Totem Animals

Page 149

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By CinnamonMoon

Skunk has many things to teach us and I'd like to quote Jamie Sams' interpretation from her
Medicine Cards/Book set co-authored by David Carson. (For those of you just exploring Totem
animals I highly recommend this introduction as there are many stories shared in this body of work).

Jamie and David say:
"Skunk...tell me the story, so I will know it well, of how to attract, and how to repel."
Skunk: Reputation
Skunk medicine! Go ahead and laugh. This furry little animal has a reputation that contains a
great deal of power. Due to its distinctive behavior, humans give this tiny, smelly, creature wide berth.

Unlike other predatory animals, Skunk does not threaten your life but threatens your senses. You
know this to be true if you have ever been in the vicinity of its spray. In observing the habit
patterns of Skunk, it is easy to notice the playfulness and nonchalance of its natural behavior.
The "I-dare-you" attitude of this four-legged creature commands you, as the observer, to respect
its space by mere reputation alone.

Skunk is teaching you that by walking your talk and by respecting yourself, you will create a
position of strength and honored reputation. The carriage of your body relates to others what you
believe about yourself. There is no need to bully, aggravate, torment, or overpower other beings
when your sense of "self" is intact. As with Skunk, the resonant field of energy around your body
is relayed through the senses. Self-esteem permeates the body's energy, and is instantly
recognized on an extrasensory level by others.

Learn to assert, without ego, what you are. Respect follows. Your self-respectful attitude will
repel those who are not of like mind, and yet will attract those who choose the same pathway. As
the odor of Skunk attracts others of its kind, it repels those who will not respect its space.
Skunk medicine people have the ability to attract others, and they are very charismatic. At the
same time, the other side of their natural power is to repel those who seek to take energy from
them without recycling the gifts they have taken.

Skunk medicine people also know how to use the energy flows that will attract a lover. Some
people call this sexual magic, as it is akin to the musk scent that animals excrete to attract a mate.
It can be dangerous to leak sexual energy if you are not looking for a mate. It puts you into a
games condition that may feed your ego but not how others feel about you. If you are attracting
others who have an interest in you, you are in a sense saying, "I'm available." This can cause
hard feelings when the truth comes out. It also leaks energy that you could have used in a more
constructive way.

In Skunk medicine, it is good to learn how to handle energy flows. Modern psychologists call
this body language. In tribal teachings, this is your personal medicine which you are showing to
others. Use your medicine well, and know that you are known by your reputation. How you use
your energy will attract either honor or disgrace. You may want to examine what energy you are
putting out that creates your present situation.

If you have chosen this symbol, you are being asked to notice the kinds of people who are
attracted to you. If they emulate favorable characteristics, have enough self-esteem to recognize
those characteristics within yourself. Walk tall and be proud of the accomplishments you have
made. Bear in mind that what you believe about yourself is your ultimate protection. Project selfrespect!

Contrary {*Meaning the abuse or misuse of this Medicine}:
Skunk medicine operating through the contrary or reversed position indicates that your selfesteem
may seem to others as if you are putting on airs. Observe whether or not you are repelling
others in your vicinity because of envy, jealousy, or a projection of their low self-esteem.
Examine your feelings. Be truthful with yourself. Right the situation by assuming the attitude of
Skunk: nonchalance. In assuming nonchalance you are neutralizing the effect of leaking energy.
In leaking vital energy, you may be stinking up your environment. This is similar to dumping all
your woes on anyone who will listen. If you are doing this, it may be time to shut your mouth
and go within. You may also be leaking sexual energy and repulsing the object of your interest.
That person may be too shy to tell you to lay off. Look deeply at your self-image and how others
are reacting to it.

To balance the causes and effects of your actions and energy flows, you must decide whether or
not you need to spray in the direction of others to repel their envy, greed, jealousy, or overamorous
tendencies. On the other hand, you need to always maintain your "right to be." Selfrespect
is the key to all of these situations, whereas ego is merely what you believe yourself to be.

Skunk says, "If your ego is not your amigo, you know it stinks!"
LOL...I love that! I hope you enjoyed this little look at Skunk and can see how much the essence
of this creature has within its medicine teachings. Totems teach us many things on multiple
levels and if we are feeling the need to be defensive then we know our ego is involved. So Skunk
is a great mirror to work with. Ego is one of the first things we need to bring under our control
when we're learning to walk a spiritual path. There's just no room for it there and it is a mask for
what we want to accomplish, not what we have accomplished.

*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
The Skunk can be a sign that something stinks. Is there a situation in your life that just plain
stinks? Everyone gives the skunk a wide berth because of its penetrating odor. Do you have a
body odor to which others are responding or not telling you? Get some feedback and check it
out. The skunk walks tall and proud with the knowledge that even though small, he has a power
of protection within him. This symbol can be reminding you, "Walk tall. There is a strength
available within you that will protect you and keep you safe."

*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
The skunk is known in both Europe and the United States. They have long, thick black fur, with
two white stripes running from the neck to the back legs, and a bushy tail. they are about the size
of a house cat. Ordinarily, skunks are peacable, friendly creatures. They are slow and deliberate
in their movements. When menaced, however, the skunk can emit a nasty spray that can be
smelled for half a mile. Deodorized skunks are sometimes kept as pets and are very much like
cats in their habits.

Superstitions: The skunk sprays its odor on its tail and then flips the droplets at the aggressor.
Not true; when that back-end faces you the tail raised, watch out! The glands at the root of the
tail have strong squirting power.

Magickal Attributes: For courage and will-power to raise a "stink" if you are being harassed or
threatened. Radiating self-respect and self-confidence. Become aware of the type of people
attracted to you and repel the undesirable. Sifting out and getting rid of "friends" who do not
want you to succeed.

*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
Self-assertion and confidence. The skunk's scent is a protective odor, but it is uniquely its own.
Getting the respect one is due. Skunks do not like confrontation, and usually withhold their spray
until no other option is left. Have you been holding back in some area where recognition of your
abilities is long overdue? Irritating people or situations. Being sprayed by a skunk causes all
kinds of distress, most of which stems from frustration about being in the wrong place at the
wrong time!

*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
The Skunk is a bad sign and a bad power. The sorcerers work with this power and send it as an
ally against people to cause conflict, sickness, and bad luck. A skunk is usually a sign that evil is
around you and that every effort should be made to pray against it.

*Timothy Roderick: The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Defensive, confident
Magical Influences: Protects against snake bites, stops gossip, ability to defend oneself without
the infliction of physical harm.

Personality: Those who identify with the skunk are usually unassuming and quiet. They are
natural teachers and enjoy the company of children. They are often drawn to people who present
themselves as wise or knowledgeable. They don't allow the insults of others to affect them.

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Skunk connotes a strong desire for justice to prevail in life.

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Speak:
Keynote: Sensuality, respect, and self-esteem
Cycle of Power: Year-round

The skunk is one of the most widely recognized mammals, but it is also one of the most
misunderstood. It is a very powerful totem with mystical and magical associations. Just look at
how people respond to it. They show great respect for it and what it can do. This is part of what
skunk teaches. It teaches how to give respect, expect respect, and demand respect. It helps you to
recognize your own qualities and to assert them. The skunk does not get out of the way of any
animal. It moves along at its own speed, with its own mind. It is self-assured and confident in
itself. If skunk has shown up, it can be to help you with this particular aspect. It can teach you
how to be more self-assured and how to assert yourself.

The natural enemy of the skunk is the great horned owl. Skunk is its favorite food. This owl
should be studied as it is also part of the contrary or balancing medicine of the skunk. Its essence
can help you in seeing how best to apply your skunk medicine.

Skunks are fearless, but they are also very peaceful. They move slowly and calmly, and they
only spray as a last resort. Because they are peaceable by nature, they always give warnings
before spraying. This warning involves three stages. First, it will stamp its feet and turn its back
to you. Second it will rais its tail up, as the gland which sprays is located underneath it. When the
third step arrives, it is usually too late. After raising the tail, the skunk will look back over its
shoulder. This is to line up the correct angle for spraying. Once the skunk has seen you over its
shoulder, it is too late.

The skunk can spray 12-15 feet with tremendous accuracy. It can repeat the spraying five to six
times before it must build up again naturally. The spray is an irritating chemical. It won't kill, but
it can sting the eyes and numb the senses. Sometimes a skunk can show up as a totem to teach us
how to get more attention without being arrogant and irritating. Sometimes it shows up to help us
deal with those people in our life who are outrageously irritating. Tomato juice is still the one
thing which helps to eliminate skunk odor. Those with this totem may find they have a
sensitivity to tomato, or a need for more within their life. The qualities and characteristics of the
tomato should be studied as it is part of the contrary or balancing medicine associated with the

The skunk smell is one that almost everyone can recognize. This has links to how skunk awakens
in others a great recognition of you and your own abilities. The sense of smell also has ties to
sensuality and sexuality. Research is currently being conducted that reveals the various
connections between fragrance and sexual response. This includes work with pheromones and
studies reveal a surprising similarity between the cells of and response of the olfactory nerves,
and those within the genitalia.

Fragrance has long been used as an aphrodisiac. Those with skunk medicine will find that the use
of fragrances will elicit dynamic responses in those they associate with. People will respond to
the fragrances you employ. A study fo aromatherapy would be very beneficial for those with this
totem. When skunk shows up, you can usually expect to experience stronger sexual responses to
others and in their response to you. A greater ability to attract people will begin to unfold. I tis
interesting how people respond to some fragrances. They complain that certain smells drive them
nuts. How often have you heard people say, "I wish I knew what that smell was. It reminds me of
something and its driving me crazy."

Skunks usually have one litter of young per year, with about ten babies. Skunks can spray from
the moment their eyes open. This again reflects the intense energy levels that individuals with
this totem are often born with. In the early years, they may find extreme cycles of either repelling
or being pushed away by others, or drawing lots--many friends or no friends, never alone or
always alone. At 20 weeks they are capable of being out on their own. A skunk can have a
lifespan in the wild of up to ten years. This reflects the kinds of cycles likely to manifest for
those with this totem.

Skunks are known carriers of rabies. Mothers that have rabies will pass it on to the young,
although the young may not show any symptoms of it for up to six weeks after being born.
Individuals with skunks as totems must learn to balance the ability to draw and repel people.
There is a natural cycle. The skunk is a solitary animal for the most part. Skunks can remind us
that there are times best for drawing people and there are times best to avoid people. Finding the
correct balance is what can ensure prosperity.

There are two main types of skunk--spotted and striped. The striped is the most common and
most easily recognized. It actually has a double stripe that runs from its head to its tail. The
stripe, whether single or double, is an indication of the active flow of the kundalini or life force.
(The kundalini has ties to the sexual energies and to the life force that is active in every aspect of
our life processes.) In individuals with this totem, the kundalini is usually already active. Skunk
shows up at a time to amplify and to teach the control and use of this life force more effectively.
In eastern metaphysics, students are taught of three channels of energy that flow through the
body along the spine--the ida, the pingala, and the sushumna--the moon, sun, and the balance of
the two. This reflects the ability of those with skunk medicine to be able to turn on and off the
creative force and direct it along several lines.

Skunks are usually quite silent, so it is good for those with this totem NOT to blow their own
horns. It will back fire and only serve to push others away. Sit back and let others do the noticing
for you. Skunks are very adaptable and this is what those with this totem must also learn. Skunk
can teach you when it is best to be noticed and how to go about it most effectively. They are
carnivorous, but they will eat almost anything, particularly insects, berries, and fruit. Skunk does
its hunting at night.

When skunk shows up as a totem you are going to have opportunities to bring out new respect
and self-esteem. It indicates lessons and times associated with increased sensuality physically,
sexually, psychically, and spiritually. Examine your self-image. Remember that people are going
to notice you. How they notice and remember can be controlled by you. This is what skunk can
help teach.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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