I’m Jessica, owner and founder of Coyote Balm. In this first blog post, I would like to share a little about how this all began, and also share my vision for the future of Coyote Balm.
The origin of Coyote Balm is simple, and it comes down to two basic things: First, I love to have soft hands and over the many years of being a lotion addict, I have come to find that longer-lasting moisture for hands doesn’t come from a lotion—it comes from a balm. The second thing is that I love exploring the powerful properties of essential oils. The experience of inhaling the magical fragrances and finding the scents and tones that complement one another is simply bliss to me. So, I started making balms one day in my kitchen during the summer of 2013, after finishing a beloved tin of Badger Balm. I thought, why don’t I make a balm for myself instead of buying one? After some experimentation with a blend of essential oils, and finding the best combination of melted base oils, I set to the balm to cool. There it was: the beginning of Coyote Balm! One of the first recipes for the base worked out so well that I still use the recipe today. After the base was perfected, I continued to play with essential oil blending, and over the course of the next 6-9 months, I developed 5 different ‘flavors’ for the balms that friends and family have loved ever since!
One question I have pondered while working on this endeavor is: why did I name this balm company Coyote Balm? Why is it named after what is often thought of as a lonely, sometimes forlorn animal? There are several stories that converged into my personal decision to call the company Coyote Balm, but the one I want to share with you has to do with legend and folklore, and encompasses the mission behind Coyote Balm, and my personal hopes for the future of our planet.
In Native traditions of the Northwest, Coyote is part of the legend of creation. It is said that with but a thought, the Great Spirit creates the universe, and places coyote on the newborn earth to wander about, creating all the animals and people. It was coyote’s task to make the world a good place to live for all creatures. While carrying out this responsibility, Coyote’s goodwill is accompanied by cunning skills and occasional trickery and deception. It is for this that coyote can be well known. He can easily fall to his own vices, and engage in tomfoolery. But underneath it all, his intentions are pure, and his wisdom shines through (even if he himself doesn’t see it!). He is one of the noblest and wise of creatures (like the Fool in the tarot–innocent, naive, but ultimately beyond age and wisdom).
In some ways I see the whole idea around ‘Coyote’ as a reflection of human nature. We humans too have created an unimaginable state of luxury, beauty, comfort and convenience for ourselves, along with supreme devastation, loss, corruption, and exploitation on the planet. We that live in the more ‘developed’ worlds are experiencing a level of technology and consumer-culture that is enormously beneficial on one level, but is a far cry from the state of the rest of the world—people, animals, oceans, forests, rivers… all are crying out for help. We have engaged in a tomfoolery that is threatening the very existence of life on our planet. But in watching this phenomenon with growing awareness, I find myself wanting to focus on the positives, and to encourage that side of the coin.
I believe that the best practices for care of the earth and it’s creatures have traditionally been employed by native and indigenous peoples all over the planet, and so when researching the idea of Coyote, and why I’ve named my balms Coyote, I felt it only appropriate to be carrying a native folkloric name (from this continent) forward to embody the mission of the company.
Even when Coyote plays a trickster (in one tale, he steals Raven’s eyes for his own after the other tricksters of the forest stole his!), he always comes back and corrects his mistakes. Coyote, without fail, always finds a way to put everything back together again, and sets things straight in the end.
With this in mind, I hope that we humans can do the same. We are all Coyote, using our cleverness to create and reach at times destructive ends, yet deep down, we want to be at balance with the Earth. At Coyote Balm, we will always do our very best to encourage and foster that balance.
Please stay tuned for updates to the blog, new products (serums, whipped body butters, shampoos with Chinese medicine formulas…) and… RECIPES! Because herbal and natural products are so lovely to make, I want to share with you simple things to make in your home, with your kids, for your family, friends, or just for yourself!
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these delicious balms. They are made of pure joy and creativity, and I am so excited to share them with you!
All the best,