“Otorongo is a fierce warrior who teaches us integrity–how to leap gracefully from life to life.”
I first met Otorongo in a trailer park somewhere near Ann Arbor, MI. The master shaman stood in her house, surveying her students, silently trembling as the spirits began to make themselves known. She closed her eyes while I was sitting in the corner watching the spectacle – people stalking around acting like jungle creatures. The woman’s eyes opened and I swear that for a second they turned yellow, like a cats eyes, and she beckoned “Matthew, come.”
I left my perch and took my place in front of her, for a few moments I thought she was my mother, but she took different power objects and began to blow through them and into my chakras; it felt very strange, like a cored out tunnel of wind extending from my head down to my feet. In each chakra was planted a seed, and with each seed came a jungle spirit, and each spirit wanted to dance. The first spirit to really make herself known was Otorongo, the Warrior Goddess. We danced what seems for hours that night. I don’t really remember much of what happened, it was very ecstatic; I do know that I was able to climb a tree and see in the dark though. What a wild night!
Otorongo is actually a set of twins: the Night Jaguar (black with purple spots) and the Day Jaguar (orange with black spots). In both aspects she is the purr-fect mother who grabs us by the scruff when needed but she will also rub up against you to let you know everything is going to be ok. She really is very sweet to her children.
The Night Jaguar is the spirit of death, she is the psychopomp who escorts souls from this world to the next, but she can also be fear incarnate. This aspect of Otorongo can be fierce and unpredictable, often her host (the invoking priest or priestess) will get blood shot red eyes, and in this case it’s best to see what can be done to alleviate her anger. The great dichotomy of the Night Jaguar is that she is also the great sex kitten, er, goddess too! Her powers of seduction are legendary and I only have one thing to say about this: ouch!
The Day Jaguar is much more mother like in her temperament; she protects and cleans us, she goes hunting and feeds us, she guides us throughout life and teaches us when we need to get out of what we are doing and leap into something new. She teaches us how to walk without leaving footprints, how to stealthily become invisible. The Day Jaguar has no dichotomy, she is who she is.
If you would like to work with Otorongo, but you can’t make it to Michigan for the Three Worlds Shamanism workshops, here is what you can do: get an orange cloth with black candles for Day Jaguar, or a black cloth with purple candles for Night Jaguar. When you are ready to enter ritual consciousness begin thumping a drum or shake a rattle – make it slow at first, then let it pick up tempo as you go along. Light the candles and begin calling her. She always comes to the voice of her children; but please, don’t be afraid when she comes. I’ve worked with hundreds of spirits and Otorongo always has the strongest presence. You can literally feel her rub up against you. Offer her some water when she comes and ask her to help you with whatever it is you need help with. When finished, thank her for her assistance and put out the candles. Otorongo might stick around the house for a few days to clean your energy and give you further instruction through dreams and visions.
Matthew is a teacher, magical counselor and frequent visitor to the Magical Buffet (“yummy Pagan food?”).