen-Witches cook numerous foods, for after the Sweat Lodge Ceremony, and monitor everyone's health afterwards.

In my very psychologically-framed mind, a Sweat Lodge has always felt like the most spiritual form of Group Therapy! Everyone enters the Sweat Lodge as individuals, but as ritual purification begins (of body, mind, and spirit) in TOTAL DARKNESS, everyone has the chance to speak their truth in a powerful and anonymous way.

It is taboo to speak of another's words from Sweat Lodge, as the ordeal brings each person closer to their own Spirits. However, I would like to write of my own releasing in a very general way.

This Sweat Lodge, I focused on my own personal self-healing, more so that in general healing treatments that I do for myself. I am learning how to speak my own Truth, and re-learn what I already know. For example, I write many many notes in many many journals, but almost never review them or read over them again. I am working on cementing that knowledge into my brain, so that I can communicate better.

I purchased a specific stone to help me with the lessons of this Eclipse & Sweat Lodge: Black Moonstone.
from Etsy.com

There are numerous metaphysical properties of Black Moonstone, but I was searching for one specifically to help me with deep, internal Shadow Work (Jungian stuff). With the full moon in Scorpio, and Saturn retrograde through Scorpio, and my own birth day in Scorpio, I was definitely feeling the movement within my mind and soul! I also purchased one in the shape of an Egg, a Druid's Egg, to be precise.

As I began working with the lessons of the Full Moon Eclipse (releasing of old habits, sudden lessons from the past, and large jumps in the growth of my Intuition), I began noticing subtle changes in myself and my environment, leading up to the New Moon/Solar Eclipse at the beginning of May. But, that is for another blog entry!

If you could join a Sweat Lodge for healing, what would YOU release into the steam, so that you leave feeling lighter??

*Sweat Lodges have certainly been in the news lately, with criminal trial proceedings, questions of cultural appropriation, etc. Almost all cultures have used ritual sweating as purification (Native Americans, Indo-Europeans, Celts, Norse, Asian cultures, etc.), and so it pays to research which type of Sweat you would like to join. I warn all readers to research all Sweat Lodges thoroughly, and ask after the Water-Pourer's certifications, before trusting your body to the ordeal.

21 April, 2013

Sacred Tattoos: a way to honor relationships with Spirits

These past few weeks have been a struggle for me, as I learn the lessons of internal Self-Work, patience, and Trust in the Universe.

I've been re-reading all of my old journals (do you ever do that, readers?), and it has been entertaining! Some of my writing is full of clichés, and it's a bit painful to realize how young and immature and naive I used to be (six - eight years ago)! But I am finding real gems in unexpected places, and I am trying to make all of that learning (and those lessons) more conscious in my mind.

In going through this process (similar to the symbolism inherent in the Hermit card in Tarot, and/or the High Priestess ), my relationship with Artemis has really blossomed.

I first began seeking her out when I started to practice target archery as a sport, and a stress-relief after work:
I'm a left-eye dominant archery, just like so many of Artemis' images!
It took a while for me to understand some of her language in my head, because it sounds so similar to my own voice in my head (a common problem for shamans, tee hee!). But she helped me to learn the lessons of patience, intense focus (to the exclusion of all else), and Trust in the Universe (when releasing the arrows). We've also been working together on more private lessons for my life, and so I sought her advice on honoring our relationship with a tattoo.

In my first journey to her, she appeared as a giant, glorious Greek goddess, in stereotypical robes and fierce gaze. I stuttered a bit in my head, and was definitely overwhelmed. She laughed, and then shrunk down to my size, and changed into jeans and a T-shirt, so that we could communicate easier.

I spoke of the symbols that tie my thoughts directly to hers; the Moon, a bow & arrow, and our mutual friend the Red-Tailed Hawk (see my previous entry on the lovely Hawk). We began discussing ideas for a symbolic tattoo image, and tried to figure out how to incorporate all those images. I had a few ideas, and then sought out a very specific tattoo artist, Capt. Gordon of Time Bomb Tattoo in Frederick, MD.

I have a few tattoos, inspired by different spiritual journeys, but I've always been a bit lazy in finding a good artist. I will create my idea, and then bring it to a shop that's nearby, and pray that the gods work their magic through the vessel of the tattoo artist. Sometimes it works well, sometimes tiny things get lost in translation... So for this tattoo, I made sure that I sought out an artist that was both incredibly gifted and understanding of shamanism & magick. Capt. Gordon is both- hurray!

I took off last Thursday from work, and began a ritual dedication on Wednesday evening. It was the New Moon (how appropriate!) and I Journeyed to her. We drank some excellent Mead from Orchid Cellar Winery (it had one with an image of Artemis called "Archer"-- perfect!), asked for her presence during the tattoo, and on Thursday, dedicated the entire day to Artemis and this work between us.

I brought my images and symbolism with me to Capt. Gordon, and trusted in his expertise and own connection to the Gods. He helped us create an exquisitely powerful and meaningful work:
It incorporates the full Moon, the image of my actual bow that I use (not the one pictured above), and the colors of the flectching of the arrow is the coloring of Red-Tail Hawk feathers!

I look forward to when it is fully healed, and the increased ease of communication between me and Her. I originally thought that this tattoo would signify the culmination of lessons learned, but as I hear her laughing in my head, I realize that it is just the beginning of the long friendship and Journey between us (another Two-By-Four moment, brought to you by Coyote himself!).

Do you have any spiritual tattoos? How did you know what to get? Any readers thinking about their first tattoo?

30 March, 2013

How I learned that I was a "Lonely Coyote"...

The lessons from Sacred Space Conference continue to percolate in my head, but this morning, I wanted to write about the name given to me out of pure inspiration (or perhaps remembered? <-- Coyote winks), Lonely Coyote.

One of the few classes that I attended included a Past Life Regression workshop, given by a dear friend, Elmdea Bean (the last experience I had with past life regressions involved a group of friends from Ohio State's Pagan Student Association, and although I enjoyed the experience, I have forgotten just about everything I was trying to learn!).

There were many of us that arrived for this class, and my inner "Hermione Granger" was very appreciative of the folders with notes, blank papers, and business cards! With all of the Journey Work that I do in shamanism, I figured it would be really easy and simple to just lay back, relax, and float towards different periods in my life. Ha ha ha-- I was wrong! I kept trying to rebel against the format that she provided, and I had to wrestle with my Coyote-nature and allow myself to be led along by her voice.

Elmdea has structured her Guided Meditations perfectly; each word resonated deeply in my brain, and opened the pathways inside my Soul at a very deep level. I noted that she combined aspects of progressive muscle relaxation, as well as certain verbal triggers that allowed all who participated in the group to feel safe, secure, and blessed by the experience. I also appreciated the specific cues that allowed us to remember our Journeys, so that we could process the information in the next few months.

Because I had lots of different ideas of where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to learn about myself, I found that it took a very focused amount of concentration in order to release my preconceptions, and allow the Journey to grow organically. As a shaman, I am very adept at working with my Spirits on the issues brought to me by clients (sometimes working very quickly in group healings!). But as this was a healing Journey of information for me, I needed a bit of extra Grounding & Centering. Eventually, Coyote popped in, laughed at my attempts to not "race ahead of the meditation" , and said "You are all  over the place! Come, I'm gonna take you to the first time we met."

I remember stepping out of a creekbed, after washing up, and that I was barefoot and naked underneath a brown shift-dress. I was a young girl, slim but not very strong (but I was fast!), perhaps in my pre-teen years. I had long, silky black hair, and I could actually feel its texture as I ran my fingers through it. I felt myself walking along dirty, grassy paths from the creekbed towards a small central area with a long community table. It was warm, with a bit of a wet chill on the air (spring?). I remember sitting down at the table, with other children my age, and laughing while eating food (some sort of corn mush? It tasted delicious). Emotionally, I felt a sense of belonging, of community, and of love within a family/tribe. I heard someone call my name, "Esa" or "Esat" (hmm, will have to research that later).

The Journey then switched to my first significant event in that life: a Shamanic Challenge. I remember being alone, in the woods, in a clearing on top of a small hill. It was dark (middle of the night?), and I was being torn apart by wild animals. In shamanism, it is called "Dismemberment", and I remember that my arms and legs were being torn off my body by a Wolf, a Bear, and a Coyote (and possibly another animal, but I couldn't see it). It was incredibly terrifying, and very realistic. I could feel my flesh tear, my throat scream, and the tears run down my face. In fact, I can remember the body-memories as I type this! Finally, I realized that I was not dead, and that I had survived, and heard Coyote howl as he slowly walked on all fours up to me. I was sitting on a blanket, hugging my knees to my chest, and he sat on his haunches next to me. We both stared at the full moon rising over the horizon, and then I very suddenly plunged my hand into Coyote's chest, and took out his bleeding, pumping, glorious heart. At that moment, when he chose me and I chose him, we became joined, and apart from my community.

(I remember feeling quite ecstatic after Coyote showed me this, and sweaty, too. But the memory resonated so deeply in me, that I knew it to be true.)

As Elmdea guided our class into different significant events, I noted that I was always alone. I lived alone at the edge of the community/tribe, I gave birth to a son alone (no husband, no father to care for him, and the son left me soon after he reached the age of manhood), and I died alone. The themes of loneliness, of being apart, of being misunderstood and perhaps feared by my community, and of being separate from others was a part of my soul's Journey, and there are specific lessons and energies that go along with the name, "Lonely Coyote". 

Of course, I've barely scratched the surface of my Soul's journey, and this workshop has helped me to understand some of my personality quirks and preferences (i.e., "hiding in my den" when I'm overwhelmed, desperately needing alone-time to process spiritual messages, etc.). I look forward to learning more of my work in this life, and continuing my own Soul's healing journey.


24 March, 2013

Sacred Space Conference: a Review of Coyote's influence

This past Sacred Space Conference was a complicated jumble of spiritual headspace and social headspace.

Usually, at most pagan workshops/gatherings, I attend each class I can, trying to stuff as much information into my brain as possible (before I have to rejoin the regular world). I find that each conference has a "theme" that is apropos to my life at that moment... This year's theme seemed to be "understanding the 'Lonely' in 'Lonely Coyote'!"

I found that I had very little socialization with others, and seemed to prefer small snippets of interaction, combined with lots of rest and reflection.

I was blessed to be the Travel Hostess to one of the featured presenters, Christopher Penczak, and found him to be a wonderfully grounded and compassionate Soul! Of course, my Kojote car began playing tricks on us as soon as we left the airport (Kojote = "coyote" in German)... I kept getting turned around in DC, not trusting my GPS, and generally being embarrassed as to the silly driving shenanigans (Christopher was a very good sport).

Once we finally arrived at the hotel, we were able to join the Opening Ritual. I found this ritual to be very powerful and compelling, in large part due to the excellent ritual skills of Gwendolyn Reese and Michael Smith. The Patrons of the conference were Athena and Thoth, and were asked to watch over and protect the attendees, presenters, and all those traveling to the conference.

Most of the time, I am able to "plug in" to the egregore of a pagan gathering, but I found that I still couldn't shake off the workweek. I went upstairs to my hotel room and tried to Ground, Center myself, and relax away the tension. Sadly, my mind was racing too fast, and didn't attend any other workshops until late that night.

Thursday evening, I attended the Oracular Seidh ritual, run by Diana Paxson, Laurel Mendes, and students. I always enjoy attending this ritual, as it is a powerful combination of Pathworking, group/community healing, and seeking information from the gods. The previous year, Laurel worked with the spirit of a beloved family ancestor (recently passed), which brought me so much healing and closure. During the ritual this year, I spoke with Diana as oracle, and received some needed guidance for my own pagan/shamanic path.

On Friday, I stayed in my room almost the entire day. Part of it was due to procrastination regarding my own presentation, and part of it was my own inability to fully let go of my own shadow issues in my head (working with mentally ill clients, difficult interpersonal relationships, Saturn in Scorpio (my own issues of Power, Sex, and Death), etc.). As a true coyote, I stayed in my "den" until my self-healing and knowledge was done (or at least more balanced)!

I prepared myself for the highlight of the conference, the Conjure Dance. Caroline has helped to enlarge this phenomenon, as well as UToS, and it is simply incredible. All gods, goddesses, spirits, ancestors, Kindred, etc. are honored with either a statue, a plaque, or a section of a GIGANTIC altar that covers over 5 tables. Music is played while everyone in attendance honors the Spirits that they know, love, or heard about (friend of a friend!) with drink, candies, and peeps (chicken sacrifices)! The dancing gets rather ecstatic, and different Spirits are invited to party, and they join as They See Fit (sometimes with funny synchronicities, sometimes will possessions). Coyote was put in the Dog House, as he broke my jewelry last year, but I think He really enjoyed being last on the list. We danced together, and encouraged everyone to howl with laughter, joy, and energy, and nothing beats the image of Diana dancing with my Coyote pelt, shaking her tail!

After the Conjure Dance, Coyote was Everywhere. He sneakily got people to howl during my presentation on Mental Illness and Spiritual Experience (will discuss in upcoming blog post). He intrigued attendees who had no idea who He was (they will soon). He reminded people of his Awesomeness (those who had forgotten how to work with him). He rekindled relationships with those who missed him. And He began new friendships with those who fell in love with his humor, his eyes full of the star-field, and his Sexy Tail.

I enjoyed watching his influence in different parts of the conference, and giggled at the Joy he inspired. However, his greatest lesson for me involved the first meeting of our Souls (will discuss in another upcoming blog post).

During the evening on Saturday, I found that I had a difficult time socializing with other attendees. I couldn't make sense when talking, I had a hard time keeping track of my thoughts, and I felt I was still not "plugged in" to Sacred Space as a whole. It was not due to any one thing, but I was in such a certain type of headspace, that I felt most comfortable being alone, being outside, and floating on the outskirts of the Party. Eventually, I made my way to the Trance Possession ritual down the hall, and felt much more comfortable in my skin.

Finally, it hit me: I talk to lots of different spirits in my head during Shamanic Healing appointments, and so sometimes, they talk with me in regular, everyday life. I have a hard time explaining what that is like, and sometimes I can't translate what is in my head into English for others (I have many moments like that, and felt a bit embarrassed trying to explain it eloquently). So, when I'm feeling that type of energy, it's just easier hanging out with those same Spirits during celebratory rituals! Once I realized that, the last of my social awkwardness melted away, and I was able to better balance my social-time with my alone-time.

Sunday morning arrived very quickly, and very painfully. The clocks had jumped forward an hour, and I had lost much-need sleep! But, I asked the gods for strength, and was able to facilitate a really powerful, educational, long (~3 hours!) and joyful Shamanic Healing Ceremony. I was incredibly grateful for my dear friend Xtian (Rune), who taught me a lot about his own healing methods, and we worked together to facilitate healing for all who attended.

After that, I was pretty wiped. I returned Christopher Penczak to the airport, and really loved hearing about his own Sacred Space experience. Of course, the Kojote car had a few final tricks (who drives all the way around DC's baseball field for NO REASON?!), but we safely made it on time.

I have many more blog entries to come, as I try to reflect on the very specific and profound lessons of this conference-- stay tuned!

06 March, 2013

A story of how Coyote tricked the Moon (guest post)

In the ancient past, when earth and spirit were one, the moon was always full.  Luna, for that is what she called herself then, would keep her face fully turned towards the earth because she enjoyed watching Brother Wolf and his pack hunting at night.  His pack’s hunting skills always amazed her, and she enjoyed the new tactics they came up with to hunt their prey.  Wolf knew that she watched and blessed them with her full face each night, so at the end of each hunt they would leave an offering for her, as she sunk past the horizon each night. 
Some nights the hunt was harder than others, as if the prey seemed to stay one step of them.  What he did not know was that Younger Brother Coyote, the Trickster, would hide in the shadows that Luna’s light provided and warn the prey of the pack’s arrival.  He would sneak ahead and tell them from which direction the hunters were coming, and which areas were safe.  Luna enjoyed watching this game from the sky above, though she only caught glimpses of Coyote in her light between the shadows.  One night, she saw that Wolf’s pack was going to pass very close to a shadow in which Coyote hid.  So she altered her path just a tiny bit, so that her light shined on a small bit of his tail.  Coyote was so intent on the night’s mischief that he failed to notice the light on his tail--but the pack did not miss it.  Wolf sent his pack to chase Coyote away from their hunting grounds; now he understood the cleverness of the prey.
Luna was truly entertained!
Each night after, Wolf split his pack in half--to hunt dinner, and to keep a watchful eye on Coyote. Coyote worked hard to avoid his Wolf cousins, and continued to manipulate and trick the hunters every night.  Luna’s delighted laughter did not escape Coyote’s large ears… that night a mighty Trick was being born.
At the end of the next day, before Luna rose in the sky, Coyote hid behind a large stone so that her light would not see him.  He knew that she could not see into the shadows as he could, with his sharp eyes.  That night he used every trick he knew; not to disrupt the Wolf pack’s hunt, or even to hunt his own dinner-- the moon was his prey that night.  He tracked Luna for hours and saw, for the first time, the offering Wolf laid out for her. 
The hunt had been very good for the wolves, for they did not have to chase Coyote while hunting, and so the pack feasted on deer.  For Luna, they offered the eyes of all the deer, so that she may look through them and witness the hunt from the deer’s point of view.  Coyote appeared pensive as he looked at the eyes, and his Trick began to take form in his mind.
He waited for Luna to take the offering, and as she descended towards the horizon to accept the offering, he followed her further. 
He followed her past the horizon and into the Celestial realm of Spirit, for in those days you could cross the boundary as easily as putting one foot in front of the other.  He watched as she deposited the offering in her Altar Room, near the other offerings that Wolf and his pack had given her.  He followed her still, always staying in her shadow, as she spoke to the Spirits of the Planets.  She spoke to them of Wolf and his pack, how their hunting prowess amazed her, and how she delighted as they hunted within her light.  Luna then fell asleep, resting for that night’s trip across the sky. Coyote watched her. When she woke and prepared to leave for the horizon, he waited for her at the entrance to the moon’s pathway.
Startled, she asked, “Younger Brother Coyote, is there a problem? Why do you wait for me at the horizon?”
He kneaded his tail; “I have come to give you a gift, Big Sister.  Many nights I have seen the wolves leave an offering for you, and I realize that I have never left you one myself”.  She saw his eyes begin to shine with tears, and bent down to place both hands under his jaw. “To leave an offering is not your way, I do not blame you--” “But still,” Coyote interrupted, “I wish to give you a gift, for I have played in the shadows you create during the night.”
As soon as the sentence left his lips, he plucked out his eyes and offered them to her. With a grin, he said, “Please take my eyes for the night--with them, you’ll be able to see into the shadows your Light creates.” Luna was stunned; “Oh Coyote, that is a mighty gift! But how would I be able to see my moon’s pathways if I am wearing your eyes? Only my eyes can see the paths…” She saw disappointment on his face, though his eyes were still in his outstretched paws.
Coyote turned his eyes around and around in his paws, thinking of how to solve this obstacle. Suddenly, he jumped up on his hind legs and exclaimed, “Sister, I have it! How about you take my eyes for tonight, and I’ll take yours. This way, I can walk your paths while you hold my tail and we will travel across the sky together!” Luna began to feel apprehensive, for she knew Coyote was a great trickster, and she did not want to be played a fool this night.
“Coyote, my tricksy brother, your cunning is known around the earth and even here in the celestial realms.  How do I know you are not planning on tricking me this night?” 
“Luna, I only wish to give you a gift.” He stood up as straight as he could, looking at Luna with sincerity; “If it would put your mind at ease, then let me say this; I promise on my eyes that I will not trick you this night.”   Luna saw the earnestness in his eyes (still on his paws) and made her decision.  She plucked out her eyes and handed them to Coyote while scooping his eyes up and put them in her sockets.  At that moment she looked around and did not see the stars and planets as the friends she knew, but as the beautiful and awesome display for the creatures of the earth.  She saw her great shining grey eyes in the sockets of Coyote, and laughed in delight at the sight of him.
Coyote lifted his tail, allowing her to grip tightly, and slowly followed her pathways across the sky.  Coyote led her faithfully, and noticed that as he walked along the path, it seemed to disappear from view for a moment, but recreate itself behind him. In this knowledge he knew his scheme would work, but tonight he enjoyed just leading Luna across the sky.  Luna for her part was thoroughly enjoying the experience.  She could see into the shadows as if they were not there, and she could see the fear in the prey as it ran from the wolves.  When the pack brought down the beast she could not contain her excitement anymore and laughed with glee across the night, “Yip. Yip. Yipeeeeeee!”  Wolf looked up at Luna with confusion for he had never heard her make that sound before, and then looked at the woods around him in suspicion; this was the second night in a row that Coyote had not been spotted.
When they reached the horizon and crossed through into the Celestial realm, they returned their eyes to each other. Luna picked up Coyote in a great embrace, “Thank you so much! That was the greatest time I have ever had, that was a mighty gift!”  They parted ways and Luna raced to tell the other Planets of her adventures that night.  Coyote returned to his den to sleep, for he had not slept in two days and needed to be rested to trick the wolves this coming night.
The normal patterns of life continued throughout the weeks and months that followed.  Wolf and his pack would split in order to hunt at night, and keep Coyote away from the prey, while Luna watched their games from her paths in the sky.  But soon Luna began to miss the adventure she and Coyote shared, and she asked him one night as she was about pass below the horizon:
“Coyote, it has been awhile since we shared time together, and I do miss the excitement of that night.  Would you lead me across the sky again this coming night?” 
Coyote yipped in excitement, “It would be my pleasure to meet you at the horizon! So we can dance together across the sky!”
That coming night they met at the horizon and once more traded eyes.  Luna grabbed onto Coyote’s tail and was immediately guided across the sky.  Again she was amazed by what she saw, heard, and smelled in the forest below…which is why she did not notice how Coyote was changing her path. He erased her old path with his footsteps, and began to lead her in slow spirals across the sky.  Because she now wore his eyes (eyes that could see into the shadows as if they were lit), she did not notice the change. Coyote was leading her in great spirals, and her light did not always shine fully towards the earth. 
Luna thanked him, as they dipped below the horizon and exchanged eyes. Both slept during the day, eagerly dreaming of the next night’s entertainment.
 As Luna stepped across the threshold at the horizon, she stepped onto her paths and came to an abrupt stop. She saw what Coyote had done, and began to despair. Finally, she loosed a long howl of grief and frustration, because she did not remember the lines of her pathways.  When Coyote heard her, he smiled and began to mimic her previous laughter; “Yip. Yip. Yipeeeee”, so that all who heard it knew it was He that Tricked Luna.  Wolf howled with her, to help her mourn her loss, and understood that Luna’s light would now be ever-changing. 

(c) David Tyrsson, Spring 2011  (do not take without crediting/permission)