Left Side: Opossum
The Left side is the receptive, or female, energy Totem. This animal will protect your feminine side (whether you are a man or a woman you have a feminine side). Feminine energy is receptive, nurturing energy. When wanting to understand yourself and how you act in the emotional realm, especially in the area of relationships, look to this Totem for guidance. This totem also shows you the abundance provided and that all you need do is learn to accept and receive the abundance at hand. When you feel bereft and low, look to this Totem to show you the blessings and bounty you are missing. By doing so you honor yourself; passing on this energy by nurturing others as indicated by your Totem contributes to the interconnected forces that intertwine us all.
The Opossum may seem a rather unusual animal to carry a totem. With so many larger, stronger, faster and more interesting it is of worthy note that the Opossum is a Totem of great power. Opossum calls to those she has given her Totem to use their mind as well as their body to the best advantage. Although the Victorian and Modern mind-set see the “play dead” strategy of the Oppossum as the ruse of a coward, it is actually an excellent strategy and used to its full extent and potential. Opossum has even physically evolved a scent gland that exudes the musky scent of death as it plays dead, lying still and unmoving. With this strategy Opossum is able to fool many of those who would prey upon her by acting dead and using the strategy of no-action rather than action. Opossum energy is aligned with the feminine and receptive energies. Mainly a nocturnal animal the Opossum is directly aligned with the Moon.
With Opossum Energy around all may not be at it seems. Those with Opossum Energy are good at watching and waiting until the coast is clear.
An example of Opossum energy is to just allow a situation to run its course and essentially solve itself. Part of Opossum’s message is that sometimes the best action is actually to take no action at all. Those who carry Opossum’s Totem are aligned with wisdom. It is the wisdom of the warrior. Any military person who has waited in an ambush or set up and trained for an ambush has used Opossum energy. A fighting strategy learned from Opossum was when a warrior band was highly outnumbered they would “play Opossum” and lay as if dead while their enemies came closer and closer. It takes great strength of will and courage to lay quiet and silent and allow your enemy to walk within feet or inches of you while you lay unmoving as if dead. Then when the enemy had moved in amidst those using Opossum energy to lay in wait, the signal is given and the warrior band spring into action against their unsettled enemies. The wisdom of choosing your ground and waiting to see what happens is the wisdom that Opossum brings.
Opossum also carries the message of uniqueness. Of all the animals on the North American Continent the Opossum is the only marsupial. In the same process as the more recognized Kangaroo of Australia, the Opossum gives birth to tiny young who climb across her fur to latch onto the nipples within the pouch. Many a concerned motorists have rescued the kits of a mother opossum who was dead on the side of the road. The young can live for several hours after the death of the mother. Their time in the nice warm pouch is about a month.
The pouch of the Opossum is another symbol that should not be overlooked. The symbology of the pouch is that it a receptacle for that which is needed. Rounds of leather tied with string, fancy beaded and embroidered purses, the pouch of the Opossum relates to all of these. The nipples, located in the pouch are representative of the primal essence of life and goodness constantly flowing. Those with Opossum totem should remember that Opossum’s pouch is always full of the milk of “kindness.”
The challenge that Opossum places before those granted her Totem is to have the discernment to know when it is time to use Opossum Energy. Remember, Opossum Energy is the energy of thought, strategy and preparation. With proper use of Opossum Energy you can confuse those of a predatory nature. By playing Opossum you can allow the predators to show themselves, and by laying still allow them to walk past.
Opossum is not frightened light Rabbit. Opossum knows that its internal armor of scent gland and uncanny acting skills will save it far more frequently than either trying to outrun a predator. Instead Opossum uses its ability to play dead and be passive. Don’t misjudge Opossum. Sharp claws and teeth are available to Opossum to use if needed. What Opossum teaches is the discernment between when to lay passive, letting the storm blow over and when it is time to use claws and teeth. Opossum’s receptive energy teaches patience and the wisdom that the mind is the mightiest weapon in the warrior’s arsenal.