MERCURY. SHAMANISM, FOXES and FOXY TRICKSTER ARCHETYPES © Copyright to Dr Hilary Bond. All rights reserved.

“ Only the sharpest eye, the keenest nose, the quickest wit, or the fleetest toes can ever outfox the Fox!

Only the stoutest arm, the bravest heart, with a magic charm and a good head start can ever outfox the Fox!

Only the sprightliest sprite, the nimblest elf, the wickedest witch, or the devil himself can ever outfox the Fox!”

Lyrics from the Court Jester (movie) sung by Danny Kaye.


In some myths the Greek God Hermes (the Roman God Mercury) is a trickster, and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or the sake of humankind. As the planet of language, Mercury is both a magician and a trickster. There’s magic in his words. He is a great conman. Mercury people or creatures, like foxes and coyotes can be busy setting all sorts of traps when we’re gullible. So to be a good trickster or criminal who specialises in fraud we must have a gift with words. Mercury also can beguile us and sneak words into our mouths that can make us look the fool or be the fool, which reminds us that everyone will play the fool.

I collect fox stories because I love foxes. Quite a few of my Facebook friends put up fox pictures, yesterday one of my Australian Facebook friends , JG, told me yesterday: “I once saw a silver fox, it ran across the road in front of my car, my husband said that they go grey in old age just like humans. it looked beautiful but sadly foxes are not popular around here, they broke into our chook house one night and killed 80 of our point of lay pullets and another time, I had been searching for a special rooster for ages, paid $50 for him, introduced him to his girls only to find the very next morning with his head no longer attached to his body. I still don’t know how the fox got in to the house.”

Then she added, “This fox didn’t dig its way in, (the wire is set in concrete about a foot down), it bit a hole in the chicken wire fencing!! They must have VERY strong teeth, that’s all I can say about that. An old farmer warned that foxes were known to do that, and to tell the truth, I didn’t believe it, but I do now.”

A few months ago my sister wrote to me. Right at the beginning of her email she told me that because of their extreme winter a fox was coming into her garden to find food scraps. Her major topic told me of her research trying to uncover the hidden secrets of our paternal family in southern England, Gibraltar and Scotland. I wonder if a fox spirit had come to help her uncover some secrets.

In this article I’m hypothesising about fox stories, folklore and connected vibrational essences and colour remedies. I’ll examine and analyse some mythology and related astrology and world shamanic lore and come to some conclusions and an over-riding thesis about those who love foxes.

I am rehashing this article that I originally put on another page on my site and no one took much notice.


Male foxes are known as dogs, tods or reynards, females as vixens, and young as cubs, pups, or kits. A group of foxes is referred to as a skulk, leash, troop, or earth. Foxes are alert omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are slightly smaller than a medium-size domestic dog. The red fox has an auburn pelt and the bushy tail normally ending with white marking.

There are only 12 species of foxes which belong to the Vulpes genus of “true foxes”. The most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes.) In the wild, foxes can live for up to 10 years, but most foxes only live for 2 to 3 years due to hunting, road accidents and diseases. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World. Fox hunting is an activity that originated in the United Kingdom in the 16th century. Hunting with dogs is now banned in the United Kingdom though hunting without dogs is still permitted. It is practiced as recreation in several other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Russia and the United States.

Foxes live in small family groups, and are opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey, especially rodents. Like huskies they have a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey quickly. Foxes also gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries. The grey fox is one of only two canine species known to climb trees; the other is the raccoon dog.

Foxes are normally extremely wary of humans, but are being kept more and more as pets. The silver fox was successfully domesticated in Russia after a 45-year selective breeding program. This selective breeding also resulted in physical and behavioural traits appearing that are frequently seen in domestic cats, dogs, and other animals, such as pigmentation changes, floppy ears, and curly tails.

Beatrix Potter wrote about animals to amuse the children in her family and she wrote one about Mr Tod the Fox who was very bad and the Story of Jemima Puddle Duck. It was one of my favourite stories as a child. Jemima is a domestic duck, whose eggs are routinely confiscated by the farmer’s wife. Jemima searches for a place away from the farm where she can hatch her eggs without human interference, and naively confides her woes to a suave fox, Mr Fox, the trickster, who invites her to nest in a shed at his home. Jemima accepts his invitation, little realizing her danger: the fox plans to kill and roast her. Kep, a heroic collie on the farm, discovers Jemima’s whereabouts and rescues her just in time from the crafty fox. Crafty and murderous he might have been, but in real life I still loved foxes.


I looked at the chart of Peter Foster who has been a conman since 1982 when he started rigging boxing matches. He conned Cherie Blair, the wife of the British Prime Minister; the movie star Samantha Fox (yes, I’m serious) and Sarah Ferguson the ex-wife of Prince Andrew of Britain. He was born on 26 September, 1962; yes the year of the Tiger. I have no birth time unfortunately. Mercury shows up significantly in his chart. Mercury in Libra (yes, he is charming) squares his Mars in Cancer. His Moon in Virgo conjuncts his Uranus and Pluto so he is quite clever and quite manipulating. His Sun is in Libra and it conjuncts Lilith. The ruler of his Sun, Venus conjuncts Neptune so woman flock to him. It is claimed that Peter Foster is a smooth talker whom women love. In February there was an Internet Alert for Peter Foster for contempt of court charges.

I have also found an interesting story about a Swedish con- woman who gained a royal pension by claiming to be the secret daughter of Swedish king Gustav IV and his wife Frederica of Baden after they divorced. Again Mercury looms large. She has a Sun 13 degrees in Virgo square to her Moon three degrees in Gemini. Both are ruled by Mercury. Her Mercury two degrees conjuncted Venus ten degrees. Both were in Libra and both were retrograde. They both opposed Chiron and squared Saturn. Her Moon trined Venus conjunct Mercury so she must have been very believable, very charming and she must have been an excellent sweet -talker. Again Mars is in a challenging aspect, which makes sense, because one would have to be aggressive to be a criminal. Her Mars in Pluto opposed Pluto. Like Peter Foster her Lilith is prominent. It conjuncts her North Node in Gemini. So seeing her Saturn at 3 Capricorn conjuncted her South Node in Sagittarius had she been a criminal in a past life and cooked up grand schemes with extravagant stories.

This is her story which in hindsight is amazing and fantastic (such Neptunian words), but because many believed it she gained the pension until she was uncovered. The exiled Gustav IV and Frederica of Baden had divorced in 1812, but Helga de la Brache claimed that they had married again, secretly, “in a convent in Germany”, which resulted in her birth in Lausanne in 1820. She was later sent to be raised by her alleged father’s aunt, Princess Sophia Albertine of Sweden. When the Princess died in 1829, she was taken to the Vadstena asylum, so that the secret of her birth would be concealed as she would be thought to be insane. She was saved in 1834 and taken to her family in Baden, where she was placed under house arrest. In 1837, upon seeing the news of her father’s death in the paper, she forgot to hide her grief. She returned to Sweden, were she was again put in an asylum to prevent the secret of her birth to be revealed. She managed to escape from the asylum, and was taken under the care of charitable people, who supported her despite persecution, and soon, she was given a pension of 6,000 § from her mother’s family in Germany. In 1850, the pension had ceased coming, and she was unable to continue the standard of life to which she of birth had been accustomed – and she was also forced to support her many faithful friends, who stood by her during her years of persecution: No smaller pension than 5,000 or 6,000 would be sufficient.

Now for the true story. In 1876–77, it was proved that she was born in Stockholm as Aurora Florentina Magnusson to the custom caretaker Anders Magnusson (died 1826). In 1835, she was a maid to a book-keeper named Hedman, where the family said that she always had the mind to “rise above her status”. In 1838, she was employed by a wealthy family, whose daughter became deeply devoted to her, dressed her in elegant clothes and left her family for her; it was she who later became her companion and accomplice in the fraud. The trial in 1876–77 draws much attention both from the public and the royal family and was much reported in the papers. It led to the loss of the pension, but “Princess Helga de la Brache” spent her last years in an apartment in Klara norra with her companion, seemingly paid for by a supporter. Helga was described as a nice old woman. In 1884, however, the two women were observed in the gardens of Drottningholm Palace by King Oscar II, who ordered them to be escorted from the park. If she had not embezzled so much money I would have laughed.

Steven Jay Russell (born September 14, 1957) is a U.S. con artist known for escaping from prison multiple times. A film about his life and crimes was produced in 2009, named I Love You Phillip Morris. In 2011, his crimes were featured on the TV show I Almost Got Away with It in the episode “Got a Boyfriend to Support.”. He is known to be the only con artist in the world serving a life sentence (since he is sentenced to 140 years). A documentary about his crimes was aired on TV in 2005 On The Run episode “King of Cons” on Discovery Channel. A film about his life and crimes was produced in 2009, named I Love You Phillip Morris, starring Jim Carrey as Steven Jay Russell[5] and Ewan McGregor as his boyfriend Phillip Morris. Russell claimed his life of crime started in the early 1990s when he was fired from his job as an executive of a food service company after his employers found out he was homosexual. If this is true his history from then is really very sad. He was later arrested for fraud for faking a slip-and-fall accident, and was sentenced to six months in prison. Like Princess Helga he has a Virgo Sun, which at 21 degrees is widely conjunct his Mercury retrograde 12 degrees. Like Helga his Mercury squares Saturn and is in challenging aspect to Chiron (a quincunx.) His Venus is conjunct Neptune like Peter Foster.

My favourite conman story is the one of Natwarlal, but the tragedy is there is no birthdate. But this is his story and like Hermes stories of stealing his brother’s cattle, it is hilarious. Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava, better known as Natwarlal (1912-2009), was a noted Indian con man known for having repeatedly “sold” the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and the Rashtrapati Bhavan and also the Parliament House of India along with its 545 sitting members. He was a living-legend in his lifetime and a legend even after his death.

Carlo Ponzi who was born on March 3, 1882, was an Italian businessman and con artist in the U.S. and Canada. Born in Italy, he became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money making scheme. Charles Ponzi promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage In reality, Ponzi was paying early investors using the investments of later investors. This type of scheme is now known as a “Ponzi scheme”. His scheme ran for over a year before it collapsed, costing his “investors” $20 million. Ponzi has Moon in Leo 27 conjunct Lilith. His Mercury is in Aquarius at 25 degrees and is quincunx his Moon. His Sun in Pisces. 1t is 12 degrees and conjunct Venus and Eris. Eris seems to figure highly in the charts of criminals, but also writers of crime novels and actors who play the parts of detectives or lawyers in criminal cases. It is also a dominant planet in those people who have been murdered. Ponzi’s Mercury is square his Pluto at 27 Taurus, then Jupiter at 20 degrees and Chiron at 18 degrees. Mercury seems to oppose or square all the charts I have done of confidence tricksters so far. Mars at 1 degree Cancer is quincunx Mercury.

One more.

Amazingly Frank William Abagnale, Jr. is free. He was born April 27, 1948 and is an American security consultant known for his history as a former confidence trickster, check forger, and impostor. He became one of the most famous impostors ever, claiming to have assumed no fewer than eight identities as an airline pilot, a doctor, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons agent, and a lawyer. He escaped from police custody twice (once from a taxiing airliner and once from a U.S. federal penitentiary), before he was 21 years old. He served less than five years in prison before starting to work for the federal government. He was convicted of fraud, forgery, and swindling and the penalty was 12 months in French prison (about 6 months served); 6 months in Swedish prison and 12 years in US prison (4 years served. ) Now for the truly bizarre part. He established his own security business and hunted down con-man and women. He is currently a consultant and lecturer for the FBI academy and field offices. His life story provided the inspiration for the feature film Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo Dicaprio as Abagnale. So let’s look at his horoscope.

This con man turned hunter of conman is a very good looking man so it is not a surprise that he has a Taurus Sun at 7 degrees conjunct Mercury at 7 degrees conjunct North Node at 14 degrees. His Sun, Mercury and North Node square Pluto conjunct Saturn in Leo. His Sun inconjuncts Neptune so there is the illusion that changes continually like a revolving hall of mirrors. Fancy being called Frank. What a joke, but his Moon conjunct Jupiter in Sagittarius suggests brutal tactlessness and exaggeration rather than frankness. Last, he has Venus in Gemini conjunct Uranus. Mmmm. Not someone who is steadfast in relationships. Would you trust your mother with this man?


You will notice that the most prominent planet that features in all five charts of conmen/women I have discussed is Mercury. Steven Russell’s Sun and Mars are in Virgo ruled by Mercury; Mercury is in challenging aspect to Saturn, Chiron and Mars often. Mercury conjuncts Sun and Venus often. Interestingly Venus conjuncts Neptune and Lilith is prominent in the charts.

So let’s look at the myths of Hermes and Lilith. One of Hermes (Mercury’s) roles derived from his function as the god of cattle, was thievery. A major form of banditry in ancient Greece was cattle-hustling. We hear in Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes 14 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th to 4th B.C.) : “She [Maia] bare a son [Hermes], of many shifts, blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle rustler, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates.”

And in Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes 282 ff : “[Apollon to the infant Hermes:] ‘O rogue, deceiver, crafty in heart . . . I most surely believe that you have broken into many a well-built house and stripped more than one poor wretch bare this night, gathering his goods together all over the house without noise. You will plague many a lonely herdsman in mountain glades, when you come on herds and thick-fleeced sheep, and have a hankering after flesh . . . you comrade of dark night. Surely hereafter this shall be your title amongst the deathless gods, to be called the prince of robbers continually.’”

As well as writing, Hermes-Mercury presided over eloquence and persuasion, skills employed by those under his patronage: heralds, merchants, thieves and conmen. Similarly he was the god of crafty thoughts and wiles, and the use of persuasive deception and trickery. We here from Hesiod and Homer that Hermes is crafty and cunning in speech and deeds and can make others that way. In Hesiod, Works and Days 80 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) we hear: “Also the Guide, Argeiphontes [Hermes], contrived within her [Pandora, the first woman] lies and crafty words and a deceitful nature at the will of loud thundering Zeus, and the Herald of the gods [Hermes] put speech in her.” And in the Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes 4 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th to 4th B.C.) : “She [Maia] bare a son [Hermes], of many shifts, blandly cunning.”

So from what I can see Lilith added to negative Mars and negative Mercury creates a very bad person; not a murderer, but a person one may call in the vernacular a scammer who is addicted to fraudulence. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain one indisputable reference to Lilith in Songs of the Sage (4Q510-511) fragment 1: And I, the Instructor, proclaim His glorious splendour so as to frighten and to te[rrify] all the spirits of the destroying angels, spirits of the bastards, demons, Lilith, howlers, and [desert dwellers…] and those which fall upon men without warning to lead them astray from a spirit of understanding and to make their heart and their […] desolate during the present dominion of wickedness and predetermined time of humiliations for the sons of lig[ht], by the guilt of the ages of [those] smitten by iniquity – not for eternal destruction, [bu]t for an era of humiliation for transgression.”

Now this is the Christian version of Lilith, but in the beginning of human existence Great Goddess was the Earth and Earth was our mother and in some of the northern clans of Aboriginal Australia the Great Mother is still the earth. The Goddess ruled for hundreds of thousands of years. In the course of time, the Mother-Goddess was overthrown and driven under, and the triumph of the most patriarchal of archetypes; Jahwe, God the Father, Allah held sway in the Judaic, Christian and Moslem worlds. It was only in the tamed form of Mary, Mother of God, that some aspects of the Mother Goddess were permitted to survive. Thus Lilith as a form of the Great mother became an evil demon. Aquarian Essence at suggests that “Lilith Dark Moon will confront us with where love and desire has become twisted and has been used to shame, control or punish.”

Phew! This is all so heavy. Let’s shift to lighter subject.


I have two fox stories I want to tell you. Do you have a fox story? I’d love to hear it.

My first fox story is about a journey by a car on a dark night on dirt roads through the Australian outback. My Dad and Mum, my sister and brother and I were going to a party about ten miles to the west. Dad drove slowly because our dirt roads had many sharp rocks that could puncture a tyre , not to mention deep creek beds we had to drive down and then somehow drive up again, skidding on loose rocks as we drove up uneven banks of loose dirt. I must have been around eight years old. There was no moon and the car lights shone murkily through all the dust in the air. In all that dust I saw a set of eyes. Dad saw them too. He stopped the car and got out his 22 calibre rifle. I saw the fox that he was aiming at. It was hunched, terrified and cowering, paralysed by the car lights. I knocked Dad’s rifle out of his hands and out of the corner of my eyes I saw the fox run as fast as its small legs could carry it. I had heard Dad’s stories about the “evil vermin” [foxes] who ripped the throats out of lambs, but I had never seen this, nor had I seen a sole fox before on our 50,000 acre property. I made an instantaneous decision then that I would continue to protect foxes forever.

My second fox story is about two foxes, who lived near my grandparent’s house in Brisbane, right on the Brisbane river, near the ferry house and the park where we often played. In the nineteen-sixties there was still a great deal of bush and wild places in Brisbane and people were allowed to grow their own vegetable patch; have their own water tanks and fruit trees and have chickens that laid eggs in their back yards or gardens. Of course foxes are renowned for stealing eggs and eating chickens. A fox family lived at the back of Granny and Grandad’s place just over the fence, in an overgrown block, where the lawn was never mown. There was a quaint little house nestled in amongst the biggest fig trees I have ever seen and a mass of passionfruit vines. There always seemed to be an abundance of figs and passionfruit. To this day I love both fruit. All sorts of flowers bloomed all year round: chrysanthemums, agapanthus, hydrangeas, cassias, nasturtiums, dahlias and all sorts of lovely flowering trees. It was a child’s delight.

A very kind, little, old man called Mr Munro, lived there in the small, quaint house and we were always welcome. He seemed frozen in time, perpetually sitting at a red laminex 1950s table in the kitchen and he was always surrounded by all sorts of iced and un-iced wedding cakes. On the table where he sat were cigarette butts in overflowing ashtrays, piles of novels and piles of racing forms from the back of the Brisbane newspaper. Mr Munro had a croaky voice with a thick Irish accent. He coughed a lot and when he stood up he ducked to avoid the yellow fly paper hanging from the ceiling. A Valiant car was often there parked among the fruit trees. It was a pale green station wagon. Sometimes we went in it up to the mountains where the owner of the green valient had beehives and horses. Oh the excitement of it all. Sometimes there was a rusty old trailer in the yard too. It blended with the long, lush, green grass.

Uncle Snow Fox owned all the scaffolding in the long grass, because he was a builder and Aunt Cath Fox, Mr Munro’s daughter, made wedding cakes professionally. Some were fruit cakes and some were sponge cakes. Occasionally we were allowed to have a slice of cake, but even if we didn’t Aunt Cath always had other delicious things to eat. Aunt Cath Fox was full of hugs and love and she laughed a great deal. She had hair the colour of fox fur. It was long and thick and even though it was pinned up in a bun on her head, bits often escaped and created a tail at the back of her head. Uncle Snow had a red face and very fair hair. He often took us swimming to the beach in his Valiant and he drove us up to the Mount Nebo area where the bee hives were and the most wonderful horses running free. It was deliciously lovely to go with him. To me these caring Foxes encapsulated joy and playfulness.


In ancient Greece, thirteen hundred years an epic was written in the Homerica called “The Alopekos Teuesios.” The actual Alopekos Teumesios was a gigantic fox which sent by the gods to the countryside of Thebes. The Homerica maintains that the fox was sent by the gods to punish the descendants of Kadmos, and that the Thebans therefore excluded those of the house of Kadmos from the kingship. Kreon, the then Regent of Thebes, set Amphitryon the impossible task of destroying the beast, which was impossible because the gods meant the fox never to be caught. The hero discovered a solution to the problem by setting the magical dog Lailaps to the hunt, an animal which was destined always to catch its quarry.

Zeus [Jupiter] faced with a contradiction in fate (an uncatchable fox being pursued by an unavoidable dog) turned the pair of beasts to stone or perhaps placed them amongst the stars as the Constellations Canis Major (Lailaps) and Canis Minor or Lepus (the Fox). Their contest was in this way either frozen or set to play out for eternity.


It is well known that the ancient Celtic people like many Indigenous people watched and analysed every shade of meaning of animals, birds, trees, amphibians and insects that moved in their environment. Like Mars in the Roman pantheon, the fox symbolized passion, play and action because of its beautiful fiery red fur. Thus the Celts believed that if a fox crossed your path in dreams or in daily life it was time to act passionately in regard to your goals, needs and wants. It was also time to lighten up and be playful and have fun. With their amazing flame-red brush or tail running foxes resemble a comet blazing across the sky or an arrow flashing towards its target. Thus in modern life foxes coming into our life mean we need to make goals; daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and yearly goals that ignite our passions and joy with laser-like aim. Thus the Celtic symbolism of fox suggests that you aim for the targets of your dreams with all your loving and impassioned life force! Aim for what you love, not luke-warm needs, but for what you really want with all your heart!

The Celtic Ogham symbol for the fox is the alder Tree which is the 18th March to 14th April. Alder has associations with weapons and shields and reminded the ancient Celts that the way of the warrior lies in knowing when to take up the shield and when to take up the sword or knife. An alder forged shield will protect you and give you courage, but the most important aspect of a warrior is his or her intention. Intention is the key to success or failure. Alder also tells us when to blend strength and courage with compassion and generosity of spirit. Thus there is a time to challenge and a time to keep quiet and in this light the fox and alder teach us discrimination and a firm foundation of inner confidence and the need to see beneath the surface of situations.” (Gifford. p.46.) Jane Gifford also suggests that fox-alder deities are Bran, Apollo, Arianrhod, Lugh, King Arthur and Odin and that in kinesiology the essence of alder is the principle of release. Thus in releasing stress, nervousness and anxiety we regain strength. (p.47.)


Huli jing (Chinese: 狐狸精; pinyin: húli jīng; literally “fox spirit”) in Chinese mythology are fox spirits that are akin to European fairies or Celtic sidhe. Huli jing can be either good spirits or bad spirits. In Chinese legends, it is believed that all things can take on human forms, magical powers, and immortality, provided that they receive sufficient energy, in such forms as human breath or essence from the moon and the sun. In other words like many Indigenous cultures foxes in ancient China could be anthropomorphic. Although the ancient Ainu people are the Indigenous people of Japan, as a generalisation China effected Japanese philosophy and lifestyle greatly.

A kitsune (狐) is a mythical fox from Japanese folklore. The word “kitsune” indicates generic foxes in the Japanese language, while in English the word kitsune represents only the folkloric variation. The name Kyūbi-no-kitsune (九尾の妖狐) is the Japanese name for the folkloric kitsunes. So foxes are often portrayed as intelligent beings, which have magical abilities that can increase with their age and wisdom. The more tails a kitsune has, in fact they may have nine tails, the older, wiser, and more powerful the fox is. Generically kitsune are portrayed as tricksters, but some stories depict them as faithful guardians, friends, wives and lovers. Kitsune have an amazing capability to assume a human appearance.

One of the oldest surviving kitsune tales provides a widely known folk etymology of the word kitsune. Unlike most tales of kitsune who become human and marry human males, this one does not end tragically:
Ono, an inhabitant of Mino (says an ancient Japanese legend of A.D. 545), spent the seasons longing for his ideal of female beauty. He met her one evening on a vast moor and married her. Simultaneously with the birth of their son, Ono’s dog was delivered of a pup which as it grew up became more and more hostile to the lady of the moors. She begged her husband to kill it, but he refused. At last one day the dog attacked her so furiously that she lost courage, resumed vulpine shape, leaped over a fence and fled. “You may be a fox,” Ono called after her, “but you are the mother of my son and I love you. Come back when you please; you will always be welcome.” So every evening she stole back and slept in his arms.
(Hamel. 2003. p.89 & Goff, 1997. “Foxes”. Japan Quarterly 44:2.)

Because the fox returns to her husband each night as a woman but leaves each morning as a fox, she is called Kitsune. In classical Japanese, kitsu-ne means come and sleep, and ki-tsune means “always comes”. (Smyers. 1999. p.72. ) But sadly, in contemporary Chinese life, the word “huli jing” is often used to describe a mistress negatively in an extramarital affair.

So they are anthropomorphic creatures, like many other anthropomorphic tricksters in Indigenous cultures. It is widely agreed that many fox myths in Japan can be traced to China, Korea, or India. Chinese folk tales tell of fox spirits called huli jing that may have up to nine tails, or Hồ Li Tinh in Vietnamese.

Due to the ancient Japanese Ainu people living near foxes, many folklore stories and legends arose. Inari, a Shinto kami (spirit), is closely associated with kitsunes and kitsunes often act as its messengers. This has reinforced their supernatural significance. Many treat kitsunes as deities and even make offerings to them.


Similarly to European and colonial folklore, in classical Arabic and Persian literature the fox is a symbol of craftiness and deceit as well as cowardice, as well as a helper. These stereotypes of the fox have been directly reflected in folklore and folk-belief. Although most types of folk tales in which the fox appears portray the animal as crafty and cunning, it is also portrayed as the helper or donor figure in some stories.

This stereotype of deviousness and guile appear also in attitudes about physiognomy and body language in Persian and Middle Eastern philosophy and folklore. Those who believe in physiognomy and body language interpret a fox-like visage as an indication of an evil and fraudulent personality, while dream interpretation texts consider the fox to be a symbol of a cunning and immoral man or a faithless, unreliable woman. And yet ancient folklore practice in Khorasan still prescribes that a bridegroom who is unable to consummate his marriage should leave the wedding party for the desert in the hope of hearing a fox howl. Once he hears the call of the beast, he can return to try again (Šakūrzāda, p. 204).

Yet, in pre-Islamic Iran, the fox was considered as one of the ten varieties of dog created against a demon. The fox is considered medicinally useful, and possessed of a fair amount of medical knowledge. It can, for instance, cure its own illnesses by feeding on certain roots and bulbs (Dānešpažūh, ed., p. 406; Qazvīnī, II, p. 108).


In many cultures, the fox appears in folklore as a symbol of cunning and trickery, or as a familiar animal possessed of magic powers. In Dogon mythology, the pale fox is the trickster god of the desert, who embodies chaos. The Medieval Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard was nicknamed “Robert the Fox” as well as the resourceful, the cunning, and the wily behaviour of foxes. And “to outfox” means “to beat in a competition of wits”, the synonym of “outguess”, “outsmart” or “outwit”. In Finnish mythology, the fox is depicted usually a cunning trickster, but seldom evil. The fox, while weaker, in the end outsmarts both the evil and voracious wolf and the strong but not-so-cunning bear. It symbolizes the victory of intelligence over both malevolence and brute strength.

All of these characteristics: cunning, resourcefulness, wiliness, trickery, wittiness and intelligence are characteristics of the god Hermes (Mercury), the son of Zeus (Jupiter) and bother of Apollo (Sun.) As these characteristics symbolise Mercury in his characteristics of intelligence and cunning, the fox is also a symbol of a person who has a strong third house in astrology.

Astrid Wallner’s (1998) astute summing up of the fox as “a symbol of gods, like for example, as a symbol of the god of vegetation or as a symbol of forest- and mountain-spirits.” This was a pre-Christian attitude. Wallner continues and maintains that this belief changed “in Christian Times, from where on the fox was seen as a demonic creature. The fox is a very famous figure in fables and usually is described as greedy, dishonest and tricky.” Thus in Christian times especially in the rabid, emotional plague times of witch burning foxes are also fall into the archetype of negative Mercury-Saturn. In the Middle Ages and even into the Renaissance, foxes, which were associated with wiliness and fraudulent behaviour, were sometimes burned as symbols of the Devil. The Bible’s Song of Solomon (2:15) includes a well-known verse “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” which had been given many interpretations over the centuries by Jewish and Christian Bible commentators.

The Saturnian or Senex characteristic is seen when fox is a spirit animal or spiritual guide to a child or adult. The fox can be a teacher providing guidance on swiftly finding your way around obstacles. If you follow the spiritual wisdom of a fox , you may be called to use or develop quick thinking and adaptability. Responsive, sometimes cunning, this power animal is a great guide when you are facing tricky situations.

We have a third fox archetype; that of the helpful fox. Fox is said the helpful to be the most helpful animal in fairy tales. Most fables tell about how the fox tricks other animals to get food, but no legends or fairy tales have been found telling about the fox attacking humans. In early Mesopotamian mythology, the fox is one of the sacred animals of the goddess Ninhursag. The fox acts as her messenger. In the Shinto religion of Japan, kitsune (he fox spirit) sometimes helps people as an errand of their deity, Inari.

A fourth archetype is that of the warrior who uses his wits. This is similar to the Celtic beliefs about the powers of the alder tree The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped animals and believed the fox to be a warrior that would use his mind to fight. The fox would not ever use physical attack, only mental. During World War II, the German commander in North Africa, Erwin Rommel, was nicknamed the “Desert Fox” by his British adversaries, as a tribute to his cunning and skill in battle.

A fifth archetype is one made famous by Jimi Hendrix’s song “Foxy Lady.” The words “fox” or “foxy” have become slang in English-speaking societies for an individual (most often female) with sex appeal. The word “vixen”, which is normally the common name for a female fox, is also used to describe an attractive woman. Albeit, in the case of humans, “vixen” tends to imply that the woman in question has a few nasty qualities. The term “foxy” in English is defined as meaning “attractive” and “sexy”, as well as “red-haired”.

And following the Mercurial archetype the fox is often connected to transformation in European and East Asian folklore and literature. There are four major types of fox stories:
• The word shenanigan (a deceitful confidence trick, or mischief) is considered to be derived from the Irish expression sionnachuighim, meaning “I play the fox.”
• Description of life of more or less realistic animals
• Stories about anthropomorphic animals imbued with human characteristics
• Tales of fox transformations into humans and vice versa

Arthur Koestler notes in his autobiography that when he attended the University of Vienna in the 1920s, Freshman students were known as “Füchse” (German for “Foxes”) and had their own distinct organization within the student fraternities, presided over by the “Head Fox”. All this was derived from centuries-old student traditions and lives on in the so-called Studentenverbindung, such as the German Student Corps. I note, too, the similar Mercurial connotations of Fox television.


The fox is known for sneaking into homes and getting away without being caught. Because of this ability we might look for the archetype of Mercury in Cancer or the 4th house, with a challenging Neptune aspect. This could give an ancestor who was actually a thief, a remittance man, or a criminal of some kind. In Australia many of us have convict and Indigenous ancestors who survived by thieving, lying and escaping throughout their lives. The alternative was death. I had three and I have done shamanic work to alter their lives and delete their heartbreak and hardship. The 1903 to mid 1915 generation also had Neptune in Cancer. This generation lived through World War I, the Great Depression and World War II. If these people had Neptune was in the 3rd house in those years or in challenging aspect to Mercury the trickster fox archetype could emerge. So we see this generation as those who were survivors who learned to live with little food and few possessions like foxes in the night. Thus if you have a Cancer fourth house with Neptune in it and Mercury aspecting it you may be living out the life of a Neptunian-Cancer ancestor.


So let’s look at the fox spirit. Why would this guide come to you?

• A Mercury-Neptune warning that you are being or could be deceived.

• A warning that you need to be more discerning .

• A Pluto type guide who gives you the ability to blend in and be invisible and yet

• If fox is your major ancestral totem or major medicine or power animal Lynx Graywolf suggests calling in a balancing energy of Fox such as Wolf, Dog or Coyote for whom Foxes are prey, because people who have Fox as a primary totem find their business is unsuccessful because they are invisible.

• A gift of being a great researcher, detective or shamanic practitioners ( who does psychopomp work, depossession from sneaky spirits or curse unravelling) who can shapeshift.

• A gift for those who feel they must hide their true selves from ” the workaday world”. Saint Germain gives the same ability of being invisible.

• A gift from fox to protect and shield you. Lynx Graywolf suggests that for those children or adults who are abused or subject to domestic violence (unending criticism is part of this), not being noticed means that no one can get close enough to really hurt you in some way. People in abusive situations, under enemy interrogation, torture or in a war zone need to be “hidden”in order to survive. Children who were abused, physically, emotionally, or sexually may grow into adults whose Fox medicine has stepped up and is running their lives. Please see an experienced shamanic practitioner if this is the case.

• People who have Fox medicine may feel hunted, stalked or preyed upon by others. When they are noticed by others, they seem to have something that “everyone else wants” and rarely does the person feel liked or even loved for who they are as individuals but as a therapist, counsellor or healer who people believe they can get something from free or solve their problems for free.

• Sometimes teachers or lecturers or famous people who have the Fox medicine will be or feel “stalked” by others, thus contributing to over active Fox medicine gaining the upper hand. If these people are therapists and their boundaries are being invaded constantly this becomes draining and exhausting and may lead to burn out. This is a Mercury-Neptune or Mars- Neptune in the 3rd house or Gemini problem or even a Mercury-Venus-Neptune problem. This indeed can be a problem of being vampired.

• Fox medicine is very Neptunian and as such, it is also very easy for others to project what they wish to see about who you are no matter how strongly one tries to assert their own true self. Fox people often do then come away from many encounters with others feeling as though they are never really seen or heard. This can result in the Fox person acting out in exaggerated ways, doing things they may not normally have done was the need to assert their true selves not being ignored by those around them. Fox children especially may behave in this way. Lynx Graywolf warns here that it is important for Fox people to look in the mirror frequently and ask themselves “who am I?” For people with strong Fox medicine it becomes a matter of anchoring their true selves into their lives and clearing the projections of others, otherwise they may live out their lives vicariously for their parents or partners and be like a cork bobbing in the ocean.

• I have had the experience of having a client for both astrological work and shamanic work who had Sun square Neptune, Mercury square Neptune, Mars inconjunct Neptune and Sun inconjunct Pluto. Did you work it out? Yes, her father totally dominated her and compared her endlessly and negatively with her two sisters. He expected her to achieve to perfection in the fields he wanted. She had little energy because she was living someone else’s dream. Yes, this woman had fox medicine. When she was eight her mother died and her Grandfather trained a Collie dog for her because she had no sense of direction and she wandered. When she was nine years old her grandfather died and her father poisoned the dog. Strangely her companion most of the time in real life was a dog, a wolf dog.

• Shamanic practitioners, mediums, clairvoyants and holistic therapists fox people may feel most energised around twilight or dusk and daybreak. Shaman Tom Cowan calls these times “betwixt and between times” (1996, p. 94.) He maintains these are the times when we can reach out to other realms, where we can change and transform and be transformed. These are the “thin” times when the doorways to other realms are most easily opened. They are especially vibrant if we use these times in “thin” places. Many Fox people find that they can meditate, journey most easily or receive important guidance at these times. The short time between consciousness and sleep is also especially important to Fox people. It is during that time-space right before one drifts off to sleep that dreams can be most easily incubated for the Fox person. These are great times to set intentions and excellent times for these people to connect with their own personal Fox totem and to ask for its assistance.

• I am a fox person and I have often felt my thick hair is like an antennae. People have said, “You are a Leo. You have a mane.” But what they are missing is that Fox people often have very thick hair and hair acts as an antenna for psychic and intuitive information. As a fox person you can wear their hair long hair to shield from others and because they feel it does indeed help them to connect with the unseen realms. Fox people must take especially good care of their hair, especially if they feel foggy a wash your hair, so your abilities to connect with other realms is clear. Like Samson longer hair strengthens one.

• For many Fox people, it is helpful for them to study the placement of Neptune by sign, house and aspect in their natal charts. Many Fox people have Neptune prominent in their charts, especially rising and further study of Neptune can give the Fox person greater understanding as to their mission and purpose in life though the entire chart, as always, must also be taken into consideration. Fox people may also find that this triggers an even greater enhancement of their own intuitive and psychic abilities, as well as learning how to properly harness that energy.


Deborah at Anwen Essences has created a range of essences she has named the Warrior’s Tools collection for all those on the path of self-awareness; light-workers, therapists, healers, shamans and more! At this time of much change, as we learn to truly become one with the energy of all that is, shedding that which holds us back, embracing every aspect of ourselves and our lives, we intend to be truly conscious of ourselves in every moment. These special essences are designed to support & inspire. Her Loki spray mist is very fox-like in it’s archetypal energy. Deborah tells us it is “a powerful trickster teacher, for finding knowledge deep within, knowing own mind, and truly trusting in this.”

Lynx Graywolf from Morningstar Flower & Vibrational Essences creates Coyote Mint Flower Essence as helping those who feel they are stuck in a pattern of always being taken in by others, or “Played the fool” and yet the next time the trickster comes round again, these folks fall for the confidence man’s lies all over again hook, line and sinker. This essence helps these folks to spot the Trickster coming so they are not taken in yet again by the other person’s clever patter. The affirmation for the Coyote Mint Flower Essence is “ I Learn From My Mistakes The First Time Around!”

Lynx Graywolf from Morningstar Flower & Vibrational Essences also has created Coyote Willow Flower Essence to find the playfulness of the fox spirit within us. She says, “This essence helps us to lighten up, attract more playfulness into our lives and through that we can release the cares, worries and tensions of the day. Sometimes we all find ourselves in situations that feel intolerable because they have dragged on for so long and we may even feel near the breaking point. This essence helps us to keep going when we need to, but also be able to see the humour in a given situation. Even though we may feel more like crying than laughing, there is always a way of looking at things that helps us to see the absurd. And once we see that, its often a short hop, skip and jump to something much better. When we bow to what is, we can move through it with greater ease and Joy. Resisting what is tends to keep it stuck in place, exactly what we don’t want! Being able to laugh at things breaks up the tensions, eases the stress, releases the endorphins so we can relax and then we can hear our Inner Guidance which has the perfect solution/resolution. Changes happen quickly with this essence so do be prepared to find yourself tacking and turning as the winds of your life begin moving you along to a much happier and higher space!” The affirmation for this essence is “Through laughter and joy I can bend without breaking!”


So, what are my conclusions? First it is obvious that after mankind crowded themselves into cities or became settled, rather than being nomadic, foxes were and are regarded as a threat to sheep, hens, eggs; all those smaller creatures than mankind wanted to keep as food and covering (wool and feathers) in small enclosures. In some countries, foxes are major predators of rabbits and hens and mankind eats both. Thus foxes were stereotyped as cunning, wily, treacherous and sly because they were in competition with mankind for food. People kept dogs to hunt the foxes and protect their precious hens and sheep. Thus the archetype of trickster came about.

Secondly, as a protective guide the fox spirit brings a sense of playfulness and fun to abused and lonely children. As the fox is one of the most hunted creatures on earth, we as therapists need to be aware that a person who complains of bullying, stalking and worn down by other people may have an out of control fox spirit. Fox people are also obvious by their thick and often long hair which could have a red tinge to it. Because foxes need to sneak to get what they want fox people need courage and directness. So they need to learn to be assertive and straightforward. Fox people in business need dog or wolf as a power animal as well to help people see them.

Prominent Mercury, Neptune, Pluto and Lilith are good signposts in charts to help flush out a fox person. Challenging Mars-Neptune or Mercury-Neptune are also signs that a person may have foxy tendencies. And it is possible that if you are rectifiying a chart and think a person may have a Leo ascendant they may just be a fox person. Finally, Coyote Willow and Coyote Mint Flower Essences, Alder essence and Loki Spray are a good companion remedy for fox people.

If you are a fox person I’d love to hear your comment. I only make them public if you want a public answer.

I wish you endless good fortune and many happy days.
~ Hilary ~`


Cowan, Tom. (1996.) Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life. Crossing Press: Berkeley, California.

Deborah. Loki. Warrior Spray Mist Essences.

Dogon Mythology.

Encyclopedia Iranica. (2010.) The Fox in Persia.

Fox Hunting. “Hunt campaigners lose legal bid”. BBC News Online. 2006-06-23.

Fox Hunting. North West League Against Cruel Sports Support Group.

Gifford, Jane. (2000.) Alder: Tree of the God Bran. In The Celtic Wisdom of Trees: Mysteries, magic and medicine. Godsfield Press: London, UK.

Goff, Janet. (1997.) “Foxes in Japanese culture: beautiful or beastly?” Japan Quarterly 44:2 (April–June 1997).

Graywolf, Lynx. Morningstar Flower & Vibrational Essences.

Graywolf, Lynx. Fox Medicine.

Hamel, Frank (2003). Human Animals. Kessinger Publishing.

Homerica, The Epigoni Frag 2 (from Photius, Lexicon s.v. Teumesia) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th B.C.)

Arthur Koestler (1953.) Arrow in the Blue – An Autobiography. London.

Singh, Anita (2009-09-18). “David Cameron ‘to vote against fox hunting ban’”. The Daily Telegraph. London.

Smyers, Karen Ann (1999). The Fox and the Jewel: shared and private meanings in contemporary Japanese inari worship. University of Hawaii Press.

Trut, Lyudmila N. (1999). “Early Canid Domestication: The Fox Farm Experiment”. American Scientist 87.

Wallner, Astrid (1998.) The Role of Fox, Lynx and Wolf in Mythology. KORA Bericht Nr. 3, April 1998: “Workshop on Human Dimension in Large Carnivore Conservation.” Swiss Federation Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

5 thoughts on “MERCURY. SHAMANISM, FOXES and FOXY TRICKSTER ARCHETYPES © Copyright to Dr Hilary Bond. All rights reserved.

  1. Another excellent article! I am definitely a fox person. In particular I identify with people wanting healing or counsel for free, or being drawn to me wanting something, even if they don’t know what it is! Also have experienced invisibility in business, but also when it comes time for recognition I often get passed over. Thanks for the great insight.

    • Dear Cat,

      I do hope you have another totem that has more power than the fox, like a bear or lion. I would have to see your chart but it sounds as though you need to consciously start the engines of your Pluto and take off his helmet of invisibility. Small rituals to help manifest your dreams, hopes and wishes (11th house) are good. Do a scared garden mediation and see who is running your show. Make sure you are not fox. Thanks for writing and take care. Let me know how you go Ca.

      Many blessings,

  2. Hilary, thank you for your masterful writing and insightful analysis. I definitely identify with much of what you say here and I would say I would associate with the fox without a doubt. I have neptune conj.the asc.and mercury conj.the mc. Venus conj.mars in Gemeni and Pluto conj.Uranus. l am invisible and I did not get promoted after 18 yrs.service with my employer and I worked hard every second, selflessly for the company. I never was valued as I should have been and it caused me a great deal of pain and I have felt like a failure. I do not trick people or swindle them or use them but I have been used instead of valued. The only way I may be a bit cagey is theat I will do what I need to do to protect my privacy. I do not want anyone in my business who does not need to be. I am somewhat a recluse.I like people but after a while I feel the need to decompress after socializing. I am a good person who is kind, caring and self sacrificing, never asking for anything from anyone. I would like for others to willingly give of their love and respect without my demanding it from them. I have known little success in my life, I am alone and somewhat lonely but with a Scorpio asc.and Venus and Mars in the 8th house I suppose I was designed to live with very little in the way of recognition, love, friends and earthly pleasures. It is a life of scarcity pared down to next to nothing. Sometimes I wish it were otherwise but this is what I have to deal with and it is mine to do the best I can do with it. Saturn in Scorpio transited my asc.along with transiting north node brought me the strength to quit that job after 18 years of letting them use me as a tool. I was so disillusioned, and like a bolt out of the blue I quit. I felt hurt and dejected, used and broken down physically and mentally. I.gave my 2 week notice, played nice and did not show how hurt I was. My pain is private and I do not want them to be privy to it. There is one foxy thing I did do though, I lied to them and told them I got a better job when I really had none. I did not do it to hurt anyone, just a white lie tomake my transition out of ther with less questioning. I did not have the energy to explain all the pain and dejection I was feeling and it would have been wasted anyway because if you do not care in 18 years you never will. I really appreciate your insight and I just wanted you to know that everyone with these aspects is not out to take advantage.In my life it has pretty much been the opposite. Ican see by your writing that you are an extremely wise woman and would like for you to know how much your great wisdom isnadmired by me. All the best to you and your work.

    • Hello,

      I am sorry I cannot use your name as you didn’t provide one.

      I feel great empathy for you.

      Right now you are burnt out but you have if I am right around 15 years left in the workforce so it is time to really look at yourself in the mirror to ascertain who you really are. I am a shamanic practitioner as well as an academic, counsellor and astrologer so I am really emphasising to you that the fox archetype or fox power animal is not the only totem in your spiritual toolbox. We have a totem from our matriarchal side and one from our dad’s side. You might have a big raging tiger and a Phoenix lurking inside you. But they need your permission to get out there and fight.

      Okay if we stay with fox, we know that the fox is quite capable of dusting himself off and going back to the hen house. That is their nature. I grew up with foxes and I sure never saw a fox be a victim. You have something else in there that is making you lack fight. I suspect it is Saturn in Pisces in your 4th house. Mars in Gemini is quite capable of strong arguments. That Neptune next to your ascendant needs to get an offsider who is toughter. What about Mercury in Leo up there on your MC hey? What is he doing? And I think you have sun in the 9th house. That should be outspoken.

      You are too old for the cat still to have your tongue. Tell the cat to give it back and for that matter I’d like to see you go out to some funny movies and have a good belly laugh.

      Now the real problem is that transiting Neptune is conjuncting your natal Saturn in the 4th and I suspect you have family or ancestors who have given up and lost their confidence. Put up a red flag and say you need help. We live on a planet with millions of people and we are not alone.

      I am not sure where you live but you need to make sure you have food, money, enough warm clothes and then you start working with a professional to make sure you are confident and you are a fighter. You have been bullied and you have given up. It is time to fight back.

      Write back if you want help and we’ll see what we can do.

      Homeopathy is really helpful. But right now food on the table is the most important and a big smile on your face.

      You take care now,

  3. Dearest Hilary, Thank you for your response and concern f.or me and my predicament in this life. I am moved to tear that someone so far away who does not know me has shared, out of love, her knowlege and compassion. I have learned so much from reading your analysis on various subjects here in just the few days since I discovered it. I am surprised and disheartened by much of what I have learned about myself here but I am so grateful to you to know the truth no matter how difficult it is. You are spot on in everything you have said about me.I am so impressed with your skill and knowledge. After reading one of your posts I checked my grandpa’s chart and found his Chiron dead on my Saturn in the fourth and his Neptune dead in my Sun. His Sun is also directly opposite mine. It seems he and I share this ancestral heritage of giving up. I knew this intuitively before confirmation. I have also learned through.your writing that myLibra moon has made me a people pleaser and the fact that this is inconjunst my Saturn it stems from fear. I was afraid as a child because there was too much anger and yelling. I have an aversion to authority that is hostile. I found that at the workplace and while I was not directly subjected to that because I was willing to kill myself to please, I saw it on a daily basis with others and it was emotionally draining(Uranus conjunctPluto) in the tenth. I could go on and on but I know you know how difficult my existence has been so I do not need to. You have helped me realise that I am not that child anymore and I do not need to be that victim anymore. I think Saturn in Scorpio on Neptune conjunct Asc.opened the door a bit as well. My birthday was July 14, 1964. I was born in Louisville Ky in the US. I was born at 2.22 PM. You are correct about my giving up on the career. I worked for 18 years in a hellish environment to put my two daughters through college and pay off the mortgage and other incidentals with my wonderful husband. He is putting food on the table at this time. I.have my bachelors degree in fine arts so I would like to start painting again and find that creativity one more time now that I have kept my nose to grindstone long enough to raise two daughters into self sufficiency and fullfill my obligations in paying off this house. I have spent my time saving every penny and never spending money for myself

    I do not know, I hope you do not disagree, I think it is time for me to put myself first for once and find a little piece of life for myself. Thank you for your outsranding writing and superior knowledgebase. You have made a great difference in this world with your work, it is profound beyond compare. I am a feminist and I want you to know how much it matters that you exemplify everything that is powerful , healing, compassionate and intelligent in a woman. You represnt well, a great woman of substance . All my best to you , thank you for all that you do. Ellen or LN

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