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Fox by Sue Perryman

I have loved foxes my whole life and have had them appear in many dreams and meditations. I wasn't surprised a few years ago when I did a meditation to meet my animal guides, that fox was the first one I met. The scientific name for fox is Vulpes vulpes. They are a common sight in both rural and urban areas and are found in many different environments around the world.

Foxes live in family groups of one male (dog) one breeding female (vixen) a few female helpers from previous litters and any young, known as cubs, kits or pups. The family has several lairs and one or more breeding dens (earths) within their territory. Mating season is between December - February when the vixen can be heard making the eerie high-pitched scream that is a staple of spooky films and tv shows. The females give birth to 4-7 cubs between March and May, which remain with the mother until autumn when they leave to find territories and mates of their own.

Foxes are found wherever food is plentiful, they will eat almost anything, but their natural diet consists of large beetles, crane flies, earthworms, field voles, small birds, berries and fruit. If your rubbish is not securely sealed in a dustbin they will rip the bin bag open and take anything edible, although they are not the only culprits, I live on the South coast and seagulls are the worst offenders for this!

The life expectancy for wild foxes is only 12-18 months in urban areas and rarely more than 3 years in rural areas. The greatest cause of death is from traffic accidents.

Many people love seeing foxes in their gardens, but some find them a nuisance. If you decide to start feeding them, the RSPCA advise that you bear in mind your neighbours may not feel the same which could result in action taken against the foxes. Never try to tame them or hand feed them and don't leave too much food out as they only need small amounts. If you want to deter foxes from your garden remove all access to any potential food sources.

Foxes appear in folklore, myths and legends in many cultures around the world. Some see them as tricksters and shape-shifters and others see them in a more positive light. In Asian folklore foxes are said to trick people by disguising themselves as beautiful maidens who destroy any man foolish enough to fall in love with them. In early Mesopotamian myth the fox is one of the sacred animals of the goddess Ninhursag, acting as her messenger.

Foxes have a reputation for being cunning and sly; they are quick-witted and intelligent. In spite of encroachment on their territory and the history of hunting, they have still managed to adapt and survive alongside humans.

When the fox appears in your life, it may indicate that you need to pay attention to people or circumstances that may be deceiving you or tricking you. The fox encourages you to open your eyes and see the situation for what it is, not as you wish it to be. He teaches you to be fluid and adaptable in challenging times, to think outside the box and use your intelligence to find a solution to your problem.

The fox has a long magical history of camouflage, shapeshifting and invisibility associated with it. Because it is a creature of the night, it is often imbued with supernatural powers. It is often most visible at dawn and dusk, the 'between times' when the magical world and the world we live in intersect. They live at the edge of forests and open land - the border areas. Because it is an animal of the between times and places, it can be a guide to enter the faerie realm.

Keywords: Cunning, stealth, Quick thinking, courage, observation, persistence, strategy, adaptability, wisdom, shapeshifting and invisibility.

Sources: Pagan Portals Animal Magic - Rachel Patterson Animal Speak - Ted Andrews

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