Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Fox’s edge

posted by Robert Moss

“Fox can get the red potatoes jumping for sure,” said Patty just now, commenting on my latest dream of a fox. I’ve noticed that even the mention of a fox creates a stir of excitement, blended with intrigue and anticipation, laced with unease.


Fox is an edgy creature. In the ordinary world, we most often see foxes at dawn or at dusk, at the edge of woods and wild places. Fox is clearly a transformer and magician among animals. This is a canine that walks like a cat, on the tips of its paws, and hunts like a cat and has the elliptical, vertical-slit eyes of a cat. Fox is a master of camouflage and concealment. Learn from it how to vanish.


When fox turns up, in dreams or in life, we want to be ready to shift. A trickster energy is in the field. Don’t try to hoe the furrows of set plans.


I was talking to an audience about fox in my dreams last night. As a dream professor, I referred people to a book published by Princeton University Press in 1976. Waking, I’m not sure which book my dream self was quoting. Two relevant titles published by Princeton U.P. in 1976 are Jung’s Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche and Ralph Mannheim’s Dionysos, which features shamanic elements in the ancient cult of the god of ecstasy. Maybe the shelf elf will produce the specific reference.


Jung observed that “the instincts are a far better protection than all the intellectual wisdom in the world.” We need to walk with the animal spirits that seek us in dreams and sometimes on the roads of life, in order to rescue our primal instincts from the mind-traps and habits that ensnare us.  Fox is uniquely able to shift us to instinctual wisdom. Canny and alert, master of ruses and disguises, fox has a flawless sense of danger, in its doubled life as hunter and hunted.


So: I honor my dream by talking about fox here. On my desk is the figure of an ancient Celt blowing a strange dragon-capped horn. Around his waist is the pelt of a red fox, head lolling at his thigh, brush hanging down his back. In my inner life, the fox often connects me to my ancestors in early Europe, and to challenges relating to the dramas of their lives.


Many years ago, I dreamed that I had a fox stuck in my throat. This coincided with a rare – and thankfully brief – period in my life when I found myself losing my voice, as if something was literally blocking my throat.  Eventually I dealt with this the old-fashioned way, the shaman’s way. With the aid of the two great black dogs (both deceased) who had shared my life and my heart and remained loyal companions on the dream roads, I tracked to fox to its earth, then pursued it down what became a long tunnel that opened into a different landscape and a different time. I was now in the British Isles, apparently in northern England. I was shown an ancient love triangle, an unwilling sacrifice and a sacrifice refused. I saw a man die the triple druid death – in this case by a blow, by water and by garroting – with a burned chunk of oat cake stuck in his throat. Initially an observer, I found myself able to enter the body and perspective of one of the players, and felt myself shifting something, in his mind, towards the good. When I returned from that journey, I sought to apply the lessons in my current life. And I wrote up my adventures. Never had that choking problem again.


Now I regard the fox as a friend. I am glad to see fox on the roads of the two worlds, but rarely without a sudden intake of breath or the skipping of a heartbeat, and always with the inner alert:  Look out.  Expect the unexpected. Fox’s edge.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Irene

    Fabulous story – thanks! Foxes live on our forested road and occasionally stroll through our patio. A few weeks ago, during a rainstorm, I arrived home to see one taking shelter under our breezeway. No matter how frequent the appearances, they are always magical.

    • http://www.mossdreams.com Robert Moss

      Irene – Thanks so much. I lived with a family of red fox whose earth was at the edge of a cornfield behind the farm house where I lived with the two black dogs.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cobweb

    Dear Robert, What a coincident, immediately before reading your blog this morning I had read Jenny Woolf’s offering for the day and had found she wrote about the voice of the Carnyx, talk about touching the edge of other worlds guided by the Fox, I’m sure with your Scottish ancestry you will find all her articles interesting but this one even leads you to another site where you can listen to the sound this ancient battle horn called. For me both articles dovetail into a kind of synopsis of events over the past 36 hours here in Blackheath, NSW, Australia, where Nature has rent asunder the illusion of time and plunged us out of the comforts of 21st C. living into a world of uncertainty governed by Her absolute power, extraordinary winds of up to 100K per hour have uprooted 200 year old Radiator Pines and many Eucalypts revealing ‘modern’ living as the illusion it really is and emphasising just how out of touch with self-sufficiency we have become, perhaps a timely warning of more to come and whatwe need to do in order to survive. To read Jenny Woolfe’s Article go to http://jennywoolftravel.blogspot.com/2011/07/tis-voice-of-carnyx.html

    • http://www.mossdreams.com Robert Moss

      Cobweb – Now this is fine foxy synchronicity. I nearly did not post the image of the fox-pelted Celtic hornblower on my desk because I could not remember the name of his instrument and did not want to make time to search for it. Then you pop up right away to remind me, with a link (to a link) with audio samples. Jenny Woolfe is correct: “The carnyx sounds like a mix of a didgeridoo, a wailing ghost and a wild animal”. You can certainly hear the wild boar in the sample tracks. Sorry about your wild weather.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cobweb

    P.S. I meant to also say this act of nature also plunged us into a 36 hour Blackout adding even more emphasis to my image of what it would like to live in a regressive time zone.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nina

    The sentence that fox is a master of camouflage and deceivement remotely reminded me the tragic case of Mary Stuart. Her natural colour of hair was auburn and my experience showed me to get prepared for hidden and unexpected whenever I come across red-haired people. (I have met a real fox only once in my life so that´s probably why in my personal vocabulary I associate its shifty, unpredictable and daring energy with red colour of hair.)
    Regarding Mary, Queen of Scots and the ways od concealment, I remembered one of the stories surrounding her execution. It is said that when her head was cut down, it was revealed that in fact she was wearing the red wig. Her own hair turned completely grey. It doesn´t say anything concrete about her personality but it displays something from the power of red colour. I think it´s also documented that on that unfortunate day she was wearing the red bodice and petticoat.
    As to her, I hope she experienced better dealing on the other side than here and ultimately she came to peace. As to me I am learning to be grateful for eye-opening aspects connected with fox´s unforeseeable energy. However, I must say that I am a slow learner in this area and she can take me in wonderfully.
    Thank you a lot for sharing.

    • http://www.mossdreams.com Robert Moss

      Nina – You always put an intriguing spin on things. Hard for me to make a mental transit from the fox (as I know it) and Mary Queen of Scots. However, I know a woman directly descended from her and I am tempted to see if there is family recognition or resemblance! My mind does go to witch-finding practices in the Scotland of my paternal ancestors. In Scotland, red hair was accepted as legal evidence of the probability that someone was a witch.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Foxy Shifts

    … in order to rescue our primal instincts. I’ll be adding that to my personal fox list of attributes, along with
    a few other one liners. I wonder how many courses I’ve really been to yours, if I were to count my dream courses? I image a foxes fur would come in handy if a dragon was ever called up.
    Your last paragraph was particularly helpful for me as a learning story.
    I have been taught to sink into the knowledge and instincts of animal guides by taking my experience in the night or day dream of them and delve into understanding their anatomy, behavior and habitats. Then when I go to where they go and eat what they eat and wear or carry a color or talisman to honor the bond, it has been a healing way and a whole new level of understanding the sensory systems open to this human body. As a sensory integration therapist I feel I have just established a bridge between this understanding and more traditional medical models. And now I know a stuffed animal I am going to give a little girl I’m working with…perrrfect.


    • http://www.mossdreams.com Robert Moss

      Patty – “Sensory integration” is exactly what we need to practice to claim the gifts of the animal spirits. Looking up what they supposedly mean in a book about animal “totems” isn’t remotely enough!

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