What animal wears a mask, eats garbage, and may bite when provoked?  It’s Raccoon!  Bandit-masked raccoons are a familiar and adorable animal Native to North America that can be seen throughout the world.  With his adaptable nature and incredible dexterity, Raccoon can thrive almost anywhere with a reliable source of water.  He is content in warm tropical climates to cold wetlands. He can spend his days catching fish, frogs, and bugs in the marshes, snacking on mice, eggs, fruits, and veggies in the fields, or crunching on scraps he finds anywhere in urban areas where he is affectionately referred to as “Garbage Panda.”    

Active * Adaptable * Nimble * Alert * Clever

Racoons have human-like hands with 5 tiny fingers, although they lack an opposable thumb.  The dexterity of his forepaws is greater than almost any animal which makes him an excellent climber and trapper.  He can pry open shells, snatch a fish from the water, and break into secure spaces.  Each paw has over four times more mechanoreceptors than most other mammals, making touch and his tactile abilities his greatest strength.  

Raccoon knows to seize opportunities.  In parts of the country with harsh winters, Raccoon gorges himself during times of plenty and stores up for winter where he may be comprised of 50% fat at his largest.  Though he does not hibernate, Raccoon spends much of his days sleeping away in a den during the harsher months.  Raccoons prowl at night, which allows them to escape most predators whose main activities occur during the day.

Male Raccoon enjoys his solitude.  He lives free, seeking opportunity while females are left to raise her young kit of 3 to 5 babies alone.  Babies are born blind, immobile, and are often kept high in a tree den.  Mothering her young can be quite an undertaking but Mom never complains.  She invests months into her helpless offspring, teaching them to avoid predators and find nourishment until they can fully care for themselves at around 9 months old.  Although adorable and not likely to be aggressive on a normal day, Mom is a ferocious protector of her young and can be territorial when confronted by predators and other raccoon families.   If Mother is removed from her babies, she may trek miles for a chance to reunite with her kit.  All can admire her devotion and motivation to her tribe! The family unit remains close in adolescence, and the young often choose to den nearby when they reach adulthood.  Raccoons’ brotherly love makes him a clan symbol for Chickasaw, Shawnee, and Chippewa tribes.  

Curious * Intelligent * Dexterous * Brotherly * Acute

With a curious and active nature, it’s no surprise that Raccoon often encounters trouble.  He is popular in Native folk tales, which view him as a light-hearted, mischievous, and tricky character.  

As an omnivore, nearly everything he encounters may be food, so he’s forever curious, manipulating anything he can, and adding this knowledge to his large database.  This makes Racoon an expert problem solver.  If you encounter a situation that stumps you, turn to Racoon.  He leaves no stone unturned and has the imagination to break through barriers

Shapeshifting * Fearless * Masked 

Raccoon’s mask can tell us that not everything is as it seems.  He is a shapeshifter, allowing him to adapt and fit in to any scenario. Masks allow for altering one’s state, hiding, or can be used to become something else during ceremonies and celebrations. We all have a role to play, and sometimes we may put on a front.  Racoon can help you discover who you truly are as you take a closer look at the masks you may wear.     

Wear Raccoon Totem

  • Wear Raccoon when you need to meditate on the masks you wear.  His clever and adaptable nature allows him to shift into any role necessary, but what does that say about you?  What are you hiding from?  Or who are you emulating?
  • Raccoon mothers can symbolize love, sacrifice and devotion while her kit represents a clan or brotherly love.   

  • Are you stuck in a negative state of mind? Raccoon can help you find optimism in your surroundings, allowing you to flourish almost anywhere with a fresh perspective.