What Does the Fox Symbol Mean?

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The fox symbol represents slyness, mischievousness, curiosity, protection, and playfulness across several cultures.

Fox is a familiar character/ symbol in mythologies, folktales, and cultures across the globe and are often associated with cunning, cleverness, or mischievousness.

But there is a lot more to learn about the symbol of the fox, its cultural significance, and importance. Keep reading to find out all the hidden meanings.

Animal Symbolism – Fox Symbol

The fox has been a part of myths and human culture since the beginning of civilization. People have associated the characteristics of a fox with cleverness and shyness, and it is often regarded as a wild trickster.

People also considered foxes to have supernatural powers. They believed that if you see a fox in your dream, it tries to convey important messages through omens and symbols.

As was mentioned above, people also associate many qualities with the fox, and a few common attributes are good luck, cleverness, beauty, craftiness, protection, independence, playfulness, etc.

But the qualities associated with the fox are not always positive. Cultures worldwide attribute both positive and negative traits to the fox.

fox symbol
Foxes are sly and cunning, which causes people to use it as a symbol for these traits, both positively and negatively.

Fox represents the following positive symbols:

  • Wisdom
  • Creativity
  • Passion
  • Independence
  • Cleverness
  • Nobility
  • Guidance
  • Charm
  • Prudence, etc.

Negative symbols associated are:

  • Trickery
  • Demonic
  • Cunningness
  • Scrutiny
  • Slyness, etc.

While Native American cultures consider the fox as a symbol of positivity or nobility, there are other cultures who also associate the fox with negative traits like cunning or slyness.

Whether having positive or negative connotations, foxes have been a part of human culture, tradition, and myths centuries. These power animals have become a permanent part of human psychology and culture.

Fox Totem Meaning in Native American Culture

The totem is a spirit animal or any other natural object believed to have spiritual significance. Particular societies used totems to represent unique qualities. The fox totem animal is a crucial symbol among the Native American tribes.

The fox totem is the animal spirit treated as the spirit guide. It offers guidance in situations when we feel clueless.

The fox totem has the most powerful influence, and Native Americans believed that when you communicate with the fox totem or the spirit animal, wisdom, energy, and strength never leave your side.

The fox totem makes prepares for any situation in life. No matter how difficult the task may be, the fox is believed to give the wisdom and strength to face it.

As long as the fox totem is present, you’re ready to take even the most significant life decisions and easily deal with the most challenging problems.

fox symbol
In Native American culture, the fox symbolizes wisdom and offers protection and guidance.

The fox totem is also the symbol of good fortune, fun, beauty, and protection. The fox spirit guide is also associated with dreams and premonitions. People whose spirit animal is the fox have dreams full of symbols and imagery.

This is because the fox symbol is very open-minded and introspective at the same time. If you pay attention, you’ll realize that the fox dreams give you insight into your psyche, and you’ll find answers to your questions.

The fox totem is offers heightened senses to help you make the right decision and choose the correct path.

Fox Symbol in Celtic Culture

The fox is also an important animal in Celtic, such as Irish and Scottish culture. The Irish folktale, Dia Griene, is associated with the fox.

As per the folktale, Dia was Sun’s daughter, and the God of the underworld kidnaped her. Dia pleads to let her free. The God of the underworld complies with her request after repeated appeals. However, he says that Dia can only return to earth as a fox.

According to Nordic culture and mythology, Fox was seen as a Fylgjur or spirit who accompanied humans throughout their lifetime and could also take animal form. And foxes served as an important spirit animal in their culture.

Foxes guide you throughout the spirit world. They are the signs of spirituality, the afterlife, and both good and bad omens.

The fox holds an important position in Irish culture as well. The fox was associated with Saint Brigid. He was Ireland’s first patron saint who founded the country’s first nunnery.

People believed that Brigid also had superpowers, and she performed many miracles as well. According to one story, a young man was about to be put to death because he accidentally killed the King of Leinster’s beloved pet fox, who performed many tricks on his command.

Hearing this, Brigid set out to Leinster to save the man. On her way, she found a fox. The fox was instantly charmed by Brigid and started following her. When they reach the king’s palace, Brigid offers the king this new fox who performs the same tricks as his old pet, but in return, she asks to spare the workman’s life.

The king, impressed by the new fox, spared the man’s life and kept the fox. But soon, he lost interest in his pet, and it was said that the fox escaped the palace and set out to find Brigid.

Fox Symbolism in Japanese & Chinese Culture

Kitsune is the Japanese name for a fox. Since ancient times, Japanese people considered the fox the most clever animal and regarded him as a spirit animal.

They considered him their messenger, and some even believed the fox could help them find their life partner.

Kitsune is a fox with nine tails. When the Kitsune turns hundred years old, it becomes a shapeshifter and can even take human form. Japanese people believed these shapeshifters were very smart, powerful, and possessed magical powers.

fox symbol
A statue of Kitsune, the nine-tailed fox.

Due to such high regard for the fox, people will wear fox masks as a part of their mythical cultures.

In Chinese culture, the fox was considered a negative character. The Chinese stories painted the fox as a shapeshifter. It turns into a woman to tempt men and take their spirit. In Chinese stories, the fox mainly appears as a temptation to lure men toward sin.

According to many Chinese stories, the fox also takes other shapes, like plants and other creatures, before approaching humans.

Other Symbolic Meanings in Popular Culture

In addition to the cultural representations mentioned above, here are some more essential fox symbols:

Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s fables featured the fox as a mischievous or cunning character. These fables had multiple tales where the fox tormented other animals with his slyness or cunning tricks.

Silver fox

Different tribes in Northern California saw the Silver Fox as a creator God. It symbolized wisdom and intelligence, and it taught people how to live.

Red Fox

The red fox symbolizes the fire element. It triggers your passion and creativity and harnesses the energetic element of the fire.

Gray fox

The grey fox symbolizes harmony, conservatism, and balance. It’s a symbol of nobility, refinement, and good behavior.

White fox

The white fox or the Arctic fox symbolizes purity. Seeing a white fox means you need some clarity or refinement in your life.

Interested in learning about other animal symbols? Check out this article on dove symbols.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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