Each week I draw a medicine card to set the tone for the week ahead and practice leading with the intuitive side of my brain. It makes for a fantastic companion to the more left-brain planning I also do each week.
Our modern-day senses may not find much appeal in this week's animal totem, but there is much to learn from Opossum in leaping over the barriers we face on the path to achieving our goals.
Opossum's most famous form of protection is to play dead. Living in the South, I have seen this happen many times as an Opossum scurries across the backyard only to get spooked by a dog and freeze up and appear like a taxidermic version of itself. Opossum can also excrete a musky death scent that adds to its convincing display.
The Opossum also has fierce teeth and claws and can use them. Opossum is also a skilled climber and has the ability to hide extremely well. What makes Opossum such an important medicine is that they rely on instinct to guide their strategy.
Drawing on Opossum medicine asks us to look at how we are using our strategic instincts to navigate our way out of a tight corner. Is there a place where playing dead can serve you? Think of times a taunter lost interest because we refused to show interest in their quips.
If not Opossum's dramatic acting, what other instinctual action is called for at this time? Do we need to scurry up a tree to avoid predators on the ground? Or, to hunker down in a hole until day has passed and we can slip secretly out into the night to find our meal?
This week, look to where you are stuck or blocked in your goals, and see where your instinctual strategy can help you leap over barriers.
Where can you add in your cleverness or expect the unexpected in achieving your victory?
What innate strategies can you use to navigate your situation in a new way and can you allow your body to accompany your brain as you make a plan?
Often times, Opossum's strategy of play dead simply means that the best strategy is to surrender to the moment and trust in your own instincts.
Based on Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams, David Carson, and Angela C. Werneke
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