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Fox Totems And Why They Are Awesome

Updated on April 30, 2016
Nightcat profile image

Nightcat is a practicing witch who loves to write about Wicca and many of the Gods and Goddesses she’s had the pleasure to encounter.

Clever As A Fox

Like my foxy pal? This is actually Loki's altar fox, and he'll be making some costume changes and acting as our guide through the wonderful world of fox totems.
Like my foxy pal? This is actually Loki's altar fox, and he'll be making some costume changes and acting as our guide through the wonderful world of fox totems.

Fox Totem Brings Change

If you landed here you may be wondering if fox is your totem, and what the heck is a totem anyways? Basically a totem is an animal spirit that walks with you in your life always and you often have a part of that animal’s nature in you. Learning about how the animals naturally act, and about what the totem has to teach you can help you live your life to the fullest.

Fox as a totem has much wisdom to give and can teach us lessons in bravery, providing for the family unit and more. Fox can also make us aware of our weaknesses and not in a bad way. All totems have strengths and weaknesses, and fox is no exception.

If you are tripping over foxes you may be wondering if they are your totem. Or may fox be carrying fox medicine to you? Well, if you got a reading, did a meditation or just know, fox is a wonderful totem to have. Keep in mind the only real difference between a totem, spirit guide and other animal guides is that totems are usually around for life and may be even a part of us. In other words, if you have fox as a totem, you’d be wise to learn foxy strengths and weaknesses.

Before we start, I do want you to leave any ideas of me telling you how to capture or use fox parts at the door. I personally don’t feel any critter would be thrilled with having been killed for her parts, and there is a huge difference between a First Nations hunt or ceremony from centuries ago to honor the animal and supporting the horrors of a fur farm. Fox totem will be far more thrilled with face paint, a candle or herbs to honor her.

That out of the way, fox is an awesome totem to have. She is not a discount wolf, nor is he a lesser totem because he is red, grey, white or any other color. Size and color doesn’t matter when it comes to our clever totems, but learning the ropes of your foxy friends world just might.

I know this is a really long Hub, but having fox for a totem touches on a lot of sensitive areas I didn't want to just gloss over, like should you adorn your home with fox pelts or get a fox as an animal companion because fox is your totem. Please keep in mind this Hub reflects my experiences and views about fox totems (yes, fox is my totem) and in no way do I speak for anyone else.

Ready To Begin?

In many cultures fox is looked at as a shapeshifter and powerful magician, and that is just a wild fox. Spirit foxes, like totems, are felt to be highly intelligent and have many lessons to give.
In many cultures fox is looked at as a shapeshifter and powerful magician, and that is just a wild fox. Spirit foxes, like totems, are felt to be highly intelligent and have many lessons to give.

Totems, Guides and Others


There are many ways to describe them, but here’s a handy guide to suss out which is which. And to be honest, terminology is often loosely used, so it doesn’t really matter what you call the animal spirit you work with, just that you love, respect and honor your teacher and friend.

Totem: A totem animal (many believe you can have many) is with you for life in a spirit form. You may see this animal in dreams, vision quests or everyday life. If fox is your totem, for example, even if you live in the city, there are suddenly all thing related to fox that may pop up. Animal totems are with you for life and many believe we also have an essential part of that animal’s spirit or character within us.

Power animal: Honestly, depending on the definition you read power animal can be swapped out with totem or spirit animal, depending on how people mean it. A power animal brings you their power and can be believed to dwell inside us just like a totem. The term brings to mind power, but small and humble animals have powers, healings and teaching too.

Animal Spirit Guide: Just like a tour guide, a guide will come and lead and teach you for a little while when you need a lesson. This can be for a brief time or many years, but they generally move on when you’ve mastered their lesson. Guides love us just as much as totems, of course. Think of them as specialists who come into help as every animal has strengths and weaknesses.

Fox Totem Animal - Contessa's Corner

Fox Totems In General


In general when a fox totem presents himself, and shy is not a word I’d use for fox, though joyful would be, fox wants you to pay attention to something. Maybe your innate fox skills, maybe the world around you, maybe change. But fox is saying “Hey! We’re going on an amazing journey, so ears perked, nose to the wind, and be on the alert!” Fox is a friendly and wonderful guide, but just that, a guide, even if he or she is your totem.

Fox will make sure you carry your weight in the partnership, as fox would point out, a fox won’t and can’t carry a heavy load. But fox will never expect more than you can do, she just knows you can do more than you think of yourself. Sometimes people with a fox totem can see ourselves like we might see foxes. Small, not spectacular, not brave and powerful like a wolf or bear totem would be.

But fox is as fox was meant to be, and fox has his own bravery and a more gentle nature. Fox brings playfulness, silliness and happiness, but also bravery. You must be brave when you are smaller but it’s a different kind of bravery and no less valuable.

Fox will also bring cunning and wit, so if you’ve been sitting around or just coasting, be prepared to have fox repeatedly invite you to investigate everything. Pay attention to the world around you, be aware of what is going on, and perhaps make yourself invisible and watch silently, not letting on you are watching.

Study actual foxes, read up on the ways of the fox, and learn which habits a fox has that might call to you. Short naps during the day and lighter more frequent meals, for example, are often pointed out as good for people with fox totems and I find I enjoy both.

Small Does Not Mean Powerless

As fox will point out, there are vast reserves of courage, cunning and wit in even the most humble animal. Being small doesn't make fox less of a totem.
As fox will point out, there are vast reserves of courage, cunning and wit in even the most humble animal. Being small doesn't make fox less of a totem.

But I Got a Fox For a Totem!


Yes, I know. Fox for a totem, but you know what? Foxes are not the evil, manipulative sneaky creatures they are made out to be in the media. Foxes don’t dream of ruining your life or gobbling up every chicken on the planet, and it’s easier for humans to build a sturdy coop than to raise chickens from the dead as my grandmother would say.

Fox gets a bad rep because a lot of humans are frankly lazy and fox will take advantage of that laziness. If fox sees a chance for an easy meal he will not pass it up. He’s not being mean, sneaky or evil, he’s being a fox. Fox people too will often take an opening when they see it, like timing their grocery run for free sample day and getting a free meal out of it. That isn’t being greedy, that’s being clever.

That can of course be a weakness if it gets out of hand, so fox reminds us to balance our cleverness before we become unwelcome guests. It’s fine to make your rounds and get a free sample or two, it’s not fine to eat five days worth of food in samples, savvy?

Keeping an eye of our foxy cleverness for finding free food and other goodies and sharing the wealth with our families and friends can go a long way towards a balanced and happy fox person.

Spirit Meaning Of The Fox

Love, Family, and Community


Foxes can live on their own at times, but when it comes time to raise a family they will live in a family unit depending on the species. The male will guard and mate with his female and help provide for the pups. The couple may drift apart after mating season or stick together, but foxes do form strong family units and providing for and protecting that family is a huge priority.

For the single person with a fox totem you can spread this naturally foxy need to provide to those around you, even strangers. Do nice things like opening doors, helping the elderly cross the street or other good deeds. Clean up parks, help out where you naturally and easily can to not overtax that foxy system and you will be as content as anyone with a family.

Fox totem people may find alone time essential. Like the fox you may find some quiet time out in nature, play time or just sitting quietly in your favorite spot will work wonders. Fox totem people, like foxes can be a tad nervous and startle easily at times, especially if run down, so if you need to hole up in your den and rest and recharge, do it.

Fox also teaches us to not be afraid to bark, bite, nip or growl if we or that which we need, such as food or alone time is being threatened. Fox may be small but has a high prey drive and is very territorial over food and other important things. Don’t let someone take things just because you feel small, it’s perfectly fine to bark or nip as need be. See to your own needs first, then you can share as need be.

Plush Life Ahead

A long time ago I figured out real foxes do not make great pets (there were folks trying long before You Tube) and saw one too many wild or bought fox mysteriously disappear after acting like a fox.
A long time ago I figured out real foxes do not make great pets (there were folks trying long before You Tube) and saw one too many wild or bought fox mysteriously disappear after acting like a fox.

Do Fox Totems Equal Foxes As Pets?


Kind in mind a totem is a spirit animal. Fox doesn’t need you to get a pet fox any more than tiger would want you to have a pet tiger. You are more than welcome to not set out poison, not harm wild foxes and not kill off their food sources, fox totem will cheer that on.

But a pet fox? No can do. Foxes are wild animals. The nifty program in Russia that has tamed foxes for generations (and they go for $8,000.00 USD a pop) aside, a fox is a wild animal, no matter what a breeder claims. Yes, we’ve all seen and fallen in love with rare exceptions like RonRon who recently crossed the rainbow bridge. And who’s human companion, Foxalbaizul, clearly loved him, built a huge enclosure and dedicated his life to being the best fox parent possible.

But he didn’t harbor any illusions of RonRon being a cuddly house pet or ever wanting hugs, and that is something to keep in mind. I invite those who still want foxes to watch RonRon destroy things, RonRon hide food, pee on it, then get aggressive, and learn.

The only way that bond worked is that the human dedicated his life to caring for the fox. And, happily, he got a fox that tolerated him, which is an exception. And that is exactly it. The You Tube stars are rare exceptions. Foxes are really wonderful animals, out in the wild. There they can bury food and pee on it, vocalize, and dig to their hearts’ content without ripping up your wiring, requiring life in an enclosure in your back yard, or tearing holes in your walls.

If you really truly love fox as your totem consider volunteering with a fox rescue society. You’ll be helping real foxes rehab and return to the wild, where they belong. I’m quite happy to offer shelter to denning mothers, and don’t poison prey animals she might eat, but that is as far as it goes. The moms and pups are still wild as they were meant to be.

I will always have a place in my heart for RonRon, but I’ve seen too many status symbol fox pets, just as I’ve seen too many toy dogs and other unfortunate critters the celeb du jour just had to have. Animals are not fashion accessories or toys. You can spirit journey every day for the rest of your life and hang out with fox totem, much kinder in the long run for foxes.

I know that sounds mean to fox fanciers, but if you kept a dog or a cat cooped up in a pen the neighbors would be rightly horrified and calling the ASPCA. Please don’t doom a fox to life in a cage, no matter how lush, because you figured out they are not house pets.

Fox As A Pet?

Fox's Corner

Totems don't require a corner, but may of us who work with them enjoy getting them small gifts.
Totems don't require a corner, but may of us who work with them enjoy getting them small gifts.

Wearing Fox Bits And Pieces


Pagans come in two basic camps. Those who feel they gain an animal’s power from wearing bits of it, and those who feel such actions are best left in the past. I look at it this way, if you skinned me and I was a fox I’d come back in spirit and pee on you and bite you, I’d make your life a living nightmare, I would not be inclined to help you.

That said, yes, there are First Nations fox societies, and yes, some did and still do wear fox pelts. But please keep in mind, there’s a huge difference between old time hunts by First Nations hunters where the fox had a chance and a fox raised on a fur farm or one caught in a dreadful fox hunt.

I can’t stop you from wearing fox bits if that brings you joy, but why not ask fox totem first? If you are truly meant to have a pelt it will likely be gifted to you. Myself I hated fox stoles as a child and I still do, but that is me. You’d be being kinder to get that pelt used, just don’t tell me about it, OK?

Personally, I was bullied into getting an animal skin once, the seller insisted it helped First Nation people and I absolutely had to have animal parts to work with my totems and such. It not only likely came from a fur farm, but it was not a joyful bonding experience. I felt no power, only pity and compassion. I cried and buried the bits of the animals (which had the good sense to shed) and never looked back.

Do Totems Require Pelts?

Not so long ago it was insisted on. Fox totem meant fox pelt, agree or disagree?

See results

What Difference Does Subspecies Make?


My general rule of thumb with any totem is to love the species and follow loose general rules. Learn over time what each member of the species brings to the table. Red fox and grey fox both live in the woods but have adapted to city life just fine. Some are better at desert life some fox subspecies thrive in the artic.

Think of how the fox you love most is built, think of how they live and what general lessons you can learn. You likely don’t want to switch to a diet of rats and mice along with insects, for example, but being able to adapt to different ways of doing things like adapting to different food sources may be key.

Ask fox what lessons you are meant to be learning and fox will happily teach you. Maybe you have a desert fox right now because your life seems like a harsh and inhospitable place she can walk you through. Maybe artic fox needs to teach you to hunt down oppritunities or grey fox needs you alert and aware.

Please don’t ignore a lesson because I or any other writer doesn’t mention it. The only limits to foxes lessons as your totem are your imagination and willingness to learn.

Time To Get Fancy, With Your Thoughts

Fox trot, anyone? Just like our silly guide, there are endless ways to interact with your fox totem.
Fox trot, anyone? Just like our silly guide, there are endless ways to interact with your fox totem.

Working With Your Totem


Most of the time people will cram you full of info on your totem, fox wants you to watch, fox means you are clever, fox this, fox that. Then send you on your merry way and not really explain how to work with your totem. There is no right or wrong way, but here are a few ideas.

Meditation: Works like a charm when you get used to it. A great way to meet your animal totem and get messages. Messages may come across as words or images, whatever your totem feels works best for you.

Learning: Sometimes educating yourself on foxes in the wild can help you gain insights into your totem and yourself. Every expert will tell you only a grey fox can climb. You don’t have to go far or look hard to find video footage of other foxes climbing. In other words, don’t accept the limitations others put on you, you have fox as your totem, you can darn well do anything!

Play: Sounds odd, but play is part of fox’s nature. Playing with your children, playing fox related games or just going out and enjoying your environment are essential.

Working fox magic: Light a candle, do a totem ritual, be your foxy self. Take time to embrace your inner fox, but remember that while many foxy aspects are pretty darn awesome, we do have our weaknesses to watch out for.

Wear or keep an item that speaks of fox to you. A red stone (or black, or whatever color your fox totem is). This can help remind you of all you’ve learned about foxes and keep you open to messages fox may have for you.

Set up an area. If you don’t like the word altar, don’t call it that. But set up an area just for your totem. Fox, for example might lead you to a spot where you can give them anything they desire. I have a tiny area for fox right now near my hearth and several others just for him.

Treat him well. Treat any totem with love and respect, as both teacher and friend. Although not traditional I will say to fox “Here, eat with me, here, have a space where I sleep and be warm. Come, come play, share.” The more love you show, the more your relationship will grow.

Please keep in mind no totem, no matter how wonderful can do everything. Fox can inspire us and give ideas, but we have to write the article, paint the painting, etc. Fox can help us blend in and be safe, but if we get too vocal all of fox’s help in blending in won’t help. It takes time to grow into any totem, and sometimes they have to circle back around at various stages during our lives.

And that is the key to working with any totem. It will take time and effort on your part. Any relationship worth having grows over time. Don’t expect to have that incredible bond in the first instant, but if you are loving and willing to learn it will come naturally. Have fun, play with fox, get to know one another and the loving bond will take care of itself.

Lastly, consider donating your time to rehabbing wild foxes or other critters. By joining with others in a group you can enjoy interaction, learn about wild foxes and do some good. Can’t rehab wild critters? Do what you can, you have fox as a totem so I’m sure you have plenty of ideas.

You Might Enjoy Having An Area For Your Fox Totem

OK, that is Loki's altar fox, but I find my fox totem does not mind hanging out near His altars, and will share flower offerings and fox seemed happily amused over the storm water.
OK, that is Loki's altar fox, but I find my fox totem does not mind hanging out near His altars, and will share flower offerings and fox seemed happily amused over the storm water.

Fox Totem Teaches Us To Pay Attention


Recently to compile some foxy goodness I started a Pinterest board. And sadly a lot of the places I pinned proved I didn’t dig deep enough. One place I thought was fox heaven turned out to sell stuffed foxes and fox bits to tourists who just paid to pose with fox cubs. That there were so many types of foxes and fox cubs should have been a red flag, but both the site and most tourists vids carefully neglect mentioning the fox pieces on sale, right next to t-shirts of happy fox families and stuffed foxes of the plush kind.

Pet foxes like RonRon turn out to be the exception. Yes, foxes are truly beautiful animals, I love fox as a totem, but I clearly was not digging deep enough. As I did more research I found out their bond was rare and only lasted because his human essentially became his keeper, not a pet owner or companion. There was love on both sides to be sure, but had RonRon ever gotten free he’d likely have never returned, foxes are simply foxes.

I felt bad about just assuming the place I’d planned on visiting was a fox haven, but fox led me to the truth. The same thing with digging about to find out the truth on foxes as animal companions. I felt foolish after learning better, but fox was simply pointing out I didn’t know half of what I thought I did and was too clever for my own good, a foxy weakness if ever there was one.

Watch out for feeling prideful. Snooty fox is an apt saying. We can be a little too sure of ourselves and just like the actual fox get ourselves into trouble. Fox rescue groups can tell you stories of the fox that was too clever for her own good, so think things through and make sure you have the goods to do the job.

Self assurance is awesome, getting your tail caught or your head stuck or smooshed by a car? Not so much. Also, don’t hoard, we can do it, get too much stuff. Let it go, share the wealth. Don’t be silly and go too far the other way, no one wants an impoverished fox, but make sure you are keeping just enough. A little extra is awesome, far too much than you can ever use is wasteful.

Surprise!

Another one of Loki's altar foxes. Fox totems come in all shapes and sizes, so don't discount any fox totem, no matter the size, color or shape.
Another one of Loki's altar foxes. Fox totems come in all shapes and sizes, so don't discount any fox totem, no matter the size, color or shape.

Fox Totem And Deep Healing


Fox totem can bring very deep healing. She can look like she couldn’t even dig past the surface, but watch a fox hunt in the snow. She will leap up in the air, and come down, snow going everywhere, and come up with a tasty mouse.

You might think your mental, spiritual or emotional issues are so deeply buried she can’t reach them, but she can. And she will be a little ruthless if she has to. If you need healing she can being it with laughter and joy, but if it is a deeply embedded hurt she can and will stealth attack to bring healing.

Fox will heal you mind body and soul, believe in her. She may look small and unassuming, she may be playing about one moment then healing you deeply the next. You never know with fox and she can be a roller coaster thrill ride of epic proportions if you need it.

Trust me, fox rocks when it comes to healing.

Totem Tuesday: The Fox

How Do You Work With Your Fox Totem?

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