This is a number 9 year for me, the last of the 9-year cycle, according to numerology. A time to complete unfinished business, tie up loose ends, and rid one's self of things in his/her past which have been keeping him/her from progressing. I'd chosen my year's theme as "The Year of Living Artfully," thinking I would create new art, and try different forms of it. I learned very early that this will not happen in a number-9 year. Artful living has taken on a whole new meaning for me this year. I'll be exploring this in various blog posts over the next few weeks. For now, let's talk about love.
I've had a string of Coyote-men relationships my entire adult life. For those of you who aren't familiar with Coyote's symbolism, he is the trickster of American continent's totems. The way of the coyote is to teach through ways that do not appear straightforward. He may also use subterfuge or trickery to reach his goal or deliver his message. All totems are sacred, and yes, there are Coyote-women, too. Coyote is not my totem, but he has been trying to teach me how to love myself for my entire adult life. His lessons are sometimes brutally painful, but his intention isn't to make life soft and comfy. Trickster-remember?
This year, I had been dealing with a 30+ year old relationship with the first Coyote-man I met as a young woman. He was always charming, sweet, playful, and brilliant. He was dangerous for me, because he would disappear, then show up days/weeks/months/years later, always ready to melt my heart and charm me into welcoming him back, only to disappear just when I needed him most. There were pleas, pacts, and promises, and each time he arrived, I would believe that this time would be different. This time was different.
Coyote-man arrived just in time for the spring equinox, and we fell into our usual pattern. I hadn't seen nor heard from him in many years. For months, we talked and planned for a future together, but inside, there was a voice that kept nagging at me. A voice he didn't know and couldn't charm. The last time he and I were like this, I was recent to taking my vow to the ancestral call. Now, it was deeply ingrained- a geis that would not let me go.
He tried to woo me back to Christianity. I couldn't do it. I cannot unsee what I have seen. I cannot un-know the things that I have learned. I have been cured of the sickness and inoculated. I was (am) unable to be re-infected.
He began interrupting me a lot. Extraverts tend to do that naturally, and he is a 'talker,' but this became progressively worse. Each time we would talk, he would cut me off a little sooner, not really allowing me to finish a thought. He began making assumptions based on very limited information. I recognized the mulengro and began withdrawing.
He sent me budget sheets in which I was supposed to write down all of my expenses so he could put me on a budget (I know- I see your witchy faces right now. I hear your voices saying, "Are you fucking kidding me??" No, I am not,) and of course, I could not comply- I earn my money, and I'll spend it however I damned-well please.
He made comments about how he believes one person needs to be the "head of the household," which is a very Christian belief. I could not agree, because if anyone will be head of my household, it will be me. He did not want a level playing field. Instead, he wanted to dominate and conquer me.
All of my adult life, Coyote-men have found me a challenge. They would woo and charm until they believed they had me where they wanted me; then, they took from me- my time, my innocence, my trust, my love, my freedom, and so much more. They left me burdens to bear, and huge messes to clean up, every single time.
Each time, I've had to pick myself up and pull it all together. Each time, I got faster at getting up- stronger for the experience.
Over the years, I have learned from Coyote's painful lessons, how to love myself. I did not need this man, although in my heart for all of those 30-some years I believed I did. I thought he was "the one," even though there no such thing. Coyote came to me this year to teach me this final love-lesson.
We parted ways, on my terms this time. I performed a ritual to dissolve the ties with him, and all Coyote-men. I thanked Coyote for his lessons, and sent him on his way. He seemed pleased that I (finally) understood him. There was no remorse, no tears- just gratitude for the lesson, and pride in my growth.
This year has been filled with the lessons of closure. I look forward to seeing what my new year brings. I don't think I'll miss Coyote. He's gone in a different direction. This path ahead looks promising.
Happy Beltane to my friends down-under, and Samhain love to my friends up here in the northern hemisphere.
*Google search produced no artist to attribute. If you know the artist, please reach out. I'd love to give him/her full credit for that beautiful work!