The Meaning of an Opossum Sighting

The Meaning of an Opossum Sighting

Shy and Silent

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen more than a few opossums in your lifetime. While these animals are often shy and don’t seek human conflict, they can be fairly ubiquitous in suburban and rural areas. If you feel as though an encounter with an opossum has a deeper meaning, it is worthwhile to take the time to ponder what has happened. Below is information that you can use to consider your opossum sighting.

Opossum Medicine Magic

Before we get into the meaning of an opossum sighting, maybe we should clear up the debate over “opossum” vs. possum.” While “possum” is often used colloquially in the United States to describe opossums, these terms refer to two different animals. 

If you live in the U.S. and you have one of these creatures in your yard, you’ve got an opossum. However, if your backyard is located in Australia, then you have a possum, of which there are a few different types. Both the possum and the opossum are marsupials, but that’s their only relation. Otherwise, they are different animals with different traits and demeanors.

What does the opossum know that you don’t? Read with a life path psychic and find out.

One thing that both the possum and the opossum do have in common is they are very territorial. In truth, once one of these critters finds his or her personal place in the sun, (your backyard) they’re not big on sharing with other animals or other possums. Of course, mating would be the exception, and both male and female possums are serious parents. Mostly we’ll be looking at the American opossum, but wherever the word “possum” is mentioned, it means both the possum and the opossum.

Native American Medicine

In the Native American world, the word medicine can mean just what we think it means—a cure, a remedy—anything we use for healing. However, it can also mean the magic that animal totems bring to the table (or the forest) that people can emulate and use as helpful, even life-saving methods. 

For instance, you may have seen a possum playing dead. While this trait has inspired the pejorative description of a person who is trying to avoid negative circumstances as “playing possum,” this particular behavior has an important adaptive purpose.

Possums have few natural defenses against aggression. When a possum decides that it can’t escape a dangerous situation by running away or attacking, its age-old instincts take over and it will pretend to be dead. This defense mechanism is also known as “thanatosis” or “tonic immobility.” Playing dead has at least two benefits for an animal. The first is that predators are often uninterested in attacking prey that is already dead. The second is that the animal playing dad has an opportunity to observe the predator and thus plan its escape. says, “The message from Opossum may be telling you to be clever in achieving your victory and to expect the unexpected. This little creature is telling you to use your brain, the element of surprise, and some drama to reach the progress you desire.” 

The O(p)ossum as Your Totem/Spirit Animal

Opossums don’t have long life spans. Therefore, if the opossum is your totem, it’s simply speaking to your young spirit and your ability to see the world through childlike eyes no matter what age. They are also the totem animal of children and the young. If the opossum is your totem animal, you blend well in crowds and have the ability to get along with various people. However, no one can mistake your kindness for foolishness. You take your time to get to know people well before you fully let your guard down.

When an opossum shows up as your spirit animal, it’s quite possible that circumstances around you are changing. It’s almost like when we learn to cross the street by ourselves for the first time, we need to “stop, look, listen.” Feel the situation, assess the situation, and then set your course moving forward. That’s one of the messages of an opossum sighting. 

If, however, you’re part of something that feels right and you’re ready to share it with the world, share it loudly and proudly. Remember, opossums can vary between “playing dead” and scurrying off. Depending on where you are, an opossum sighting reminds you to proceed with caution or move forward full-steam ahead.

The (O)possum in Your Dreams

If you have an opossum sighting in a dream, it may be a warning that you’re vulnerable in a situation. There’s certainly something you’re not seeing and you’ll have to figure out what that is. Once you become informed and get clarity, you can decide whether or not to move forward or back out.

Are Possums Bad Omens?

People may ask this question because, unfortunately, the opossum has a bad reputation in some quarters, but this reputation is undeserved and is the result of misunderstandings.

Opossums are not particularly fierce creatures who can easily fight with tooth and claw. They use clever defense mechanisms to protect themselves against predators; including playing dead, and working their jaws so that they drool when in the presence of predators. The drooling can make the predator believe that the possum is sick, possibly with rabies, and therefore an undesirable meal.

It should be noted that most possums are immune to rabies and generally do not attack humans, and can be household pets. Instead of thinking of opossum encounters as a bad omen, you might want to consider ways in which you can defend yourself against aggression without causing harm to anyone.

Possums are Excellent Mothers

Opossums are marsupials, and are, in fact the only marsupial native to North America. They carry their babies initially in a pouch, much like mother kangaroos carry their joeys. When the babies become older, they cling to their mother’s back and she carries them around. Baby opossums will separate from the mother at about the age of one year.

If you have ever seen a mother opossum, you will likely see her many babies clinging to her as she goes about her daily activities. Such a sighting may be a sign that you should develop your caretaking qualities. On the other hand, it could also point to your being burdened and need to take time for yourself.

Possums Protect Humans

We’ve already noted that opossums are naturally immune to rabies. In fact, possums generally have good immune systems and don’t get sick easily. One of the more unique things about opossums is that they can eat insects and other vermin, performing a genuine public health service in the process. For example, possums eat a lot of ticks each year, helping to protect humans against Lyme disease.

A possum encounter may be a sign that you need to protect yourself and your family against bad energy or bad people who want to take advantage of you in some way. Spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation can sometimes provide significant protection.

Earth Energy and Tree Energy

Opossums are nocturnal and like to live in dark places so they can sleep during the day. They sleep under piles of leaves, in burrows in trees, and any place dark and earthy. This ties them to the magical and spiritual earth energy (and tree energy) that opossum medicine can use.

Opossum Symbolism

You’ve read about how clever, sometimes surprising, and cautious the opossum can be, and here are some other words that could be associated with this complex critter: strategy, recovery, surprise, talent, diversion, and earth energy, just to name a few. Now that you know more about the opossum, are you looking forward to your next opossum sighting?

If you want to read our other animal sighting articles, you can find them here.

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18 thoughts on “The Meaning of an Opossum Sighting

  1. Oj

    I was sitting on my front porch with my cat and heard a noise and looked at my door in which the screen was slightly open and there was a baby possum looking at me. It there for awhile the slowly scurried off. I am having martial problems and just had a fight with my husband two days before I’m which he pulled some of my hair out. I’m going to leave him but he thinks I’m going to stay. What does this mean?

  2. Kelly

    I woke up and opened my bedroom door and there was an opossum in my kitchen eating my cats food. My dog and the cats were just sniffing it. It scared me so bad I began to scream thinking it would attack my pets but it didn’t pay them any mind. I managed to back the opossum into a cat carrier and take it outside. I left it some cat food for it to eat and felt horrible for scaring it because it wasn’t a threat at all. I found out it came through a hole that was under my kitchen sink so I sealed the holes and sprayed rodent repellent just in case. I went outside to check on it and it ate the cat food and left. Poor baby was just hungry.

  3. Krystal lane

    This morning at 5am getting a drink, a young opossum scurried to the side of my fridge. Not scared or threatened at all, more curious. It did not approach but did not guard itself, just calm. I sat an hour with it so it wouldn’t run the house before my husband could help me catch it. I fed it a piece of fish to gain trust. Then gently tossed it back outside by tail. Did not even try to fight me carrying it out. Please, is this a spirit animal? Or an omen?

  4. Mary

    I had a dream that I was outside of my house, my door was opened and 2 orange cats and 1 possum ran in my house. My children was upstairs sleeping. I was terrified.

    1. Essence

      Mine wasn’t a dream. I was standing on the balcony and a black, white and orange cat passed by and then about 5 mins later a white opossum walked the same direction. I immediately came to see what message was and is being spoken to me. In these next few days I will have left everything of material life behind to start over. Saving my life from destruction. I now know I’ve made the right decision(s) despite going down the wrong path. My correction is being made.
      Thanks for sharing.

    2. Katie

      I had a similar dream…
      In the dream my cat was playing with a white possum..
      Almost like it was ..albino ??
      And they were just playfully running around the house, chasing each other.

      Everyone in the family either seemed ecstatic or neutral..
      But not me ahahahaha
      I was terrified
      For some reason..
      I still don’t know why
      I even woke up, in a cold sweat, and instinctively glanced around the room, looking for that damn thing
      I’ve been doing research and I wrote it down, hoping to decode it later, at least.
      We’re trying to tell ourselves something,
      So it’s up to us to figure out what that is

      Good luck, friend ✨

  5. Jonathan Gilbert

    What if u have giant holes in ur back of the house or a sandbox with tracks of long tail an looks like opossum rack if you can get with me i have more questions pls Thx

  6. Tonia

    In my dream, the baby possum was very injured and I saved her. I had to protect her from several of my friends dogs quite often in the dream. I cannot find a meaning to Saving a possum in a dream. I’d love to hear the meaning.

    1. Gee

      Tonia, I had the same dream last night. I was walking past a group of people (I didn’t know them). One of them was saying to another their dog had a puppy in its mouth, they were laughing as if it was funny to let their dog attack & hurt the smaller creature. I got the “puppy” out of the dogs mouth – it was actually a possum, not a puppy. It was badly injured but I helped it & very soon it was well again (too soon if it was reality, but it was a dream :D).

  7. Stacy

    So it’s very cold outside and the opossum is at the top of the stairs driving my dogs crazy… Guess we need to find out how he/ she got in???

  8. Jennifer

    Correction,,, I had to call animal control on 2 sick RACCOONS & a dead one a couple of weeks ago… usually only think of birds and butterflies etc as spirits but now that I’ve come across this it makes me wonder if it’s a bad omen.

    PS – Wish I hadn’t read that comment about the husband shooting the possum. Why the hell would you kill a possum unless it was sick??? Did you eat it because you were starving or did you use the fur for warmth? Is that even legal? smh

  9. mim

    Opossum are voracious tick munchers. Their favorite food is wood ticks. I have one in my large, wooded yard. One evening it was up on the deck railing and I came up to it – about 2 feet away. We just looked at each other, lost in time, and I must say that it had some of the most beautiful eyes I have even seen. It did not play dead, just looked at me, not blinking. I spoke to it reassuringly that I would not hurt it and told it to watch out for the coyotes that come around. I went on my way into the garage, came back out with wood for the fire and saw it making it’s way back off the deck towards the yard, looking back at me once knowing I was not going to chase or pursue it. I felt fortunate for that meeting. Now I find very large wolf tracks in the snow around my home and leading up onto the deck. Two separate sets of tracks. One 4″, one 5″. Must be a couple. That’s what led me here – about spirit animals. Next, I will look up rattlesnakes which we have encountered in the yard as well.

    1. LJ

      So sorry to hear about the possum – the message is still the same … maybe finding a more “clever” way to keep the critters away was his message to your husband. Best of luck.

  10. Linda Stutzman

    A possum appeared on my porch last night and was eating my cats food. My husband shot it three times before the possum died. So did he kill my kindred spirit?

    1. Melissa Gatlin

      Why in the hell would he shoot it? I would say you have no kindred sprint except maybe the Grim Reaper.

  11. Night and was eating my cats food. My husband shotit three times. Efore it passe. So did he kill my kindred spiri

    A possum appeared on my porch last


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