For some, mystical animals only exist in the other world. If you choose to believe that you cannot see mystical animals in our everyday life, you are missing larger vision.
One animal that chooses to live on both sides of the veil simultaneously is the axolotl. This very funny looking creature is actually a paedomorphic salamander closely related to the tiger salamander. It is unusual among amphibians because when it reaches adulthood, it retains its adolescent features without undergoing the usual metamorphosis. Instead of walking on the land, adults remain aquatic and gilled.
These little creatures are shrouded in mystery and defy typical biological laws. They are unlike other salamanders because they keep their juvenile characteristics into adulthood. Though these creatures have functional lungs, they instead use their fancy feathery gills to breath underwater.
The axolotl is a very shy creature. Perhaps it is because they are afraid of people noticing their natural magical abilities and going looking for them. Today, some people have them as pets, but nearly never are they seen out in their natural habitat in Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco in southern Mexico City. What is known is they have inhabited central Mexico for only about the last 10,000 years. And they were only discovered when their habitats were threatened. The two spring-fed lakes at the edge of the Basin of Mexico, a suitable habitat for the gods’ children, was drained. The marshes, swamps, and lagoons were significantly reduced 85 years ago when drainage projects were completed. And the axolotl were discovered.
The axolotl are considered to be very charismatic and they are steeped in Mexican lore, culture, history, and identity. Even with their popularity, little is known about the ecology of these creatures. With there being so few and their generally inaccessible populations, it’s become difficult to obtain information about their behavior in their natural environment. Even stranger, while little is known, they are often used in scientific study. They are studied because of their super powers. They are dark-colored and can shift their hue a few shades lighter or darker as needed for camouflage! Pink and light-colored axolotls are bred by humans as pets for their “pleasing” shades.
However, of even more interest in laboratory study is their greater super power of regenerating their limbs, lungs, heart, jaws, spines, and even parts of their brain! Scientists have found that axolotls can regrow a new limb five times perfectly, in a few weeks—without even a scar. Every tissue is replaced: skin, bone, cartilage, muscle, and stem cells. Other organs can regenerate countless times and be completely functional. Naturally, scientists would like to harness that ability and apply it to human medicine. Yet another super power under study is that axolotls are over 1,000 times more resistant to cancer than mammals—another superpower worth investigating.
Are these signs that indeed the axolotl are magical beings descended from the fire god?
Legend claims the axolotl is the Aztec god of fire and lightning, Xolotl, who, wanting to avoid being sacrificed, disguised himself as a salamander. His inexperience and skill at transformation was hasty. Hence, he missed adding to his transformation the ability to transform back at will. He trapped himself in this half form, half mystical being and half Earthen creature.
Legend also claims as the very youth of the fire and lightning god, they believed themselves more powerful than other dragons. This band of willful dragon youth thought with their all power they could rule over all dragons. They were mistaken. Even their father felt the youthful immaturity was too misguided to go unattended. It was decided by the dragon elders the youth would become trapped in their juvenile form until they learned their lesson. They would emerge from this directive when they learned to be humble, work with others, understand the value of all, and show how they could be a part of mutual community and not just a demanding directing ruler.
Before the axolotl youths learned their lesson, people began to recognize their connection to dragons and the gods. People converted their magic and began to demand favors. When it was discovered the youths were unable to grant their wishes, it was decided they could sacrifice the sacred axolotl to the gods to have their desires granted. The youthful axolotl changed their form yet again so people would believe them living, not magical creatures and could not recognize their ability to live in both worlds, the mystical and Earthen.
It’s said one never owns an axolotl, as a god refuses to be owned, but to care for an axolotl brings with it magic and favors as they are very special beings. It’s wise to remember they are a juvenile, now cousin, to the fire breathing dragon gods. Treat them with respect.
Though I know they exist in our physical world, I’ve never had the pleasure of more than seeing a picture and certainly never been able to enter into conversation with one. It’s thought they are one of the more willing magical beings to share other-worldly knowledge of the veil and shed enlightenment on how to connect with other fae as well.
Even from afar, I am able to sense their magical strength and desire to share bounty with those who offer them care and conversation. Though they prefer to live free, this cute creature does understand how they hold appeal to humans and have become converted to pets by some. Just know they will not share their magic unless you honor their status as the gods they are and appreciate, but not demand, their magic to flow. They share, albeit on their terms and as they believe best, never on demand. They appreciate conversation and see this as an unusual gift in their captive state. So, if you live with an axolotl, talk with it as you would a friend and its rewards will be shown to you.
Axolotls are really quite remarkable mystical beings we can actually have the fortune of sharing an earthen life with because of their sad misfortune. Treat them as gods and they will share their magic with you.