THE SKUNK – totem animal


The skunk is a North American animal that teaches the medicine of self-respect and self-confidence.

The skunk is capable of spraying a double stream of a very foul smelling liquid from its anal orifice with extraordinary accuracy from over four meters away. It has few natural enemies other than the great horned owl. Indeed, the skunk’s reputation precedes it. All animals, as well as humans, will give it plenty of room and never want to disturb it. It does not threaten your life, but your senses! When attacked or threatened, the skunk sprays its predators with a very powerful and terrifying smelling secretion. This way, it is almost never disturbed.

Thanks to the confidence it derives from its scent, which immediately tells those around it what it’s made of, the skunk is nonchalant and playful. You only have to see how confidently it waddles across a road to understand that “this is a being that is not afraid of anyone”. And yet she is gentle and easy to tame.

I once met a young skunk on a night of intense prayer. I was sitting with the sacred pipe on my bed, in a motel room with the large patio window wide open to the fields of the countryside near Gentilly, Quebec, one moonlit night. She had come as a young girl to lie under the bed, attracted by the vibrations of my prayer. I glimpsed her out of the corner of my eye, disappearing under the bed so stealthily that I wasn’t sure I had seen her. After the ceremony I lifted the covers and looked at her lying exactly under the spot where I had sat on the bed. She looked at me fearlessly, lying comfortably with her chin on the floor, as if to say, “Nice prayer! “Although I would have gladly accepted her presence, I could not see myself getting up half asleep at night and scaring her. But above all, a quick departure the next morning and a cleaning lady who would surely come early enough to disturb her with much less peaceful energies, come on! I couldn’t afford to leave her there. I banged my hand on the floor next to her, without her reacting, except to look at me with a questioning look. Dropping the suitcase next to her made her tail lift slightly. Not a good solution. It was only with a lot of sage smoke directed with my eagle feather at her, that she finally consented to leave the premises. On the patio doorway, she turned back to me and I distinctly heard a voice in my head say, “I would have liked to stay!

Skunk medicine teaches us the importance of standing up for what we believe in by respecting ourselves. If we do what we say we will do, if we are true to our word, we create a position of strength, respect and trust, and will then have an honorable reputation. A person who is in the habit of always doing what they say they will do gives off an aura of confidence that keeps away any manipulators.

The skunk teaches us to be completely and totally who we are. When we are comfortable in our own skin, confident in our abilities, we naturally attract like-minded people with whom we are in harmony. Likewise, we will naturally repel anyone who is not in harmony with us.

When a skunk’s energy is out of balance, he or she often gives the wrong signals, especially sexually. For it is one of the powers of the skunk person to be able to attract the opposite sex by his or her presence, and literally, his or her smell. This is beneficial when in balance, as the skunk knows when and how to release his or her scent of attraction and will only do so when he or she wants to find his or her beloved, or to nurture the relationship he or she is in. However, in times of imbalance, this ability can attract the wrong partners and these people sometimes have a tendency towards emotional and sexual dependencies.

Also, the skunk is a nocturnal animal, so people with skunk medicine are comfortable working at night.

Use the skunk’s medicine to cultivate self-confidence and right speech. Use his medicine to learn to speak your truth with clarity. Keep your commitments, and if this is not possible, tell the people involved about the situation immediately. Take care of your appearance, not to make it up but to reflect who you really are. Do not change your appearance to suit the circumstances or as little as possible. It is wise that others know who you are and can understand that you will always be true to yourself.

Those are the teachings of skunk medicine.

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