"Their big eyes are so well adapted for low-light vision that snow leopards can hunt in near total darkness—but they can still go hungry when humans compete for their prey. Though trophy hunts for wild sheep and goats bring income to local communities, they can deplete food stocks for snow leopards." Out of the Shadows, photo project by Steve Winter The Winner of The Best Wild Nature Photo 2008
Snow Leopard has the colour brown, for the Earth, black for the Night and mystery and magic, and white for the Day, and connection to Great Spirit. The reverence for Snow Leopard is displayed in the many legends around it.
In Nepal, in Dolpo, there are stories of great lamas frequently making trips to Tibet in the form of snow leopards, in search of rare medicinal herbs. Other folklore describes the snow leopard as a “fence” for the crops, meaning that in the absence of snow leopards livestock would be free ranging and thus would invade crop fields.
Dr. John Mock, in 2004, went to Pakistan, and investigated some of their myths. This is one around the Snow Leopard.
Pari are female supernatural denizens of the high mountains. People in Pakistan, Afghanistan, north India and throughout Central Asia are familiar with pari. The Wakhi ethnic population in northern Pakistan, China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan have their own word for pari: mergichan. The mergichan inhabit the mergich realm, which is the realm of the mountains and high pastures. It is a pure, even sacred realm, where the supernatural mountain spirits tend their wild flocks of blue sheep and ibex. The Wakhi word for snow leopard is pes. A pes is a mergich animal found only in mergich areas. It rarely interacts with people, is hard to see, powerful, beautiful, and potentially dangerous. As such, it exemplifies many of the qualities of the mergichan, and so is an appropriate animal shape for them to assume.
If Snow Leopard comes to you, then know it brings several messages, and all of them or some of them may be for you!
- Living high in the mountains, this animal is at one with Great Spirit and Mother Earth. Leopard communes with the Wisdom Keepers (in Munay-Ki the mountains are Wisdom Keepers). She reminds you to open up your intuitive abilities.
- Snow Leopard moves invisibly and so is able to stalk her prey, as elusive as her prey is. The message is clear – keep a very low profile as you pursue your goals to avoid drawing attention and competition to what you do.
- Leopard is a hunter that attacks the neck from the back. As many belief systems say the soul enters and leaves through the back, it is believed that Leopard may consume souls. If Leopard comes to you, know that she is telling you that it is difficult for you to meet people face on, and to ensure your back is covered. She also cautions about moving up on someone else’s back. Balance in all things is required. If you do need to defeat someone, beware of taking on their “stuff”.
- Leopard medicine is one that requires strong bodies – and quick action. This may lead to humans with quick, angry tempers. Leopard cautions that the angry energy must be released. If not released, it will settle into the body causing pain in the bones and limbs…arthritis may result.
May those of you with Leopard medicine find peace.