The Coyote Stone

I recently participated in a training offered at Dreamland through the Green Mountain Druid Order. One of the activities we engaged with was working with the element of Earth. To begin, we chose a standing stone from within the circle of standing stones which create the sacred Dragon Temple of the GMDO. I was drawn to the stone called Coyote Stone. I felt drawn because of the connection I feel to the many coyotes who make their home on my property here in Vermont.

Just before the snow went, I had seen a coyote loping across our field and I went out in the early morning dawn to track him. I followed his tracks back towards where he was coming from and saw drops of blood in snow. Then I tracked him back towards the direction he was headed which I know to be where their dens are. Seeing that blood in snow brought me fully present to the wonder of nature in that moment. Why was there blood? Was the coyote a bitch in heat or was he father coyote, the hunter, returning to the den with some small prey to feed his family?

The coyotes put up quite a ruckus later that night yipping and barking in an uproarious outpouring of moon driven wonder (see below for a clip of what this sounds like!).

I sat leaning against the 6 foot tall grey stone and felt the hard coolness of it against my ribs. Our teacher guided us into communion with the stone. She encouraged us to feel the slowness of stone, the ancient heartbeat, so slow that the world must stop to detect it. I felt the minerals of my bones communing with the minerals of the stone and my breath slowed and I entered into the trance-like state that is so similar to the hypnagogic dream state. The fact that I was three weeks into lambing on our farm averaging only a few hours of sleep per night helped to facilitate a quick drop into trance.

The aura of the Stone engulfed me and I experienced the slowness of Stone time as a speeding up of the world outside the Stone's aura. Sounds suddenly sped up, the wind picked up speed and force and bird's cries became eerily urgent. I felt a crushing sensation on my back as if my ribs were pressed too hard against the rough igneous rock face of the Stone, mineral being drawn back to its source perhaps.

Then the Stone spoke to me: "You carry me too heavy" was the message it delivered. And then suddenly I saw a skull with sharp animal teeth coming at me out of an orange burnished darkness. It was as if the earth had heaved the skull up out of it's molten core and enlivened it.
Moon Talk - Coyote by Marion Rose

Later, I received the mind blowing information that there was literally a coyote skull buried beneath the Stone.

The message of the Stone, however, is still working in me. When I shared in circle about the message of the Stone, my teacher asked if I was a serious person. I laughed, "No!" But later, I realized that perhaps there is a certain seriousness in me which the Earth Element seemed to want me to know about.

My dreams over the years have often shown me a way in which I perceive the world through a sense of responsibility. I tend to take things on and feel responsible for "getting it right". I am capable and high functioning and have the Leo leadership qualities of my fiery rising sign, so it is easy to take things on successfully. The dreams often present the feelings associated with trauma out of which the sense of responsibility or "something is wrong with me" is born.

In a recent dream, my old dog falls in and sinks to the bottom of a pool of water in the concrete remains of an old mill near a fast moving brook. I jump in to rescue her. Then I realize that my young dog has run off ahead or, I worry, perhaps he has been swept away by the fast moving brook. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place! No room to feel either the surrender of the old dog or the exuberance of the young dog. There is only me worrying and trying to protect and rescue. Perhaps this is what carrying too heavy looks like. Too much earth element can snuff out the fire element in me.

The lesson of Stone on this day is to slow down to Stone time, lay down the burden and perhaps allow the energy of coyote into my life. Be a little more playful, embrace the unexpected and know that the old structures no longer support my path. Perhaps Coyote is saying it's time for this old dog to learn a few new tricks.

Here is a video clip of what a pack of coyotes sounds like. We hear this most evenings here on our farm in Danville, Vermont. It's eerie and a bit raucous.