inari foxes

New Design…What Katrina does on a Friday night while Coop is out getting ready for the Faire weekend.  Hopefully we will have FOX ready for next weekend!  Here is the meaning that will go onto the ArtFire shop…

Fox symbolism for the Celtic tradition, recognize their cunning and wily intelligence, holding Fox to be a guide and honoring their Wisdom. Fox knows the woods intimately and can act as Guide in the spirit world. If Fox appears, you may need to think quickly and strategically, employ cleverness and wisdom to adapt to changing situations.  Celtic Fox may also be highlighting a need to observe others and your surroundings while remaining unnoticed. This maybe what lends Fox taking on the role of shapeshifter, changing from human to animal as needed.  In being able to transform and remain unnoticed, Fox slips in and out of spots that might prove dangerous for others. In some European traditional tales, Fox is the character who outsmarts humans and other animals alike and gets away even in the trickiest situations.

Foxes are a common subject of Japanese Folklore where they are known as Kitsune. They are intelligent beings and as possess magical abilities that increase with age and wisdom. They are shapeshifters able to assume the human form.  While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.

There are two common classifications of Kitsune. The zenko (literally good foxes) are benevolent, celestial foxes associated with the god Inari simply called Inari foxes. Inari is Shinto God of Rice and Patron of Business and Kitsune acts as its messengers and as Rain Spirits. On the other hand, the yako (field foxes) tend to be mischievous or even malicious. 

Another tradition classifies the Fox Spirit into one of thirteen types defined by which supernatural abilities the kitsune possesses. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make  offerings to them as to a deity.

Native Americans observed Fox’s ability to vanish amidst the lush undergrowth of the forest, the flora is Fox’s ally and the ability to blend into one’s surroundings and be unnoticed is a powerful gift. Another gift is the ability to adapt to winter by changing color, allowing White Fox to disappear in the snow.  This ability to be unseen allows it to be the protector of the family unit.  The Choctow honors Fox with the duty of keeping the family together and safe.  If Fox choses to share its medicine with you, it is a sign that you are to become like the wind, unseen yet able to weave into and through any location or situation.  Be wise and observe the acts of others rather then their words at this time.  Use your cunning nature in a positive way; keep silent about who and what and why you are observing. In learning the art of camouflage, you need to practice and test your abilities to pull this off.  

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I decided to revamp the designs for my vulpix variations I made a year and a half ago. I’ve mainly fleshed them out to be used in a story among some of my ask blogs. More or less, Reds are based off of Kyubey and Arctics based off of Inari’s foxes. For the colors I’ve drawn inspiration from the RBY sprite colors for the Red variant and I started to draw inspiration from the gods in Okami for the Arctic variant. I was given suggestions that the colors clashed a bit too much so I’ve dulled the reds so they weren’t so intense.

DESCRIPTIONS OF EACH UNDER THE READMORE

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Messenger Fox(Inari shrine) by 猫島 警部
Via Flickr:
Inari Jinjya is a tutelary shrine guarding the local people. It is dedicated to the gods of the harvest and industry. A pair of foxes , messengers of the gods, stand at the gate of the shrine.

A selection of Japanese deities

AMATERASU - Sun goddess of harvest, fertility, and light.

Associated with weaving.

BENTEN - Goddess of good luck and protection from earthquakes.

BENZAITEN - Goddess of love.

BISHAMONTEN - God of happiness.

DAIKOKU - God of prosperity.

EBISU - God of work.

FUKUROKUJU - God of happiness and long life.

HOTEI OSHO - God of good fortune.

INARI - Fox-goddess of merchants, business, and prosperity.

Associated with the fox and rice.


JIZO BOSATSU - Protector of women in childbirth, and children.

JUROJIN - God of happiness and long life.

KISHIMOJIN - Goddess of children, compassion, and fertility.

Conway on the Japanese pantheon - a selection from The Little Big Book of Magic.