Porcupine Spirit Animal Totem :
Is it time for ‘deflector shields up!’ or have your defense mechanisms lodged you into a corner?
The Porcupine Spirit Animal Totem asks you to look at how you are going about reaching your current goal. If you’ve forced your way into a situation prematurely you may get the sharp end of life to teach you it’s time to back off. On the other hand, if you’ve made yourself unapproachable and inconsolable, not even your loved ones can get near enough to help you. How can we calm those quills? The Porcupine Spirit Animal Totem advises against isolation at this time and she reminds us it is time to reconnect to your own built-in security system.
We have ‘invisible’ energetic quills that project out past our bodies and silently define our boundaries. This quill shield is known as the auric field in yoga traditions, chi in others. If strong, this force field can keep trouble far away. Porcupine medicine teaches us how to access our inner quills to communicate non-verbally when we want someone to back off, or not even approach at all. The next time you want out of an interaction with someone, use a visualization technique and call on Porcupine’s quills to rise up and protect you. Then watch how quickly the exchange ends. If you find you just can’t seem to locate your inner defense system you may need to strengthen your auric field. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Martial Arts are a sure way to do this, but also any physical activity such as hiking, or sports will improve your inner power.
The human body is designed for action. But our high tech culture has removed the need for most action from our day to day lives so we have to consciously make time for physical exertion. When we let our physical bodies fade into lethargy we are rarely aware of the energetic effects that has on our life. People we don’t want to talk to suddenly call or stop by, co-workers get the better of us, and we feel generally unprepared or just on the verge of catching up. The Porcupine Spirit Animal Totem may be telling you it’s time to polish your inner armor with physical exercise.
Contrary to her appearance, this little ball of daggers is ironically non-confrontational. She is an herbivore who has made it visibly clear what she will and will not tolerate. She is not looking for a fight (see Badger Medicine) and she lets her natural defense system speak for itself so she can get on with being innocent and curious about life. It is perfectly legal to make yourself unapproachable to people you do not wish to interact with. But under all her weapons, Porcupine is a playful spirit. Her teachings advise us to stay social, stay communicative, and open to play. Contrary porcupine warns against excessive isolation and do-it-yourself philosophies. When the Porcupine Spirit Totem is out of balance you may be stuck in a situation due to an unwillingness to let go of your defense tactics.
When dealing with people who have Porcupine Medicine in their personal totems it is helpful to keep in mind the importance of how you approach them. It is very easy to fall into the belief that people should just deal with and accept us as we are. But take time to hear a person’s unique needs and harmonizing with them could pay off in the long run. Everyone has a certain way they like to be approached. Take time to listen to the preferences of others and avoid their quills. Be mindful of how you approach someone and don’t assume everyone is like you. Hunters of porcupines (Mountain Lions, Lynx, Wolf, Coyote) are required to attack head-on in order to avoid her lethal quills. Approaching a situation indirectly at this time could be deadly. Face the problem, the person, or the new event eye to eye. Are you causing more aggravation or are you smoothing things out?
Porcupine quills are designed with hooked barbs which sink deeper into the skin when pulled on. Where this design is inspiring advancement in medical equipment, it also has much to teach about the power of speech. Like porcupine’s quills, words are easy to release, impossible to retrieve. Words also have barbs that cling and can’t be removed. Throwing a spiked comment at someone may relieve your anger in the moment but the damage the words caused will linger and deepen the very pain you were trying to escape. Porcupine advises we always wait until the anger has gone to speak what is in our hearts to say. If it is true, it will be there when the anger has passed and it will probably reach the person more effectively without the hostile tone. The truth can be deadly if not managed with care. Everyone has their own preferred ways of being approached and spoken to. It won’t kill you to play by their reasonable requests for kindness. It may kill your ego, though, which would, in turn, enable you to relate to a wider variety of people.
Though Porcupine can stand her ground in a confrontation, it takes weeks for her to regrow lost quills. During that time she is vulnerable as she recovers. Even though she is well-armed, confrontation is her last resort. Choose your battles wisely and conserve all energy.