Raccoon – Wild Unknown Animal Spirit


So raccoons are one of the animals I don’t know too much about.  I know they are associated with thieving and mischief because of the markings on their face and nocturnal behaviour.  In my research about rabbits I discovered that raccoons eat rabbits.  A bit more research tells me that they are adept with their hands, excellent for opening latches and doors!  So far, the raccoon is not coming off well…

They are eaten by a number of species including bears, alligators, coyotes, owls and other large birds.  When threatened, they retreat up trees.


They are noted for their problem solving skills and their intelligence which is expressed particularly in their dexterity – indeed their most sensitive sense is that of touch.  Because of this they seem to explore the world through their hands, which brings to mind parallels with artists and writers who explore the world through their hands in the form of the art they create.

Perhaps this card has shown up for you to remind you to create more often, whatever form that might mean to you.  When we create, we use a different part of ourselves and it can be helpful for understanding the world.


Let’s have a closer look at one of the obvious characteristics – that face mask.  In folktales, probably because of their markings, they often play the part of a cunning trickster which outsmarts other animals.  There is a theory that the markings help it to see in the dark, with the black fur reducing glare.  I’m not sure how true that is but I imagine we can all relate to the feeling of wearing a mask, hiding our true self.

Who in your life is wearing the mask?  It might be you, it might be someone else.  What is their motivation?  Is it shyness or deceit?  The raccoon in the card could be seen as timid or seen as trying to hide itself.  Your interpretation probably says something about what your mind is trying to tell you.  Listen to it.  Trust your own interpretation.  My words throughout this series are a way of me being able to explore my own ideas as well as the nature of the creatures but your own intuition is the most important aspect of any reading.

Masks can be used to conceal identity for reasons of privacy, fear, secrecy, disguise, to allow us to take on the role of another such as in acting…  We all have lots of different faces depending on our circumstances and these can be helpful when we need to call on different aspects of ourselves eg parent, colleague, manager, friend etc.  But like everything, it’s all about balance.  Are you wearing too many masks?  Are you spending any time without your mask?  How tight is your mask?  Are you being someone completely different?  Can you remember who you are without your mask?

Curiosity killed the cat (or the raccoon)

One of the reasons that raccoons get into trouble is their curiosity which leads them to explore, including homes and gardens in residential areas.  Is your own curiosity getting you into trouble?  Do you need to think about the consequences?  Or maybe you need to channel the raccoon and bring more curiosity into your life?

When faced with the unknown, if you feel the fear of the rabbit, perhaps you could transform this energy into the raccoon’s curiosity?  I find it interesting to look at the different spirit animals and see how they relate to one another.  We’ve seen that the raccoon kills the rabbit but perhaps the raccoon could do with a bit of rabbit caution?

If you want to see a cute, none wild raccoon, check out Pumpkin!

Fancy a bit of fun synchronicity?  I tweeted that I was spending my day researching the raccoon, after pressing send I picked up the copy of Flow which had arrived today and bam, there was a raccoon!


The artist is Emmeke Kistemaker.