A Nahual is a spirit of an animal which is usually a jaguar. A Nahual is particularly a part of the Mexican lore but also known in other Spanish speaking country in the west.  It is said to be a human who possess magic that can turn him into different animals.  The creature is usually depicted as a jaguar or a puma.

This creature is not necessarily evil.  It depends on the person’s behavior.  Unlike other ravenous creature, the Nahual can retain his rational thinking despite of turning into a vicious animal.  The idea of the Nahual is said to derive from the Pre-Columbian rituals of the Shaman wherein human was described of having a capability to take the form of any animals.  The Nahual is often linked to its birthdates; they believe that each birthdates symbolizes an animal similar to the animal totem or a zodiac sign.  But the nahuals were not easily given to the kids; they were only informed about their nahuals when they reached their proper age and when they are responsible enough to control it.

In other legends, the Nahual can also transform into a force of nature such as lightning.  Though there might be some differences on the description of a nahual depending on the region.  The general beliefs are all the same.  They believe that whatever animal passes through the ashes spread all over the new born baby will become its nahual.

Legends say that people use their nahual in order to guard their villages.  They usually transform during the night and they usually sends out a warning to their enemies which were also on their nahual form.


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