Coyote Medicine (Aka- The Bee Sting, Poison Ivy Fiasco…)

Aug 21, 2014 by

When things go wrong for me they do so in a horribly comic kind of way. Often, I feel like Lucile Ball, who is my comedic heroine.  Remember the Lucy in the chocolate factory moment?  That is me. On a regular basis.  Only me and Lucy could get stung by bees, fall down a little cliff and land in a big pile of poison ivy.

This is a true story, by the way…

I love working with power animals and I teach this to my psychic students actually. Each animal in your “totem” has different energy and meaning, thus bringing you different kind of “medicine.”

I know I have coyote in my totem, I just do. Coyote is the trickster. He puts a banana peel under your foot so you fall on your butt and then he laughs. But while you are lying there on your ass and your bruised dignity,you get a different perspective on life and the world.

“Oh yes. There is the sky,” I say from my new vantage point.  “Look at all the pretty clouds!”

“Quit taking yourself soooo seriously,” Coyote replies.“Life is all about the Cosmic Joke.”

And I know the joke is on me. It always is.

I am graced with a goofy sense of humor, it’s true. And an ability to laugh at life and myself, which I think is really one of my more useful character traits.  I really do get the cosmic joke. I think almost everything is funny, it’s just the way that I deal with things. I can laugh or I can cry and mostly, I choose to laugh.



There is a truly bizarro pattern to the world if you look close enough. I see this everyday in all the wacky synchronicities of life. The pattern is beautiful, poignant and can only have been made by someone with a true odd ball sense  of humor. Most of the time, the universe runs like a Monte Python episode,  or possibly the Three Stooges. It’s really the only explanation that makes any sense to me at all.

Just this past week, we had our school retreat at Rhys’s house on lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. It’s a gorgeous place and I have a special connection to it,given that I spent my first married life in a summer cottage two houses down the shoreline from Rhys’s house.

See what I mean? Someone thought that was sweet, cool and FUNNY to arrange that massive synchronicity, even down to the fact that I was there in Rhys’s house at the same time my kids were in the next door cottage with their dad and his family. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up….


I took a bunch of students from the Energy Medicine Institute on a hike up the neighboring mountain, Bald Peak. Now I have done this hike a hundred times, it’s a real favorite of mine. It’s a good long, very steep pull up a ravine.  It’s a great workout and when you get to the top, there is a killer view of the lake. You can look down at the lake and see eagles floating below you in the up drafts and tiny white boats zipping around the lake like children’s toys in a bathtub.


It was all fine and dandy until about three quarters of the way up to the top, when then I stepped on a hornet’s nest. Or maybe it was yellow jackets. I am not sure, since I did not stop long enough to make a proper introduction. I got stung four or five times on my arm, with a few on my leg for good measure.

One of my students (Hi Gina!) was right behind me and she got stung too. We had pissed off bees stinging and chasing us and the only wayout was to keep going across a wet, steep rock face. So I grabbed her and we hauled ass across that slippery rock face.

You are guessing what happened next, right?

I slide down the wet rock face, like a very unhappy kids on a water slide from hell. Bump, ouch, bump ouch. And landed ass over teakettle in a patch of thorns. Ouchy, stickery wild blackberry thorns.

All I could do was lay there gazing up at the sky and contemplating my rather lowly position in the order of the universe.

I could hear Coyote whisper in my ear. “Oh hunny. I am so sorry about those nasty bees. But just you wait!  Doesn’t that look like poison ivy that you are currently laying in…?”

Frankly, I was just astounded that I didn’t land on a family of aggravated skunks or a nest of cranky rattlesnakes.


We gathered our little ragtag group together and beat a hasty retreat down the mountain. Gina, who got more bee stung then I did, saidher throat was closing up and she was whisked off by our trusty staff to the local ER. She is fine, luckily.

I got pretty sick from the bee stings. I could feel my body trying to shake off the venom, I felt sick and shivery like I had the flu but was ok the next day.  UNTIL the poison ivy came on.

I have it all over the back of my legs, up my thighs, and behind my knees.  That is totally unfun.  But somehow it creeped up my shorts and is now all over my derriere. I look like I got SUCH a cosmic ass-whooping, like maybe God was spanking me with a poison ivy switch. Omg…

Walking is a challenge. Sitting down? Not so much fun. Thankfully, I respond rather well to the homeopathy, which is the only thing that really works for me for poison ivy.

The really sad part is that after being away from The Man for a week (Torture!) we have had a difficult time reconnecting. He is VERY allergic to poison ivy and could possibly get it from me just by sharing space.  So after pining away for each other for a week, all we can do is stare longingly at each other from opposite ends of the couch.

And that is where I am writing this blog from. Heavy sigh.

Coyote is sitting between us, snickering up his furry sleeve, I have no doubt.

What is the lesson in this? I am still trying to sort it out. I know we gave the folks climbing up the mountain a pretty good show, so I think we might get some points just from the amusement perspective.

“Lighten up!” Coyote says. “Remember some people have real problems that don’t go away after a week or two. Your ass will be right as rain before you know it.”


In Native American lore, Coyote is the totem animal of the Heyoka, the trickster. The Heyokas are certain members of the tribe who bring a unique variety of sacred knowledge to their people. The Heyoka holds the position of being opposite, hanging upside and going backwards. There is wisdom in irreverence and Coyote and the Heyoka reminds us to think out of the box and to change our perspective, making sure that we don’t get too set in our ways of thinking. The Heyoka asks us to continually see things in a new way.


He dances backwards around the fire, tripping over his own feet and putting the fire out. The Heyoka teaches us through humor and opposition, reminding us of what not to do- by doing it with disastrous results of course! And adding a dose of comic relief when things get too heavy.


The same is true for the jester in the king’s court. The jester is in charge of entertaining certainly, but the real role of the jester it to tell the king the truth. No one else has the temerity to tell the king the raw truth. There is too much fear there, too much shoot the messenger and “off with his head” potential consequences. But The Fool speaks the truth, even if it to break the news to the emperor that he really is naked.

You can see the same dynamic in our modern day comedians.The really raw, edgy and funny ones dare to say things that are so off kilter,so politically incorrect that they would be shocking and horrifying if anyone else said them. Comedians make us think about the absurdities of our world and ourselves. The brilliant ones are thought provoking too. They make us take along hard look at our own crazy dysfunctions. This is so important, since we can’t change what we don’t see.

As a long time student and now a teacher of the Tarot, I am completely enamored of The Fool card in the Tarot deck. It’s my favorite card in the whole deck and I am ready to get it as a tattoo, that is how much I digit.

The Fool is card number zero, it is the first in a series called The Fool’s Journey which actually charts the stages of evolution of the soul.



The image on the card represents the soul before it incarnates, thus the number zero. It is the soul in it’s pure essential state.You can’t tell, but the image on the card is a hermaphrodite, a reminder that our soul is both male and female in its essence. The Fool carries all he needs to complete the upcoming life all wrapped up in the bag that he carries on his shoulder. In the Tarot, these are the wands, cups, swords and coins that represent the four suits in the deck.


A faithful dog runs at his feet, his guardian and companion.It is a reminder that we all come to this life equipped with the support that we need from our spirit guides.  I love the naïve and optimistic look on his face as he gazes up into the clouds and steps off the cliff.


This reminds us that we all need to take a leap of faith when we incarnate again. that we will need that same leap of faith many times in our lives. And how sweet it is to start each life with faith, innocence and optimism.  Sometimes the card means we have just done something foolish or we are being naïve. But often it is thereto help us remember the same thing Coyote says.

“Life is a gift!  Hey,you chose to be here, remember? We can learn through pain and suffering, or through humor. Which one do you want?”

I try to remind myself off this as I sit on my calamine lotion soaked washcloths in my mini quarantine on the couch, gazing at my beloved from a distance that would make the nuns at St Agnes’s very happy.

Thanks Coyote…

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