Animal Symbolism Porcupine Meaning

animal symbolism porcupine meaning
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Animal Symbolism: Porcupine Meaning

Animal Symbolism: Porcupine Meaning

I’ve written about animal symbolism of the porcupine. Although revealing about porcupine meaning, it was a somber post. It dealt with the porcupine’s ability to help during time of death and loss. You can read the blog post here, if you’re interested.

As the blog illustrates, the porcupine is a fantastic guide in times of grief. Their energy is incredibly wonder-filled and childlike. 

This in itself can be glimmer of hope for those who are in extreme pain or depression. Tapping into the spirit of the porcupine (and porcupine meaning) can augur a sense of joy, playfulness – and even curiosity that can un-wedge us out of grief.

As you would imagine, porcupine quills are a great keynote for animal symbolism. A porcupine can have 30,000 or more quills. Each one is buoyant. Huh? Yep. When the quills are engaged, they are filled with air. This makes porc’s float. This buoyancy (floatiness) is symbolic of the ability to stay “above water”…emotional waters to be precise in the symbolic realm. In other words, when life casts you upon the turbulent waters of unsavory emotions – engage porcupine energy. Invoke their assistance to keep you afloat upon troubled waters.

“Where there is love, there is life.”


Contrary to older misunderstandings, porc quills are neither poisonous, nor do they eject. The Arapaho, however, may have suspected porc quills might be projectiles, like arrows. The Arapaho are a Native American people from Colorado. They were fierce and excellent warriors. They valued the porcupine for their quills. They thought of the porcupine as a warrior too. Their legends also suggest porcupine meaning deals with communication with the spirit realms. Apparently, the porcupine was a warrior-liaison for the Arapaho. With its fearlessness and great defense system, the porcupine could intervene on behalf of the Arapaho in matters that needed communication to the spirit world. This kind of animal symbolism in cultural wisdom is epic. It illustrates how a bright, capable people were intimately connected with Nature. It also shows how Nature can help, guide and communicate higher knowledge.

The Arapaho weren’t the only people to dub the porcupine a warrior. Did you know there was an Order of Porcupine in the 12th century? Yep. These were a group of knights formed by the Duke of Orleans in France at the time of his son’s baptism. Apparently, the porcupine was seen as a symbol of strength. In fact, the porcupine was part of the Order’s heraldry. Other knights knew they were in the presence of another member of the Order by the porcupine insignia. So the symbol for warrior, strength and power continues in porcupine meaning. In this cultural bit of history, we can add camaraderie, recognition and prestige to its animal symbolism.

In many cultural myths, the porcupine is considered a solar animal and is associated with fire. This is often attributed with the porcupine looking much like a radiating sun when its quills are in full display. The Kikuyu of Africa have a legend that states the porcupine brought their people fire. As a solar/fire animal, the porcupine meaning deals with: Energy, Vitality, Growth, Spirituality, Joy, Hope and Power.

I’ve tossed a lot of symbolic tidbits out here, so let me recap with a quick list…

Quick List of Symbolic Porcupine Meaning

  • Joy
  • Love
  • Power
  • Vitality
  • Strength
  • Defense
  • Curiosity
  • Innocence
  • Helpfulness
  • Partnership
  • Fearlessness

Some of you may be scratching your head at this quick list of animal symbolism for the porcupine. You may have noticed I added symbolic meanings of “love” and “partnership” to the list. Isn’t that odd, combined with warrior and power themes?

Not really, and I’ll tell you why. It has to do with the unique mating behaviors of the porcupine. Porc’s have a bizarre mating ritual. I’m going to let you do the research on it. It’s quite fascinating, but not for the faint of heart. What I found mostly keen about porcupines, is that they mate for life. Yep. They keep only one partner. Now, the porcupine is of the rodent family. This is highly unusual for this clan of creatures. What’s also unusual for the rodent family is that porcupines only have one baby (most rodents have many litters with many babies in each). In fact porcupines will continue to mate with their paramour, even though there is no need for mating. I think that’s a pretty cool metaphor for love and partnership.

Overwhelmingly, the animal symbolism of the porcupine deals with friendship. At least that’s what I think. Whether you need a guardian through grief, a warrior-ally in your battles through life, or you just need a reminder that true partnership doesexist…there’s no greater friend to show you than the porc.

I hope you have enjoyed this article on porcupine meaning. Of course, there’s tons more information about this unusual, fascinating creature to be had. Do some research for yourself and explore the endless animal symbolism of the porcupine.

As always, thanks for reading – and please do check out the links below for more related articles.

May all your porcupine perceptions be bright,


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