Part of the Sky Above Earth Below Oracle Deck I created in 2014. Mixed Media
Skunk (Confidence, Reputation)
Skunk sprays as a warning to the world around it. Skunk is a mammal known for its ability to spray a liquid with a strong smell. The tell-tale colouration of a skunk’s black and white stripe serves as warning colouration to predators. Both of these adaptations link skunk to the traits of confidence and reputation; giving skunks very few natural predators. A skunk’s spray is generated by a set of glands which produce a mixture of sulphur containing compounds. As they only carry enough in their glands for a few sprays, and it can take days for them to regenerate this supply once depleted. Skunks will use posture behaviour such as hissing and stomping before resorting to spraying. Skunks are generally solitary creatures but will come together to mate and will share den space during bouts of particularly cold weather. As omnivores skunks have a varied diet. They eat berries, fruits, roots, insects, and small animals. Skunks have excellent hearing, and a good sense of smell; but have poor eyesight, unable to see very far in front of themselves. Despite their poor vision a skunk’s spray is very accurate and can hit a target up to 10 ft (3 m) away.
Skunks can be, and sometimes are, kept by humans as pets. Their scent glands must be removed and they lose the ability to spray. Native American myth varies somewhat with regard to the symbolism of skunk. In some traditions skunk takes on the role of a monster with spray that is fatal. It will try to defeat a hero (or other animal). But when ultimately defeated, by the hero, skunk spray losses its fatal nature and becomes merely an annoyance. Sometimes skunks were even seen as ill omens and were associated with sorcery. The Cherokee tribe linked skunk to medicinal powers and believed that a skunk’s smell could ward off diseases. Other tribes also admired skunk for its ability to defend itself in a way, which while stinky, required no violence. The colouration of a skunk may serve as a message about duality, and seeing the world in terms of black and white. A skunk’s odor, and its link to musk and pheromones, may also have a symbolic link to the use of smell as a sexual aphrodisiac. Some Native American tribes see the white streak of skunk as a link to the medicine wheel colour white; linked to the mental self and creativity. One origin myth claims that skunk was once a beautiful woman with white hair who rejected the advances of all men because she was so vain. In the myth turtle disguises himself as an ugly man and warns her to be kind. When she refuses to listen he uses his magic to turn her into a skunk with an odor that will now drive all men away. Turtle leaves her with a white streak, like her hair had once been, as a reminder of her ways. Some Asians cultures see this stripe as an indication of kundalini, or life force. This has ties to all aspects of health (mental, physical, emotional, sexual). Skunk can be seen as mystical as well; especially in terms of respect, how respect should be demanded and/or given.
When skunk sprays you from your cards it’s time to reevaluate your reputation. How is your reputation helping or hindering you? Are you using your reputation to defend yourself, or be a bully? Where is your confidence level right now? Skunk is most linked to the element of air, which carries a skunk’s spray to its enemies.
Stars and Constellations
Respect, Self-esteem, Duality, Warning, Defense