Jaguar is Native American word meaning, “he who kills with one blow”. The jaguar actually originated in North America, though now it only lives in Central and parts of South America.
The animal was see as the ruler of the Underworld and a symbol of the night sun and darkness. There were Mayan priests call Balam who officiated at only the most important ceremonies. Along with the Aztecs and Mayans, the Inca also built temples to the jaguar.
Jaguar Myth in Mayan World
In Mayan mythology, the jaguar symbolizes strength, ferocity, and courage. Along with physical sight, this animal also have associated with science and prediction of things to come. Cats have binocular vision, meaning each eye can work by itself, which provides them with better depth perception. This gives more evidence to their connection with vision and foresight.
Jaguars, specifically panthers, are related to the Roman god Bacchus (Greek Dionysus). So, the panther is also a symbol of subconscious drives and abilities believed by the Aztecs and Mayans. That’s why the jaguar is been know an inspiring cat.
Jaguar in Other Mythology
Jaguars were important to certain religious authorities in many Mesoamerican cultures. So that the religious authorities can combat any evil forces that might threaten, or rely on for protection. Some religious authorities need to convert and cross over to the afterlife.
Jaguars are said to have a temporary ability to move between worlds due to their comfort in trees and water. Has the ability to hunt both at night and during the day. The concept of transforming religious authority is well documented in Mesoamerica. It is find also in South America and is particularly showin the transformed figure of the Olmec jaguar.