The Return of the Jaguar

Return of the Jaguar

This is the 5th painting in a series of paintings that I’m calling the “Chakra Series.” I paint a canvas with the color of a one of the chakras, red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, violet or, in this case blue, the color of the 5th chakra. I then use all those colors and paint an ambiguous, undefined abstract background on top of the solid color. I then stare into the background and paint what I see. This painting honors the 5th chakra which is the energy center for self-expression: expressing one’s truth, one’s purpose in life, and giving voice or expression to one’s creative endeavors.

In 1987 I dreamed

I tell a woman that I can’t teach anymore and that I have enrolled in a program at a university. We walk past cages with animals. It is like these cages are the spaces in the program. However, all the cages are full. There is a large black panther/jaguar in one of the cages. In order for me to have space in the program, the professor has to kill the black panther, which he immediately does. He pulls out a gun and shoots it. I feel badly but it is like the professor knows what he has to do to make room for me in the training program.

Eighteen years to the week of this dream I was in a workshop with shaman practitioner and teacher, Sandra Ingerman. During a healing journey that she was doing with a participant to demonstrate how to work with bringing back a person’s power animal, Sandra had us imagine that we were on a boat, traveling down a river. Suddenly all along the bank, coming out of the forests, were animals of all kinds, coming to watch. Suddenly I saw a large black cat, like a black panther or black jaguar. I recognized it from the dream above of many years earlier. Suddenly this black cat leaped across the water from the shore right into the boat and sat down right beside me. Almost immediately, a large owl flew down from the left and sat on my shoulder. The feeling of the energy vibrating through my body was indescribable!

Throughout the years since that training, jaguar has been a constant companion in my shamanic work. The jaguar shows up in this painting, taking her place in the 5th chakra to help me give voice to truth, purpose and creative expression. I added the owl to honor both of these power animals.

Deep within us lives an unknown land, a land with its own laws and its own plans and purposes, populated with its own characters playing out relationships in the depths of our souls. These archetypal forces and images live in the very depths of us and long for recognition, for communion, for expression, and a way to get into life. They make their appearances in our dreams, or in this case, a painting. By engaging them they help us find our soul’s path and to write our own destinies.

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