Skunk: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

The poor skunk gets a really bad reputation.

To be fair, if you walked around and sprayed people with stinky juice from your ass whenever you were slightly annoyed, then you’d probably get a bad reputation too.


But there’s more to the little skunk than just butt spraying. These creatures actually have a vast variety of different symbolic meanings.

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Symbolism & Meaning

A skunk is black and white, and if it ever feels threatened will release a toxic spray from its anal glands. This is actually very important to its symbolism.

Because of this skunks are intrinsically linked to vulgarity, obscenity, and danger.

It’s given them a dangerous reputation and everyone knows to avoid skunks. Symbolically, it is someone you don’t want to be around.

It makes them sound terrible right?

On the flip side, if we break down the colors of their stripes (black and white) we get a much better picture of the skunk.

Black and white represent universal balance.

Light & dark, injustice & justice, truth & lies, order & chaos, Yin & Yang, etc… In this way, skunks are seen as balanced creatures.

Yes, they might spray you and get you all stinky, but chances are you were messing with them and deserved it. They tend not to attack maliciously, they only defend when they are scared.

Spirit Animal

Having a skunk as a spirit animal means to have it guiding you throughout life. You may even find that you share similar traits with it.

Don’t be offended though, having a skunk as a spirit animal isn’t as bad as it actually sounds. The one thing you can’t say about it is that they’re fake.

It never pretends to be something it’s not. They’re authentic, and if you have a skunk spirit animal you may find that you’re a very authentic person. You are unapologetically yourself.

Sometimes spirit animals may try and communicate with you by appearing in your life at random moments.

If you see a skunk at any point in your life, it can mean different things. It may be a reminder to be true to yourself.

Alternatively, if it crosses your path then it’s a sign you’re repressing something. Most likely it’s anger towards a situation that is in need of serious fixing.

Totem Animal

In Shamanism, there is a very strong belief that we are linked to the spirit world. Anything living, regardless of its form, has a spirit we can connect with.

Your totem animal is a spirit you have connected with, much like a spirit animal or power animal. Totem animals are only in Native American culture, and skunk totems are considered very powerful.

Skunks were so revered as totems that Native clans that had a skunk spirit would often wear its fur bracelets into battle.

Seeing your skunk totem animal means you have a strong desire for justice to prevail. It’s also a reminder that you have all the power you need to make sure that it does.

Remember, skunks carry their own justice with them, in the form of skunk spray. Be like the skunk and make your own justice.

Having a skunk totem can also be symbolic of being a loner. Skunks are animals that are solitary, they’re in their own company a lot.

Usually, it’s not their fault, other animals stay away. It’s the threat of what they can do.

Perhaps you need to look inwards and think about why you’re solitary and see if it’s through any fault of your own. If you desire company, think about what you need to do to make connections.

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Power Animal

People with a skunk power animal are authentic, but because of this, it might be a little rough.


People don’t like people who are brutally honest. You might find that while you’re living your most honest life, people get hurt and lost along the way.

The skunk power animal appears to remind you that there are two sides to everything. Yin & Yang. While authenticity is great, it’s also possible to still be mindful of other people while being honest.

Skunks spray when they fear being trapped.

People with a skunk power animal might find that they lash out when it comes to intimacy in any form when they’re not used to it.

Interestingly, though skunks are loners, they usually have many mates. They’re very non-committal creatures.

People with skunk power animals may be very flirty, and non-committal as well, stemming from their intimacy issues.

Fix up, and learn that life is better because of other people and intimate relationships are nothing to be feared.

Skunk Native American Symbolism

In Native American culture, animals are important.

They have different symbolic meanings, importance, and are omens. Native clans each have their own animal symbol.

Clans that have a skunk are called kunipalgi.

Some such clans were part of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek. Kunipalgi used the skunk as their symbol because it represented danger, and showed they were to be feared.

Cherokee tribes found using skunks effective as a means of protecting against the spread of smallpox.
People affected by smallpox used skunk juice to try and treat it.

While that wasn’t that effective against the disease, the fact that juice had been sprayed was the reason people avoided going inside the infected person’s home and helped to curb the spread and transmission of smallpox.

Native Americans also believe that skunks are powerful omens and not the good kind.

Seeing a skunk nearby is a warning that there is a dark power nearby or coming. They also believe that if it nests near your home then that means there will be a death in the family.

Skunks are not eaten, however, their fur and tails were often used for pelts. Shamans would use skunk tails in certain rituals, like exorcisms, because of their connection to dark power.

It’s not all negative though. They also believed that if you saw one walking or just chilling, then it was a passed loved one trying to guide you.

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Celtic Symbolism

When it comes to symbolism, the Celts were very literal people. Seeing a snake meant someone was being dishonest in your life (basically they were being snakey).

Seeing a skunk meant rethinking whatever decision you were making because the one you made was sure to be stinky.

Like the Native American people, Celts also believed that a skunk was a bad omen. Smelling it meant rain the next day.

And if someone was ill and one came up to their doorstep then it meant the person was doomed.

Christianity Symbolism

In the Old Testament God sets out a list of animals that are considered unclean. It is forbidden to touch, eat, and use any part of them.

The skunk is listed as one of these unclean animals. Because of this, it is forbidden to touch, eat, or use any part of a skunk in Christianity.


Seeing animals in your dreams can actually be a way for your subconscious to guide you through your psyche.

Each animal, in fact, most things happening in a dream, can often be dissected and have meaning behind them.

Seeing a skunk in your dreams can mean that someone around you stinks. Perhaps not literally, but it’s a warning that something is up with them.

In fact, most times, seeing a skunk in your dreams is a warning. Either about a person in your life or a situation going on.

A skunk can be a physical representation of your reputation, and what others think of you. If it is spraying then be careful, your reputation is starting to stink.

Think about what you could do to help that. It may even require a big spiritual change in you.

Tattoo Meaning

When we get a tattoo it often has a significant meaning to us.

Getting animal tattoos actually has significant meanings that have been passed down from different cultures and generations.

In Native American culture, a skunk tattoo can represent a loved one who has passed or ancestor. This comes from the superstition that skunks can be embodied by the spirit of a dead relative or ancestor.

Skunks are independent creatures, and dangerous when messed with.

A skunk tattoo can represent this. Colloquially, skunk tattoos represent an individual who feels like they’re an outsider, on the fringe of society. An old-school rocker.

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Spiritual Meaning

A skunk can have different spiritual meanings based on the culture.

In Native American culture, as well as in Celtic, they are often seen as negative omens. But it doesn’t necessarily mean bad.


The skunk is feared because of its smell, more than anything else. Because once you’re sprayed by a skunk, then it’s game over.

The smell is inescapable, eye-watering, and so overpowering. In that way, the skunk represents a spiritually challenging situation that will do the same to you, metaphorically.

A skunk will always be a skunk no matter what.

Spiritually it also represents being authentic and true to yourself, no matter what the outcome is.

Though this may not always be a good thing. Seeing a skunk can help you reflect on what you want it to mean when you’re being yourself.

It’s also an omen to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Watch how you affect other people and the lives of people around you.

Skunk In Astrology & Zodiac Signs

The skunk is actually a part of the primal zodiac.

The primal zodiac signs are created when you take your western zodiac sign and mix it with your Eastern zodiac sign i.e. the animal of your birth year.

You have a skunk as your primal zodiac if you’re a Sagittarius born in the year of the rat.

People who have a skunk primal zodiac often get a bad reputation. This is because of their independent nature.

They may find they often don’t fit in with the crowd, and march to the beat of their own drum. Their sharp nature might actually push people away too.

However, people of the skunk are capable of being charming when they want to and romantically tend not to like being bogged down by committed relationships.

This is because they see them as a threat to their independence.

The biggest challenge for skunk people is to overcome this, almost, fear of other people, and learn to cooperate with the people around them for the sake of the bigger picture.

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African Symbolic Meanings

Much like Native Americans, African tribes used to believe in the power of the skunk to ward off diseases.

They would hang a punctured, (obviously dead), skunk at the entrance of their homes so the disease couldn’t enter.

Though nowadays we know that it was more the social distancing, than the actual skunk, that helped to stop the spread of the diseases.

The red skunk, or as it’s more commonly known, the Zorrilla skunk, is native to Africa.

It’s a lot more aggressive in everything it does, compared to North Western and American skunks.

That’s why zorilla skunks are very symbolic of aggression in Africa, as they are furious in everything they do- including mating. They’re a lot stinkier too!

Skunk Symbolic Meanings

We’ve discussed a lot of different meanings behind the skunk and dissected a lot of symbolism. Here’s the short version of what it means to be connected to a skunk spirit.

  • Independent
  • Aggressive
  • Flirty
  • Can be loners
  • Unlikable
  • Metaphorically stinky
  • Fierce defenders

Final Thoughts…

Now while the skunk may have lots of different symbolic meanings, and the majority of them seem negative, don’t be put off by this.

Not everything in life can be positive, and sometimes it’s the negative things that challenge us and help us grow a lot more than the positives, leading the way for great happiness in the future. So don’t be put off by the skunk and its symbolism.

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