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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11 thoughts on “The Meaning of an Opossum Sighting

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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???

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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