Possum Omens and Spiritual Meaning

Possum omens, spiritual meaning, messages, and symbolism—what’s the story there? In this article we look at the omens associated with possums. Also, we look at spiritual meaning, symbolism. Lastly, we take a quick look at the folklore and beliefs associated with possums from various different peoples.

Possum Vs. Opossum

Well, first and foremost let’s be clear what we’re talking about when we say “possum”. Because, after all, it’s an animal with a confusing name. Technically, the animal commonly known as a “possum” in North America is actually an opossum! Why? Well, because it was named by the Native American Wahunsenacawh (Powhatan) people. Their name for the possum was more like “apassem” which became opossum.

Okay, so that’s the end of the story? Not quite! Because there are other marsupials known as actual possums. And they’re in Australia! They were given the name “possum” simply because they looked like their distant American relatives.

Are Possums a Good Omen or a Bad Omen?

Seeing a possum is certainly a good omen. Even if it is foretelling an incoming challenge, it is doing so in a way that gives you the forewarning you need to take care of it. However, generally speaking, possums indicate something positive.

two possums in a tree

First of all, possums are strong fertility omens—not only do they signify abundant fertility, they also predict and stand for protective and dutiful parents. So, possums are definitely a good omen for those wanting to start a family. Alternatively, perhaps you’re wishing well for a family member or friend who is waiting for an incoming pregnancy. But, that isn’t all, possums are good omens for food security. The only possible negative omen associated with possums is to do with outside threats. Since they are shy and peaceful animals, they may suggest an incoming threat.

Dead Possum Omen – Good or Bad?

It’s difficult to say that sighting a dead animal is ever a “good” omen. Because there’s no escaping the truth. The truth is that a life has come to an end and, of course, that end symbolizes or foretells of the end of something else. It may not be foreshadowing a literal death, but it could be the end of a particular cycle.

old ink drawing of a family of possums

When it comes to possums, it’s good to remember that while they appear frightening and ferocious to our human perspective, in reality they are shy and peaceful beings. As such, witnessing a dead possum could very well mean that the end of peaceful times is ahead. So, while it would be easy to take that as a bit of a bummer, try not to. Because the future isn’t set in stone. So, take the lost possum’s message and keep its kind and gentle love of peace alive and bring that peace to your own interactions with others. You are likely able to avoid conflict with carefully considered choices. Good luck!

Also, death does not have to symbolize the end of something good and the beginning of something bad. Quite the contrary. The spiritually minded are aware that after the challenges of the corporeal realm come the freeing experience of the spirit realm. It’s of course quite subjective to place value on one experience over the other, but the truth is that many of us see the next life as a better place than the current life. Who knows!

Possum in the Daytime Meaning

To see a possum in the daytime is a unusual treat indeed. This is because they are rigidly nocturnal animals. In fact, their eyes are permanently dilated meaning that they have very poor eyesight during the day. So, typically, they spend the day hiding out, relaxing and waiting for the sun to set.

So, what does it mean to see a possum out in the daytime? It can be taken as an omen of things to be turned on their head. This is especially true of nature. Because life on earth depends on the circadian rhythm. So, pay extra attention to the health and wellbeing of your pets. But, more than that, think about anything that grows—how are things in your vegetable garden? In particular, look for something unnatural that might be preventing the vigorous abundance of Mother Earth.

Possum at Nighttime Meaning

Conversely, the sighting of a possum at nighttime is a simple indicator that all is well. It’s an omen that the natural things in your life are well in their place.

Additionally, seeing animals active at night is a sign of subconscious thought. This is especially true on nights with a bright moon. Perhaps your own subconscious mind is working on things that your conscious mind is not aware of. So, the advice here is to reflect. Spend time thinking about yourself critically and considering your current and past experiences. Are there challenges or issues you might be ignoring?

Also, the sighting of a possum at night could also be a sign that others are keeping secrets from you. Moreover, the secrets are active and alive just like the possum is. While it is not healthy to engage in paranoid thinking. That is, your friends and family love you and are, of course, not plotting against you. However, it could well be there are people with secret plans that may not have your best interests at heart. Which is, of course, natural—after all, they are not obliged to consider your wishes above their own. The message here, though, is to simply focus on your own needs when confronted with those attempting to subjugate you secretly.

Possum in the Street – Spiritual Meaning

One of the most common places we see a possum is at night and scurrying across the road. This is a straightforward message from the possum spirit—be open to travel with your family, especially your children or children within your extended family.

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The reason for the travel will depend on your personal circumstances. It may be that that message of family travel is immediately clear to you. For example, maybe it’s time to take that family road trip you guys have been talking about for years. Alternatively, maybe you should make the effort to get together for Thanksgiving this year.

However, if the message there isn’t immediately clear, but the notion resonates with you, then it is time for reflection. Spend quiet, safe time alone. Use that time to think about trips, journeys, and travel—especially with family. After a time, it may be that the message becomes clear to you. Ultimately, you should follow your intuition while always remaining sensible and safe.

Possums, Parenthood, and Children

Possums are famous for a lot of things. Being cute as heck is one of them. Rummaging around in the leaf litter at night is another thing. But, they’re also very famous for being absolutely covered in babies! The mother possum carries all of her babies on her body. She can have a lot of them, too. In fact, the opossum can have litters as large as 20!

possum opossum spirituality

So, therefore, the possum is a significant symbol of devoted and arduous parenthood. The possum stands for mothers who would break their backs to care for and carry their children. Also, remember, that children aren’t only cared for by mothers (biological or otherwise). In fact, anybody who cares for and would carry and protect children is represented by the spirit of the possum.

Fertility Symbol

Following on from the above section, because possums have such large litters, they are a potent symbol of fertility. They also come to us as an omen of incoming pregnancy. So, if you are visited by a possum and the sighting feels significant, then perhaps it could be time to start trying for a baby. Or, maybe it represents a pregnancy somewhere else in the family.

possum omens spiritual meaning symbolism

Another factor in the possum’s—ahem—potency as a fertility symbol is its reproductive organs, both female and male. This is because the male is in possession of a “double” penis, while the female has two corresponding openings. Yikes! Could the symbolism there be any more on the nose?

Omen of Peace

The message of non-violence is very relevant with the possum. This is because they are quite peaceful creatures indeed. They bring omens concerning a peaceful and creative resolution to conflict. In fact, their method of avoiding confrontation is ingenious. Because most animals engage in fight or flight. This means that they’ll either choose to fight you or run away from you when you threaten them. Think of a cornered rat, it might just bite your nose off if you’re unlucky. Meanwhile, the shy and peaceful possum will simply “play dead” and emit a foul stench.

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So, that means the possum endures as a powerful omen of peaceful resolution. And, if you are in a position to come to a peaceful resolution through your actions, then consider it. Learn from the possum, take on its spiritual message, and resolve conflict peacefully.

Possums and Danger – Playing Possum

Possums are famous for “playing” dead. So much so that to feign severe injury or death is known as “playing possum”.

possum playing dead spiritual meaning

So, what message can we take from this? Quite simply, be like the possum. When confronted with a very dangerous situation, if it is possible to do so safely, feign weakness, i.e. do your best to present yourself as non-threatening to those who might pose a threat to you. As a result, hopefully any unpleasant people in your life will leave you alone. Of course, having said that, it is important to take the right action in situations of genuine danger, i.e. call the police if you are a victim of violence or fear being a victim of violence. First and foremost, stay safe.

Be Smelly, Defeat Your Enemies

However, did you know that the possum isn’t actually “pretending” to play dead? They don’t have a decision making process, they don’t think about it. It’s just something that happens to them automatically. They become catatonic when severely frightened. But that isn’t all. Because they also give off an odor so foul and disgusting that it actually deters predators.

So what spiritual message can we take from this? Well, it’s all about defense. Specifically, it means we should defend ourselves and our loved ones by using the most unpleasant tactics. Think about it like this, when it really matters and something serious is really threatening you, does your ego matter? No, not really. You should put your vanity aside and do the right thing for self-preservation (even if it might be a bit ugly).

Having said that, it’s always important to be compassionate to others. Never resort to violence or give in to negative emotions. But, if you need to scare somebody off with something superficially ugly like a bad smell, then eh… maybe it’s worth a try?

Possums and Resourcefulness

Possums are a wonderful symbol of resourcefulness. This comes from their ability to get by in such a wide range of environments. In turn, the reason they are able to thrive in so many different places, is their ability to eat just about anything. Possums eat everything from fruit, grass and other greens to bugs, small mammals and birds, fish and even roadkill. In fact, if you’re putting cat food out for the feral cats in your neighborhood, then there’s a good chance a possum or two are chowing down on the kitty food!

opossum eating grapes

So, this ability to live just about anywhere and to eat just about anything is a strong message to us. The possum symbolizes resourcefulness—sure, you might not want to eat a particular thing to get by, but the possum shows us that it can be beneficial to be an unfussy eater.

As a message, we can take the appearance of the possum to mean that we shouldn’t turn our noses up at perfectly good sustenance because we are too fancy. This might be literal—that old bag of frozen broccoli with the freezer burn is fine to eat, you know—or it could be metaphorical. Consider this, perhaps there are opportunities for advancement in life that you are ignoring for whatever reason. The possum tells us to reconsider that and thrive by any means necessary!

Rats, Possums and Resistance to Disease

Having possums in your area can be a good thing indeed. This is because they have the ability to keep rats at bay. Possums prevent rats from thriving in a particular area because they compete for lots of the same food. So, if you don’t like rats, then think twice about running that adorable possum out of your yard when you see it rummaging around at night.

possum opossum and armadillo

But, you might wonder, what if the possum has rabies? Shouldn’t I get rid of it just in case? Well, possums sure look like they have rabies sometimes, don’t they? They drool and foam at the mouth! Plus, they hiss at you and sometimes even scoot around in circles acting kind of odd. But, the truth is that is super rare for a possum to have rabies. In fact, it’s borderline impossible! This is because they have a much lower body temperature when compared to other mammals. This helps them resist rabies because their bodies are too cold for the rabies virus to reproduce.

So, possums see off disease-carrying rats. Also, they are resistant to viruses that require a warm body temperature. Combine these two traits and possums come to us as omens of health and, especially, resistance against illness and disease.

Symbol of Youthfulness

It’s not uncommon to be hanging out with friends, just chatting about possums and, eventually, somebody will say, “Gee! I would love to have a possum as a pet. They’re so cute!” To which the inevitable reply comes, “Well, they don’t live very long, you know.” And it’s true, possums are short-lived indeed. At best, they live around four years.

By bmendez68 – originally posted to Flickr as little invader,
CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9715715

As such, possums convey a real sense of youthfulness—they maintain, for their duration of their lives, exuberance and inquisitiveness. Possums are excellent symbols of the verve of youth and nature. So, it would be easy to lament their short lives. But, on the other hand, it is worth taking a positive message from the short-lived possum. That is, retain the enthusiasm of youth. Never give up finding things to be curious and enthusiastic about.

Shy, Shy Possums

In spite of their jagged teeth and often open mouths, possums are actually quite shy and gentle beings. They prefer to be alone, and when they feel as though they are alone, they really come into their own. Does this sound like you? Or anybody you know? Well, know this: possums are a mascot for the introverts among us.

The spiritual message from the possum regarding shyness is that, well, shyness is okay. It’s okay to enjoy being on your own. Moreover, it’s fine to only really come into your own when you are free of the gaze of others.

Blindness

Contrary to popular belief, possums aren’t blind. Nor do they have bad eyesight! Well, they have bad eyesight sometimes, and excellent eyesight other times. What makes the difference? Well, the time of day. Possums have perpetually dilated pupils, meaning they let in lots and lots of light. This ability to fantastic at nighttime, it means they can see much more than we can in the dark. However, in daylight they can hardly see at all because of the excess of light. So, naturally, possums symbolize the sensitivity of sight. It means that you should be careful of the details in the scenery around you—the message is to not be blinded by the night, and to look for what lurks in the dark.

Black, White, and Gray

Color plays an important role in spiritual meaning and symbolism. The possum’s life is lived through a balance of light and dark. Literally. Being a nocturnal animal, it only becomes active at night. But, that isn’t the only dualism in the possum’s life—the possum’s face appears ferocious, but in reality, the possum is shy and peaceful. Another thing to consider is that the possum is full of life, but only lives a short while.

yin yang

Why are all of these pairings important? Well, because they correspond to the idea of dark and light, black and white, yin and yang. Therefore, the possum comes to us with a message of balance in all things. And the possum’s coloration reaffirms this. Yes, possums are gray, but they also have a white face combined with black ears and black legs. As such, they represent not only the two extremes of yin and yang, but they also represent the complex interplay between light and dark.

Spiritual Meaning of a White Possum

Nature is variety. Variances arise all the time. It’s how things change over time and become new things. A new color mutation in animal happens and, hey, it’s a good change and so that change sticks. One of the common mutations that shows up in all kinds of animals is a change in color. White animals are born all the time. White bison, white deer, white foxes, white bears—if you’re lucky enough you might just see one of these animals out in the wild. And, of course, a white animal is a significant omen.

Possums are no different. It happens from time to time that a white possum is born. And, like bison or deer, a white possum is an omen worth paying attention to. White coloration adds layers of purity and heavenliness to the possum’s broader meaning.

For example, the possum is a symbol of fertility—so, a white possum can imply divine fertility. The same goes for parenthood and protection of children. A white possum symbolizes a purity of heart and a heavenly spirit when it comes to those devoted to the care of children.

However, the strongest sign a white possum conveys relates to peace and kindness. As discussed above, owing to its peaceful and non-confrontational nature, the possum is a potent symbol of peace, peaceful resolution, and avoidance of conflict. Therefore, when you combine that message with the color white, it significantly amplifies that message. Fewer omens can be so stark. If you are involved in disputes and conflicts, the arrival of a white possum is possibly a message to finally make peace with your perceived enemies.

Native American Possum Beliefs

There are many Native American beliefs centered on the possum. People from all over the Americas retell history and story concerning the opossum. For example, in North America the Cherokee, Caddo, Miami and Lenape peoples have beliefs around the possum. Whereas, in Central and South America, the Mexica (Aztec) and Guarani people also tell tale of the possum.

To learn more about possums and Native American beliefs, check out the excellent Native-Languages.org website.

Possum Dream Meaning

Interpreting dream meaning is quite difficult. This is because, psychologically speaking anyway, we all have a unique experience. Who we are and how we feel about a particular topic affects the meaning of that topic arising in a dream. Think about it, if you love possums then a dream about them would be quite pleasant. Whereas, if possums give you the willies, then, well… you might call that a nightmare? So, we’ll leave the psychological analysis to your therapist!

However, when it comes to spiritual meaning and omens in dreams, there are broader meanings we can investigate. For example, possums are nocturnal creatures and, as such, symbolize secrets and the dream world. As such, their appearance in a dream is apropos. A possum approaching you in a dream is meant to alert you to two things. First of all, things going on in your own subconscious mind. Secondly, the possum in the dream world represents secrets. It could well be that a secret you are keeping is weighing heavier on your conscience than you might realize. Alternatively, it could be that those around you are keeping secrets that must come into the light.

Thanks for reading!

Further Reading