Category: Animal Spirit & Medicine Written by AndEl Views: 35091
Spirit of Jaguar
Wind: West The Quest Within
Medicine: Prophecy & Shapeshifting
Keywords: Power of Mystery & Silence. Magical Abilities. Integrity. Balancing Elements. Vengeance & Revenge. Sensuality. Clarity from chaos. Self-actualization. Shamanism. Secrecy. Psychic Vision. Integration. Solitary. Shapeshifting.
The Jaguar carries with him/her a long history in the lore and mythology of several indigenous cultures. In particular, the Mayans held the Jaguar in high esteem, viewing this spotted panther as the Totem Spirit of the Sky God.
Many who have heard of the Mayan Jaguar Priests (Shamans), may have images of gruesome human sacrifices as their only frame of reference for what was a highly complex and intricate belief system. Although it is true that the teaching of the Sky God became perverted and twisted by subsequent generations, to see the Mayan spirituality of centuries past as nothing more than savagery or barbarism is (at best) an ill-informed view.
It is said that a Great Being came to the Mayan people from the stars, and taught them that the greatest of all virtues was integrity. He instructed the people in the beauty of unconditional love, forgiveness, peace and to be honorable and trustworthy. The teachings were of the sacrificial heart, the willingness to give freely of one’s self and one’s material belongings in order to benefit both the individual and the collective All. Generations later, it is believed that the sacrificial heart became literal (to those who would twist the Sky God’s teachings) as a bloody sacrifice wherein the heart of the victim would be taken from the body and given to the Jaguar Spirit in the hopes of appeasing the Sky God.
The sacrifices had the opposite of their desired effect and, instead of pleasing the Sky God, angered him. To instruct the people that such ways were not a part of his teaching, the Sky God then sent the Jaguar Spirit to prowl the dreams of the two-leggeds. Where the Jaguar found hearts blackened with hatred, greed or dishonesty, he would haunt those unfortunate souls, relentlessly stalking them until they embraced the wisdom of integrity and transformed their lives. Those who resisted were met with the vengeance of the Jaguar, and the Animal Totem’s relentless pursuit during the Dreamtime would often cause the human to transition from fright.
For the two-legged beside whom Jaguar walks, the Earthwalk will be a process of reconnecting to the Shaman Within.
Although born with a heightened sense of awareness and a powerful gift of extrasensory perception (ESP), the Jaguar Soul will generally only come to embrace his/her “gifts” after many years of struggling with the benefits and responsibilities associated with these gifts. This is because there is still much stigma attached to the arena of ESP and associated abilities.
When first emerging on the Red Road of Physical Life, the Jaguar individual will be a wide-open vessel through which Great Mystery may flow. These souls will hear, see or feel things that are non-physical in nature. Not knowing that they may be looked upon with great suspicion for the things that they are able to perceive which others may not be able to, the one beside whom Jaguar pads will convey their experiences freely at first. Yet due to lack of awareness and out-dated belief systems that might be present on the behalf of parents, care givers or teachers, the child with these special abilities soon learns to keep such arcane knowledge and insight to him/herself. This guardedness (and eventual rejection of their psychic talents), is usually precipitated when the adults that are a part of the young Jaguar’s life, react in fear, disbelief or anger. The youngster learns that sharing their insight often leads to being scolded for “imagining things,” reprimanded for “lying,” or perhaps worst of all, being treated with fear as the adult either believes the child to be “evil” or even mentally ill for seeing or hearing things that “aren’t really there.”
Yet because the Role of the one beside whom Jaguar journeys is that of Shaman, the destiny of their calling cannot be denied indefinitely. Eventually, events in the life of the Jaguar soul will force him/her to confront, embrace and integrate the gifts they have been given by the Original Source.
Shamans serve as a bridge between the Blue Road of Spirit and the Red Road of Physical Life, and as such, hear, see and/or communicate with the “Spirit World.” A Shaman fulfills the Role of priest/priestess, healer, spiritual advisor, teacher of arcane wisdom, outspoken sage and silent observer.
As healer, the Shaman assists the healing process (be this spiritual, emotional, mental or physical in nature), via the application of Medicine. This Medicine is gathered from the Plant People (herbs), the Standing People (trees), the Animal Totems, the Stone People (crystals and other “rocks” such as turquoise, etc.), as well as from their own personal Medicine.
Often just as difficult (and of equal importance) for the Jaguar to embrace, is the ability to communicate freely with the Totems, the spirits of the Ancestors, or those who walk the Blue Road. Whether this ability takes the form of seeing into the future, reading the aura of others, or channeling knowledge from the “other side,” these souls must eventually embrace the ability to see/feel/hear beyond what most others are able. Only by owning and expressing the abilities that have been gifted them, may the one beside whom Jaguar strides fulfill their assignment which they have agreed to prior to taking up the Robe of Physical Life.
It is in looking at the Jaguar’s beautiful coat of tan speckled with black rosettes that we witness an example of the Medicine of Integration in visible form. When studying the Creature Beings in either their physical or spiritual form, it is important to notice the color(s) of that Creature’s skin/feathers/hide, for much will be revealed in so doing. Where/when we observe a Totem whose skin, feathers or hide has dual or multiple coloration, this bespeaks of the Medicine of Integration. Another example (aside from that of Jaguar) of this principle would be Orca, whose skin is black and white. In the instance of Leopard, Clouded Leopard and Jaguar, the base color of the fur is tan with an overlaying of black spots or rosettes, hence all three of these spotted cats will have Integration as one of the Keywords to their Medicine.
The human blessed with Jaguar as a primary Animal Spirit, will be presented with a series of lessons structured to teach him/her the process of integration. In order that the two-legged may more fully embrace this aspect of Jaguar Medicine, he/she will experience a variety of scenarios created to facilitate the absorption of this complex principle. Integration is the key element in learning any lesson, and then applying that lesson to our life, yet it is also the Medicine of embracing perceived opposites.
Chaotic events will be much in evidence in the life of the Jaguar Soul, events that will necessitate that the human counterpart go within in order to sift through the chaos and painful lessons, so that clarity and higher vision may be attained. The challenge here is frequently found under the guise of a sense of isolation, as the Jaguar individual quickly learns that he/she can only rely on the Self. This is a component that assists these souls in the process of self-actualization, for the Jaguar must first accomplish a requisite level of this Medicine him/herself.
Earth Medicine recognizes life as a continuous circle, or a Sacred Hoop.
The acknowledgment is made that our journey in the physical realm is equal parts darkness and light, experiences of both joy and pain, bitter and sweet. While we might perceive these elements as opposites, they are in reality merely two halves that constitute the Whole, each representative of the experiences necessary for our soul’s evolution.
When examining any totem with the Medicine of Integration, we witness individuals that are journeying around the Wheel of Life to first learn, and then teach, that separation is but an illusion. Often, the one beside whom Jaguar prowls will feel separate from the rest of humanity. A loner as a child, who may initially relate more easily with the creature beings than their fellow two-leggeds, these souls will mature into extreme individualists as adults. These will be the members of society that will feel as though they are on the outside looking in . . . on family, friends, society and even life itself.
The aforementioned sense of “not belonging” or fitting in, is a reflection of the Jaguar’s attunement to other realms of existence, for there is always an aspect of the two-legged with whom Jaguar walks that hears, sees or feels the presence of non-physical energy (spirits, totems, etc.) Such heightened awareness of other planes and dimensions (while living in a very material/physical world), can often create a dilemma for these individuals, as he/she struggles to integrate the realms of pure energy with that of the physical, the seen with the unseen.
Once the Jaguar soul comes to understand and embrace the awareness that one existence does not negate the validity of the other and the illusion of separatism is dissolved, these souls come to recognize that they are here to serve as a conduit between realms . . . then the Jaguar Mission has been embraced and the Medicine of Integration is beautifully learned, to be shared and passed along to those taking their first steps on the Beautiful Journey.
From the earliest of recorded histories, numerous cultures and societies have passed along the belief in shapeshifting. Shamans of all spiritual beliefs have practiced shapeshifting (also known as transmorphing) for millennia. Holy men and women from cultures as diverse as the Druids of ancient Ireland and Britain, to nearly every tribe of North and South American Indian, have ceremonies and rituals designed to elicit the shapeshifting experience.
Shapeshifting will generally be sought in one of two different forms, that of spiritual shifting, or that of shifting the actual physical shape, yet it is physical shapeshifting that most Shamans will spend a lifetime learning and striving to attain.
Spiritual transmorphing is the process of seeking to merge with a particular Animal Totem on the soul level, so that a complete union of souls might be experienced. The purpose behind this form of shifting is multifarious, as the participant seeks to both honor the Creature Being with whom the shifting is sought, as well as to align with the Medicine of that particular Animal Spirit. Equally, guidance may be received from the Totem whilst the spiritual transmorphing takes place that may assist the two-legged through their journey around the Sacred Hoop of Life.
For the Shaman who has been taught (and has the innate ability) to physically shapeshift, the experience is not only one of a spiritual nature, but culminates in the two-legged physically transforming his/her body into that of a chosen Creature Being. Lifetimes are often devoted to this practice, and often without reaping the sought for result. Yet when one has truly attained the Gift of Shifting Shape, thanks and honor are always offered to the Creature Being whose shape the Shaman assumes. Physical shapeshifting brings the participant into complete alignment with the Medicine of the Totem. The shapeshifter is then able to see all dimensions and realms experientially through the eyes of a particular Totem, or is able to hear with the ears of the Jaguar, the sounds of the Ancestors voices as They guide and instruct humanity.
The human counterpart of the Jaguar Spirit, will carry with him/her the Medicine of shapeshifting. This may mean the inherent ability to shapeshift in the manner listed above, or this ability may manifest as the drive and ability to continually reshape the conditions, experiences, psychology and reality of their existence.
From early childhood, the Jaguar individual will exhibit the desire for near constant change. An innate desire to understand the mysteries of life will be much in evidence with the young Jaguar cub and they may be some of the youngest students of earth medicine, astrology, witchcraft or other arcane studies. Whilst their peers are busy with sports and socializing, the Jaguar cub will be immersed in understanding mysteries that others may perceive as “dark” or dangerous.
For some young Jaguars, the exploration of the metaphysical can sometimes include dabbling with “black magic.” When operating from lower personality center as an adult, the interest in the destructive side of magickal knowledge and practice will continue and intensify, with these individuals becoming amongst the most powerful of sorcerers and sorceresses. In this instance, the inheritance of Jaguar Magic is distorted and misused as a tool to manipulate, harm or intimidate others, to achieve worldly success at the expense of their own soul’s development, or to control matter for willful or selfish purposes. A Jaguar soul operating from such contrary Medicine may initially meet with their desired goals, yet at some stage in their spiritual development, they will be required to shapeshift into channeling their unique talents as they were intended when gifted . . . for the benefit of the All and from unconditional love, else their abilities will be stripped from them. When operating from “positive” Medicine, the Jaguar soul will utilize their magical talents for the benefit of others and will be amongst the most accurate psychics, seers, shamans and healers.
Throughout their journey around the Sacred Hoop of Life, the Jaguar soul will encounter numerous scenarios set up by the psyche as a means to facilitate transformation. Yet shapeshifting in the early stages of Jaguar development is never easy. These are the individuals that will drive themselves to the point of physical, mental or emotional exhaustion until the breaking point is reached. Then, once they have burned themselves to the ground, they will arise much like the Phoenix of legend, in a new form with new eyes and a new cycle awaiting them.
Until the lesson of conscious change is thoroughly embraced, the human with Jaguar as a Primary Totem will experience chaotic events and emotional traumas that have been brought about by their own unconscious effort to force the change their soul recognizes is necessary. Yet once the Jaguar soul comes to awareness of this tendency and learns to create the necessary change consciously, and without the high drama that was indulged in earlier in life, the power of the transformation is splendid to behold. Then, the shapeshifter may emerge in the light of conscious awareness, a teacher by example to others of the beauty of a soul unfolding.
When the Sky God came to the Mayan People, he brought with him the Universal Principle of Integrity, and instructed the people to operate always from a center of unconditional love, honesty and compassion. He taught the people that they must live by a code of conduct that would be impeccable, and that they should seek to benefit and care for one another, to live in harmony with the planet and all other life forms.
Just prior to his departure from Earth (when he felt that the people had been thoroughly instructed in the principles of integrity), the Sky God told the people he would return from the stars one day to see if they were living by those principles in order that they may become a part of the Universal Tribe. He further informed the people that he would leave behind his Animal Spirit, the Jaguar, that it would watch over them and keep him informed as to their conduct and behavior toward one another and all other living things.
As mentioned previously, the generations following the Sky God’s departure witnessed a distortion of his teachings so that the sacrificial heart came to be literal, with the Mayan Jaguar Priests making human sacrifices in which the human heart was offered up to the Jaguar Spirit. So displeased with the actions of cruelty and the warping of the pure and honorable principles that had been given them, the Jaguar began to prowl the dreams of the people in search of those who had twisted the teachings of the Sky God, those whose hearts were blackened with lust for power, irreverence for life, or who were otherwise dishonorable. Upon finding one who was thus depraved, the Jaguar would relentlessly stalk them in the Dreamtime until the perpetrator would either re-align him/herself with the principles of integrity, or until the soul of that two-legged departed the Earth plane for retribution in the spirit world.
There will be a large emphasis on Integrity in the life of the two-legged beside whom Jaguar strides. The Jaguar Soul’s life will be lead from a standpoint of a moral belief system that is structured to remind the human counterpart of the necessity of operating from truth, valor, honor and respect for the All.
A palpable purity of essence to these individuals will be felt by others who come to know the Jaguar Spirit. The Jaguar individual him/herself will not think about their character or moral fiber, but will merely follow the instruction of an inner voice that is constantly guiding them to operate from a place of fidelity and decency.
In order that the one beside whom Jaguar journeys may successfully integrate mind, body and soul, their life will be structured in such a way as to develop an inner core of honor, valor, probity and reliability. The lessons in integrity will frequently arrive in the form of relationships with others who may be operating from double-standards. In these instances, the Jaguar’s partner will expect complete faithfulness and commitment from the Jaguar individual, yet will then demand that no such similar “restrictions” be placed on themselves. Or the lesson may surface as experiences with friends, co-workers or siblings who may either take the credit for the Jaguar soul’s work, good deed, ideas, or selfless acts, or whom may shuffle off responsibility for their own “misdeeds” or wrong doings onto the Jaguar individual.
Trusting by nature, such illustrations of dishonesty and lack of moral character as mentioned above, will deeply sadden the human counterpart to Jaguar Spirit, and teach him/her the importance of standing by their personal beliefs and taking responsibility for their own actions, choices and decisions. In this way, the lesson is learned that one must be comfortable with facing one’s self in the mirror.
Yet the greatest lesson for the Jaguar soul, may often come in the guise of conflicting desires within their own Self. As a highly sensual individual, these are souls who are enthralled with the beauty and diversity of life, from the brilliant colors, patterns and hues of a sunset, to the aroma of a rose in bloom, to the physical attractiveness of a potential mate. This high degree of sensuality can create deeply felt stimuli that can at times be in contradiction to the best interest of the soul’s growth and can serve as temptation to divert the Jaguar from his/her soul’s path. An example of this principle would be the Jaguar individual who is already in a partnership, being attracted to one outside of his/her present relationship and following the attraction to consummation. Another example may be the one beside whom Jaguar journeys following the instructions of a supervisor to “swindle” a customer in order to receive a financial gain. In both instances, the Jaguar is operating contrary to his/her belief system of integrity. In so doing, the guilt, sense of self-betrayal, and the call of the soul to realign with the character of the Higher Self, will be such as to create an indelible imprint on the psyche to remain within the parameters of their personal integrity.
When the Jaguar soul remains true to his/her moral convictions, and is able to do so from a point of non-judgment and with no hint of self-righteousness, then the wholeness of the integrative process may be experienced. In those moments, the splendor of the mind, body, soul integrity is witnessed and serves as an inspiring example to others.
Contrary or Shadow Jaguar Medicine
Each Animal Totem may also fill the Role of Shadow Totem, its presence to teach us our most significant life lessons via the vehicle of pain. The Shadow Totem is the guide to our subconscious, the repository of all our unresolved issues, pain, hopes and desires. When we are operating opposite of the higher purpose of a particular totem, we are said to be operating from Contrary Medicine, or from our Shadow side. To learn more about the Shadow Totem, please click here.
As a Shadow Totem, or for one whose Power, Theme, Mission or Astral Totem is Jaguar yet is operating from Contrary Medicine, the Shadow Side to this beautiful cat can be quite complex.
One who is operating from Contrary Jaguar Medicine, or who has Jaguar as a Shadow Totem, will be highly unpredictable, unreliable and untrustworthy. The impeccable principles by which a Jaguar soul will conduct his/her life when operating from the higher vibration of Jaguar Medicine, will be nearly non-existent in the behavior of the Shadow Jaguar. It isn’t that the inner voice of “proper conduct” and integrity isn’t present in the soul of Shadow or Contrary Jaguar, but merely that the human counterpart is choosing to block out the guiding voice in favor of material, emotional or physical gains.
Such resistance to the proper use of Jaguar Medicine, will create great havoc and chaos in the life of one beside whom Jaguar walks. Plans that have been carefully plotted and strategized will fall through at the last moment. Emotional partnerships that were initially achieved through seduction, deceit or manipulation will be severed abruptly when the partner of Shadow Jaguar comes to realize the one they have fallen in love with is not who/what they have presented themselves to be.
Only once the Jaguar soul steps into alignment with his/her personal integrity and the higher vibration of Jaguar Medicine, will the pattern of chaos and pain transform. In understanding the temptation to control or dominate others for what it is, lack of faith in the Self, can the life lessons represented by the Shadow manifestation of this Totem Spirit right itself. Yet if these lessons are learned, absorbed and integrated, the Shadow energy transforms itself as the two-legged shapeshifts into a new form . . . one that is filled with compassion and integrity.
In ancient temples
your graceful form once walked
. . . silently.
Drifting in and out of shadows
like a vaporous mist of focused intensity,
your emerald eyes penetrating the darkness
. . . unflinchingly.
Vines now weave and constrict
the crumbling stones of sacred pyramids,
metaphors for the tangled jungle
of the human mind,
whose life has been misspent
in the shattering darkness
of ill intent.
In what echoing halls
of the Dreamtime do you still walk,
vigilant observer for
He who came from the stars?
Do you still prowl the dusty corridors of our fears,
offering those willing to face themselves,
in wrenching pain and flowing tears,
your guidance and protection across
the threshold into light?
graceful spirit, to a new day
when war is no longer
a part of our "human"way.
Remind us that the greatest victory
comes from rising above
the chains of our hate and greed,
to stand free in love.
And in that moment,
your graceful form by our side,
we may know the joy of the reunion
the changing of the tide . . .
When the Ancestors return from the stars . . .
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