Gifts: Ability to wear many masks. Dexterity. Group protection. Trickster/thief. Taking what’s yours. Seeing in the dark. Curiosity.
Challenges: Curiosity without caution. Taking what’s not yours. Forgetting to take off the mask and forgetting your true self.
Raccoon is another Trickster spirit animal, like Coyote, Fox, Raven, and Snake. Many people at first reject spirit animal Raccoon because of its reputation as a thief and bandit. They may view raccoons as nothing more than a prize to turn into a ‘coonskin cap. Or they may see raccoons as a nuisance that invades and destroys their home.
Raccoons got into a chimney of my childhood home several times when I was growing up. I always loved hearing their scratching inside the walls and seeing the baby raccoons when my parents had someone from animal control come out to remove them. Of course, I didn’t have to worry about the potential damage they might cause in their nest-building and scratching. These are perfect illustrations of Raccoon’s Trickster qualities. These are gifts, not the challenges that many assume. Thief takes what it needs because it knows that everything must flow. Trickster is a social disrupter, challenging people’s stubborn ideas and preconceived beliefs. Trickster energy is similar to the Hindu god Shiva the Destroyer. Trickster and Shiva do not destroy for the hell of it or for the fun of it. They tear down so that something new and better may be built in its place.
As a social disrupter, Raccoon challenges your beliefs and preconceived opinions. Raccoon willingly breaks the rules in order to spark an awareness of the existence of the rules and a questioning of what rules we actually need. Raccoon challenges the powers that be so that you can claim more of your true power—not some scraps of power that society says you may have.
Raccoon’s eye mask enables it to sneak in and fit in with different groups. It’s the big reveal when Raccoon takes off the mask and yells, “Surprise!” that disrupts the status quo. Instead of asking, “How did he get in here?”, ask yourself what Raccoon is trying to show you. There is usually a lesson about power and desire.
A challenge with Raccoon is being appropriately cautious. Raccoon is so tricky that it can throw caution to the wind. While Raccoon is a master escape artist, it runs the risk of triggering an angry mob—or angry hunting dog—after tricking them once too often.
Raccoon relies on trusted members of its community to help it stay safe. When Raccoon is on watch, it trusts its own abilities to perceive danger and warn the group. When someone else is on watch, Raccoon trusts that member to do its duty and warn the others. The lesson for you is to bolster your sneaky Trickster gifts with a supportive community—people who respect your gifts and are on a similar mission to shake things up.