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Jaguar stones

Jaguar Stones are created from a type of mineral known as Leopardskin Jasper -- an opaque tan, brown, and ochre form of impure quartz. This variety of Jasper is most often found in South America, and gets its name from the leopard-like spots covering its surface. The term Jaguar Stone has also been known to refer to stone carvings of jaguar heads created by the Ancient Maya. Not necessarily made out of Leopardskin Jasper, these Jaguar Stones can still be found in Maya temples, including Chichen Itza in modern-day Mexico.


The Legend of Jaguar Stones

There is an ancient legend which describes the Earth as being inhabited by dark beings before the creation of man. Tired of the perpetual darkness, the beings sent a messenger to Numi, the black leopard, whose eyes provided the only light in the darkness. The messenger begged Numi to convince the Great Spirit to allow light into world, but Numi refused. He told the messenger that the darkness was important for the existence of the Heavens; without darkness, there could not be light. He also said that if the light beings entered the realm of the dark, the dark beings would be cast aside. And thus began the war between the darkness and the light. Because the dark beings could not bee seen in light, Numi asked the Earth to create a stone with which the dark beings could be seen, and the Earth answered by creating the leopardskin stone known as the Jaguar Stone. Therefore, Jaguar Stone is said to be a bridge from the seen world to the unseen, revealing to its bearer that which normally goes unknown.

Mystical Properties of Jaguar Stones

As one of the oldest known gemstones, Jasper, in all its varieties, has long been thought to have positive mystical properties. Natural healers recommend its use as an aid in the self-healing process. Jaguar Stones specifically have been associated with shaman travel and spiritual discovery, helping their bearers traverse between worlds in order to gain spirtual growth. Among believers, a popular practice is to display a sphere made of Jaguar Stone prominently in the home to promote the flow of positive energy. Also, wearing Jaguar Stones is said to be important to the 1st, 4th and 7th Chakras, and Jaguar Stones are often moulded into jewelry.

Jaguar Stones in Maya Culture

  The image of the jaguar was important to the Ancient Maya; the jaguar was native to Central America, and the Maya believed them to be Gods of the Underworld, associating them with caves, night, and hunting. Shamans were often described as turning into jaguars, or "were-jaguars" in a myth borrowed from the Olmec culture. As a result, the image of the jaguar appeared often in Maya writing and art. The Maya glyph for jaguar, Balam, consisted of a stylized stone jaguar head drawn in profile. The Ancient Maya also carved large stone jaguar figures as a form of decoration in many of their temples. At Chichen Itza, a Maya settlement dating back to the 9th century, there stands the Pyramid of Kukulcan (Quetzacoatl), inside which rests an impressive red Jaguar Stone with eyes made from jade.

Jaguar Stones in Literature

 The most notable use of the Jaguar Stones in literature occurs in a trilogy of young adult fantasy novels by Vermont authors J&P Voelkel. Entitled The Jaguar Stones Trilogy, the books follow the adventures of 14-year-old Max Murphy, a modern, pizza-eating teenager from Boston who finds himself lost in the forests of the Ancient Maya. In the world of the series, the Jaguar Stones exist as five legendary relics which enabled the ancient Maya kings to wield the powers of the gods. Each stone was associated with a different aspect of the king's responsibilities, and each was housed in its ruling god's temple located along the five points of the Maya compass. At the center in the Pyramid of Time, the Maya king would use the Green Jaguar to consult Lord Itzamna and seek wisdom. In the east at the Pyramid of Rain, the Red Jaguar was used in conjunction with the rain god Chaak to control the weather and ensure good harvests, while in the north at the Pyramid of Visions, the king could summon the Vision Serpent and channel the creativity of the goddess Ix Chel. In the south, the Yellow Jaguar required the king to prove his true lineage at the Pyramid of Blood, while in the west at the Pyramid of Death, the Black Jaguar was employed to oversee military matters and inspire courage in battle through the god, Ah Pukuh.

Jaguar Stones in Games

The Maya's Jaguar Stones are also referenced in several games. In the second installment of the Broken Sword computer game series released in 1997, Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror, the main characters embark on a quest to find several ancient Maya stones, including the elusive Jaguar Stone. In 1998, the Playstation video game Resident Evil 2 required players taking on the role of Claire Redfield to collect two halves of a Jaguar Stone. The board game Pyramiden des Jaguar, released in 2002, also featured Jaguar Stones as a major part of gameplay.

External links

  • The Jaguar Stones book series
  • Maya
  • Tour of Chichén Itzá
  • Jaguars @ National
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jaguar_stones". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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