Fox Symbolism (6 Meanings) – Dreams & Spirit Animal

Foxes are clever animals that use their wit to achieve their goals. Fox symbolism teaches you to find your way around the world using your cleverness. 

These animals have learned how to overcome challenges by sometimes using deception, too. They’re also adaptable to their habitat and have developed the ability to merge with the environment well.

But even if we perceive foxes as deceptive animals, they’re normally quite playful. They’ll spend a lot of their time with their peers, enjoying the time playing various games and letting out playful sounds. This makes them symbolic of playfulness.

The fox symbolism also inspires quick-wittedness and quick thinking. As a spirit animal, the fox teaches you to use the strength of your mind to make quick decisions. It also inspires you to sharpen your mental strength and use it to adapt to your surroundings.

> This article is from our A-Z series on animal symbolism.

Fox Symbolism

What does the fox represent? Here are some of the most common symbolic meanings of foxes.

1. Cleverness

Perhaps you’ve already heard about the phrase “clever as a fox”. We use it for someone who knows how to do certain things in order to achieve their goals, even if the means of achieving goals are not the fairest. Most of the time, these goals will be for the person’s personal gain rather than collective gain.

Even though foxes can be sneaky and cunning, they’re still quite clever. They only use their intelligence in different ways some other animals do. They’re quite individual creatures, so they will use the power of their cleverness to overcome their personal problems and to get food for themselves.

2. Deception

In many cultures of Europe, such as Bulgarian, Scottish, Finnish, and even throughout the Middle Ages, foxes are portrayed as cunning animals that depict deceit, or even fraudulence. It’s no surprise considering how foxes catch their prey and how opportunistic they are by nature.

They’ll stalk their prey, and they’ll do their hunting throughout the entire day and also by night. There are also countless stories of farmers that tell how cunning foxes are, as they steal their livestock – especially chicken – almost invisibly. They’re quick and swift and have special strategies such as using Earth’s magnetic field to catch their prey.

Even though most of their food comes from other animals, they’ll quite happily feed on fruits, too. That’s why farmers are often surprised when they find out their vineyard gets emptied during the night sometimes.

3. Adaptability

Even though we perceive foxes as deceitful and cunning, they have an extraordinary ability to adapt and survive in different habitats. They will use different mechanisms and senses to find their food.

When there’s a thick layer of snow laying on the ground, they’ll use the force of the magnetic field to detect and zoom in on the prey that’s hiding beneath the snow. During the summer, foxes will spot the prey using their strong senses such as smell and sight.

That’s why foxes can be found in many different types of habitats. They’re seen all over the world, varying from very cold habitats to environments where the temperatures are mild year-round.

> Read Also: Snow Metaphors or Snow Symbolism

4. Playfulness

When foxes are not hunting, they like to spend their time playing with other foxes. Yes, they’re primarily solitary animals, but when they see other foxes, they’ll start to play with them. Rarely, they’ll even fight, although most of their encounters will be friendly.

Because of that, fox symbolism can encourage you to become more playful in your life. If you’re neglecting your inner child and playful nature, life can become too monotonous. And the fox spirit animal shows you the way out of this by allowing you to be yourself and express your true playful character.

fox symbolism and meaning as a spirit animal or in dreams

5. Quick Thinking

Foxes are particularly adept when it comes to making quick decisions. Many people today are struggling due to overthinking every decision they make. Perhaps it would be better to sometimes use our quick intuition just like foxes do, to make our decisions.

While those decisions might not seem calculated enough for some people, it works well for foxes. And their quick-witted nature and swift movement allow them to catch prey and find food where not many other animals would be able to.

6. Strategy

Despite their quick-witted nature, foxes often employ special strategies to achieve their goals. They’re focused and determined to do so, allowing them to get to their goal efficiently.

This fox symbolism teaches you to carefully think through some decisions that really matter. Having a clear strategy works well for foxes, especially if you observe how they stalk their prey and eventually catch it. The fox symbolism is telling you that there’s always a solution at hand for your problem, no matter how complicated you may think it is.

> See also: Wolf Symbolism

Red Fox Symbolism

Red foxes are one of the most common sub-species of foxes, and they’re found almost anywhere in the world. Normally, red foxes are closely tied to the Fire and Sun symbolism, because of their fiery appearance.

Red fox symbolism also carries some other important meanings, such as:

  • Passion
  • Desire 
  • Fiery character
  • Determination
  • Energy
  • Radiance

Those symbolic meanings are often tied to the red color itself. This is especially true for passion and desire. Compared to most other fox species, red foxes have a brighter coat and are thus linked to the symbols of Fire and Sun. This is why red foxes are closely tied to the symbolic implications of those two emblems.

Other symbolic meanings of red foxes include energy, radiance, fieriness, and determination.

In Japanese mythology and some other Asian cultures, the red fox also carried a symbolic meaning of magic. In Native American mythology, the fox often accompanies the coyote, where the fox plays the role of a deceitful character that always steals the food of the coyote.

On the other hand, red foxes are also highly symbolic in Celtic cultures as well as some European cultures. In Celtic culture, red foxes were thought to be sent by witches to steal their neighbor’s butter. In European cultures, red foxes represented deceit and trickery.

Fox Spirit Animal

What does the fox spirit animal tell you?

The main meaning of the fox spirit animal is telling you to adapt to your environment and overcome your problems. It encourages you to come out of your shell and trust your instincts more without overthinking certain situations. However, sometimes, it’s better to act with wisdom and make wise decisions instead of rash ones.

Additionally, the fox spirit animal encourages you to find a balance between work and play, and tap into your playful nature more often. This can help you if you’re often caught worrying too much about life and you take it too seriously when you don’t need to. Instead, cater to your playful inner child and take it lightly at times.

The fox spirit animal also allows you to become more proficient at deciphering your dreams. Because it is a nocturnal animal, it allows you to be better at looking at your dreams and getting more connected with what they might be telling you.

Fox Totem Animal

If you’re someone with the fox spirit animal, it means that you have an extraordinary ability to detect deceitful people and you’re not tricked easily. It also means that you’re someone who knows how to use your mind to make the right decisions, and you’re not afraid to make quick decisions when you need to.

You’re also capable of overcoming various life problems and responding to them in an effective manner. You’re not one to dwell around too much, and you’ll look for solutions instead of thinking about the problem too much.

You also seem to know which way to take forwards and always make the right decisions, despite making some of those decisions instantly.

Fox Dreams Meanings

What do dreams about foxes mean? There are several potential meanings they can have.

  • If you dream about a fox, then your dreams are telling you that you should not trust a person that is close to you, because they might be about to trick you. You should be wary of fake friends that are not true to you and it encourages you to explore situations where this might happen.
  • Seeing a solitary fox in the woods means that you’re currently feeling lonely in your life. But just like a fox, you’re choosing to make this decision on your own rather than it being a compulsory thing.
  • If a fox passes you by in your dreams, it means that you have an enemy in your life and that you’re not aware of this enemy.
  • Playing with a fox or foxes in your dreams represents to you that you’re in danger and it acts as a warning to you to tread carefully.


The fox is seen as one of the most deceitful and cunning animals in the world. But the fox symbolism can have some important lessons that may help you get by when things get tough. The fox spirit animal tells you to adapt to your life’s situation and use your cleverness to overcome those challenges.

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