If you’re interested in learning more about coyote symbolism, you’ve likely come across the animal often lately. Coyotes aren’t domestic animals, but they are relatively common in both urban and rural areas. In recent years, more people have reported encounters and sightings as environmental changes and searches for food have led them closer to where people live and work.
Coyotes are often out in the morning and at night, so those who exercise during those hours will likely cross paths with them. But there could be other reasons you keep seeing or dreaming about them. It could be a message you must pay attention to or a sign that the coyote is your spirit or power animal.
What Does a Coyote Symbolize?
- Hidden Truths
The coyote is one of life’s most adaptable animals, capable of being a hero, villain, creator, or confabulator. Native American myths portrayed the coyote as evil and cunning symbols of betrayal but also as clever and often successful in its endeavors. Circumstances determined the meaning of the individual coyote.
Coyotes, the pups in particular, are known for their playful demeanor. The coyote and its spirit are known for their playful behavior. Those who associate with the animal may be on the more playful side. But encountering one could be a sign that you’ve been too serious lately.
Being so adaptable requires coyotes to be clever. They must be willing and able to pivot quickly and change their approach to any situation. This isn’t always a positive trait, however. In being clever, coyotes are also known to be ruthless and to put their needs above all others.
Associated with shamanic wisdom, and spirituality, the coyote often represents missed messages or hidden truths. If you encounter coyotes in your dreams, it is usually a sign that there is something you are overlooking. It could also indicate that something will come into your life soon, and you need to stay alert.
Coyotes are also known for their resourcefulness and ability to get things done where other animals might fail. They are the ultimate opportunists, which can lead to them having a bad name in some circles. Scavengers may be looked down upon by others in the food chain, but they serve a vital purpose in life’s processes and nature’s ecosystem.
Coyote Totem Animal
The coyote totem is a sign of luck, an omen you can summon when you need strength or perseverance. When you are struggling to overcome something, the coyote totem can be a powerful spirit to invoke. It reminds you to use your wits, be clever, and trust that you can overcome any challenge.
The coyote totem may also be invoked to incite a sense of playfulness. This can be important if you have been working too hard and need to lighten things up. Because of their playfulness, the coyote totem can help you understand that both work and play are necessary to create a successful life.
Coyote Spirit Animal
If the coyote is your spirit animal, you are resourceful and resilient, able to overcome any challenges life might throw at you. You adapt and overcome any and all situations and find a way to make it through, no matter what. But that might make other people view you as cold, and they might think you prioritize yourself over others.
The coyote, and those who relate to it, can be seen as selfish because they put themselves first. It might be necessary for survival but can also be seen as opportunistic and self-serving.
Pros of a Coyote Spirit Animal
- Coyotes are resourceful and known to be able to get done what they need to do, no matter their circumstances. They will adapt and overcome to succeed, using whatever is necessary. People with a coyote spirit know how to use whatever they have, whenever they need it, to get to where they are going.
- It takes more than resourcefulness to survive in the coyotes’ circumstances. They are also agile. Coyotes can pivot, making any set of circumstances work, whether it is what they planned for or not. Those who have the coyote as their spirit animal can adapt to changes quickly and make the best of any situation.
- Coyotes are clever and spry, able to think on their feet and develop new plans as they move toward their goals. They must think outside the box, and those who embody this spirit animal tend to take chances and risks where others might not.
- There would be no way for coyotes and those who share their spirit to consider all the possibilities and adjust as needed if they weren’t smart enough to quickly understand all the options and determine the best one. This makes them decisive and willing to act, even in uncertain circumstances.
- Coyotes have to survive a lot, something they couldn’t do if they weren’t resilient. They act decisively, and they still have to persevere when risks fail. They have to move on to the next step in the process, whatever that might be, and trust that it will work out better than their last decision.
Cons of a Coyote Spirit Animal
- Some of the coyote’s strong points are also weaknesses, and doing what they must to survive can lead them to become opportunistic. They are likely to prioritize their survival and sacrifice others to save themselves.
- Because they put themselves first, coyotes can be seen as arrogant and selfish. They are not at the top of the food chain but often act courageously, implying they are. This can be seen as brave but also foolish.
- Coyotes and the people who identify with their spirit tend to be impulsive. It is necessary for the survival of coyotes to sometimes act this way. But it doesn’t always serve them. Impulsivity can cost them their lives.
- Wildness can be a necessary quality, an edge, and something to visit occasionally. But it can be dangerous to live perpetually in an untamed state. It can be reckless and cause injury and death, particularly for the humans who relate to the coyote.
- Because they put themselves and their survival first, the coyote can be seen as self-centered. It may serve their purposes, but it can sometimes work against them.
Are Coyotes a Good Omen?
Coyotes are considered a good omen by Native Americans. They believed if you encountered a coyote, it was a sign you were on the correct path and should follow your instincts.
Dead Coyote Symbolism
Dead coyotes symbolize an end to a phase of your life or a transition. While it’s usually a negative aspect of your life that is ending, having trusted family and friends around is crucial. Even the most desired ending can be a difficult period in a person’s life.
Seeing a dead coyote could also signify that it is time to let go of something toxic in your life. This could be a job or a relationship, but whatever it is no longer serves you and is preventing you from moving on to better things. If you’ve dreamed about or encountered a dead coyote, keep your eyes open for new opportunities or signs that something in your life is no longer working.
Coyote Tattoo Meaning
Coyote tattoos often represent self-confidence but can also serve as a reminder of feeling misunderstood. Someone might get a coyote tattoo to remind themselves they will persevere no matter how underestimated.
They may also indicate a wilder side or an unwillingness to conform to standards. Or they might signify reverence for Native American culture and its myths and folklore regarding this animal.
What Does a Coyote Symbolize in the Bible?
Coyotes don’t appear in the Bible because they did not exist in the areas depicted in it, but jackals – a similar animal – are strewn throughout the text and represent death and destruction. According to Dominican Friars, the jackal represents survival in the Bible, but only in the least favorable light. They are seen as scavengers, who prey on the weak, and move in on those that cannot defend themselves.
Coyote Symbolism in Your Dreams
A Time of Transition
Dreaming of a dead coyote is an indication that a period in your life is coming to an end. This time of transition is essential, as it will move you forward onto your life’s proper trajectory, but it can be challenging.
Seek out family and friends who can help support you as you navigate this transition’s challenges. Let go of those who can’t or won’t support you. They may be precisely what you are supposed to be leaving behind.
Dreaming of a pack of coyotes can signify feeling lonely as you seek out a group of your own. Coyotes are territorial animals that defend their areas as a group, so dreaming about them could also indicate you feel alone and need to find people and things to support you.
Dreaming of baby coyotes is a sign that you are about to start a new adventure. If you dream of baby coyotes, it is vital to remain open-minded.
Let go of old notions and ideas and approach life with curiosity and wonder. Look at the world around you like a child would, and see what a difference it makes to release all your preconceived notions.
Similarly, dreaming of young coyotes running and playing signifies that you yearn to reconnect with your youth. Perhaps you’ve been working too hard or taking things too seriously. Dreaming of young coyotes could tell you you need to take a break from all that responsibility and seriousness and enjoy life for a while.
How to Interpret a Coyote Encounter
You Need to Get Out of Your Head
If you encounter a coyote, it could mean you are overthinking things in your life. Step back, change your perspective, and look at things differently.
Consider running your situation past friends and family to get a different take on your experience. It could change your whole life to shift how you see the world you exist in.
Don’t Repeat Past Mistakes
Coyotes are cunning, clever, and willing to adapt if and when necessary. So encountering one can be life’s way of telling you to change how you do and see things. A coyote will not repeat a pattern that has not worked in the past.
Crossing paths with one might be a warning that you haven’t learned from your past mistakes and need to consider new options for moving forward.
You Need to Find Balance in Your Life
If you have recently crossed paths with a coyote, you might need to be more or less serious in life. Coyotes shift tactics quickly to succeed and do what needs to be done.
When you see a coyote, consider how you’ve approached things, particularly the important ones. What could you do differently, and how might that affect the outcomes?
Luck is Working in Your Favor
It may seem contrary to other meanings, but seeing a coyote could signify good luck. It indicates that you are on the right path and must trust your instincts. Don’t let your doubts get to you or others talk you out of what you know to be true.
What Should You Do When You See a Coyote?
Coyotes have become more common in populated areas because they are ample food sources, and though you might see them often in your neighborhood, it’s best not to approach them. No matter how domesticated they might seem, coyotes are still wild animals.
Feeding them can lead them to become over-dependent on humans to provide food. In extreme cases, they might forget how to find their own food sources. This would be a travesty for the wild animals and the people they become overly dependent upon.
Coyote Symbolism and Spiritual Meanings
Native American Culture and Coyote Symbols
What Native American tribes believe about the coyote depends on the specific tribe, with some believing the animal represents evil and cunning. In contrast, others think it portrays playfulness and a sense of lightheartedness.
In all Native American cultures, however, the coyote is significant. Whether they consider the animal good or bad, all Native American tribes recognize the coyote’s ability to adapt quickly and respect the animal’s adaptability. It is seen as something to be emulated, at least in that one trait.
Coyote Symbolism in African Culture
Represented as Anubis, the coyote symbolizes the God of death in African culture. Ancient Egyptians depicted Anubis as a man with a coyote’s or wolf’s head. The creature known as Anubis was eventually replaced by Osiris, who weighs the heart at death and determines whether a soul will be admitted to heaven.
Central American Culture and Coyote Symbolism
The Aztecs view coyotes as merrymakers or bringers of joy. They believe the animals are carefree, teaching those who will follow them how to seek enjoyment through song and dance.
But they warn that the happiness of the coyote often comes at the expense of others. They warn those who might be tempted to follow the coyote or who have seen one to avoid taking advantage of those around them to advance their own lives and careers.
Coyote Symbolism in Buddhism
Buddhism associates the coyote with death. The depiction, however, is not always negative. It’s often believed to be related to meditations on death and learning how to deal with this final transition from life into its aftermath.
Coyote Symbolism in Christianity
Christianity also views the coyote as a sign of death, but almost always in a negative light. While the coyote is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, the jackal, a similar animal, is and depicts death and destruction.
Hinduism and Coyote Symbolism
Hinduism also writes about jackals rather than coyotes, which are signs of death and destruction, but in a positive light. The Hindu culture prevents killing jackals, coyotes, and other wild dogs as they are seen as symbols of good in this religion.