I didn’t pick a jaguar as my shape-shifter hero’s alter ego lightly. I once did a guided meditation to meet a spirit guide and what appeared to me was a black jaguar. Since then, I have read much about the animal and the symbolism around it. So here are five things I find fascinating about jaguars:
1. They are one of the few cats that actually like water and often swim.
2. They have a unique call and the Maya made a musical instrument that mimicked their sound. Click here to go to a site to hear a roar and the instrument (at the site, click on the artwork).
3. The Olmec civilization made were-jaguar sculptures and other artwork, and many scholars believe that this was their primary deity.
4. Jaguars bite with the most force of any feline, which makes them able to pierce turtle shells in a single bite, and they like to eat turtles. They also have over 500 voluntary muscles that they can move at will.
5. This is a quote from Ted Andrews’ book Animal Speak: “Because of their sensitivity, individuals with the jaguar panther as a totem will instinctively know how best to attack if placed in such a position–and they can do so lethally whether in defense or in response to anger. Because of this natural ability, individuals with this totem must learn to temper their responses, or they may unintentionally wound others more deeply than they mean to.”