What Does the Fox Say?

New Moon ♑>♒

Yesterday, just before lunch-time, I was on my way up to the local golf course for a stroll.  I hadn’t even got past the council houses when I saw something scuttling further ahead.

At first, I thought it was a tortoise-shell cat, but when I looked again, it was a bit bigger and the tail was definitely bushier.  It was, of course, a fox!  Must have been a juvenile one too as it’s fur still had blue-grey patches.

But there he was (or she, could’ve been a she), head and tail down as if trying everything to keep a low profile despite the bright sun of the approaching afternoon.  The fox made its way into the hedge of one of the houses on the road and then I saw him/her no more.

And so, I took the rest of my walk in contemplation.

I’m not one for thinking that every encounter with an animal needs some shamanic interpretation.

But I am one for thinking that every encounter with wildlife is a gift.

There is indeed a fox den, if not a few more around this part of Nottingham.  Devi and I have witnessed them in our back garden, seen the cubs play, heard them cry and yip.  Devi’s even witnessed them playing with Ron (one of the Apex Predators) and Bailey (she was our lioness trapped in the body of of a blonde domestic house cat) when she was with us, rest her soul.  We’ve also found the holes they’ve dug in the garden- cubs practicing for their cache skills no doubt!

In the Druid Animal Oracle, Fox has the associated words of Cunning, Diplomacy and Wildness.  Fox is about knowing the difference between staying hidden and when come out into the open.  When to use your knowledge to solve something, not to deceive or be sly.

Fox, in England, has a bad reputation: for being cunning, killing for sport and a trickster.  Compare this to the Fox-spirits of China and Japan, where the Fox is not only a shape-shifter, but has magical powers.  Some can be mischievous, others can be friendly.  Like Humans, really.  In Native American cultures, Fox can be a trickster and even the thief that gave the gift of fire to Human-kind.  There was even a Gallic chief whose name translated as “Son of Fox” and because he was an exceptional negotiator, so did the fox become associated with diplomacy. 

The associations of Fox being cunning comes from the Fox’s ability to adapt it’s hunting and living habits to it’s environment.  You can find foxes in both urban or rural areas, the desert and even in the arctic circle- they are like us: adapting to our surroundings. The fox will hunt it’s area for food and shelter.  If the food is in a man-made container such as a bin (trash can), plastic bags or even a coop, then it will figure a way of getting to it.  And if successful, they store it in a hole for another day.

They have a great sense of play and this is most likely where the ‘mischievous’ nature comes from.

Fox has made itself known to me for a while, but it’s only recently I have understood it’s message:

Stop trying to force your routine onto where you live.  Look around you and see how you live: shape your life around that instead.”

Fox may be about cunning, wildness and diplomacy, but it is also adaptation, resourcefulness and play.

In these tumultuous times of ours, perhaps there is much to be learned from what the fox says: adapt and survive.

Photo by Dušan Veverkolog, upsplash.com