These nocturnal creatures live in trees or maybe in your roof! It’s quite exciting to go possum spotting at night with a torch in the bush as a child and it’s something most young Australian country people have done. Possum’s large eyes have adapted to night vision and most possums use their tails as an extra limb, they are prehensile.
Australian possums have adjusted very well to Western civilisation because they have ‘a stomach for almost anything’. Cats, who have a stomach for possums, are their main enemy. If you come across some possum fur on the ground, ghastly evidence of a battle between cat and Possum, think upon the virtues of vigilance and alertness.
Possum carries his own protection with his alertness, sharp claws and frightening growls; a good omen – unless of course, he empties your garbage or makes too much noise at night! Disturbances are the issue here with Possum who thinks any food is his too! If this is the case, examine where you feel you give to much or where you feel drained or ‘taken from’ – perhaps it’s time to set up some boundaries?
And Possum in your roof? Symbolically, a roof is protection, and can mean a higher perspective as well as reaching a limit. Possum can refer to new ideas developing which are over the ceiling or threshold of your usual level; or perhaps you be opportunistic about something? If Possum is a nuisance, what attitudes or expectations do you have that might contribute to irritating circumstances?
Possum was once a thief who stole fish from the tribe who invented the first fishing net. The tribe used to keep their fish alive in a channel, held in by a fence of sticks, and this is where the opportunist fed himself from. He also took fish to exchange for other provisions elsewhere! The tribe started to put two and two together and caught the thief in action. In his escape, he remembered a spell to turn himself into an animal, so he did (this is why the possum has a long tail, as that was his spear). The tribe counter-cast a spell onto him that prevented him from turning back into a human. This is also why Possum comes in the dead of night to forage out your food – he has the cover of darkness! This Dreaming shares some important information about Aboriginal culture, the fish traps, that they transported live fish and kept them alive until needed – are you setting aside for the future? Can you think of new, inventive ways to make your life easier?
There is a Dreaming about a family of moonstruck albino possums who were always seeking a way to reach the moon. They still are to this day, which is why they live in trees and are nocturnal. If you encounter an albino possum, are your dreams out of reach? Take baby steps instead of a stellar leap. Your strong virtue of persistence combined with realistic vision may be more appropriate for your situation.
More about Possum here.
You can purchase the classic Australian children’s book “Possum Magic” here –
Here is a version read aloud – Reed, A. W. “Aboriginal Myths, Legends & Fables.”  Roberts, D. And A. “Shadows in the Mist.”