.: Mountain Lion :.
Species: Puma concolor couguar - Western Mt. Lion/N. American Cougar/Puma/Panther
Secured: Autumn 2020 - Questa, NM
Parts Used: With the exception of the hide and skull, all parts where used
Method of Extraction: Advanced Alchemical lab processes combining Plant, Animal, and Mineral works to achieve the secretive and One of a Kind Animal Alchemy
Correspondences: Mars, Earth, Lunar
Highlights: Protection, Leadership, Assertiveness, Power/Primal Energies & Learning to Harness/Control Them, Territory/the Home, Alertness, Secret Dimensions & Travel, Twilight Hours, Dream States, In-Between Realms, Shamanism, Willpower, Warrior Energies, Sensuality, Sensitivity, Awareness, Cunning, Divine Mother/Feminine, Self-Confidence, Solitude, Agility, Adaptability, Confronting Fears, Perseverance, Overcoming Impossibilities, Decisiveness, Steadfast, Clairvoyance, Tactfulness
Many of the original large North American predators have become extinct since the Ice Age due to over hunting and habitat loss and to know that we still have one of the largest big cats, the Mountain Lion, with us is incredible. Their populations have gotten smaller across the U.S. but they're not going anywhere. Secretive, elusive, stealthy, and powerful, the Mountain Lion may sometimes have to give up its hunt to wolf packs and grizzlies but they don't need to be the apex predator to flourish.
.: Biology :.
Although a big cat, Mountain Lions are much closely related to our domestic cats than the larger wild felines, they're the largest cat in the Americas second to the Jaguar and the fourth largest in the world. Because their range stretches from the southern parts of Yukon down to Chile it goes by a range of names as well; Puma, Cougar, Panther, and Catamount with locations determining them as a specific subspecies and with genetic/mitochondrial tests we have 8 total subspecies, but they're all variants of the same cat.
Location will determine their size and our Mountain Lion may be more than 8'ft in length, 3' height at the shoulders, and weight more than 150lbs. Our Mountain Lion can be found inhabiting forests, high deserts, and mountain elevations of up to 19,000ft where they occupy steep canyons and brush.
They choose to be hidden from sight, which explains their choice in habitats and are mostly nocturnal but will prowl in the twilight and dusk hours which coincides with the hours that their prey tends to be out. Having more rods than cones in their eyes allows them to see in very low light conditions and lend them much better sight in diminished light than humans. Typically ambush predators, Mountain Lions will give chase of up to 30mph if necessary to take down prey with a preference to go after ungulate (hooved) animals and will eat about one every two weeks.
Momma and her juveniles
As with almost all cats, Mountain Lions are solitary animals. Mating occurs with multiple partners and only females are involved in any way with offspring. She will have a litter between 1 and 6 cubs that she raises between 18 months and 3 years with an average of 1 kitten that makes it into adulthood. Juveniles stay with their mothers between 1 and 2 years or when the mother goes into estrous (fertility) again or a male may kill them (so Saturnian).
3 day old kitten
In the wild, Mountain Lions have been recorded being almost 18 years old but average between 8 and 15 years with captive cats living around 20 years. Although they're not endangered they have been disappearing from places where they were flourishing due to excessive over-hunting and habitat loss. Because of this it's been local authorities in certain places that have been enforcing strict hunting limits as to keep a balance in those ecosystems and to preserve a beautiful piece of an example of a large cat that we have.
Juvenile being playful in the snow
Domestic cats are the ones that 'meow' and they don't do this to other cats, it's a thing that they do to humans and it's kittens whom meow at their mother and Mountain Lions, Cheetahs, Lion cubs, and Snow Leopards are the only wild cats that meow. Mountain Lion is usually very quiet but they will make sounds that resemble bird chirps (mothers do this to their kittens), whistles, and they can sometimes can sound like very large domestic cats. They will growl, and this is usually either a mating call, a way to get prey running, or a warning, and their growl is probably the scariest thing you'll hear come out of the forest which sound like shrieks and blood-curling screams... but more intense.
Toho, the warrior Kachina
In Native American myths, the Mountain Lion is usually attached to stories of witchcraft and evil omens due to their predatory powers and... well... their screams. More to my own interest (because I don't care to entertain human fear) the Hopi and Zuni tribes of the West attune the Mountain Lion to the hunter Kachina, named Toho, whom is the guardian of the Northern point, protects hunters, and territories/boundaries (Mars and Mercury conjunct). He wears two Yellow feathers (Mt. Lion's ears), is naked (Mars again), is usually accompanying the Woman Warrior and the rest of the warrior Kachinas.
North American Tribes with Cougar Clans; the Caddo, the Creek, the Shawnee, the Osage, the Chippewa, the Chickasaw, and the Pueblo Tribes of New Mexico.
Mountain Lions are powerful, sleek, built to stalk and kill almost effortlessly. Razor sharp. Unlike their cousins the cheetah/lion/tiger, whom are built for speed and brute force, Mountain Lions are somewhere in-between... think about that; the in-between. Between spaces is the space of magick/boundaries (Hermes/Mercury), mysticism, and the feminine/Lunar forces.
When Mountain Lions calls, you cannot doubt it. Dreams, commercials, decals on a car, visions in meditations or on psychedelics journeys - the call is abrupt. YOU'RE COMING INTO YOUR POWER and if this is your calling then you're being asked to come into your TRUE POWER. This means that you're leveling up to a place of responsibility you've never encountered before as you are leaving behind your jovial/kitten ways and being called to caretake for yourself, your loved ones, your dreams/aspirations, and are ready to embark into TRUE adulthood. It is time to test your own POWER. When Mountain Lions shows up, you've already begun your initiation into this and are now ready to begin the trials of oneself.
Because they're not built like their cousins, Mountain Lions must be capable of making very quick decisions when it comes to their next move, like an attack. They can leap up to 40 feet, aiming for the neck of their prey/goal because this is where vital arteries are located (and the closest to the brain) and where the vital breath enters an animal, and are very good at their bullseye. Assertiveness is knowing through practice, trials, and many times missing/failing.
In the same way that many cultures and tribes don't like the Mountain Lion, as your Spirit/Totem animal, many people will not like your assertiveness but know that this doesn't matter. Many have a problem with this because they themselves haven't gained the maturity and wisdom that comes through the trials which lead to wisdom. This Spagyric can be considered the cherry on top to this particular phase in your development. You are being asked to step up, contemplate/create character development, and become a proactive participant in YOUR life and its matters. Big boss energy!
Mountain Lion is all about personal power, the awareness of this, and the mindful application of your power in YOUR life which inherently will affect your field and of those whom come into it. Sure, this has it's obstacles and sharp edges but keep in mind that this powerhouse of a Guide also is very skilled at hunting porcupines! Mountain Lion offers it's skills and articulation at maneuvering around any obstacle if you're open, listening, and trusting in its guidance. There's a time for your assertiveness of power through force and a time to do so with care and gentleness.
Sometimes we must face the Moon, the High Priestess, and enter betwixt Her Pillars into the Occult inner realms. This is our unconscious Selves where our latent powers and abilities reside and fear is a tool which alerts us that we are encountering the unknown territories of our lives and Selves. Mountain Lion reminds us that we can enter any situation and once we do, we develop courage. It has your back! You must enter, steadfast, and merge with your matured Self.
Self confidence will emerge in such spectacular ways that you'll be impressed and surprised at the realization that you had this within yourself this entire time. I mean, you did come to this crazy realm called Earth after all!
A porcupine seems daunting and scary, but once the Mountain Lion flips it over on it's back, it exposes it's soft, tender, and vulnerable sides. And you will too! Trust and faith will carry you into ANYTHING.