It’s such a pleasure to present my next haus guest, Jaguar Womban. Similar to my first haus guest, Amy Yeung, Jaguar is a fellow member of the Spirit Weavers community and an absolute force in this world.
Jaguar’s story is one of the most captivating and courageous journeys I’ve had the honor of learning about. Born La Vonne Natasha Caesar, Jaguar’s gifted work as a womb healer didn’t begin until a car accident led her to a long and difficult healing journey of her own. As she sought help to relearn how to walk, talk and rejoin society, what she discovered was her ability to help women and womb carriers through plant medicine.
Her learning journey has led her all over the world, and today her sought-after work continues to keep her travel schedule busy. Through plant medicine and womb steaming, Jaguar has helped her clients work through job issues, fertility challenges, depression and more. Now 11 years post her accident and rebirth as Jaguar Womban, she is offering a monthly WombSteam subscription so that subscribers can receive a potion in the mail and steam with her via Zoom every New Moon to synchronize bodies in pleasure and power. Click here to learn more and join Womb Nation.
Here is more about Jaguar and her amazing journey, in her own words:
Wu Haus: What is the meaning behind your name?
Jaguar Womban: My birth name is La Vonne Natasha Caesar. I was completing my master’s degree in poetry when, on May 26, 2010, I was walking down the sidewalk when a woman in her car passed out with her foot on the gas. She was speeding, going faster and faster the wrong way down a one-way street. I was in Madison, Wisconsin. I had just gotten off the plane from Los Angeles – I was getting my master’s from Cal State LA and had gone to Madison to accept an award for my poem about a medicine man, which had themes that became my reality. This woman hits a car and keeps going, but the impact opens her hood. So with the hood open, she hits me and scoops me on top of the hood and keeps driving. She drives through the front of a restaurant and sends me flying 8 blocks. The cops who were following her see my body flying and it takes them 20 minutes to find me. I was clinically dead.
I have no memory of this body. I have no memory of being inside this body or being La Vonne. What I do remember is a being in white brought me over this body and said, ‘You’re going to go in there to do the work, to complete the work. This is the body of La Vonne, and you are going to go in there to complete your work.’
I remember the sensation, like a magnetic pull, and I got sucked down into the body from above and I locked in at the extremities. I had this feeling like I was trapped, this journey I had been on didn’t feel consensual. I always compare it to diving off a diving board into a pool and you’re floating on your back, but it’s actually soft concrete that hardens around you and you’re trapped in this density.
I had split my head open in five spots but I had no other broken bones. I flew like a football field through the air. I woke up and they said, ‘You have a traumatic brain injury.’ I had no idea what my name was. I couldn’t walk, I was speaking words with intonation but it didn’t make sense. I had aphasia and apraxia. I had inner ear damage, so I had a challenging time understanding if I was upright, vertical, or horizontal. I did a lot of occupational therapy, relearning things like, ‘This is a toothbrush. This is toothpaste. This is how you brush your teeth.’ It was a pretty horrifying time. And things were moving at a slow pace. I went from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane. I underwent trauma therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy. I was in a regular hospital to a rehab hospital to having a home nurse. And this whole time, I wasn’t remembering who La Vonne is. I had to go through this reprogramming, but I never came back to associations with La Vonne.
So 9 months into the therapy, a friend of mine who lived in Brooklyn flew down to Wisconsin and said, ‘You need a shaman. I think something metaphysical is going on with you.’ I went to see a shaman in Madison and she said, ‘You are the Jaguar Womban. This happened because you’re Jaguar Womban. Everything will be revealed to you.’
I was already having dreams of this woman as a jaguar, prowling around. I didn’t know what was a dream state and what wasn’t, but when I told the shaman what was going on, she was like, ‘You’re Jaguar Womban and you carry medicine….You carry the jaguar medicine and the jaguar will provide for you.’
We only had that one session. But then shortly after, the jaguar visitations came more clearly. She’d come as a life-size cat and sit in front of me, and we’d be looking at each other at first. And it felt like a transmission [of knowledge], an exchange. The jaguar, she’s connected to the womb frequency. Then after a while, she’d pull me on a shamanic journey, but I didn’t know it was a shamanic journey. So it was terrifying. I was undergoing therapy and trauma therapy, and I wasn’t socially aware enough to know that you don’t tell a normal doctor that you’re going places with a jaguar.
So I was telling all of my doctors, and they were putting me on a lot of different meds. Meanwhile, the jaguar is coming to me and she would take me. From the outside, I was having seizures, but on my end, I was going on a journey. For a period of time, she would come in front of me, then she would take me, then she would come over me and we would fuse and move together. And other teachers, my medicine man, a different medicine woman – they recognize me from before. To all the people who taught me, I didn’t have to be like, ‘I am the Jaguar Womban.’ They’d find me. It’s always been the teachers that come to me, from the first woman who said this was going to happen to me.
WH: Do you have any memories of La Vonne? Do you still go by that name?
If you had asked me a few years ago, I would’ve said La Vonne is dead. But now I think we have an agreement. We’re at peace, it’s one storyline. Along the path, things have been activated to the memories of La Vonne. They’re in the body, they’re visceral, but the moment I have an experience, I remember them differently. I can tell the difference between inside La Vonne and the jaguar energy. We have a different personality. I’ve learned different things about accessing spirit memory and body memory. I can access the memories of the body of La Vonne in a certain way.
WH: What has your personal healing journey looked like?
JW: The work, the journey of my name and the journey of healing and discovering my path is all super intertwined. It’s where the universe is taking me, and always some magic arises. I’ll be ine one place and I will meet a medicine woman and live with her for 3 months and learn about all of this or that. Then I’ll be in South Dakota at the Pine Ridge Reservation and I’m in a teepee and a medicine woman is helping there. And she shows me to a medicine man and woman team, and I travel and see all their sessions. I assist them, I work, I learn. It’s been a lot of magic and synchronicity and nothing where I plan this out and say, ‘I’m going to seek this type of healing’ except for when I sought out help with my brain injury.
I’m South American and Caribbean. I grew up in Mexico. Growing up, I was taught how to steam my vagina. La Vonne has those memories. I’m also a doula, and when I was working with midwives, they would have people steam to help conceive. They told me to start steaming for my own healing journey, to get grounded and back into my body. You squat down over these bowls with herbs that you pulled up from the roots of the earth, and the steam is coming up and the energy is bringing you down to the root and opening your head and your mind. It’s pulling me down, but it pulls my clients up. I’m coming from heaven back down to the earth, and my clients are going from their body up to meet in heaven.
I experienced death of self and a renaming. I had this deep trauma, but I feel that women and womb carriers have the ability to do that, and we do it more times than we realize. In aboriginal cultures, they’ll regularly rename themselves before they leave the body. You could have a big breakup and say, ‘I’m a totally different woman now.’ We all go through that time, like, ‘The me who dated John, she’s dead. I need a whole new look, different hair, and also I need to move.’
That’s why you need to steam your vagina. It lubricates the transitions in our consciousness and helps let things rebirth in its reality with ease. So women began coming to me. I never decided to do this, but they could see the change within me. First it was friends around me, then there were too many women, so then I started doing a women’s circle. Life has demanded that I make things more legitimate, but deep inside of me I want to be a medicine woman traveling back and forth.
WH: What are some ways women can come together to help and heal each other?
JW: Steaming together really does shift something. Oxytocin starts flowing anytime women come together. We release pleasure, our bodies know just from being in the same room. When we cook together, we have an amazing time, our bodies know we need to be together. The steaming helps my clients open up to connect more deeply with other people. I don’t know how that happens, but it can shift how things are going at work and things in your life. We need to see the sisterhood in each other and gather in ways where we can be there together.
WH: Does poetry influence your work?
JW: It’s all very performance art, even the way I’m putting the steams together. I do still identify as a poet and artist. Even when I write the recipes, I call them potion poems. They’ll come down in this very poetic way. And when you think of me as a poet with a brain injury, you understand who I am. And the journey, to me, is poetic. A writer who experiences something shamanic. I think all of life is poetic and theatrical. That’s what we’re all engaged in. It’s so engaging. The poetic nuances of our reality will benefit all of us in creating an experience.
My master’s thesis, which I did finish – I reapplied, I relearned how to write and read and reapplied and defended my thesis – intriguingly, I already finished half of it. I’d finished the academic portion, and what was left for me to write was the poetic description. And my manuscript was about a woman, pregnant, crossing a border when she miscarries in the middle of the desert. She’s an unnamed brown character, she’s crossing illegally, and she moves into this liminal space and she’s visited by Aztec voices. They tell her, ‘You are bound to this in-between space. You’re in-between these borders and you’re in-between the reality and the physical, and you can appear to travelers when they’re lost and you can feed them the breast milk you had for the baby.’ I was writing that story when I had [the accident]. I wrote myself into my own myth that I was so focused on at the time, and now I need to write a myth of me getting written into the myth.
WH: What poem or passage would you recommend to someone who is struggling?
JW: Nina Simone: ‘What I hope to do all the time, is to be so completely myself…that my audiences, people who meet me, are confronted. They’re confronted with what I am, inside and out, as honest as I can be. And this way they have to see things about themselves, immediately.’ I’ve been thinking, ‘Oh that’s the recipe we all need right now. Everything else is a distraction. We need to find the truth of who we are and be that.’
Photos by Alyssa Keys