|Spirit Fox photographed behind my house 10/8/2019|
Thursday, October 10, 2019
I encountered Fox, cleverly disguised as a stump, while strolling in the woods behind my house. Fox is a spirit animal with many faces, representing a power far greater than ourselves.
In folklore around the world, Fox is seen variously as either a symbol of cunning and trickery, or, conversely, the victory of intelligence over malevolence and brute strength.
Fox is also associated with shapeshifting: the ability to physically transform herself through divine intervention or magic.
In addition, Fox is portrayed in the literature as a symbol of play: “fox is a playful sprite, quick in a flash you see him and in another flash he is gone.”1 I can attest to this from personal knowledge:
My neighbor took her cat with young kittens out into a field by her house to acclimate them to the outdoors. Without warning, a mother fox and her young pups emerged from the tall grass. My neighbor was initially alarmed but relaxed when she observed the two mothers hanging back unconcerned, while the babies rolled around on the ground, playing with each other.
Then, as suddenly as they had arrived, the foxes disappeared, as if it had been a dream. The Jungian Book of Symbols says that makes sense:
Fox’s fiery red coat “produces an elusive glimmer that beckons from another realm – a fleeting presence that Japanese poets likened to sunlight flashing amidst rain, suddenly appearing, dazzling us, and then vanishing, like the fox itself.”2
As for the mother cat and fox, what a lesson they teach about tolerance, especially in our current polarized climate where all too often, we attack those different from ourselves.
Finally, Fox can represent erratic behavior which can’t be predicted, particularly if pushed beyond normal limits.
As such, Fox is a perfect symbol for our human-caused climate change which is now pushing dangerously beyond acceptable limits, resulting in increasingly erratic, unpredictable storms with catastrophic results.
As climate apocalypse draws ever closer, we need Fox to be our guide, the master of adaptation, who can thrive everywhere from barren wastelands to frozen tundra to city landscapes – and do so sustainably.
More critically, we need Fox to be our spiritual guru, teaching us how to reestablish a comfort zone with Mother Earth, built by being humble and respecting her rules.
We need Fox’s magical powers – celebrated by indigenous people since the dawn of time – to reconnect us to what is really real, beyond the virtual reality of our tablets and smartphones.
The Incas considered Fox to be a diviner-curer because of her ability to hear through the earth about faraway events. For Fox, everything is connected. No one is alone in this world.
Nowadays, chaos theory proves how we are all connected by dynamic systems, best summarized by the famous quote that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in the Amazon can cause a tornado in Texas.
We pride ourselves today for being wired together by satellites and the internet, but we forget that we’ve always been intimately joined by weather’s wet kiss. As weather becomes more abusive, we all suffer.
We need Fox to awaken us to the existential truth: that we are all organically connected to our living, breathing mother who is getting sicker each day.
In the meantime, while the Earth burns, we fiddle with the empty pixels on our computer screens.
2 Book of Symbols, page 278.
3 Book of Symbols, page 278