Eternal symbols of cunning and shrewdness, tattoos of the fox have always been seen as a symbol of sexual potency, but also a sort of precious lesson in life…

Wisdom or seduction?

The fox is a byword for cunning. In the sense of shrewd, acting in your own interests without worrying over much about what others think. This way of behaving was a sign of profound wisdom for the ancient primordial culture of Native Americans. The greatness of the fox lies in its effortless talent for solving problems as the result of its skill at navigating in unknown places, moving about in the dark without missing a beat. This nocturnal quality has given many psychologists cause to identify the fox as an exemplary symbol of sexuality and also seduction.

A.K.A. Kitsune

In Japan the fox is called Kitsune and endowed with considerable spirituality. According to Japanese folklore, the older a fox becomes, the more it becomes a supernatural being. And it is the Kitsune who spread the cult of Inari, the good spirit of fertility and agriculture. On the one hand they protect mankind but at the same time they have no scruples about fooling anyone they meet on their path who is boastful, vain or greedy unscrupulous individuals.

Matteo Pasqualin, The Inkers Tattoo Shop, Porto Viro, Italy
Matteo Pasqualin, The Inkers Tattoo Shop, Porto Viro, Italy

Beware the tail!

Like oriental legends told us, foxes turn into prostitutes and use their cunning to seduce whoever crosses their path. In order to avoid this happening, some Japanese writers recommend that we watch these characters closely to see whether or not they have a tail (the only physical trait that the foxes are not able to disguise during their metamorphosis), that their eyes are not too close together or their cheekbones dramatically high.

Foxes in Korean and Chinese folklore

In Korea, the fox is associated with the mythological figure of the Kuniho, the creature with nine tails (similar to a cat) which can live for up to a thousand years. It is an extremely negative symbol, linked to the sphere of evil. For the Chinese however, the fox has always been a source of reincarnation in a sort of never-ending passage from one life to another.

London Reese, The Black Lantern, Dana Point, USA
London Reese, The Black Lantern, Dana Point, USA

European thesis

For the Celtic peoples, this animal (so skilled at finding its way through the thickest forests) was above all a guide to the Otherworld or the world of the dead. Finally, for the Europeans, the fox has always been the ultimate symbol of cunning and sexual potency.

Last final words

There are three main qualities we can attribute tot his magnificent creature. So let us conclude by summing them up here:
1 – Shrewdness and prevention. If you get a fox tattoo, you are likely one of those people who can foresee danger, who picks up on the warning signs.
2 – Levity. None of the (solvable) problems in this world are ever that serious if we analyse them properly and don’t let our worries get the better of us. A fox tattoo might be an excellent way to remind ourselves.
3 – Intelligence. If we forget to develop our intellect, we are truly lost because we will never rise above the humdrum life. A fox tattoo is a symbol of learning, the best peaceful but effective tool for making painstaking progress in life.