A video, embedded below, is circulating the ayahuasca surfers’ realm. It shows, whether true or not, a jaguar feeding on the ayahuasca vine. The jaguar is a very centrally important figure in the cosmovision of many Amazonian ayahuasca cultures, the observations of which continue to spawn many speculations about the various practices and myths around the jaguar (and ayahuasca).
A very early observation states that:
“Ingestion of Ayahuasca usually induces nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and leads to either an euphoric or an aggressive state. Frequently the Indian sees overpowering attacks of huge snakes or jaguars. These animals often humiliate him because he is a mere man. The repetitiveness with which snakes and jaguars occur in Ayahuasca visions has intrigues psychologists. It is understandable that these animals play such a role, since they are the only beings respected and feared by the Indians of the tropical forest; because of their power and stealth, they have assumed a place of primacy in aboriginal religious beliefs.
In many tribes, the shaman becomes a feline during the intoxication, exercising his powers as a cat. Yekwana medicine men mimic the roars of jaguars. Tukano Ayahuasca-takers may experience nightmares of jaguar jaws swallowing them or huge snakes approaching and coiling around their bodies … shamans of the Conibo-Shipibo tribe acquire great snakes as personal possessions to defend themselves in supernatural battles against other powerful shamans.
The drug may be the shaman’s tool to diagnose illness or to ward off impending disaster, to guess the wiles of an enemy, to prophesy the future. But it is more than the shaman’s tool. It enters into almost all aspects of the life of the people who use it, to an extent equalled by hardly any other hallucinogen. Partakers, shamans or not, see all the gods, the first human beings, and animals, and come to understand the establishment of their social order.”
Did the shamans learn from the jaguars to use the plant? Is there a cosmic connection, therefore, through the ayahuasca between the jaguar and people that live with the cats and the ayahuasca plant?
“On an aesthetic level this is a cute theory : Humans learnt the use of the Vine from the Jaguar. Jaguar’s chew the leaves of banisteriopsis caapi, the indians believe, to improve its sensitivity for hunting, and the indigenous people took it originally for the same reason. It seems from an evolutionary perspective all sacred medicines have selective advantages in their use, as anti-parasitic, immune-boosting, or increasing ones capacity to acquire more food.”
“How do they know that a plant is good for them ? How does the jaguar know about Ayahuasca ? Perhaps they quite simply feel it. And if they simply feel it, if they tune into these plants through deep intuition/instinct, then humans in bio-centric cultures certainly can as well.”
Given the way that Amazonian people live with animals and plants this makes a lot of sense and there is nothing strange about an animal that eats a plant in order to purge. It is common, as many know, among dogs:
“Grass eating can be just a simple habit or possibly the sign of a stomach irritation such as Gastritis. Studies have shown that dogs eating grass is an instinctive process. Eating grass can stimulate or induce vomiting. Grass can in fact help to prevent damage to the bowel as grass is effective in wrapping around any foreign bodies in the stomach thus limiting the risk of damage to the stomach form any sharp or jagged edges.”
In other words, it might just be that the Jaguar eats a variety of plants, one of which is ayahuasca, to clean out its system. People observe it, either directly or find chewed leaves with teeth marks that they recognise as jaguar traces. Perhaps they think: “Jaguar, cool animal that hunts well, maybe the jaguar learn to hunt from that plant?!?”
Maybe the connection is less spiritual and magic than we’d like to perceive it. Maybe all things in life and “live-in” with plants are spiritually magic. Perhaps some things are more magic than others, or maybe, just maybe, magic is what we believe it into being, and so it is indeed magic that when you eat the same plant as the cat, then it cooperatively appears before you in a spiritual communion.
Whichever way we choose to look at it, we can safely say that so much remains unknown about life and nature and the nature of life and spirituality. If we really wanted to know more about jaguars and ayahuasca eating, – whether in the scientific empirical sense of the term or on a spiritual level – then we’d need to put an eternal moratorium on resource extraction and deforestation, as well as seriously address the issues of global climate change, since the jaguar itself and the people who live in its natural environment and spiritual realms are severely threatened by those who kill the forests (loggers, oil companiesetc.) and cause climate change.
Moreover we’d have to ask some scientists to tell us more about the effects of ayahuasca in the digestion and brain chemistry of a jaguar: what kind of energetic interactions can be shown in the ayahuasca eating jaguar? Or maybe begin with a house cat, but would that bring on the wrath of the animal rights activists?
Finally, the jaguar phemenon might give rise to interesting questions to ask the science of biophotons or biophotonic energies.
Anyway, enough speculations and suggestions, let’s enjoy the big spotted cat tripping out (and note, eating ayahuasca does not include DMT as has been claimed by some!):