Animal Symbolism:
Meaning of the Skunk

Animal Symbolism of the Skunk

Symbolic Skunk Meanings

Many years ago, I learned the animal symbolism of the skunk first-hand. I was walking through thick woods with my head down (no doubt looking for odd stuff - it's the crow in me). When I looked up to get my bearings I found myself staring directly into the eyes of a very intense looking skunk.

When I say I was siezed stiff in my tracks, you know exactly what I mean. Who among us doesn't know the capability of the skunk? Not many.

Of course a chunk of animal symbolism of the skunk deals with the pungent odor of its spray let off when it's threatened.

Just think what a remarkable defense mechanism: Nonviolent, passive, effective. The skunk sends a message to would-be predators: "Nothing personal, just back off and nobody gets hurt."

This unique method of self-protection and the way a skunk handles its predators is symbolic of many things. Here are a few attributes of this behavior:

A Few Symbolic Meanings of the Skunk

  • Defense
  • Prudence
  • Protection
  • Confidence
  • Awareness
  • Pacification
  • Effectiveness
  • Good judgement

We would all do well to take this animal symbolism from the skunk: Do no harm. Indeed, as a totem animal, the skunk asks us to defend ourselves effectively, without causing further conflict.

Interestingly, the skunk would prefer to be even less assertive. You see, it takes over a week to reproduce its stinky juices after using them (their glands are only good for about 4 sprays). Ergo, the skunk is 100% sure it must spray before doing so as this defense tool is a commodity in the wild - not to be wasted on false alarms.

In recognizing this, we see the skunk is the ultimate pacifist, and by adopting its peace-loving ways we may obtain the carefree lifestyle this creature enjoys.

Carefree indeed, the skunk has very few predators because most of the animal kingdom recognize its tell-tale markings and know from wildlife scuttlebutt the skunk is not to be fooled with. As such, the skunk goes about its business with aplomb, and has an innocent quality that few wild creatures have the luxury of exhibiting.

Other Animal Symbolism Keywords for the Skunk

  • Introspection
  • Innocence
  • Assurance
  • Patience
  • Silence
  • Peace

Those with the skunk as their animal totem are naturally buoyant. They go through life with a calm assurance, and exude a peaceful energy that is extremely attractive to others.

Call upon the spirit of the skunk when you need quality judgment in a situation - particularly if you're in a stressful state, or someone is pushing your buttons. The skunk will ease you out of the situation with deft and diplomacy.

The skunk can also help calm jangled nerves, and help to center ourselves into a quiet, peaceful state.

The skunk is very effective when calming small children too. Give it a try. Ask the skunk for assistance with your fussy little ones.

The skunk is happy to heed your call for help. Just remember to respect the skunk and express your thanks for the guidance and assistance.

Oh, what happened when I met that skunk in the woods long ago? He didn't spray me, although he was certainly prepared. We just kept our eyes locked on each other (his were a soft yet intensely deep brown, my eyes are brown too - but I'm sure my gaze didn't appear nearly as righteous as his - I was, after all, intruding on his turf). I slowly and quietly took steps backwards until I was at a safe distance to retreat altogether. The whole time we kept staring into each other's eyes. It was odd, eerie, and exciting all at once.

That skunk was so majestic and regal in his stance - holding his ground - fearing nothing, leastly me. I certainly backed away (literally) from the meeting with a new found respect for this creature, and derived a deeper sense of the symbolic meaning of the skunk to boot!

Thanks very much for reading these thoughts on symbolic skunk meanings. Be sure to check out the links at the end of this page for more animal symbolism articles.

Special thanks to NDomer73 on Flickr for the kind use of the skunk image at the top of this page.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


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