Mythic Felines
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A Jaguars Tale


     In Aztec mythology, the jaguar represented Tezcatlipoca, god of the night sky.  Warriors took on the totem in the Aztec army and wore jaguar skins into battle.  Throughout South America, jaguars were seen as symbols of power and ferocity.  In some cases, both gods and mortals shifted into jaguar or were-jaguar forms to defeat their foes.

Nahuali Animal Oracle Jaguar Card


     In the first era of the world, all life dwelt in darkness.  This was because the sun was Tezcatlipoca, The Obsidian Mirror. Tezcatlipoca ruled over a race of giants, who tore up the forests of the earth.

     Quetzacoatl grew weary of Tezcatlipoca and his destructive giants and smacked Tezcatlipoca into the sea.  When The Obsidian Mirror rose from the sea, he took on the form of a jaguar (or ocelotl).  His roars called forth more jaguars.  The jaguars devoured all the giants.

     The Great Jaguar who was Tezcatlipoca then devoured himself and ended the first age.  His dying roar awakened the next sun and the second age began.

     This tale was based on Aztec mythology.   The Nahuati (Aztec) word for jaguar is "ocelotl".  This is only one version of the tale. 

     The Aztec calendar had 4 suns or cycles of creation and destruction.  The first, most primordial sun, was represented by the ocelot or jaguar. Quetzacoatl ruled the 2nd Era when men were monkeys.  Tezcatlipoca gets revenge by kicking him out of the sky.  The 3rd Era is destroyed by fire.  The 4th age is destroyed by flood.  We are living now in the 5th Era, which is said will be destroyed by earthquakes.

     Tepeyollotl, represented by the jaguar, is the god of earthquakes, caves, the earth, and echoes.  His roar creates earthquakes.  Looks like we're making a full circle back to the jaguars!


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