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MOUNTAIN LION, PUMA, COUGAR
*From Jamie Sams' & David Carson's "Medicine Cards"
(Revised, Expanded Edition)
Oh kingly leader,
Of sleek, feline form,
Touch my heart with courage,
Then sound the alarm,
That I may lead with foresight,
Assurance bright and true,
To carry on the spirit,
Of the strength I see in you.
MOUNTAIN LION: LEADERSHIP
Mountain Lion can be a very difficult power totem for you to
have, because it places you in a
position to be a target for the problems of others. You could
be blamed for things going wrong,
or for always taking charge when others cannot. You could become
the perfect justification for
the insecurities of others.
Mountain Lion medicine involves lessons on the use of power
in leadership. It is the ability to
lead without insisting that others follow. It is the understanding
that all beings are potential
leaders in their own way. The use and abuse of power in a position
of influence are part of this
great cat's medicine.
By observing the graceful pounce of Mountain Lion, you will
learn how to balance power,
intention, physical strength, and grace. This relates in human
terms, to the balance of body, mind
and spirit. The giant feline never wastes anything. It only
kills what it needs for survival. The
female lion is the hunter who graces her table in a style akin
to mother energy.
If Mountain Lion has come to you in dreams, it is a time to
stand on your convictions and lead
yourself where your heart takes you. Others may choose to follow
and the lessons will multiply.
If you have pulled the card of Mountain Lion, you may be asked
to review the purpose behind
your personal beliefs. You may need to discover whether or not
your plans include a pride of
cubs wanting to be like you or to share in your dreams. If you
are already a leader, the question
may be whether or not the time has come to push the cubs out
of the cave. If you are aligned with
cat medicine, you are considered to be "king of the mountain,"
and never allowed to be human or
vulnerable. The pitfalls are many, but the rewards are great.
In assuming the place of power that Mountain Lion affords, you
must constantly be aware of
keeping peace. However you can never make everyone happy unless
you lie to yourself or
others. This is human nature. Therefore the first responsibility
of leadership is to tell the truth.
Know it and live it, and your example will filter down to the
tiniest cub in the pride.
Responsibility is no more than the ability to respond to any
situation. Panic is not a part of this
If your Mountain Lion card is reversed, you may be playing with
fire. A leader who tries to lead
through tyranny or dictatorship has forgotten the medicine of
truth. Through the reversal of this
medicine, you may be tricked into believing that nothing else
has validity except the ideas
created by yourself. Watch out! Rome crumbled for this very
reason! If this aspect of the
contrary medicine does not apply to your situation, look at
other messages which Mountain Lion
brings in the reversed position.
If you are avoiding taking your place of leadership, it could
be because the whole idea scares you
silly. This is a normal state of affairs for one who has never
been a leader before. In this instance
it is necessary to call upon the courage of Lion and to begin
by learning the lessons of the "lionhearted."
Another message of Mountain Lion
reversed is to not let yourself be led down the primrose path
by a leader who is abusing power. If you want to put yourself
on the road to being a leader in
your own right, ask questions of anyone to whom you have given
authority. See if they carry the
medicine of Mountain Lion, and whether you can grow into your
own leadership by observing
how they handle the task of setting examples.
Become Mountain Lion by refusing to hide in the cave of your
own shyness or uncertainty. Roar
with conviction, roar with power and remember to roar with laughter
to balance the medicine.
Lesson: Proper Use of Power
Wind: West ~The Quest Within~
prowls the night,
your yellow eyes burning bright,
as you watch the story
of Humanity unfold
through experiences faced,
a proud lineage of courage traced
back through the haunting canyons
of Time untold
Your chilling scream
pierces the veil,
the resonating echo leaves a trail
that speaks to us
of a soul that stands alone
Emissary & messenger,
of the planes you travel between,
though rarely heard and seldom seen,
our souls respond in resplendent joy
when you guide us ~Home~
Leadership - Standing Behind Convictions - Confidence
Clever - Awareness - Learning Proper use of Power
Messenger between Humans & The Divine Beings
Balance - Steadfast - Responsible
Watching the Cougar (also known in other cultures and regions
as either Puma or Mountain
Lion) one is keenly aware of the formidable grace and power
that is reflected in every stride
taken or leap made. And yet the sense is that the Cougar has
a conscious awareness of his
strength and the potential to inflict great harm with very little
effort, a fact that is reflected in the
tenderness with which the female cougar treats her young as
a mouth that can easily crush bones
is also capable of exceptional gentleness as she bathes her
Adults can weigh in anywhere between 100 - 200 lbs., with an
average length of 48 - 60 inches
with an additional 28 inches of tail. They are renowned jumpers,
possessing the ability to leap
30 feet horizontally and up to 18 feet vertically, a testimony
to the powerful leg muscles of these
magnificent creature beings.
***For the two-legged beside whom Cougar strides, there will
exist an inherent power and
strength that is the very core of their Being. These are incredibly
powerful individuals, though
such power is gifted via a process of trial and error as the
Cougar soul learns the difference
between using such formidable power, and abusing it.
Most Cougar individuals have an inner respect and understanding
of their own abilities and
hence, will generally not throw their weight around unless they
are either backed into a corner
from which there is no obvious escape, or unless they are operating
from an extremely damaged
or unintegrated Personality Center. Yet for those who begin
wielding such a gift in a reckless
manner, many painful encounters and situations will arise that
may initially perplex the one who
walks with Cougar, bringing losses in fortune, falls from positions
of leadership or even public
humiliation and/or scandal. Eventually, the unintegrated Mountain
Lion will reflect upon the
choices that have led him/her to such losses and embarrassments
and, in new found humility,
they will recognize the Lessons behind such experiences and
(in most instances) modify their
behavior and beliefs accordingly.
One of the hallmark characteristics of the Cougar Soul, is an
innate quest to reach the best
within themselves. It matters not whether they reach the top
of the corporate ladder, excel
academically, or are the leader of a cherished cause, these
individuals will exude the sense that
they are meant to be in the role of leader.
Interestingly however, most two-leggeds beside whom Cougar pads,
will be reluctant leaders
and will often find themselves at the top of the chain of command
during an emergency or crisis
when less capable individuals collapse around them. Seeing what
needs to be done and acting
accordingly, the Mountain Lion will stabilize the unbalanced
situation and perform damage
control. This capacity to calmly assess and rectify problem
situations will not go unnoticed, and
here again may lie a challenge for the Cougar soul.
Because they generally make reluctant admirals (at least initially),
the one that journeys with
Mountain Lion may appear somewhat unimpressed with gaining the
same promotion that may be
jealously coveted by their peers. Such apparent indifference
is often misinterpreted as
arrogance, and petty envy amongst co-workers often surfaces
as a result.
When Cougar Soul can embrace in humility and grace his/her Gift
of Leadership and wield such
power with compassion and strength, the leap is made to a higher
plane of unity with the Souls
Unique Purpose for incarnating.***
Standing Behind Convictions
Most cultures that have Cougar as one of several key figures
of their lore recognize this beautiful
cat as a creature of great strength, cunning and power. And
in observing the Mountain Lion in
the wild, it is easy to see where such tales of prowess stem
from as they utilize not only their
strength alone, but also employ their intelligence and stealth.
By looking at the solid and long form of the Cougar, it becomes
apparent that these cats are
designed for multiple tasks, as their large paws bespeak of
an ability to traverse a wide variety of
terrain from grassy paths to high granite walls. Their long,
thick tails assist them with balancing
in precarious positions and heights, while their muscular legs
propel them higher and longer in
leaps than any other cat. Such a diverse design hints at the
ability these animals have to gain
dominance over their environment and maneuver in areas virtually
inaccessible to other
creatures of the wild.
***As Cougar is sure-footed atop their canyon and desert perches,
so is the two-legged beside
whom Cougar strides, certain of his/her approach to life. Much
like their Totem Spirit, the
human counterpart will exude an aura of quiet strength that
will make an impression upon
The impression made will almost always be one of respect and/or
admiration, though the Cougar
Soul seems to elicit extreme responses in Others. While some
peers encountered taking an
instant liking to the Cougar individual, while others will feel
immediately threatened by the
strong presence and hence an immediate and vehement dislike
Yet all who come to know the individual beside whom Mountain
Lion journeys will tend to agree
that these are souls that stand firm in their beliefs and convictions.
These are the sort of people
who appear to have a moral fiber made of bedrock as they will
seldom waver or be badgered
from their beliefs.
Although their moral/spiritual beliefs may not necessarily be
traditional, they will have a set
of self-imposed code of ethics and morality that they will stand
firmly behind. These granite
philosophies are part of what makes these individuals so highly
trusted by friends, family and
those who know the strength of character the Cougar soul exhibits.
Conversely, there will be an equal number of detractors that
would love nothing more than to
see Mountain Lion tumult from a position of great height, as
perhaps their own honesty and
conviction pales in comparison to the Cougars lofty spirituality.
Such individuals who are
operating from a point of insecurity deeply rooted in a unintegrated
Personality Center, will tend
to project their own unresolved issues off onto the Cougar soul,
rather than examine where they
may improve and enrich their own lives by living in closer accordance
with their own belief system.
When challenged on their morals or beliefs, the Cougar individual
will become much like the
Mountain Lion defending his/her territory, and an ordinarily
placid two-legged can come out
with fangs bared when backed into a corner. Such attacks on
their beliefs are capable of cutting
right to the core of the Cougar soul, as these are honorable
people that do their upmost to be
trustworthy, dependable and honest.
If a two-legged with Cougar as a Totem is operating from the
Shadow or ~Contrary Medicine,~
there may exist a tendency to be dogmatic in their practices
or beliefs, holding very little
patience for philosophy or belief systems different from their
own. Yet this is rare, as most
Mountain Lions respect the spiritual territories
of others almost as much as they guard their
own right to think and believe as they see fit.
For the two-legged operating from the Higher Octave of Cougar
Medicine, the men are the
knights in shining armor of eras long past that live and defend
the values of trust, honesty,
faithfulness and honor. The female Cougars are the ~Earth Mothers~
that exude an aura of
Oneness with the All and a deep reverence for the environment.
In both the male and female, a
profound connection and respect for the ancient customs and
traditions of indigenous people will
be felt and expressed, though they themselves may not have been
born with Native American
blood and remind Others of the importance of respect for the
Wisdom of the Elders.***
As previously stated, the Cougar is the top cat when it comes
to leaps of distance and height.
This is due to both the strong leg muscles these felines possess,
as well as the balancing weight
of their tails.
Most often, the Mountain Lion (true to one of its names) dwells
atop lofty perches in mountains
and canyons, as well as high desert mesas. Such heights as these
animals dwell requires surefootedness
and grace of movement, and herein their long and thick tails
are employed to assist
with balance as is required of those who exist in such precarious
terrain. Acting as a highly
effective counterbalance, the Cougars tail assists in
steadying them as they walk along the
narrow pathways and crevices etched from the granite and sandstone
cliffs in which these
beautiful creature beings call home.
***For the two-legged with Cougar as a Primary Totem, the keyword
of Balance becomes
crucial in integrating a ~holistic~ Mind/Body & Spirit approach.
Although these individuals are
by nature very sensual and earthy types (and as
such there will be an emphasis on their
physical ~Self~), they are also keenly aware of the needs of
the mind and soul as well. If the
Cougar Soul is in good physical shape yet is not developing
his/her spiritual side, or conversely,
if the one beside whom Mountain Lion stalks is involved in spiritual
learning and growth but
they dont exercise their body or mind, the unbalance will
be more keenly felt than it would be
for other individuals. The result is that there will be much
inner turmoil and stress with the
questioning of what is missing in my life? becoming
a predominant pondering.
The best form of physical exercise for the Cougar individual
would be one that takes into
consideration the Whole Self (again, Mind/Body and Spirit).
An excellent example of such well
targeted exercise for the Mountain Lion, would be Yoga, or perhaps
Ti-chi, as these are both
forms of exercise that employ All levels of the Self . . . the
body is in movement, the energy
centers are being stimulated and aligned, and the mind is in
deep focus or meditation.
If you are a Cougar Soul and are currently feeling out
of alignment, pay attention to this
feeling and heed it, for this is precisely what is occurring.
Stop and take an honest evaluation of
your life and your approach to this Journey. What are you neglecting,
or what areas of your life
and expression are you over-indulging in? Because Balance is
such a key for you, it is crucial
for your development that you become aware of your keen need
for a WHOLE approach to life.
Are there certain individuals that are draining you of your
energy, freedom or right to express
yourself in a healthy and meaningful manner? If so, then those
relationships need to also be
evaluated in detached honesty. Because of your powerful, yet
unassuming nature, there will be
those that will seek to undermine your confidence and balance.
If this is the case, confrontation,
restructuring of relationships or even some endings
may be in order.
The art of Balancing your life ought to be approached in stages
however, as it is also quite
characteristic of the Mountain Lion individual to immediately
leap into action and attempt to
take on too much at once. The key here is moderate and progressive
steps forward. No matter
how long the journey takes, and regardless of the occasional
step or two backward, so long as
more movement is made forward than back, the Journey is being
walked and the goal is drawing
ever nearer. Remember, we all arrive exactly where we need to
be, exactly when we need to be
Messenger between Humans & The Divine Beings
Native American lore holds the Cougar as the champion of the
two-legged who presents the
humans case to the ~One Above.~ Acting as the emissary
on behalf of we of the two-leggeds,
Cougar asks for forgiveness for our follies and misbehavers
while carrying messages between
human and the Divine.
Because Humans are capable of intentional and unprovoked violence,
spite, hatred and other
emotions and behaviors not witnessed in the Creature Beings,
the task of emissary for Cougar
can be a challenging one. He/she must find the Light at the
center of the darkness, the beauty
and grace that lives beyond the sometimes tangled core of the
human personality center.
For his faithful guidance and support of we humans, he is revered
amongst many tribes, and
given thanks for acting on our behalf. His belief in us a faith
that may best be reciprocated in
acts of kindness to All Life, compassion and embracing in understanding
the surface and
transitory ~differences~ of spiritual beliefs, race or economic
background of our fellow twoleggeds.
In this manner, we show our thankfulness for his faith and trust
***Cougar Spirit will travel beside a two-legged who possesses
a keen insight and perception.
This insight may surface via an ~extra-sensory-perception,~
or it may firmly rooted in a more
~practical~ understanding of the human psyche and subconscious
mind. Both mediums and
psychotherapists are often found with Cougar as a Primary Animal
The Mountain Lion Soul will often be a bridge of understanding
between two diametrically
opposed individuals, factions or groups as theirs is the Medicine
of Emissary. As such, others
will often turn to them for their non-partial perspective as
the Cougar individual is quite capable
of seeing all sides of any given situation. Then, when he/she
becomes connected with a cause or
belief, they make excellent, out-spoken proponents of such a
cause and hence are outstanding
spokespersons for a variety of ventures which capture their
While such Medicine brings the Gift of harmony between opposites,
the individual with Cougar
as a Totem will often find him/herself in the middle of an argument,
attempting to bring
understanding and equilibrium to both sides. This
is a beautiful trait when it is the Cougars
conscious choice to become involved, yet the challenge is that
the two-legged beside whom
Mountain Lion walks may often find themselves immersed without
a conscious decision to do so.
Friends, family even strangers may take advantage of their inherent
drive to be a mediator, and
in those moments, the Cougar Soul may suddenly find themselves
the target of attack from either
side, becoming the middle person in an entirely
uncomfortable sense of the word!
By establishing clear boundaries and guidelines with Others
as to when and by how much, they
are willing to act as a go between, the Cougar individual
is fulfilling his/her principle
Medicine of Messenger without falling victim to the unresolved
issues and grievances of Others.
As the Cougar grows from cub to adult (spiritually/metaphorically
speaking), the lessons learned
in defining boundaries assists as they fulfill their Medicine
of Messenger and teach Others the
power of understanding and harmony.***
From: wolfs_moon.tripod.com/cougartotem.html (mind the pop-ups
Cougar represents strength, freedom, and leadership; grace,
balance, and confidence; skill,
courage, and competence; understanding the value of independence
Cougar's confidence comes from knowing her own way. Through
experience gleaned in the
process of self-discovery she is a loner who enjoys her own
company. She has little to fear from
life and demonstrates her freedom with a leadership that does
not require others to follow. By
owning her own power she is able to utilize her strengths to
her greatest advantage. By walking
her talk she does not express her wisdom--she exudes it instead.
She does not fear the unknown;
rather she relishes it with an insatiable curiosity that drives
her forward. She knows her grace and
strength will grant her safe passage.
This creature-teacher will show you the excitement of working
with your own powers to use
them wisely with stealth as she does. She moves silently through
the roughest terrain with a love
of travel filled with the joy and mystery of the journey. Learn
from this journey of the inner
spirit. Let her show you the ways of stalking your dreams and
goals and pouncing on
opportunities as they arise. She will teach you to trust your
instincts and adapt well to your
surroundings. Alert, with senses keened, she is silent as she
stalks her prey. Her eyes are fixed
unwaveringly; eyes that are penetrating and can hold quarry
transfixed. She can lay still, stalk,
and subtly study while out-thinking her target and creatively
learning her best path of action.
Cougar teaches you to make your own confident choices; to walk
the path that is right for you
regardless of how envious or jealous others may be. She wastes
nothing. Cougar will not abuse
her power. She kills only to eat. She knows her own truths.
Cougar strikes to her best advantage-
-usually from behind utilizing the element of surprise. She
teaches gentle strength will carry you
a long way and if you hear her warning cry it is too late. Her
nurturing and playful ways teach
that not all of life is so serious. You need to take time to
enjoy yourself wherever you are by
learning to relax with one eye open, one ear cocked--just in
case an adventure is about to happen.
The Cougar also known as the mountain lion and the puma is very
illusive and hard to find in the
wild. Because of its illusive quality it is often noted as an
animal that is independent, shy and
withdrawn. The same characteristics are often found in people
with this medicine.
The adult males weigh around one hundred seventy five pounds
and are one of the fastest known
animals, although it does tire quickly. This is partly due to
the cougars sporadic energy. When it
pounces on its prey it moves with short strong bursts of energy.
Cougar is associated with leadership and teaches decisiveness
in the use of personal power.
They are powerful and agile and can leap over forty feet. They
kill their prey with their bite of
their claws. When it attacks it does not hesitate. When threatened
it goes for the most vulnerable place.
Those with cougar medicine should pay attention to how their
speech and their actions affect
others. Make sure you are not speaking too sharply or holding
on to something too tightly.
Cougar is a difficult totem to have because it continually places
you in a position to be a target
for the problems of others. Its power, strength and assertiveness
are often misunderstood. You
would be wise to listen to cougar and let it teach you how to
balance intention, power and
strength in everything you do.
Cougars are very territorial. The mother will stay with her
cubs for a year and teach them to
hunt, first by bringing them a kill and then bringing her prey
back alive so that they can kill it.
Cougars brings the power of balanced leadership. In the way
cougar teachers her young, in the
balance that she has with her environment and in her quiet power,
she shows this gift. Cougar
medicine people make excellent teachers, leaders and facilitators.
The other side of cougar is its illusive quality. It can appear
without being noticed and quietly
take control of a situation. Sometimes this can lead to conflict
with others over territory.
Those with cougar medicine have past life connections relating
to power and leadership. When
the cougar selects you as its student be prepared for the ride
of your life. It can shred you into
little pieces (dissolve karma and identity) then put you back
together again with a pure heart and
purpose. True leadership through gentle assertiveness is what
cougar teaches those with this totem.
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