The narrative of the coywolves continues to haunt me, especially at night when I walk outside to look at a full moon. Growls and howls rise in my throat, and in the distance I can hear them in the canyons near our house. Their remarkable hybridization provides us with information pertinent to our survival as humans. The information cascades toward us like an in-built, more-than-human GPS, within the system of eco-fields known to the ancients as the sacred web. Let’s explore a few bytes of their intelligence as possible signposts to follow toward thriving in a new civilization where we return to the cycle of life.
1. Re-Thinking Thinking, Re-Knowing Knowing
In the late 1980’s I fasted and sat in a circle deep in the heart of the Alabama/Coushatta Native American Reservation in the Big Thicket of Texas. What I know in retrospect as a coywolf approached my circle. At the time I thought it was a red wolf, but, given what I am learning from current wildlife biological research, I suspect my daytime visitor was a hybrid coywolf. The coywolf gave me a song and a story to tell the human tribe. For these decades I have been singing the song and telling the story of the “humble wolf,” my description of the mysterious creature at the time.
I still marvel at how close he was when he picked up the string of ceremonial pouches that surrounded by vision circle. He shook the string in his mouth while keeping his eyes firmly fixed on me. What strikes me as I write is how long it has taken me to decode the message of the experience. It has required that amount of time to orient me to the mother tongue being spoken by the eco-field through the presence of the humble wolf.
That experience, among others, slowly reshapes my thinking and knowing. The reshaping is radical. Painstakingly, the systems of fields, the sacred web, calls me back to a form of thinking unknown to my generation and forgotten by Greco/Roman/Euro/Ivy League maps of our mainstream culture. Even more startling is a form of knowing emerging in our midst, an epistemology of the field, a sloughing off of human-centered thinking and knowing. Our human species survival may turn on our ability to think and know like a coywolf by following their lead. They are one of nature’s many adaptations showing us the way, being sent to us as we learn to tune into wave lengths generated for the good of the whole, not just humans.
2. A Humility of Thinking and Knowing
As we approach the ancient web of life after a long estrangement dating from ancient Jerusalem, Mecca, Athens, and Rome to modern Washington,D.C., we need to crawl on our bellies like the coywolf approaching me in the Big Thicket. Down low. Feeling the soil on our stomachs. We humans–prostrating ourselves before the mysterium tremendum of life beyond ourselves–need to learn how to move next to the ground which can center and cradle us. Before we climb an exalted mystical ladder, we will need to descend from our lofty perch, move to the bottom rung ,and jump off for a time. The coywolf calls us to abandon Jacob’s ladder for the moment and lie on the ground to prepare for a more informed ascension. Such a move to the bottom of the tower of Babel shakes humans to the core since we routinely classify ourselves as the most evolved species on Earth.
As I lie on the ground, I realize how limited I have been in taking into my skin the influence and information of soil, insects, and droplets of water hanging from blades of grass. The coywolf knew what a hard case he had in waking me up. He crawled on the ground, came to my vision and prayer circle, picked up the circumference string of prayer ties in its mouth, shook it with a passion, and then backed away. I was frightened and inspired. Now, I know the coywolf calls me to a new humanity for our day, one as a participant not a dominant in the circle of life.
3.Profit, Jobs, and Extinction
Yesterday, I was walking in the forest next to a flowing river about 4:00 p.m. In the afternoon. High in the canopy of the Pacific forest a riveting sound came to me. I looked up, and for forty minutes I experienced large owls mating. At least that is what I thought they were doing. Such was a projection of my reality. I have spent a good part of my life with owls, yet I didn’t know for sure what they were up to, or even if they were great horned owls. They could have been spotted owls since I was visiting in the Umpqua Valley in Oregon, a known habitat for spotted owls. Now, as I write after checking with Google, I think they were spotted owls. In appearance they were dark brown with a crown of slightly tinged rufous, whitish flecks and small spots, arrow shaped white spots. Their voices sent out three to seven loud barks, strangely like the coywolf.
Were they speaking to me of a journey through the night where I would need their night eyes? Were they offering help with the death of an aging loved one? Were they speaking to me of my own death? Or a transition I need to make? Or the dark night of the soul for all humanity? All of the above? I meditated.
Spotted owls are vulnerable. They need human protection to live in today’s world, unlike the well-adapted coywolves. The lumber industry complains about owl protection because it slows clear cutting; lumber corporations would gladly place the owls on fence posts in the name of human jobs and profit. The spotted owls have hung on but drift toward extinction. Like humans? I pondered the different paths of spotted owls and coywolves.
4.Linking With Our Competitors: Make Love, not War
Contrast the coywolves with my beloved owls. The coyotes and wolves competed for food after humans destroyed their habitat. Rather than killing each other off in a usual understanding of survival of the fittest, they mated to produce a super adapted offspring. They made love, not war. The power of a natural intimacy opened vast domains of possibility for them and, as a model, for us. Once mated the coywolves appear to remain a couple for life. Longterm intimacy—mates or not– seems to be a key secret of survival. The bond of longitudinal intimacy seems to be crucial in the hybrid pathway since packs and communities tend to build around an intimate core. Is it possible that humans are just now turning a corner of evolution that leads to monagamous intimacy? Are we set to join lar gibbons, swans, malagasy rats, albatorsses, California mice, black vultures, shingleback skinks, sandhill cranes, bald eagles, and coywolves in long term intimacy and sexual partnership? Or do the sexually free dolphins point the way? I wonder.
Perhaps, one reason I love the owls so much is that they are closer to the way human culture behaves. The barred owls join the lumber industry to prey on the spotted owls. I beheld a mating of owls in the forest. But alas, it was not the barred owls mating with the spotted owls. No, in this instance, the two species of owls made war, not love. What is likely is that the spotted owl in the face of competition skewed by humans will pass, as with myriad other species, into extinction. I wonder: will we humans go the way of the spotted owls or follow the path of the coywolves?
5.Migrating Through Many Eco-fields
Some of my New England friends tell me the coywolves had enough intelligence to leave Texas and migrate to New England. Ouch! Maybe, we Texas folks could use some deflating. The truth here is that the coywolves continue to thrive in Texas and move freely in a system of eco-fields throughout North and Northeastern USA and Canada. They exhibit an ability to migrate and find homes in a variety of human value memes, rural and urban. Such adaptability harkens to the migrating abilities of the indigenous peoples. We in mainstream culture migrate but without the connection to the underlying system of eco-fieds. This rootless migration may be at the core of our decimation of our planet. Migration without community spells rootless trouble.
6. In The Culture, Not Dominated by the Culture
As I encounter coywolves in action, I notice their ability to observe and learn from human culture without being dominated by urban concrete and air conditioning. PBS specials and YouTubes reveal coyotes sitting quietly looking at children playing in parks, actually within a few feet of vulnerable humans. Yet, there are only very rare instances of attacks from coyotes on humans. The very existence of thriving coyotes calls into question usual urban life. They remind us of how little control individuals actually have. They remind us how much we have lost of our inner wild.
Walking confidently down the middle of the road on long, graceful legs as we amble out to pick up the Sunday paper, they engage us. Eye-to-eye. They call us to question our corporations and obesity, lean as they are. They feed on cheeseburgers, yet do not grow slow and fat. They show us a path of deep spirit not captured by stained glass and authoritative books.
7.Middle Ground Between Denial and Killing
Hybrid humans who get along with coywolves best seem to be those who steer a middle ground between denial of danger(as in the no-no of petting the coywolves like pets) and killing solutions(such as the fence post strategy). Conscious as they are the coywolves seem to link best to humans who have integrated their animal side, a feature shared in respectful life together. Coywolves call human hybrids to be Akido masters who accept aggression sent their way so fully that it puts aggression off balance. From fence posts to Chicago Loop, coywolves find the golden mean, the integration of opposites. If Aristotle had known about coywolves, perhaps he would have seen the genius of their intellect, though they don’t write blogs.
8.Population Management with the Environment
One of the most remarkable features of the coywolf hybrid is its ability to expand or shrink its litters and population in synch with present dangers and vulnerabilities. Homo Sapiens have learned how to expand, but we have not addressed shrinking our population under the guidance of a deep spirituality. China engages political strategies. Europe and the USA utilize political correctness as deterrents. But no nation state or cultural creative community—that I know of– has an underlying spiritual connection that calls attention to the base problem of overpopulation. This topic is so vulnerable to us that it is rarely addressed even in cultural creative, spiritual circles. The coywolves are far advanced in this area and offer possibilities for human hybrids.
9.Letting Go of Trauma of Fence Posts
As I study the coywolf narrative, a most remarkable feature is the coywolves’ capacity for living benignly with humans even after their foreparents were nailed to the fence posts by the thousands. Where do they acquire this ability to let go, to forgive, and to move on? Don’t they know that I and my kind were present at their crucifixion? In mainstream culture we exert the strategy of preemptive invasion, bombs, and revenge when our enemies engage us. Since 9/11 we have been in constant war. You would think the coywolves would be spend their energy in attacking humans after the dastardly fence post strategy and governors who shoot them on sight. Where do they glean this intelligence to live and let live? Which species is morally mature? Coywolves or humans?We can only learn as hybrid humans if we can listen and decode the mother tongue.
10.Whoever Follows the Signs Is on the Path as Hybrid Human
One recurrent Urban myth points to Indigo children being born in our midst, prototypes of an advance in evolution sent by the evolutionary spirit to save us. Perhaps. For me, though, I encounter ordinary hybrid humans nearly everyday, people who are seeking to integrate their civilized selves with their untamed side. These are people displaying the full life of animals in their eyes, people who pray by connecting with the natural order, people who themselves assist in repairing the neural pathways between humans and all other aspects of creation.
If you are reading this post you likely are part of the Great Return. You likely have sign posts of your own, pointing the way. So, when you are asked what is your lineage, you may have many answers. Among them: I am a hybrid human joining in the return of humans to the circle of life, partnering with coywolves.