The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

Coyote Medicine

I’m constantly amazed, although at this point I shouldn’t be, how things are brought into our lives and how before they arrive, we may not completely sense what is coming, but somewhere just outside our vision, we are aware of something watching us; something waiting patiently for that point of intersection.

We were given a list of suggested reading for our upcoming Shamanic workshop in May which will be about healing. At the top of that list of books, was Coyote Medicine by Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, Ph.D. I ordered it along with five others on the list as a start. On the day I ordered the books, I downloaded and installed a plugin called “Now Reading” which is now in the sidebar on my blog, and at the top of the list, I entered Coyote Medicine and put it in the “now reading” category even though I had not yet received the book and entered another one in the “planned reading” category.

The books ended up being shipped by Amazon in three separate shipments with Coyote Medicine being in the last shipment I received. When the other two shipments arrived, I opened them and set the books aside intending on selecting one and starting to read it, but never got that urge to pick one of them up. When Coyote Medicine arrived, that was the book I picked up and started reading. I was waiting for it but didn’t consciously realize it.

I must say I found Coyote Medicine quite enlightening in many ways. For one thing it brought back fond memories of childhood as he describes flying into Casper, Wyoming to attend a sweat lodge and tipi healing ceremony on the Wind River Indian Reservation in west central Wyoming.

My first four years of life was spent in Riverton, Wyoming which is on the southeastern corner of the Wind River Indian Reservation. My father was part Shoshone, and a registered member of the tribe, and during our time in Riverton we attended quite a few ceremonies on the Reservation and I have fond memories of those times. Between the ages of 4 and 5 we moved to Casper, Wyoming, but we would make the trip from Casper to Riverton to visit family many times during the year. Dr. Mehl’s description of driving from Casper to Riverton along highway 20-26, through Powder River, Moneta, Shoshoni (with a stop at Yellowstone Drug for a milkshake) brought back fond memories. I had many wonderful milkshakes on trips back and forth.

For someone who is studying Shamanism, Coyote Medicine is virtually a must read (and for those who are not, a suggested read). Dr. Mehl is part Cherokee, and during medical school, he was confronted by views, attitudes and practices that went against the traditional healing methods he had been exposed to by his grandmother while he was young. This book is somewhat autobiographical and chronicles his sometimes difficult journey to integrated traditional healing methods with modern medical practices.

Traditional indigenous healing methods cannot replace modern medicine, and both Dr. Mehl and Hank Wesselman say that they should be used in conjunction with modern medicine. What Coyote Medicine has done for me is expanded or widened my perspective on healing, and anything that causes you to pause and look at something from a wider perspective is always a good thing.


  1. Coyote is also one of my totem animals. And, thanks to you this book is now on my library reading list. 🙂

  2. Coyote is a good friend to have and I know you will like the book.

  3. Hi. Interesting blog.
    I just finished ‘How the Dead Dream’ by Lydia Millet.
    It’s not ‘native’ as such. But it’s extremely good abou the ‘imbalances’ of our lives and how to rectify them.

    We are ALL natives of this planet.
    It takes care of us, and it’s time we took care of it.

  4. Canadada,

    Thanks for the compliment. I’ve heard of that book, but have not yet read it. I’ll have to put it on my list. I’m sure Amazon is wondering what has happened to me over the past month or two.

    You are very right, we are all natives on this planet, and if we do not start caring for it, and giving it the respect and love it deserves, she is going to shrug her shoulder and we will all find ourselves thrown off.

  5. Please continue your blog. Why have you stoppped.
    I love everything related to Shamanism. Thanks.

    Best regards

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