Wild Coyotea

Herbal Alchemy Inspired by California

philosophy

Life as Ritual

RitualWild Coyotea1 Comment

The practice of ritual has been a constant in my life since I was a little girl.  At the breakfast table, my mom and sisters and I would recount our dreams every morning: discussing the lively, bizarre, enigmatic mysteries of our nightly escapades.  Sometimes we would help each other find deeper meanings, other times working them out ourselves as we attempted to explain these cryptic night puzzles to each other.  Sharing our dreams in the morning was a ritual we enjoyed, a blend of magical sharing, sisterhood and cereal. 

 

What is Ritual? How can it be defined?  Merriam Webster gives a few definitions: “always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time”, “done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol”, and “ the established form for a ceremony; specifically :  the order of words prescribed for a religious ceremony”.  There are more definitions to be found, but I would like to define Ritual for myself.  To me, Ritual is an act that is performed repeatedly, with reverence. 

 

I love living with the philosophy of “Life as Ritual”, which encompasses the daily acts of my life into reverential, sacred, meaningful endeavors.  Making tea is one of my favorite rituals. Boiling the water, placing the dried herbs in a teapot, waiting for them to steep, pouring the healing liquid into my favorite mug gives me peace and pleasure.  Another favorite ritual is playing with my tarot cards. I have quite a few decks. I love choosing one that calls to me, holding the cards, imagining a question or concept I’d like more information about, and giving reverence to the cards as I divine some new perspectives and answers while pulling cards.  Rolling and smoking my herbal smoking blend is another ritual that gives me deep satisfaction.  What if we could truly enjoy these little acts every day, instead of just going about life on autopilot, we gracefully give these rituals meaning and love, adding to the enjoyment of small deeds. 

 

Creating rituals for ourselves is very personal. I would not expect you to enjoy the same daily acts as I do! Riding your bike to work, taking the dog for a walk, writing in your journal, making food for your loved ones, are all daily acts that can be turned into rituals with a shift of perspective.  When we cut vegetables, imagine all the energy that has already been expended to get the veggies to your home, and then as you infuse them with love as you prepare a meal, the effects of this ritual ripple out as your family eats the nourishing meal and feels the love of your work.  Here are some ideas for creating rituals for yourself. Please add to this list, share with us, and stretch your imagination to consider what else could be added to your ritual acts.

 

  • Cooking for your loved ones
  • Writing in a journal
  • Making tea or coffee
  • Lighting and burning incense and candles
  • Breathing
  • Walking
  • Playing with tarot cards
  • Stretching your body
  • Making your art
  • Enjoying nourishing food
  • reating a sacred space or Altar (more on Altar Making coming soon!)

 

This is just a short list to get your imagination sparked.  Try creating rituals for yourself and see how the joy in your life increases! Create your life as Sacred, it already is.

 

With Love + Reverence,

Califa Coyote Weiss

 

 

92 and Loving Life

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My grandpa, Clifford Brothers, is 92 years old. He was born on a farm in Western Massachusetts, the oldest of 6 children, to two alcoholic parents. At 16, he dropped out of school to take care of his younger brothers and sisters because his parents were unable (or unwilling) to do so.  He never graduated high school, but joined the Navy at 21 and travelled around the world during WWII, stationed in San Diego and the Philippines.  He married my nana, Thelma Shortsleeve, his childhood sweetheart, despite the efforts of each family to prevent them from doing so.  Thankfully, they moved away to California in the early fifties to start anew.  My grandpa worked for many years as a prison guard as well as an insurance salesman. My nana was one of the first women to attend UC Davis as a medical student, where she became a nurse practitioner.  My wonderful nana, Thelma Brothers, passed away 8 years ago.  My grandpa was understandably devastated, but through the community of the Healdsburg Senior Center, he found a new passion for life. His whole outlook changed – he started taking classes, including writing classes, which surprised my family.  He now writes poems and stories regularly, and was published in a book by his writing group, Tuesday Morning Memories: An Anthology. He lives alone, cooks for himself, drives around town, and makes friends wherever he goes. 

Here is an inspiring story from the perspective of a ninety-two year old man!

A few weeks ago I read an article by a man who was 88 years old. He wrote about his life and all the memories he had lived through. Now that he was old as he described, it made me think about myself at 92. Our lives were certainly different, comparing backgrounds. He was brought up in a stable and well-to-do background. He felt as if his life was complete and about over for a man of his age. How negative, I thought, sure he is older but the whole world and adventures lie before him to discover, if he only would open his mind to explore the wonderful word we are seeing today. 

The discoveries in space, science, medicine, curing so many problems of living longer, to still be full of vigor. The world is exploding with new ideas and knowledge every day. What an exciting time we are living in.  

I marvel at the new discoveries that have happened since I was born. Yet I feel it is only the beginning of life and the future. What an exciting time to be living in the 21st century.

I did not think about all things in the past. There are so many wonderful memories in my life that would take a book to detail them. I am living today 92 years old, the future is what I am excited and concerned about.  We control our own desires and wants in how we want to live, in negative or positive lives. I choose my own way – how to live my life. I have seen too many seniors give up instead of standing up to look around at the world. There is still time to live for tomorrow instead the year of yesterday.  When I lost my honey of 62 years, I had negative thoughts. My world came crashing down on me. Wow. I had known about the Senior Center – it was time to explore and see what it was really like with other seniors.

I was surprised to see vibrant people writing, making art, exercising and empowering their health. I stepped into the group and found life was exciting and wonderful. I became alive and was looking toward the future instead of thinking about the past.

I even had some stories published in a book by the seniors, to my surprise.  What a wonderful group of human beings, living in today and not yesterday. It was a new beginning in my life. Do not let people say, “You can not do that.” Do not listen to them, for they have given up. Keep up your positive attitude and before you know, wow, I could be 100 in 8 years!

If I have offended anyone by my writing, I apologize. My eyes are open and I welcome positive ideas.  I hope we will see you in some classes at the Healdsburg Senior Center due to my thoughts. I appreciate all the help – we can make this world a better place to live.

Grandpa with my sisters and I: Califa, Gwen + Ash 

Grandpa with my sisters and I: Califa, Gwen + Ash 



Cosmic Drama with Prince Puja

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Prince Puja is one of my dear friends and inspirational muses. He not only motivates me with meaningful, loving + mind-expanding conversation, he also makes beautiful jewelry that I never want to take off, shoots gorgeous photos and makes music. We met a few years ago in LA and had an instant soul connection. We've cried and laughed together, I've contributed to his zine "worship [journal]", been featured in his lookbook, and most importantly we've been cheerleaders in each others' work and life.  Here is an interview with my soul brother, Prince Puja. 

 

What inspires you?

I am inspired by countless things. Life being lived to the fullest. People creating from their hearts and souls. Nature in all it's beauty and perfection. Morning light (or any light for that matter - natural or artificial). Art in all it's many forms. People caring for and loving each other. Music and scents both for their ability to capture a moment or transport you to another time/place. My friends and all the brilliant people that I have met in my life that are doing something that they love and believe in. Love of any kind.

 What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about living my life to the fullest. Going on adventures. Creating art that makes me feel something and that gives me a voice to express myself. Jewelry. Photography. Music. Traveling. Yoga. LIFE.

What project/s are you working on right now?

Currently working on a new jewelry collection inspired by lotus plants and living in the present moment. A series of photographs of homeless nomads living on Skid Row in Downtown LA (right outside my front door). Starting to play around with some music again. Myself.

What keeps you going when you’re “stuck”?

Knowing that being stuck will never last. Looking outwards at other people doing inspiring things/creating work that they are passionate about. Looking inwards at the vast universe within myself that is where anything and everything that I will ever know/create. Going outside and spending time with Mother Nature for she has all the answers.

What do you believe in?

I believe that we all come from the consciousness of the Universe and choose to manifest in these human bodies (which are really just vehicles for this lifetime) in order to experience ourselves (aka the rest of the Universe). I believe this is a cosmic drama where we are each the director, the actor and the audience of our own lives. I believe in the power of our minds to create anything we can possibly imagine (and things we can't even imagine YET with our little human minds). I believe in taking care of each other and loving and supporting each other because we are all really one energy split into a zillion+ little entities that are each on our own personal journeys that make up the one big journey of All That Is.
 

How do you take care of yourself?

I take care of myself by following my heart. Spending time in nature whenever possible. Eating the most natural foods I can. Not being too hard on myself. Meditating. Doing yoga. Reading lots of books on philosophy, self love, self help, etc. Exploring the inner depths of my Self. Surrounding myself with positive energy (people, places + things). Drinking lots of Wild Coyotea! And serving/taking care of others.
 

What qualities about yourself work to your advantage? 

"I am an empowered being and I am utterly free to create."
 

What is your favorite place on earth?

INDIA.

What is your next travel destination?

I am currently in Victoria, BC (Canada) so my next destination will be Vancouver and then back home to LA. After that, who knows!? 

What is your favorite beverage?

Chai. (Specifically street chai in India.)

What is your favorite food or recipe?

It's pretty general but Indian food!

What are your Utopian ideals?

I don't think I have any Utopian ideals because I believe that our biggest quest as humans is to accept everything as it comes and to live in the present moment. Utopia is a vision of the future which will always be that, a vision of the future aka not now aka never going to happen. The only moment that ever existed is HERE + NOW.

What is your astrological sign?

Sun - Virgo. Ascendant - Leo. Moon - Cancer.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Califa Coyote of Wild Coyotea is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met in this lifetime (although I'm sure we've known each other for many many lifetimes) and I am so beyond grateful for all of her love, support and wisdom. Sending out love and light to everyone in the Universe. I believe in all of you and hope that if you don't already know exactly what you're doing here on this Earth at the moment that you are easy on yourself and you just enjoy the journey while you're figuring it out. You are perfect just as you are!

 NAMASTE.