Raccoon: The Masked Bandit by Starlite
Raccoons are incredibly adaptable, so they can be found in a wide range of climates and habitats. Swamps, marshes, banks of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, in the vastness of the desert and prairie, in the seclusion of forests, on the top of mountains and the bottom of canyons, and in cities and suburbs. Raccoons are happy anywhere from a whole in the ground to a cubby in a loft.
They are found in North and Central America, Europe and even Japan. Raccoons don’t really have much of a range, they don’t wander too far, raccoon symbolism is all about being flexible and adaptable with what’s available. The message I get is stay close to home and find sustenance, even wealth, wherever I am.
Raccoons are omnivores, and will eat anything, plant insect, trash or animal. The vegetation in their diet is thought to consist of apples, acorns, berries, citrus fruit, wild grapes, nuts, corn, figs, plums, wild grapes, peaches, even cherries. When it comes to meat raccoons love invertebrates which make up most of their diet, but they do treat themselves to frogs, fish, crayfish, rodents and bird’s eggs when they come across them. In the winter when food is scarce, they don’t mind rummaging through human waste or eating roadkill so basically whatever they can get their little paws on. He teaches luck, curiosity and exploration. He will help you to explore all the options that you may have in certain situations in order to get what you what. He teaches patience and making wise decisions.
You have everything you need… A quote comes to mind:
“Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now; you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else. Your completeness must be understood by you and experienced in your thoughts as your own personal reality” – Wayne Dyer
These round, fuzzy creatures with bushy tails and the characteristic black fur mask may look like cuddly bandits, but there’s no denying they can be formidable when approached.
We should be cautious about approaching them; they’re a common carrier of rabies, ringworms and leptospirosis according to The Human Society. Although only one person has reportedly died from a raccoon bite.
So back to that mask, according to PBS Nature one theory is that the black mask around a raccoon’s eyes help deflect glare and helps with night vision. Raccoon is marked from birth and has the reputation for being a trickster and night time bandit in disguise.
Raccoon teaches us about the nuances of disguise and what we do when we think we’ll go unrecognised. In movies, cartoons and drawings the archetype of the thief is pictured so often with a black mask. In many legends, raccoon is busy stealing things under the cover of night or out from under the noses of blind people. Raccoon symbolism is closely linked with what we might be blind to or what others are blind to in us.
When we wear a mask, or watch a character in a movie wear a mask there is the unwritten understanding that the wearer is attempting to escape the consequences of their actions. Even the thief who is robbing from the rich to give to the poor like Robin Hood still have to hide and evade because they are operating outside of the law.
In the end, raccoons in legends are always caught and marked as thieves as evidenced by their face mask and ringed tail. In our world, we may escape without any consequences, but we will still have the inner doubt that plagues us. What if someone did find out? Raccoons have the sweetest, charming little faces and they aren’t above playing the innocent to get away with something they want. Is it worth evaluating how you use a disguise to get away with things? Having said that, sometimes it is necessary to wear different masks in life, they’re different aspects of our personality, at work I’m a professional, with strong boundaries and a level head, at home I allow my emotions and passions to flow.
There is a splash of white all around the edges of the black eye mask of the raccoon. This can point to an inherent goodness shining out, a need to be recognised for the light we are in the world. Sometimes the masks we put on aren’t necessary and can be born of a shame that requests healing.
According to National Geographic, raccoons are about as big as small dogs; they can grow to about 23 to 37 inches (60-95cms) and weigh 4 to 23lbs (1.8 to 10.4 kilograms).
They aren’t very social creatures; they sleep during the day, making them nocturnal. During the winter they tend to sleep more, but it’s thought they don’t actually hibernate in the traditional sense. They do however lose around 50% of their body weight according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web (ADW). This speaks of their determination and cleverness, they prepare as best they can with what they have and then, they stick around and tough it out. Raccoon comes along when we’re not really connecting, he reminds us that it’s ok to be shy but after a certain period of time, when you get to know people better, you can be very sociable, and people do enjoy our company.
Perhaps surprisingly these creatures are very clean, raccoons have been spotted washing their food in streams and even digging latrines in areas they frequent. He helps us to wash our hands of our wrongdoings before enjoying the incredible opportunities that surround us.
Babies are known as kits or cubs, they can usually be spotted in the early summer, mother raccoons can have between one and seven kits after a gestation period of 60-73 days. As a group a mother and her kits are called a nursery. They are protective mothers, teaching us about protecting those that are dear and precious to us.
For the first two months of their lives, kits live in the den and are weened at 7 to 16 weeks. At 12 weeks, they start to roam away for whole nights at a time; they become completely independent at 8 to 12 months, and live around 2-3 years in the wild according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He teaches us about our relationships with others, are we holding on too tight? He also teaches us about independence and letting go.
According to ADW raccoons can run up to 15mph and can fall 35 to 40 feet without injury. They also have 5 toes on their front paws, which act much the same way as our hands and fingers.
They have lightening quick paws to grab aquatic creatures, pluck mice and insects from hiding places, and invade bird nests to take tasty eggs. He helps us assess how we handle situations.
He is known for going on night time raids!
We all steal from time to time, be it something as simple as a pen or as invisible as the attention of another. Stealing energy or time from another person, even stealing from their reputation by mentioning their name wears away at the fabric of who we are over time. Raccoon teaches us how to notice the tell-tale signs in ourselves of when we are snatching up little bits that might not be ours, he helps us move further into integrity.
Image - Wikipedia