Most folks have heard the old adage “playing Possum”. This term refers to the Possum’s behavior of “playing dead” as a strategy to ward off would-be predators. But this term is extremely misleading. Possums (Opossums) do not choose to ‘play’ dead. When scared, these sweet, gentle peace-loving creatures have an automatic ‘shut off switch’ in their nervous system. During times when the fear gets to be too much, they lapse into a coma-like state. Because of this, Possum or Opossum symbolism and meaning is that of a master trickster and problem-solver.
Whether it’s playing dead so that struggles retreat without aggression, or bearing your claws and pretending to be fearsome, both aptitudes come in very handy in life.
In nature the Possum cannot see at birth. This forces the young animal to go on instinct and really hone their senses for survival. So while the Possum spirit may not appear very impressive initially, He is an excellent guide for developing your own senses and uncovering elusive truths, including spiritual ones.
The Possum’s habitat is typically a burrow, an opening in a tree, and under piles of leaves and brush. In more urban settings they may surprise an unsuspecting homeowner by skittering out from a shed, garage, gazebo or deck fixture. They are nocturnal so these locations provide darkness for sleeping. This environment provides Possum Spirit with strong Earth Elemental ties and Tree vibrations that you can tap into for various ceremony and magical workings.
When Possum shows up, ask yourself if you’re taking the right road for your goals or if you’ve wandered off track. If the latter, Possum may just say, “lie still and play dead”. Use that time to think of alternatives and truly assess the hidden matters of your circumstances. Don’t forget using surprise or distraction as Possum-supported aids.