Opossum – Possum Meaning
First off, it is either ‘opossum’ or ‘possum.’ Both terms are OK to use.
And you might not think symbolic possum meaning is a big deal, but these little creatures have a lot of lessons to offer. As a totem, possums attract people who are resourceful, able to easily adapt, and folks who are fiercely protective of their family. Possums also teach us how to use all of our skills to survive in life.
Once upon a time, I was a chronic apartment-dweller. Actually, my whole childhood was spent in sprawling suburbia.
It wasn’t until my early 40s that I had the opportunity to get more primitive by moving into the country.
This may surprise some of you. I mean…how does a “Nature Intuitive” get nitty-gritty with natural symbolism if she lived in the city for over half her life?
Easy. Nature is available to us in every square inch of existence. Take a look at this if you don’t believe me. From sky, sun, moon, trees…Nature makes Herself totally accessible. Even in the midst of concrete-laden cities, I’ve had my most intimate encounters with Nature and her glorious creatures. Possum included. I have a hunch some of you city-dwellers have too. 🙂
But I digress…
Back to my apartment-dwelling days…I had just signed my umpteenth lease on yet another apartment. Little did I know, this domicile would be a little different than others. It was a second story with slatted stairs. There were 300 units in this complex. Can you figure out which apartment had a possum parked at her front door? Yep. Mine.
Possum meaning became very personal to me one night as I came home from working a double shift (that’s back when I was working as an medical technician by morning, and an accountant by night to make ends meet) and found a possum rooted squarely on my welcome mat.
“At its best, life is completely unpredictable.”~Christopher Walken
Firstly, I was confounded at how that little creature got up those 50 slatted stairs. Secondly, I was flummoxed at why the feral fellow chose my apartment (the leasing office told me they’d never had a report of a possum issue in their 12 years of operation. Hmmm). Thirdly, I was absolutely paralyzed with fear by this possum.
You’ve got to remember, I was younger then, and totally “city folk”.
I’m bleary, dog-tired, and cranky. I walk up those 50 steps, and am greeted by a hissing, beady-eyed, rat-tailed possum that looks like it’s ready to launch at me and tear my jugular out. At this point, that possum might as well have been Medusa. The encounter turned me into serious stone.
What’s worse, the little guy wouldn’t move! He had his bum parked at my front door, and had absolutely no intention of moving off. Its teeth were bared – sharp, pointy and glistening in the caustic fluorescent light on my landing. What’s more, this ticked off possum kept hissing at me! What in the world!?!?!
So, what’s a city girl to do? I called Rick, a friend of mine at the time. This guy is seriously back woods. One look at this dude puts Grizzly Adams in second place for outback living. Rick’s been a country boy before country was cool.
And what did my friend say? He simply told me to ‘shoo’ the thing away. I’m thinking, “no way, Jose!” I guarantee this possum was not the shooing kind. Rather, this freaky thing seemed vicious and very wild.
Now…this was awhile ago in my lifetime. This possum might as well have been a saber tooth tiger in my mind. I simply didn’t know much about anything at that time, much less have knowledge about the ways of Nature and her critters.
I look back on that encounter and get a right-good belly laugh. My reaction was as cathartic as the possum’s presence. Why? Because even though I was half-witted about the event, the experience gave me a mindfulness about animal symbolism. Perhaps that event was a turning point for me. Maybe that possum spurred the birth of Whats-Your-Sign.com. You really never know about those little flickers that ignite a massive fire of inspiration.
Well, enough of my reminiscing (thanks for indulging me though)….
Let’s get to symbolic possum meaning. I believe possum meaning is most noted for “playing dead”. Let me tell you…that was NOT my experience. My possum encounter was far from lifeless. LOL.
Nevertheless, possums do play dead. It’s like they “zone out”. They get in a state of being that allows them to slow their heart beat, their metabolism, and their breath rate. This “zoning” happens under extreme threat (apparently I wasn’t threatening enough. More LOL). This playing-dead business is symbolic. It implies a time in which we can remove ourselves from danger or threat. It suggests we can become remote and simply extract ourselves from harm.
Now…some of you in the midst of incredible hardships may argue with me. That’s okay. Did I mention this apartment I lived in with this possum resident was in the middle of a very bad, gang-ridden area? Yep. I’ve lived in some pretty hard neighborhoods. I’m sure some of you can relate.
Invariably, Nature has taught me lessons that helped me understand why I put myself there, and how to get out. Possum meaning in this instance helped me turn a blind eye to the horrible living conditions I found myself in.
This creature allowed me to “play dead” for a time so I could incubate myself. That incubation was a time of dreaming a better life. I envisioned something better. It took some time, but it came to fruition. Maybe “playing dead” might be a good deal for you. Maybe pulling back…withdrawing….going within…perhaps that’s what is needed.
And when (or if) you withdraw…do so with the intent to come alive with a more grand design for your life. Expect to immerge from your deathly slumber to be renewed. Full of energy. Ready to tackle your issues with redoubled energy. That is possum energy to the max. These creatures have full-on, energy on steroids. They macerate and thrash at making their survival work. They’re scavengers. They make their lives life-worthy…no matter the cost. That’s a lesson for you, me and all the world.
Possum meaning is also tied in with marsupial symbolism. They carry their babies in specialized sacks in their bodies. This is symbolic of keeping value close to the vest. Do you have precious stuff? Stuff that you could not bear to let loose of? If that’s your case, then possum meaning and its marsupial energy might be a good vibe to call upon. If you have things, children, ideas, or investments that you feel you must guard with your life – the possum is a good guardian. These animals may play dead – but they can guard with a level of ferocity that is rarely seen in other areas of Nature. If you’ve got the goods…mentally give it to the possum. Well, that last statement is loaded. The possum can be a hoarder. They like to hide away things. Just keep this in mind if you call upon possum energy to protect your goodies.
Lastly, here are a few prime keywords about the symbolic meaning of opossum (or possum meaning)…
Quick List of Possum Meaning
- Feral (wild)
- Adaptable (scavenger)
- Mothering (marsupial)
Now…I do not want my experience with possum meaning flavor yours. You may have a different kind of encounter. No totemic journey is the same. Just keep that in mind as you root around your unique for meaning with your encounters with the glory of Mother Nature.
As always, thank you for your support. Thank you for reading, and thank you for being with me on this symbolic journey.
May all your symbolic paths be fruitful, and may the symbolic possum meaning offer you excellent insight.
Take Away Tips About Symbolic Possum Meaning
In the zone.
One of the most noteable features of possum meaning is its ability to ‘play dead’ under extreme conditions. When they can’t fight their way out, they zone out – prompting predators to leave the battle scene. We can do the same. We can fight, or we can choose to be pacifists, choose peace, and zone out instead of lashing out.
Possums have prehensile tails. That’s a fancy way of saying their tails can grab onto branches. This frees their hands up to do other things like get food. As a totem, the possum reminds us to use all of our abilities and skills to our advantage.
Possum meaning deals with nurturing, and keeping who and what you love close by. Why? Possums are marsupials. That means they keep their precious babies in a tummy-pouch to keep them protected. As a totem, the possum asks us to keep our beloved’s safe and close until they are ready to step out into the world.
Other Articles Of Interest On This Site
A Collection of Animal Totem Meanings
Animal totems play huge roles in our lives. They aid in self-discovery and capture our imagination, giving us incredible avenues of self-expression and awareness. From armadillos to zebras, click here to get a whole list of animal totem meanings.
Symbolic Meaning of Possum Tracks
You can get a lot more symbolism and meaning by identifying and exploring animal tracks. This page offers a list of animal tracks, and the meanings behind them. Get more animal tracks, including possum track meaning here.