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Deities

Exploring the Deities Associated with Foxes (Cunning)

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Written by: Tina Caro

A fox awakens the individual’s camouflage abilities and increases their ingenuity. He teaches adaptability and cunning, and develops observation skills and the speed of thought and action. It is particularly powerful in difficult situations, especially those that require clarity of thought.

If a fox is your totem, you can increase your mental faculties and develop your power of deduction, but also your physical reactivity. It allows you to quickly find a way to overcome obstacles, sometimes bypassing them without necessarily having to face them.

It increases awareness, perspicacity, and sense of direction helps to sniff out deceit, and to pay attention to people or circumstances that could be detrimental for one’s own evolution. In this regard, develop insight into relationships and individual choices.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Foxes are often associated with cunning, intelligence, and transformation in various mythologies and folk traditions. Here are some deities and beings associated with foxes:

  1. Inari Ōkami (Japanese Shinto): Inari Ōkami is a major deity in Shintoism, associated with rice, fertility, prosperity, and foxes. Foxes are believed to serve as messengers of Inari and are often depicted as white foxes.
  2. Tamamo-no-Mae (Japanese Folklore): Tamamo-no-Mae is a legendary fox spirit or kitsune in Japanese folklore. She is known for her beauty and cunning, which hides her true nature as a nine-tailed fox.
  3. Huli Jing (Chinese Folklore): Huli Jing, also known as “fox spirits,” are supernatural beings in Chinese folklore. They are often portrayed as seductive and capable of shape-shifting to deceive humans.
  4. Ahri (Korean Folklore): Ahri is a nine-tailed fox spirit in Korean folklore. She is known for her beauty and intelligence, and legends tell of her ability to take on a human form.
  5. Sedna (Inuit Mythology): In Inuit mythology, Sedna is a sea goddess who can transform into various animals, including a fox. The fox represents her transformational powers and adaptability.
  6. Kumiho (Korean Folklore): The kumiho is a mythical nine-tailed fox in Korean folklore. It is often portrayed as a beautiful woman who can transform into a fox, luring and consuming the hearts or livers of humans.
  7. Eshu (Yoruba Religion): In Yoruba religion, Eshu is a trickster god associated with both good and evil. He is often depicted as a messenger and messenger of the gods and is associated with the cunning of the fox.
  8. Kitsune (Japanese Folklore): Kitsune are fox spirits in Japanese folklore, known for their shape-shifting abilities, intelligence, and mystical powers. They can be either benevolent or mischievous.

These deities and beings associated with foxes reflect the multifaceted symbolism of these animals in different cultures, representing qualities such as intelligence, transformation, cunning, and adaptability. Foxes often serve as powerful symbols and characters in myths and legends.

The power of a fox offers great support in finding the smartest solution to any problem. Rely on a fox guide when you feel lost and need help finding your way. It allows you to work with dream energies, being a purely nocturnal animal. Meditating on a fox will reveal to you what is growing in your life and what needs to be transformed. Popular European beliefs link a fox to witches, wizards, fairies, and goblins.

The likeness of these animals can conceal demonic beings, people affected by terrible spells, and even the spirits of the dead. A fox is described as the queen of metamorphosis, a deceptive and false shapeshifter from which one must stay away. But actually, not all foxes are bad.

In mythology, there are many different conceptions about this animal. Are you curious to learn more about this animal and which deities are associated with foxes? Let’s find out!

5 Deities That are Associated with Foxes

Sigyn

A photographic reproduction of the painting, showing the two mythological figures (Loki and Sigyn) during Loki’s bondage. Marten Eskil Winge, 1863

Promised in marriage to a young and reckless Loki since adolescence, she has never shown impatience towards him. Indeed, she proved to be a faithful ally! It is no coincidence that she is the image goddess of loyalty …

Unlike her husband, she has a calm personality and is not at all a brawler… more than anything else, she has a talent for putting an end to fights! In fact, she enjoys the full trust of Odin, and always manages with her sweetness to extrapolate from him forgiveness for Loki’s troubles.

She is also very thoughtful and good at planning. Loki relies on her advice and knows he can count on her loyalty. She has no problem doing “chores” on her husband’s commission. To get what she wants, she uses her most subtle weapon: sweetness.

Her power of persuasion has an effect on all the gods: having in fact always proved reliable and with delicate manners, no one knows how to ignore her requests. However, despite having such a useful talent, she never uses her weapon for herself, but only for the happiness of her spouse.

Even she is so opposed to any form of conflict, that she is unable to take part in armed clashes unless for her own defense or that of Loki. Rather, she devotes herself to the art of medication and medicine, for which she is particularly gifted. Her spirit animal is a fox.

The Nine-Tailed Fox (Jiuweihu)

Huli Jing by Saagai

For the Chinese, even animals can cultivate the Tao, becoming gods or demons. The example of foxes is one of the most famous: according to legend, if a fox reaches fifty, it acquires magical abilities and turns white; every hundred years then it grows an extra tail until, when it reaches a thousand years, it becomes immortal and ascends to heaven in the guise of a nine-tailed golden fox.

In this form, it is consecrated to the Chinese goddess of immortality, Xiwangmu, since its nine tails symbolize fertility and longevity, as well as to the goddess Huxian, equivalent to the Japanese Ikari Okami.

DeityCulture
InariJapanese
Tamamo-no-MaeJapanese
Huli JingChinese
KitsuneJapanese
KumihoKorean
AhriKorean (League of Legends)
Table 1: Fox Deities from Various Cultures

DeityCharacteristics
InariFertility, agriculture, prosperity, rice, fox messengers
Tamamo-no-MaeBeauty, seduction, intelligence, shape-shifting
Huli JingTrickery, shape-shifting, illusion, magical abilities
KitsuneIntelligence, transformation, mischief, magical powers
KumihoShape-shifting, seduction, revenge, longevity
AhriCharm, agility, spirit possession, life essence
Table 2: Fox Deities and Their Characteristics

Kitsune

Prince Hanzoku terrorised by a nine-tailed fox by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

In Japanese mythology, they are considered deities, most specifically, demons (youkai). In Japanese mythology, these animals were believed to possess great intelligence, to live long lives, and to have magical powers.

Chief among the latter is the ability to change the appearance and assume human form; a fox is said to learn to do this when it reaches a certain age (generally a hundred years, in some stories only fifty).

Kitsune often appears as a beautiful woman, sweet girl, or old man, but never as an old woman. Other powers that are often attributed to kitsune include possession, the ability to start a fire with the tail, or to breathe fire, the power to enter dreams, and the ability to create complex illusions that are almost indistinguishable from reality.

Some tales go further, talking about kitsune with the ability to bend time and space, to drive people crazy, or to take on other forms besides human ones, such as a very tall tree or a second moon in the sky. Occasionally, kitsune are described in terms similar to vampires or succubus – these kitsune feed on the life or soul of humans, generally through sexual contact.

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5 Deities Associated with Foxes by Magickal Spot

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Teumessian fox

By rook andalus

Greek mythology tells that the Teumesso Fox or Cadmea Fox was a giant monstrous fox, sent by the gods to punish men, who could never capture it. It is said that he raided men in the Cadmea, devouring many of them and that every month, to prevent him from overeating, a child was offered to him as a sacrifice.

Teumesso was the name of a mountain and a village in Boeotia. Two traditions were related to Teumesso: it would have been the place where Zeus hid Europa and it was here that Dionysus sent a fierce fox of unusual size to torment the people of Thebes guilty of sacrilege.

Amphitryon had the hard task of capturing the impregnable fox and had Cephalus give him the dog Lelapo which belonged to Europa and Minos and then donated by Artemis to Procris wife of Cephalus.

The dog was so fast that no prey could escape it, a fox was so fast that no dog could reach it: a paradoxical situation was created which was resolved by Zeus who petrified the two animals and later transformed them into constellations.

 

Inari

A man confronted with an apparition of the Fox goddess.

The Inari is a fox deity, represented as both female and male, and is the god of fertility, agriculture, and rice.

As is well known, rice for the Japanese is like bread for us Westerners. Hence this deity takes on extreme importance in the Shinto religion.

The spread of this divinity in the Japanese territory has meant that even the Buddhist religion incorporated a fox, and, throughout Japan, numerous temples were built, including that of Fushimi Inari, near Kyoto, which became the main temple of this god.

The white foxes are considered by Inari to be his messengers, while the others are harbingers of misfortune.

To please these foxes, sometimes understood as an emanation of Inari himself, gifts are given (rice, sake, and other food), expecting to be graced by them and then to be reciprocated.

There you have some of the main deities associated with foxes! They are wonderful deities to work with to create and strengthen the connection with this animal and its energy!

About
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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