General Info: Nahuales are entities traditional to Mexico. In Mesoamerican folklore, they are humans with the supernatural ability to shapeshift (either physically or spiritually) into an animal. In modern Mexico, Nahuales are considered to be witches or brujos who might use their abilities to either help or cast Baneful workings, depending on what suits them. There are physical Nahualli (real people considered Nahuales)- this is a prestigious position in several indigenous communities, while in others, it is greatly feared and thought of as evil. There are several similarities between Nahualism and shamanic practices.
Preface: This encyclopedia article is based on the work I have done with a Nahual entity, and can only be applied to the specific entity (and the community it belongs to) that was contacted. It is important to note that this is an entry meant to describe my work with a living, spiritual entity and does not in any way reflect the diverse cultural practices that multiple indigenous groups may or may not have in the physical world.
Nahuales tend to be deeply tied to the land- their physical appearance is quite varied, although they generally have traits such as black hair, dark eyes and tan to dark skin tones. Their hair is typically long (although, again, there may be individual and cultural exceptions). They are typically lithe and slender, although shorter in comparison to other entities (such as your average vampire, demon, etc.). They are strongly-built and very capable. Since their rituals are largely physical, physical health is greatly valued by these entities.
Nahuales have quite unique energy signatures. Their energies are very grounded and earthen. The Nahual I work with also has fiery undertones which are incredibly warm- almost uncomfortably so. Despite the solidness to their energy, there is a sense of otherworldliness underneath this, of wild otherness that belies their shapeshifting abilities and connection to the beyond. Their energy is quite dark and heavy, with chthonic tones to it, even in entities who are healers or dedicated to helping.
Personality-wise, these entities vary a lot depending on each unique individual. Having said this, they all tend to have deep spiritual connections with the animals they transform to, as well as a keen and almost unrivaled understanding of nature and how to manipulate it through rituals in order to accomplish or bring their intentions to fruition.
Nahuales can be quite forward and driven, as well as incredibly spiritual and focused on their goals. There is a sense of fierce intensity to their personalities, and it shines through everything that they do.
Their life cycles are as follows: Birth through sexual reproduction.
There is a deep connection to an animal that has been present since birth; it is deeply connected to their spirit and leads to the awakening of their sorcerous powers. A Nahuales’ abilities will have manifested during youth, but until the entity reaches maturity, they will likely be unable to shapeshift and take on the form of their animal.
Nahual societies are quite complex, but they have a great focus on ritual. There is sacred knowledge which is kept by these societies and is not easily shared- strangers will not be privy to these insights which yield great results in terms of magical workings and advancement towards a connection to the spirit world/the metaphysical world.
They are community-based entities, and while not everyone in the community will have the ability to shapeshift, those who are Nahuales are typically respected and sought out in order to help heal, protect the community, etc. Baneful workers are feared, although they still have their purpose within the society as they help defend, take contracts for revenge, and have an understanding of illnesses that makes them powerful allies.
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