PORCUPINE – totem animal

Porcupine is a very peaceful being, it always moves slowly. If it is attacked, it does not panic it just rolls itself into a ball. Although slow its also happy and serene.

It is associated in the symbolism of First Nations, to the heart, childhood, innocence, the aptitude to play and take pleasure in the small things of life. It teaches us the sometimes-tortuous path which leads to the heart and to confidence in our own abilities and in those who love us. It is thus an animal of the South.

You may notice how two children will spontaneously trust each other and play together. If an accident occurs, one of them will be able to cry his or her sorrow then quickly to return with confidence and reconciliation to the game with the other child, even when he or her is the source of the accident, such as a accidental blow. Confidence, innocence and love support harmony, well-being, forgiveness, wholesome relationships and emotional health.

There is a beautiful story taken from Jamie Sams’ The Medecine Cards that speaks of this ability porcupine has of counseling in a simple and cordial way.

There was once a porcupine who was playing with a hollow log. He would fall asleep inside, made it roll, play hide-and-seek and have all sorts of fun with it. Seeing a grumpy old bear walking by, porcupine says: “Come play with me Bear !” “I am too old to play”says the bear, “I want to find some honey. You are in my way, go away”.

“But” says the porcupine, “one is not never too old to play! If you’ve forgot what is to be a cub, you will be always be impatient and stupid, and others will always shy away from you! ”

Hearing these words, bear reflects and thinks,  realizing that being always grumpy, it is always alone.

It started to remember the games it invented when it was a bear cub. Looking anew at the porcupine, bear said: “You gave given me good medicine. I was lost in my own ways, afraid of others and what they thought of me, and because of that I was deprived of their affection.” Thus, they both started playing together with that hollow log and had great fun.

Porcupine medicine teaches us that being too serious in life is a drag and that we need to appreciate the simple things in life.

Porcupine is eminently peaceful but don’t rub it the wrong way! It has a very prickly protection! But its protection is passive. Thus, it never loses its calm and can remain peaceful even in front of a hungry predator. That teaches us a fundamental truth: one who has trust within, self-confidence, knows that it does not need to defend his rights violently. Just affirming what and who one is, is largely sufficient to push away all those who wish us evil. In fact, our self-confidence radiates out and creates an electromagnetic bubble of protection that all can feel, even if only unconsciously. Thus, the intimidators and manipulators will not be interested in seeking out those who “radiate” confidence, as they know that their aggressive words will be like water on the back of a duck. They know in fact, that they risk having problems. A person who has self respect will not leave an attack to his or her integrity be possible without raising up his or her quills and calling that spiny police officer or lawyer to defend his or her rights.

Call upon the porcupine medicine to find quiet joy and pleasure in the small things of daily life. Resort to this medicine to find confidence in who you are: son and daughter of Great Spirit. Find inspiration with porcupine to always remain calm and innate protection in all areas of your life.


3 thoughts on “PORCUPINE – totem animal”

  1. I receive so much inspiration and good medicine from Jamie Sams. I have been reading her book, Earth Medicine, every day for at least 20 years. Porcupine is so special to me. They are so gentle. When I became angry at the female who came to my house every Spring to chew my front steps, I yelled at her, feeling badly. Then I threw water at her and told her to leave. She looked at me, surprised at my behavior. When I tried to chase her across the lawn and into the woods, she slowly ambled away. She didn’t throw her quills at me but her eyes made me sad. She never came back. I miss her.


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