Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief

Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief

Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by Avia

Avia’s Experience with the Porcupine Totem In Times of Grief

My first encounter with the porcupine totem in times of grief was when my mother-in-law passed away 11 years ago. Her transition into non-physical naturally triggered a chain reaction for every soul she touched in her life, including me. It was numbing. It was also interesting to observe how each human copes so differently with the physical loss of our beloved. Equally intriguing was the observance of various energies surfacing amidst raw human emotion.

Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief
Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become the greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”

Upon that encounter with physical death, the porcupine wobbles into my presence with aplomb.  It entered my awareness with a casual authority, squatty legs shuffling through my mind, my meditations, moving through my moods.

I observed those quills, and they reminded me with piercing clarity how actions can barb in emotionally charged situations.  So, the porcupine totem reminded me to be mindful of my tongue and the energy I was releasing in those moments of grief shared with others.  

To explain, porcupine quills are slightly snagged at the tip, making them nigh impossible to remove.  Once they meet their target, those clever darts tend to stay put. So, I kept my quills in-check in the days following the death of my MIL; keeping a close watch on my behavior so as not to cause damage that I could not undo

Thankfully, those quills are multi-purpose.  Did you know they serve as floating devices?  Very apropos.  In murky pools of turbulent emotion, I felt my porcupine totem in times of grief. It helped me visualize my energetic quills fanning out – filled with air, keeping me afloat.  When waves of melancholy and morose moods threaten to overcome, porcupine ingenuity kept me buoyant, solvent, and topside.

Also, my mother-in-law’s passing and the ensuing madness were tailor-made for burrowing, something my porcupine totem and I did together in silence while recovering from her loss.  The porcupine reminded me to retreat and withdraw.  Porc’s don’t hibernate in the winter, but they are masters at holing up until the sun chooses to show itself again – just like I was able to come out from my grief-fueled torpor eventually.

This reminds me, porcupines are considered solar or fire animals in many cultures. Quills are compared to sun rays spanning out from our solar orb.    As I was (and still am) reminded of my MILs radiant nature, I took comfort in this. She was a brilliant light and a presence of compassionate warmth to all who knew her – including me. 

Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief
Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief

Porcupine Totem and Grief in Native Cultural Wisdom

I also find it fitting that aboriginal Nigerians paid special homage to the porcupine and saw the creature as a liaison to the spirit-realms. I totally dig this association.  The porcupine is a perfect travel guide through the veils of parallel life/lives with its unassuming candor. My porcupine totem helped me connect to my MIL after her passing, and has helped me connect with others on the other side of the veil of physical life.

The concept of the porcupine being an afterlife guide is also a common belief in some Native American cultures. It is known as an “in-between” walker.  With nonchalance, it moves through shadows of life and death…  straddling weird and paradoxical realities with aloof matter-of-fact’ness. For these and many more reasons, the porcupine totem in times of grief has a stoic calm that proves invaluable and soothing.  

This totemic guide also opens channels of curious awareness, which can be priceless in solemn pits of sorrow. The porcupine delivers a childlike sense of wonder, which breathes new life in topics of death.  Adjustable focus, silver linings, awe, inspiration – these are all effective tools for healing in times like these.

In both life and physical death, the porcupine remains a remarkably effective compatriot:   A reminder, a guardian, a friend, and of course, a consummate flotation device in consumptive, emotional waves of grief.

Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief
Porcupine Totem in Times of Grief

Closing Thoughts About Porcupine Totem and Grief

I hope my experience with the porcupine totem in times of grief offers you solace and proves helpful to you if you are experiencing a death or loss in life. Perhaps the porcupine might share similar lessons to you.  Don’t hesitate to call on the porc in times of need…I’ve found this creature to be extremely generous-hearted and deft at gently guiding the human heart towards healing.  As always, thanks for reading.

Mighty brightly,

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