Coyote – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Animal symbolism helps us to know our world and people around it better. Animals give us knowledge of our own character and make us more aware of our hidden strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your spirit animal or totem animal is going to make you more in touch with nature and the beauty that surrounds you.

Coyotes are dog-like animals that inhabit several areas on our planet. To some, they look more like foxes and to others they are more similar to wolves. They belong to the Canidae family and are actually relatives of a domestic dog. They live in North America and some of them inhabit the Middle America. Coyotes live between 6 to 10 years and the name coyote comes from the nahuatl language.

Coyote symbolism is various and it depends on the culture that created the symbolism.

Sometimes they are considered positive symbols while other times they are seen as negative symbols and very malicious. There are many stories and tales about coyotes that are passed on from one generation to the other. Each story holds the symbolism of a coyote and creates a unique idea about these beautiful animals in our head.

Spirit Animal and Totem

Spirit animals and totems help us get to know ourselves more and our character. They give us a general idea about who we are and what is our personality like. Sometimes we show more positive characteristics to the world than others, and sometimes we show ourselves in a negative light to the world.

Spirit animal guides you through life and helps you to figure out your life path. You can figure out your spirit animal by reflecting on your life and thinking about the animals that have been around you your whole life. There must be an animal that was always by your side, and you kept wondering if the presence of this animal had any special meaning at all.

Totems are determined by our birth date and we can easily find out what is our totem animal. Totems show you the true nature of your character and help you get in touch with your inner strengths. When we know our totem animal, we can reach out to our totem animal to send us strength and power we need in order to push through some difficult moments.

Spirit animal

As a spirit animal, coyote is best described with these words:

  • Skill
  • Ingenuity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Inventiveness
  • Playfulness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Transformation
  • Instinct

People guided by this spirit animal have a lot of strength and power to persevere through almost anything. They are both mentally and physically strong and nothing can set them off track. They are very determined to succeed in life and can be hard to handle. To their partners and family members, they are very cold and distant at times because their priorities are not inside the home.

More than anything, they love being outside and spending time with other people. They are not family-types and it is hard to make them stay inside four walls. They love moving and their energy levels are very high. To use all of the energy they have inside of them, they need to be in constant movement and doing something that is interesting for them.

Coyote spirit animal makes you highly intelligent and gives you all the necessary skills you need in life to succeed. Success in your life comes fairly easily, because when you are interested in something nothing can get you out of focus.

Another thing you enjoy is transformation. You love changing things around in your life and inventing yourself over and over again. Other people often say that you are constantly changing and you rarely the same person you were, the next time they see you.

Instincts are very important in your life and love following your own opinion. No matter what anyone else eyes, you love evaluating the situation yourself and then making the next move.


As a totem animal, coyote is wise and light-hearted. People love you because you are always full of energy and motivation to do something new. It is never boring to be around you and people respect you more than you think. When you were younger, people always enjoyed your stunts and jokes that you used to pull off in front of them. You were the class clown and everyone adored you.

Coyote people are not always childish and immature. They know that life can be hard and challenging, but they prefer to spend it enjoying their days than in sorrow. When you encounter a problem in life, you feel sorry for yourself only for a while and then you are ready to fight against everything that has appeared as an obstacle on your path.

One thing that people often find offensive in your behavior is your joking at times.

Sometimes you go overboard and insult someone, without even noticing it. This is not something you do o purpose and people don’t understand that. The ones that know you well, know your sense of humor and the way you joke, but people who don’t know you tend to get insulted. If you learn how to control this, almost childish, behavior, there will be nothing about you that is going to make other people not like you.

Symbolism and Meaning

To the Native Americans, coyote is a creator. Coyotes symbolize the Ancestor spirits and many tribes believed that the coyotes created the land and the water. Shamans often use coyote fur and skin in shamanic rituals, in order to attract the spirits of nature.

They also have a special type of healing ritual, that requires a several day process, in order to heal someone from illness. This ritual is called the Coyoteway. During this ritual, coyotes are honored and prayed to, in order to attract the positive energy from the spirits.

In many other cultures, coyotes are represented as tricksters and people are afraid of them. Coyotes often play tricks on humans and other animals, in order to gain advantage over them. Coyote is usually represented as a picaresque hero who fights against social conventions with humor. Anglo-American depictions of coyote present it as cowardly and unworthy animal. The depictions of coyote in Anglo-American culture are usually negative. Their art and literature clearly express that without any boundaries.

According to an ancient Maidu story, coyote was the animal that introduced poverty, work and suffering to people. Another legend by Zuni tells the story about coyotes stealing the light from the kachinas, which then causes winter to come.

Coyote had an important role in Mesoamerican cosmology. Before the Spanish invasion began, coyote was considered as a symbol of military in Classic era Teotihuacan. Warriors would dress up as coyote and call upon the coyote predatory power. Coyotes were also linked to the Central Mexican warrior cults and this symbolism remained until the post-Classic Aztec rule.

In Aztec culture, Huehuecoyotl (which means “old coyote”), god of dance carnality and music is shown in several codices as a man with coyote head.

In Japan and in China, white and black coyotes are representations of good and evil. Old stories ad myths are full of references to coyote and their magic abilities to shape shift as they want. This shows the way coyotes are depicted and how people saw them throughout history.

In general, these slick animals are symbols of trickster, true seeing, paradox, adaptation and reluctant heroes. In popular culture, they are often used as characters in movies and cartoons, where they usually play the role of predators but with a dose of humor. As tattoos, coyote have the same symbolic meaning and are often used as tattoo motifs.

Dreams about Coyotes

Dreams about coyotes can both be good or bad. We need to make sure to take all of the other symbols in consideration and then do the entire interpretation of a dream. Even though coyote are usually depicted as negative symbols, they can be seen as a positive sign in dreams.

Seeing a coyote – If you saw a coyote in your dream, this means you have an enemy in your life. This person is against you and you need to take care about your actions and words because this person is going to do something to sabotage your intentions. You need to take care about your actions and words, because everything you do or say can be used against you.

Dead coyote – Dead coyote in your dream means you are going to have an extremely positive period ahead of you. You will have more luck than usual and nothing will mess up your vibe. This is an extremely good period to fight against your enemies because you will be able to defeat them without a problem.

Several coyotes – If you saw several coyotes in your dream, this means you are going to be attacked from all sides to do something you are not comfortable with. Coyotes are usually symbols of negativity, and seeing more of them is not a good sign. Remember not to do anything you are not comfortable with, because this won’t be happy you did it.

Being attacked by a coyote – If you were attacked by a coyote in your dream, this means there will be a lot of negative energy in your life. This negative energy is going to come from people around you and their actions. If you want this negative energy to disappear then get rid of everyone who is making you feel bad.


Coyote symbolism was mostly created by people of North America and Middle America.

Their symbolism is mostly negative, but in some instances they are depicted as positive symbols.

Coyote represent power, adaptability, trickster nature and resilience. They are by nature aggressive animals, but they need to be like that in order to protect their habitat and to survive. They are predatory animals who live by killing other animals and feeding off of them. Coyote symbolism is still present today, and coyotes are often used in cartoons and movies.

Their characters are usually presented as humorous characters that pull tricks on others. Coyote are not widely spread animals, therefore their symbolic value is much stronger than some other animal. Keep in mind that they are very similar to dogs, but they have far less in common, when it comes to behavior, with the dogs we own.