The following day a coyote is standing over the spot where the carcass had been. That’s right…had been…it has disappeared or has been moved. The coyote is sniffing the ground. I am wondering if this was his raccoon and he has returned to claim it. His nose is planted just above the ground; his haunches crouched as he follows the trail like a bloodhound. He vanishes into the bushes.
Another day at dawn, my cat suddenly peers out the window, her ears pricked. I look out and see two very healthy, fluffy tailed red foxes trotting through the yard drawn by the scent. They also vanish into the same bushes. Is that where the remains are hiding?
Today, a freshly ripped apart mound lies in the yard. The hawk has returned to feed. I go out to investigate and find a newly killed raccoon. Apparently, one of the animals has found the raccoon’s lair…probably the coyote considering the large size of these raccoons.
The portrayal of this carnage may seem gruesome. All beings are to be honored including the masked bandits of the night; the death of any creature brings up tender feelings. My Maine coon cat is not going outside right now; I am not ready for her to be the new feast. Yet, this first hand view of the cycle of life and death is part of the continuity of life in which we all share and allows me to reflect upon a deeper message.
Transformation through Embodied Relationship
What captivates me is the awareness of the abundance of life and the inter-relationship between each of them. Each animal takes just what it needs and leaves the rest. To the Native Americans coyote is symbolic of transformation; it is the bringer of the seeds of new life and beginnings. It is also known for its instinctual ingenuity, as a trickster, shape-shifter, and for its playfulness. In this wee story, the coyote fostered the transformation of the raccoon, the master of dexterity and disguise, and a shape-shifter in its own right, into the body of hawk, coyote, and fox. Raccoons are infamously known to use their ability of disguise to steal. What may not be known is their penchant for giving. They are generous protectors and raid in order to give and care for their family group, called a gaze, giving the very best bounty unconditionally and unselfishly to them.
Hawks hold the power of vision with intense focus. Nothing gets past the sight of the hawk. An ancient meaning of hawk is the carrier of souls beyond the mundane life into the enlightened realm of the afterlife. Intelligence, radiance, growth, birth and renewal characterize the healing qualities of hawk.
Fox is creativity in action, drawing outside of the lines and looking at life from new and unconventional viewpoints. The cunning and clever fox has been known as a messenger or guide of spirit. There is intense determination and profound, almost magical, adaptability in the guiding direction of fox.
The interaction of sharing, blending, consuming, digesting and assimilating wholesome traits through relationship is what catalyzes transformation into Higher Consciousness.
Nature is continually providing us with examples of the alchemical transformational process of turning the lower aspects of ourselves into higher qualities. Each of these animals has traits for survival that may be considered base and each contains noble skillful qualities, just as you do. The interaction of sharing, blending, consuming, digesting and assimilating wholesome traits through relationship is what catalyzes transformation into higher consciousness. You do not grow, develop, or ascend in a vacuum. Honoring and cultivating cooperative life giving relationships with others activates, energizes and develops your highest essence. What benefits your brethren, benefits you.
The raccoon lives on. The essence and the spirit of unconditional giving and protective caring of raccoon have joined and become embodied in the unbounded enlightened vision of the hawk, in the adaptive intelligence and original perspective of the fox, and the renewing regenerative abilities and playfulness of the coyote. Every living being has a unique and essential quality that contributes to the unity of life and cultivates expansion of consciousness. When you share your essence with others you are sharing in the feast of life, which uplifts all of humanity.