Self-interest; (self)defence; independence; caution; adaptability

About the meaning: Traditionally, the Fox represents a cunning trickster, someone with dishonest intentions, someone with a secret agenda. My own interpretation deviates quite a bit from that. Because yes, I can see why the Fox would stand for cunning, and also betrayal or dishonesty. From a farmer's perspective, whose treasured chickens again and again get "stolen" by a fox, the fox is definitely an annoyingly cunning thief. But from the fox's perspective, the animal is just doing what it needs to do to live; it is using its intelligence to survive, and to survive well. In my readings of the Fox, I adopt more of the fox's perspective, and less of the farmer's.

Self-interest / identity / egotism: Interpreting the Fox as our sense of self, our identity, and self-interest, was an amazingly useful discovery. It is the card I go to first when I have asked a question concerning what's of vital importance for me. So the Fox to me first and foremost represents a strong sense of self, a strong identity, and the ability to look after oneself - basically, it stands for a good dose of self-interest.
Put in a different way, the Fox represents a state of mind or behaviour where the Self is the central point, and everything else is arranged around it. In many cases I read the Fox positively, as a suggestion that we need to take care of our own needs better, that we need to look after ourselves first before we can even begin to focus on the needs of others. But sometimes I also interpret the Fox as egotism, as unnecessarily self-centred thinking or behaviour, as selfishness.

Independence / being true to oneself: At this place it seems appropriate to me to add another subset to the Fox's meanings: the independence from the judgement of others (moral, political, aesthetic etc.). This independence doesn't mean that the Fox doesn't have any morals, nor that the ones they have necessarily differ a lot from the mainstream. Independence just means that the Fox evaluates them on their own merit, not on the grounds of popularity. And this adds another layer of meaning: the ability to be true to oneself, even if this means disappointing others or even breaking an agreement. (This may sound like a negative thing, but consider this example: You've promised to marry someone. But during the engagement period, your feelings towards them change. Now, you can either stay true to your original promise and marry them. Or, you can break off the engagement and stay true to yourself - and, in the long run, save both of you a lot of pain.)

(Self-)defence / necessity / to do what needs to be done: It is a little known fact that foxes are not loners - they live in many-chambered dens that often accommodate not only the parents and the most recent cubs but also other relatives, e.g. cubs from previous years, who will often work hard to help raising the new cubs. And foxes defend their own fiercely. Thus, to me the Fox represents not just self-defence, the ability (or necessity) to defend oneself - but also, in extension, the ability (or necessity) to defend whatever or whomever one perceives as vitally important to one's life. The Fox can stand for the willingness to do whatever hard work is necessary to survive, or, more general, the card can represent anything which is necessary for a certain purpose.
Of course, the Fox might not always fight fair, or use polite or honest means, to reach their goal of surviving or defending what's important to them. To outsiders, the Foxes defensive behaviour or what they are willing to do to survive, can seem (and sometimes will truly be) dishonest or sneaky. Also, I have discovered the card to be a very useful indicator for being in an overly defensive position!

Caution and risk-assessment / distrust and suspicion: Foxes are cautious animals - and their intelligence helps them to assess the danger of a situation accurately. Sometimes, the Fox can thus be a great indicator that we should proceed with caution; that careful risk-assessment is needed. But the Fox can also represent distrust and suspicion, which, if taken to extremes, can be very damaging to both ourselves and the people we direct them at.

Adaptability / intelligence:Foxes are extremely adaptable. You find them in moderate climates as well as in deserts, and in the arctic. They eat mostly meat when they can get it but they also eat berries or seaweed (or even garbage!). They are true survivalists. This is the reason why the Fox to me represents the ability to survive on whatever there is to survive on; the ability to adjust one's behaviour (and expectations) to reality; and the ability to learn new ways, to adapt to new conditions, in order to survive. This is a very specific type of intelligence: it is the intelligence of the streetwise person, which has very little to do with high education but everything with keen perception, quick reaction, and the already mentioned adaptability. This type of intelligence once more ties in well with the Fox's traditional meaning of someone who is dishonest. Because there is a fine line between cunningly adapting to your surroundings in order to survive, and disingenuously changing with the wind for personal gain. Both, I think, are represented well by the Fox.

See also the annakblogs article >> So, is the Fox a positive or negative card?

About the Image: As you see, my Fox is an arctic fox. This has two reasons. Firstly, as an arctic fox, it is a very strong symbol for a survivor even in harsh conditions who has to look out for themselves especially well. And secondly, an arctic fox is a wonderful symbol for someone who adapts with ease to their surroundings: in summer, the arctic fox's coat is brown, in the winter, it turns white, for better camouflage. If you wish you could view this change of coat also as a hint at the fox's possible sneakiness and manipulativeness. My fox is sniffing the ground - it is either sniffing out food or possible danger. Since I felt that the animal itself was quite a strong symbol I saw no reason to add much secondary imagery. There are only two other details I want to mention. Firstly, there is the rock opening in the background. It's of course the fox's den; the safe place the fox can return to when they deem the situation outside too dangerous. And this safe place is also one of the things the fox will defend to the death. Don't ever try to rout them out when they have retreated there! Secondly, the fog I added to the image at the very end because I felt that without it the fox was still too conspicuous, their safe place too easily detected. When I included the fog the fox melted into their surroundings much better, and their safe place was comfortably half-hidden. And you could also view the fog as a hint at the possibility of deception.  
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