In the early 1970′s while I was living in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico I decided to go on a hike and visit a local dormant volcano called Sanguanguey. Don Jose told me the Huichols had known this mountain as “Tatewarita”, the place of Grandfather fire. This volcano has not erupted for at least 500 years. The town of Tepic, capital of Nayarit, is built upon ancient lava ( jal ) and ash from the eruptions of Sanguanguey.
I took a cab to a village, near the base of the mountain, and asked villagers for directions to the summit trail. After hiking an hour I began a steep ascent into the jungle, and the trail vanished, so I continued on struggling through vines and brush. I came to a rock cliff, facing me, 50 feet high and no easy way around it. When I glanced at the top, suddenly a spotted jaguar appeared, for just a brief moment, growled, and then he was gone. If I had blinked at that moment, I would not have seen him. The growl was alarming and a probably a warning; I was alone, off the trail, and had no defense. I decided to continue up, around the cliff, very carefully, and later emerged from the jungle into a small clearing with a view of the top.
I had hoped to find a power spot, a luminous place, however I did not, and everything seemed normal, or usual, yet I did enjoy a great view of the distant Sierra Madre ranges, distant Tepic, and of the plains below. There was no crater, nor vapors or smoke. I found no hot springs, nor any trails around or near the site I struggled so hard to reach. From a distance this site looked like an excellent candidate as a luminous place; how a site looks may not correspond to any special powers or qualities.
After I returned to my home in Tepic, I realized the jaguar was an experience of significance, beyond words or understanding. It was his mountain, and for a second he saw me, and I saw him. Only once since then have I seen a panther – mountain lion, it was in Joseph Grant Open Space, N. California 1998).
(c) Paul C Adams 2014