My elephant spirit animals started showing themselves in 2012 in my meditations, but never in dreams. It was around the beginning of 2014 that I had a succession of spirit animal dreams. Early in that year, I had a dream of a white horse laying down next to me. A while after that, I was visited by a white wolf. In that particular dream I was standing in my living room, at night, looking out the glass back door, and the wolf was standing on the other side of the glass, staring in, tempting me. Why are you still in there? Come with me. The overall feeling of the dream was unsettling, like I was being urged to action, to heed some call that I did not yet understand. Then I spent a night searching for rose oil in India. Rose oil was an interesting symbol in the dream, as it is the oil with the highest vibrational frequency, at 320 MHz (Damask rose oil specifically). According to vibrational healing, raising the body’s vibration can heal the body, mind, and spirit. My search for rose oil in the dream seemed to be symbolic of this search I had embarked upon in life. The very next night, She visited.
That night my dream terrain was the jungle. I had a small homestead that had been clear cut to make room for a small house and barn. I lived there with my horse and dog. She appeared right on the edge of where my domesticated space met the untamed jungle, careful not to intrude into my space; confrontational, yet not threatening. A beautiful, powerful jaguar of jet black, with piercing eyes, stood on the edge of the unknown and gave me an ultimatum. If you don’t feed me, she said, I will eat everything you love. She did not threaten me directly, but left no doubt my horse would be the first item on the menu if her words weren’t heeded.
The imagery was imprinted in my psyche. This was no ordinary dream. What part of my subconscious could this be? What did she mean? What was I supposed to feed her? Maybe it wasn’t part of my subconscious but some part of the collective conscious. She seemed ancient and powerful. An energy to be respected. This was the beginning of my journey with her.
She didn’t return until later that year when I went to hypnotherapy school. In the first two weeks, I had met a fellow student who did shamanic journeying and she offered to guide a few of us on one. We walked to the river, placed everything we wanted to let go of onto a boat and pushed it off into the current and watched it disappear on the horizon. We then got into the river and cleansed ourselves in the water, and emerged from the river into the warm rays of the sun. From the sun we soaked up all of the things we wanted for ourselves in life. Then we awaited our spirit animal to come and guide us on the next part of the journey. There she was, sleek and powerful, gliding through the tall straw-colored grass towards me. She took me to a cave behind a waterfall. In the cave I laid down on a slab of rock. She laid down several feet away. It wasn’t until later that I would read about caves being symbolically linked with retreating into isolation to do soul work, and a prime habitat of jaguars being caves.
There were two times in school, when in hypnosis, that I jumped back to being in the cave. The second time I was in the cave, she was closer to me. The third time she was winding around me in a circular fashion, clockwise, the direction of creation and building power.
I completed school and was back at home meditating in my hot tub, as was my personal practice. Black Jaguar came into my awareness. She was walking towards me. She came so close her face was against mine. She was rubbing her head on me. She suddenly walked through me, and then I was wearing her skin like a cloak, her majestic head sitting atop mine, like an image of an ancient shaman.
The next time I encountered her was again in meditation. This time she swallowed me and I rode around in her belly feeling safe and protected. Then I was laying with her curled maternally around me with one giant paw resting over me.
During this process, I had become very curious about the symbology of the black jaguar and had been doing some research. On one website, there was a poem, "....Sister of Artemis, and the Guardian of the Gateway between the Known and the Unknown, you prowl the night, bearing witness to the blackness that exists before the dawning of morning light. Blazing eyes pierce the veil of darkness of Forgotten Realms, to bring consciousness to the unconscious.”
The black jaguar, or black panther, had to do with inner quests and reclaiming power. She represented power, but also the feminine, knowing death and the cycle of death and rebirth, and the ability to see in the dark. Her ability to see in the dark and journey into the subconscious was also the ability to sense the true motivations of others, which did not always gain Black Jaguar the warm reception of others. She was strong enough to walk her own path without others if necessary. She was a guardian. She was a shapeshifter.
There were two paragraphs that especially caught my attention. “The early life experiences of one with whom Black Panther walks will never be 'easy' as these souls will seem to attract and/or elicit strong reactions both within themselves and from others. Early on this may tend to give the Panther soul a sense of isolation from their fellow two-leggeds as they struggle to find their own identity, for the way in which they view and approach life often attracts attention and leaves them feeling as a stranger in a strange land.”
“The Black Panther is a shapeshifter and the responsibility unique to these animal spirits is that of piercing the veil of darkness that dwells in the heart and mind of an unintegrated soul. The Black Panther teaches us there is nothing in the darkness to be feared for the Light of Acknowledgment will disperse the blackness and illuminate the way through the jungle of unresolved issues, pain and 'old programming'.
The reason I had chosen to attend hypnotherapy school was that I had become infatuated with the power our subconscious minds held over us, and the idea of bringing awareness to that and breaking free of those invisible walls we operated in captivated me. It seemed we all, myself included, had beliefs that we were not consciously aware of, that we had picked up somewhere along the way like an airborne virus, that were secretly running every aspect of our lives.
Black Jaguar remains my main spirit animal and a powerful presence in my life. She has not chosen to come to me in any more dreams, but shows up regularly in meditation and always guides me in shamanic journey, and I can call upon her energy at a moment's notice. When she does come into my consciousness, she always brings guidance or support, showing me the path of confronting the dark within ourselves, that being the things that lie within our subconscious and hold us back from true freedom and living our most authentic lives.
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