Black Panther (Totem)
Medicine: – Astral travel – Guardian energy – Symbol of the feminine – Understanding of death – Reclaiming ones power – Ability to know the dark – Death and rebirth
The panther is a very powerful and ancient totem. It is generally associated with a particular species of leopard or jaguar although the cougar is also referred to as panther. As with most of the large cats, the panther is a symbol of ferocity and valor. It embodies aggressiveness and power, but without the solar significance. In the case of the Black Panther, there is definitely a lunar significance. The panther has over 500 voluntary muscles that they can use at will. This reflects a lot about an individual who has such animals as totems. It reflects an ability to do a variety of tasks as he or she wills. It is simply a matter of deciding and putting to use those particular “muscles” – be they physical, mental, psychic, or spiritual.
As a whole panthers are loners (solitary) although they do associate with others, they are most comfortable by themselves or within their own marked territory. They are drawn to those individuals who are likewise often solitary.
Of all the panthers, probably the Black Panther has the greatest mysticism associated with it. It is the symbol of the feminine, the dark mother, the dark of the moon. It is the symbol for the life and power of the night. It is a symbol of the feminine energies manifest upon the earth. It is often a symbol of darkness, death, and rebirth from out of it. There still exists in humanity a primitive fear of the dark and of death. The Black Panther helps us to understand the dark and death and the inherent powers of them; and thus by acknowledging them, eliminate our fears and learn to use the powers.
In China there were five mythic cats, sometimes painted like tigers or leopards. The black reigns in the north with winter as its season of power, and water it’s most effective element. This is the element of the feminine. This is the totem of greater assertion of feminine in all her aspects: child, virgin, seductress, mother, warrioress, seeress, old wise woman.
When the Black Panther enters your life as a totem, it awakens the inner passions. This can manifest in unbridled expressions of baser powers and instincts. It can also reflect an awakening of the kundalini, signaling a time of not just coming into one’s own power. More so, the keynote of the Black Panther is Reclaiming One’s True Power. In mythology and scripture, the panther has been a symbol of the “Argos of a Thousand Eyes,” who guarded the heifer IO who was loved by Zeus. After his death, the eyes were transferred to the feathers of the peacock. The panther always brings a guardian energy to those to whom it comes.
The panther has also been attributed to Christ. In the Abodazara (early Jewish commentaries on the scriptures), it is listed as a surname for the family of Joseph. It tells how a man was healed “in the name of Christ ben Panther.” Because of this the panther often signals a time of rebirth after a period of suffering and death on some level. This implies that an old issue may finally begin to be resolved, or even that old longstanding wounds will finally begin to heal, and with the healing will come a reclaiming of power that was lost at the time of wounding.
In the myths and stories of Dionysus the panther is a symbol of unleashing desires, and thus the awakening of the kundalini forces. The panther symbolizes a time of moving from mere poles of existence to a new life without poles or barriers. The panther in a Dionysic manner awakens the unconscious urges and abilities that have been closed down. It signals a time of imminent awakening.
To the Indians of North and South America, the jaguar especially in the form of the Black Panther – was endowed with great magic and power. The jaguar panther climbs, runs, and swims – even better than the tiger. Because it could function so well in so many areas, it became the symbol of mastery over all dimensions. To the Tucano Indians of the Amazon, the roar of the jaguar was the roar of thunder. Thus the Black Panther was the god of darkness and could cause eclipses by swallowing the sun. This reflects the tremendous power inherent within the feminine forces.
To those with the panther as a totem, this power will increasingly be experienced. The Arawak Indians say that everything has jaguar. Nothing exists without it. It is the tie to all life and all manifestations of life (thus ties to the eternal feminine within all life). To them, becoming the man-jaguar was the ultimate shapeshifting ritual. The Olmecs created monuments to the jaguar, and the Aztecs and Mayans spoke and taught about the power in becoming half-human and half-jaguar.
One who can become a jaguar is shorn of all cultural restrictions. The alter ego is free to act out desires, fears, aspirations. The Indian shamans would perform rituals to borrow jaguar power. One who could do such could do great good or great ill.
Those things of childhood and beyond that created suffering and which caused a loss of innate power and creativity are about to be reawakened, confronted and [transformed]. The panther marks a new turn in the heroic path of those to whom it comes. It truly reflects more than just coming into one’s own power. Rather it reflects a reclaiming of that which was lost and an intimate connection with the great archetypal force behind it. It gives an ability to go beyond what has been imagined, with opportunity to do so with discipline and control. It is the spirit of imminent rebirth.”
Quoted from “Animal-Speak” ~ Author Ted Andrews
Source: http://mynzah .com/?p=1914 [no longer available]