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Jaguar Puma Dreams

Sopla Banco Puma
Pablo Amaringo

The Jaguar seems to be, for me at least, the most enigmatic or confusing of animals in the pantheon.  I've been waiting or holding off on adding Jaguar to my list of dream symbols simply because I feared there would be a backlash or controversy with my definition.  I've read many accounts and listened to other's ideas on what it means to dream of Jaguar or have "Jaguar Medicine".  They differ, at times, to the extreme.


Let's begin with the true home of Jaguar, Mesoamerica.  The Mayan cosmology, every facet of Mayan mythology, astrology/astronomy, the current daykeeping or motherfather's have Jaguar represented or embedded within their main "dieties".  It is truly difficult to explain just how important and sacred the jaguar is to these peoples.  In the Classic Mayan period, Shaman kings took the name of Jaguar.  Of course this goes farther back, into the Olmec mythology.  In short: The Jaguar is connected to the Divine in every way.  The Jaguar is god-like.  The Jaguar represents sacred divinity.

I have heard shamans talk of jaguar in different ways.  Some believe that if you can defeat and kill a jaguar, that you are worthy to hold his/her Medicine.  Some believe that if you touch a Jaguar, s/he can steal your soul unless you are powerful or strong enough to contain the fierce energy.  Some: if you have Jaguar Medicine, you are able to heal the spirits...communicate and help lost spirits cross over. 

In the Upper Amazon, the mestizo shamans or Ayahuascaros believe that all Jaguars are shamans...perhaps some powerful Bancos who have died and now live among the jungle as Jaguar.  They believe that Jaguars see themselves as people.  Jaguars, or in this case, the jaguar as shaman, can be both good and bad, malevolent or benevolent.  Sorcery is rampant or coexists with white magic or healing in the jungle.  In other words: if you are a healer or interested in power/magic/sorcery...having a dream of Jaguar could be very CONFUSING and perhaps DANGEROUS.  Are you fooling around with magic?  What are your intentions?  Are you asking for more power or working from your ego only?  These are questions to ask yourself.  The Jaguar could be coming to you, in your dreams, as a dangerous sorcer.  OR Jaguar could be coming as a helping guide, an animal ally.  OR Jaguar could be coming to bring you a message...perhaps you are being called to be a healer.

Make no mistake, the mestizo shamans talk of bad magic as being easier than the white...it is easier to do bad than good.  There are dark and white jaguar spirits.  If you have doubts, read any number of books I've listed in my Snake Dreams or Plant and Animal Spirit page. 

Above all, the Jaguar is the king of the jungle, no ordinary spirit helper.  I tend to think of Jaguar as male because of One Hunapu, the Twin God of the Mayans...the Jester God who wears the Jaguar mask and is the sun rising.  Jaguar contains both elements of dark and light, good and bad...I think this is because the power of the Jaguar is so great that many want to consume or contain It.  The power is sought out and coveted by many.  To surrender to the greatness of the Jaguar, with true intentions, will perhaps allow a healer to do Great and Wonderful, altruistic healings.     

Sharpie art, May 2011

Recently I came across a painting by the above artist Pablo Amaringo, where a black jaguar is shown.  He gives the name Yanapuma, a voracious animal that guards the pregnant woman against male aire or bad air.  Basically this jaguar or puma is a guardian to birthing mothers, providing arkanas or defenses against any evil/bad/negative energy or air surrounding the mother.  A powerful ally indeed.