"She becomes a nahual "

The Nahuatl word "nahual" is used and interpreted in different ways--sometimes in the sense of a guardian spirit, sometimes referring to an evil or demonic figure, and sometimes to a shaman or magician.  Anzaldúa regards the nahual as a symbol of shapeshifting, moving between worlds.   The motif of shapeshifting is found across many cultures and appears in many different configurations, as outlined in the excellent Wikipedia article.  In Mesoamerican traditions, the shapeshifter was often one who could tranform into animal form, as depicted on this Mexican vase.


Vase Depicting Nahual
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeVase Depicting Nahual - Credit: AlejandroLinaresGarcia