Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Mr. Fox was just here

red fox1.jpgI am receiving such an interesting stream of stories of encounters with the fox in dreams, in the natural world and in folklore, movies and literature that I see I shall need to write more on this theme.

For now, I just want to add one personal incident to my previous discussion of brushes with the red fox. On the night of a fire ceremony during my most recent workshop in France, we noticed that a Trickster energy was richly in play, the energy personified for the French by M. Renard, Mr Fox. No one was surprised when a red fox turned up, right outside our meeting room, and lingered in the vicinity for some 90 minutes.
When my host took me back to her home at the end of the workshop, her husband asked me how things had gone. “We had a wonderful time,” I reported. “But M. Renard was very active.”
“Mr. Renard?” Laurent echoed. “But he was here just five minutes ago.”
He rushed to fetch a business card.
MR. RENARD, it announced in bold upper case letters. This Mr Fox was a landscaper, who had come offering his services. But we had no doubt that the Mr Fox was also announcing his presence.


Mr Fox moves fast. At the exact moment I posted the little article above, I received a most intriguing story about the red fox in a Facebook message from a man named Dave in Kentucky who was previously unknown to me. Dave reported that he used to think of the red fox as a harbinger of bad things, because it turned up on the three worst days of his life. A skilled hunter, he set out to kill “Mr Red”, hoping to change his luck. But he could never catch the fox. 

At last a friend suggested to him that the fox might actually be his “totem”. When he opened to the notion that the fox could be an ally and a messenger rather than a curse, Dave found himself using fox sightings as helpful alerts. “When I see a fox now, I just smile and know my life is headed in a new direction.” He adds this road-tested insight: “I couldn’t catch the fox because the hardest animal to find is yourself.”

Savoring this tale, I went to the family room and turned on TV to check the news headlines. Inexplicably, the normal settings had been changed, and I had to push buttons to get it back into TV mode. What now came on was a channel we simply never watch. Guess which one? FOX News, of course….

  • Karen Sawyer

    I saw a beautiful fox casually sauntering across the road in front of me just 2 days ago! :-)

  • nan

    hurrah for real magic!
    i used to read with a very twinkly-eyed little boy whose name was renard and he had fox written all over and in him, now that i think about it.

  • Karen Deal Robinson

    The link tells my true fox story. They’ve become very important to me after my mother’s death.
    One appendix to the story: after her death we found her dream diary, including one dream that there was another woman with her name, and that the woman’s nickname was “Foxy”.

  • John Anthony

    I am loving these foxy posts, Robert. I just last week did a search on your blog for items about the fox, and here 2 turn up in the same week!
    This is my primary totem animal. I keep several pictures of red foxes at my desk at work. I have done so ever since a powerful dream revealed a fox skull to me. I have a lot to learn about fox energy and using this powerful, subtle and exciting ally in my life.
    I recently have gone through a protracted ordeal at work. Practicing my fox traits, I’ve tried to discern when to hide and when to show myself. Working with a difficult supervisor, I’ve learned a lot.
    Now, my boss has been told to “find other opportunities” and I am left to carry on my work, without the added difficulty this person brought to the job. My foxy ways have prevailed!

  • Summer2013

    My shaman/healer friend has a red fox as her primary animal guide. It has been with her since childhood.

  • Laura Deal

    Hi Robert,
    In addition to sharing my sister Karen’s contact with foxes after our mom’s death, foxes also show up in waking life when I explore dreams. One came to visit when I did your workshop, for example. Thanks for posting about this beautiful animal.

  • Robert Moss

    John – I am delighted to know that the fox has proven to be such a helpful guide, getting you through this rough patch!

  • Robert Moss

    Laura – I’m intrigued by your observation that working with dreams draws the fox in ordinary reality. Come to think of it, this has been our experience, repeatedly, in Active Dreaming workshops in many locations, in North America and in Europe.

  • Robert Moss

    Karen – I don’t see your link. Please feel free to post again.

  • Karen Deal Robinson

    How strange that my link didn’t show up. Here it is again:

  • Robert Moss

    Karen – Got it!
    I love your poetic version of the fox’s song:
    “Don’t be afraid and don’t be dismayed,
    Keep your ears and your eyes wide open.
    Run through the night and sing to the Light,”
    Said the fox that sang at the window.

    And it is grand – and thoroughly foxy – that the fox then turned up in waking life.

  • Savannah

    I am enjoying this continued run on the FOX network…
    Karen, I loved the poetic rendition of your encounters with fox!

  • John Anthony

    I LOVE the poem. It’s rhythm and tone remind me of an old ballad or folksong. I’ve had several dreams where I’m “run[ning] through the night” on all fours, with the moon shining, in the snow. Fox is such a special Spirit-friend. These posts are helping me feel closer to the energy during the working day.

  • Robert Moss

    John – I’ll look forward to further reports of your travels with Mr Fox, by night and day.

  • Wednesday

    He’s not always a trickster. When I lived on an Arabian horse farm in Florida, it was a cause for alarm when a horse didn’t come in the evening for dinner. One night, through the fog and driving rain, I didn’t look forward to walking ten acres to locate a missing mare. I was also dreading what I might find after locating her. Broken bones? Colic? Would the vet be making an emergency trip?
    I headed out into the wet, and a gray fox trotted across my path twice, just on the edge of my visibility and glancing over its shoulder both times. I finally got the message I should try following it, which seemed stupid on one level, and a, “Heck, why not?” on another. I have no affinity to Native American archetypes, regardless I was born and raised in Arizona. Still, I’d have to have been blind not to notice the murder of ravens that gathered in a dead tree each morning and seemed to report to the male hawk about the encroaching bulldozers and development wrecking their habitat. Dragonflies would land on our hands or in our hair to be carried about, and a mockingbird deliberately dive-bombed the black barn cats after one tried stalking it. Great herons fished regularly out of our pond (they’re very tall, and not shy at all about guarding their fishing place), and sticky-footed green frogs clung to the screens and sang to us at night. Why shouldn’t a fox be trying to get my attention?
    It led me through the muck directly to the mare in the furthest corner of the back acre, where she was standing over a companion’s recent grave. His scent ended there for the mare, and all I could think is that she wanted him to come for dinner too.
    Shortly after, the county began spraying poison in the front ditches along the road to kill the mosquitoes. The frogs stopped singing, and the fireflies disappeared. The clouds of dragonflies grew thinner. The mated pair of hawks didn’t come back after their nest was blown down in a mini-hurricane, but the ravens stayed. Housing developments and a golf course ate up the surrounding acres.
    I never saw the fox again.

  • Robert Moss

    Wednesday – Yes indeed, the fox can also be a guide. Thanks for sharing your experience. By the way, the collective name for a group of ravens is an “unkindness”, which strikes me as even more creepy that a “murder” (the term for a group of crows) – and quite undeserved. Let me add that the Gatekeeper figure in life often plays the Trickster when we are stuck in our ways, but becomes an ally when we are willing to shift and change and grow.

  • Kit Cooley

    Recently, I have been reading your entries regarding Mr. Renard. (I have not seen any foxes since I was a young girl living in my home state of Ohio.) I was sitting at a railroad crossing in town yesterday, and watching the graffiti-laden cars go by, when suddenly the words “Red Fox” flashed by, painted in bright red letters! A flick of the tail, and fox was gone. A reminder of connections and mindfulness, I think.

  • Robert Moss

    Kit – life rhymes! As I type, I notice there is a red fox on the December page of my calendar.

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