Finding Your Purpose: A Spirit Message from Fox

Red fox power animalA couple weeks ago I had a magical moment in the woods. I’d been rambling about with my dog, and after a while felt the call to go off trail a bit to pray.

Right in the middle, I hear this rustling in the leaves behind me. I look up and see this critter just booking towards us. Someone’s dog? No—as it comes closer I see it’s a beautiful Red Fox. It barrels past just a yard or two behind me, then disappears into the woods on the other side, its white-tipped tail like a signal flag behind it.

Fox  has been calling himself to my attention quite a lot lately. So I thought I’d feel into it and see what he’s wanting to say.

Fox Power Animal Guidance

What’s coming forward right now is the shapeshifting aspect of Fox. Unlike frogs and butterflies, Foxes don’t actually shapeshift (except in folklore, such as the Japanese kitsune, a fox that can shapeshift into human form.) But, they do move silently and are really good at disappearing and reappearing into the forest, giving the impression of being able to disappear at will.

In other words, they have a slippery, elusive quality that gives the Fox totem the energetic quality of shapeshifting.

Also, foxes are one of those wild animals that do quite well in an urban environment. I’ve come across foxes right in the middle of several small to medium towns I’ve lived in. A friend from Dublin once wrote me about a fox living in their garden, and I’ve heard quite a number of stories of foxes living quite happily in other larger urban centers as well.

So the fox energy that’s coming forward right now has to do with that elusive quality, and also with their adaptability. It’s about the ability to slip in and out of established conventions.

Sometimes we find ourselves moving about in social circles or work environments that “require” us to step outside of who we are and follow the conventions. Fox medicine allows us to appear to do that while still actually following our own compass.

One of the interesting things about foxes is that they’re able to “see” the Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists think they can actually see it as a shadow on their retina, and it gives them the inborn capacity to be aware of where North is. They use that ability in tandem with their sense of hearing to locate and capture small animals that may be hiding under the snow or under fallen leaves. It’s rather like a specialized intuition that’s very connected with Earth.

So here’s the power animal message from Fox:

  1. First, Fox is asking us to really tune in to what is our “true North.”

Not what you think you should or ought to do, or what others are trying to tell you to do, but what are YOU being called to do? 

Doing so will require you to tune into your intuition. Pay close attention to all your senses. Each sense is its own channel for divine guidance; when we get similar intuitive input through different ones it can work like lining things up in the crosshairs – just like the fox “lines up” the rustling sounds in the leaves with its magnetic vision to zero in on its prey.

Use your senses to follow your pleasure. Every animal knows that pleasure is a good thing. It’s the pursuit of pleasure just as much or more than the avoidance of pain that helps them survive and thrive. We humans often have a warped view of pleasure. Yes, there are false pleasures, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

What brings you joy? By joy I mean real fulfillment, not some false pleasure that is just a temporary fix for an empty spot in your life. Find what brings you joy, and allow yourself to pursue it! That’s what Joseph Campbell called “following your bliss,” and it is the road to Purpose.

2. Next, the encouragement is to connect with Earth, to ground ourselves.

There are many ways to do this, but the one that’s coming forward for me right now is to pay close attention to your body. Whatever frustrations or setbacks you might be experiencing, take a moment to tune in and ask: what is your body wanting to tell you?

Maybe you need more sleep, or more exercise, or a different kind of exercise, or to eat more or less of something. It’s amazing how many times when we get thrown off track it’s because we’re not aligned with our body’s needs. A little fix like an extra hour of sleep can work wonders.

3. Also, Fox is saying we don’t always have to disrupt our lives to follow our purpose. 

Sometimes we get the prompt from Spirit to make big leaps, to quit a job or to move out of state or start a business or something like that. That can be very legitimate, and for most of us there are times for that, but that’s not what this is about.

The message I’m getting from Fox is that you can follow that sense of true north, follow your purpose, in a way that doesn’t require you to make huge leaps,  disrupt your life, take on Herculean tasks, and/or call undue attention to yourself.

Bringing Purpose to Earth

With this Fox energy, it’s more like weaving your pursuit of joy through your existing life, keeping that true North in sight, but moving towards it in a way that’s almost inconspicuous and/or not overtly disruptive. So it’s the ability to follow your guidance, follow your bliss, follow your purpose within the life you already have. It’s a sort of flying under the radar.

For example, say you feel called to be a healer. You could go all out, quit your job and start a healing business, or go back to school and switch careers to something in the medical profession, the whole nine yards. And sometimes that’s the way to go.

But another path is to keep the life you have, and work your passion for healing into it. Maybe start a healing Meetup. Work on family and friends in your spare time. Take on a few clients on the side. Take some night classes. Quietly practice Reiki at work. That sort of thing.

It’s a “yes, and” approach. Yes, there are reasons for me to be where I’m at. And yes, I have dreams and desires for something more. I allow myself to experience and receive both!

That is not to say that big shifts will not happen at some point. In fact, if you’re truly following your purpose they most certainly will. You may eventually quit that job, make that move, start that business, or whatever it is. The point is that it can happen gently and naturally, growing organically from where you are at right now, without being forced or forcing you and those around you to cope with huge changes all at once, at least not at the moment.

In a sense, it has to do with a sort of truce, a “meeting half way” between the spiritual and the material planes of life, between our dreams and our daily reality. They really can come together in harmonious ways!

Looking for more insight on the Spiritual meaning of Fox?

Like all power animals, Fox has multiple spirit meanings. We are all connected, so even though this message is relevant to me personally, it will relate to the collective as well. If Fox has come into your life recently it may therefore feel spot on for you, too.

But, if you feel Fox may have a different message for you, or if you’d like additional insight into the spirit meaning of Fox, check out my YouTube video on Fox here:

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Animal totem art reading: Fox and Spider

This is another art reading I did for a fellow writer. Interpretation below (edited to protect her privacy)!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

This is another art reading I did for a fellow writer. Interpretation below (edited to protect her privacy)!

Fox totem animal reading

This little fellow took a LONG time to decide to show himself. Foxes are considered tricksters in many traditions, but I think that comes from their intelligence and ability to disappear into their environment in the blink of an eye. Not being noticed can sometimes be an advantage, and foxes are able to choose to be highly visible or invisible as the occasion calls for. In your own life, you can use this to your advantage as well. Sometimes it pays to watch from the shadows, or “shapeshift” – blending into your surroundings or into whatever society you are in at the time.

Fox  & Spider animal totem reading
This is the drawing I did during the original reading.

This fox is at home in its den. Home is very important to foxes. Once they leave the nest, young foxes will wander – sometimes for hundreds of miles – until they find a territory of their own. Then they stay in that home range for the rest of their lives, raising their young underground in dens. It may be important for you to make your home a place of refuge, and be sure you are allowing yourself time and space to relax there.

Finally, foxes are more or less nocturnal. As a creature of the night they are associated in many traditions with feminine energy. Don’t doubt your creative power and ability – nurture and protect your creative impulses until they’re ready to bring out into the world.

Like I said, it took a very long time for this fox to decide it was safe show up here. If you are dealing with trust issues at all (whether your own or someone else’s), you may need to cultivate patience and quietude. Practices that help you do this, such as meditation, yoga, or just walking in nature, can help.

There are a couple of other animal totems in this image. The deer showed up in the beginning, and stuck around long enough for me to include her shadow on the rock wall, but then took off again. Deer have some of the same ability to quietly disappear and camouflage themselves as foxes, so I think her presence may just underscore this quality.

The spider hung out long enough to be significant (although I kept feeling that there was something more, and eventually the fox showed up). A lot of people are afraid of spiders, but I don’t get a negative feeling from this one. The spider’s web is both exquisitely beautiful and practical. I think it’s a reminder of your constructive power to support yourself and weave beauty into your life in the process.

One final note – foxes are the most feline of the dog family. If you have a dog or a cat at home, watch them and learn from them – they will teach you important lessons about how to live your life!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne