The cougar, puma, or mountain lion, is leadership medicine. A person with cougar medicine teaches by example. It is a difficult medicine because the person is put in a position where he can be the target of the dissatisfaction of others. The cougar person being the one who shows the way, others people, because of their insecurities, can make him the target of their criticism.
Cougars are solitary and this is for a simple reason: he must be self-sufficient to in order to be able carry himself and others. To do this, to lead the way, he must have confidence without needing support from others. In this way he has the necessary strength to guide them. He succeeds by embodying the direction that others must follow. He’s not the one who says what others should do; he has the actions, strength, convictions and stability to inspire them to do by themselves what is right and good.
One of the inconveniences of this medicine is that if this person has weaknesses, he will be criticized. People won’t accept that he’s ‘‘human’’, they expect him to be perfect. The person who works with this medicine should always remain in a spirit of peace. If they go into a position of confrontation, others will respond strongly. Since people of cougar medicine have power if they adopt an attitude of confrontation others will respond in a powerful way. Maintaining a position of peace is therefore fundamental.
This person must eliminate the word ‘‘panic’’ from his vocabulary. There is no place for shyness and for uncertainty; he should be self-confident, stable and graceful: after all, this is how a mountain lion moves.
So, that is cougar totem medicine.