• Category: Fox Clipart
  • Amount: 25+
  • Date: December 16, 2017

In many national traditions (French Renard, English Reynard, German Reineke) an animal symbolizing cunning and trickery. Its reddish coat is suggestive of FIRE, which places it (like the lynx and even the SQUIRREL) among the DEVIL'S followers. In ancient Rome it was a fire demon at the feast of the goddess Ceres, foxes were chased through the fields with burning TORCHES on their tails to ward off grain fires. A starfish painted with fox's BLOOD was nailed to the door to combat evil spells. Foxes (as in ancient China) were believed to be especially lecherous, and thus their testicles, ground up in WINE, a foolproof aphrodisiac a foxtail, worn on the arm, was supposed to be sexually arousing. In Norse myth the fox was the symbolic animal of the trickster Loki. (The coyote plays a corresponding role in the myths of Native Americans.) Foxes were important Asian symbols of eroticism and the art of seduction: it was believed in ancient China that foxes (hu-li) first lived for a thousand years and then, endowed with NINE tails, could develop special powers of seduction. Spirits rode on foxes. Although fox-women never changed their clothing, it always remained clean they are incredibly seductive, and their unbridled sexual demands can steal the life-force of the men who succumb to them. In ancient Japan the vulpine spirits that can transform themselves into humans werefoxes, we might say-were called Iwkiteno. They possessed the ability to dazzle humans, mislead and corrupt them they functioned like WITCHES (who can however appear in other forms) and were to be burned and their ASHES scattered over RIVERS. But the fox does not have uniformly negative associations in Japan. The rice god Inari rode a WHITE fox, and stone or wooden foxes, each with a sacred scroll or the key to paradise in its mouth, often stand beside the TORII of Inari's shrines. The tip of the fox's tail also often bears the symbol for jewel of happiness. Shooting STARS are called sky foxes in Japanese. Generally speaking, the animal's symbolic significance is predominantly negative. In Durer's Virgin Mary with Many Animals, we see a fox, tethered, apparently in reference to satanic associations. Foxes, however, are occasionally attributes of sa ints (e.g., St. Boniface, St. Genou), even though in Biblical usage they are the embodiment of trickery and malice. Many languages contain proverbial references to a fox preaching to geese (see GOOsE)- a crafty sermon in the fox's own interest-and the fox is sometimes substituted for the devil. In Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus, to foxtail someone is to flatter him or her insincerely. Medieval bestiaries also express a negative view of Reynard as a crafty deceiver: When he is hungry and finds nothing to eat, he burrows in reddish soil so that he looks as if he were spattered with blood, then drops to the ground and holds his breath. The birds see him lying there, (apparently) covered with blood, his tongue hanging out, and they believe he is dead. They come to rest upon him, and the fox catches and eats them. The devil acts in the same way: to the living, he pretends to be dead, until he can get them in his jaws and devour them [Unterkircher]. On shields or in coats of arms in general the fox represents shrewd cunning, and those who so displ ay him usually have this quality, both in reputation and in fact.

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