At 7pm on Sept. 12th, 2013 I started having cramps. By 10pm that night, I knew I was in labor. Just before midnight, I woke Sean up to tell him to get ready. In between contractions, I would scurry around our little apartment in the outskirts of DC, packing my hospital bag. She was, after all, three weeks early.
Shortly after midnight, at the commencement of Friday the 13th, I happened to peer out our kitchen window. From about 50 years away I saw something walking down the sidewalk in the middle of our complex’s small grassy quad. Then it made a 90 degree turn and started walking toward my window. When it was directly below me, it sat down, looked up at me and we stared at one another for what felt like an eternity.
It was a red fox.
That moment will be etched in my mind for as long as I live. It became a ‘thing’ surrounding Ella’s birth. I googled the meaning of a fox as a spirit animal and light-heartedly attributed it to my tiny girl… but there was something about it that always nagged me. As if, I was misinterpreting what this visit meant – and who it was for.
Recently, I found out.
When I was preparing to write about the Day of the Goddess and the meaning of Friday the 13th, I came across an article about the symbolism of a Red Fox, written by someone who had cared for group of foxes for nearly a year.
In all my previous research, fox symbolisms were limited to ‘cleverness’, ‘wise’, ‘swift’. But this article was different – and when I read it, I knew I had found my answer.
Per the article:
“There are two species of red fox in China that are known as Kitsune. Kitsune are magical beings who are considered extremely wise. These are the foxes that guard the temples of the goddess Inari and travel with her. Interestingly enough, kitsune are believed to shape-shift into beautiful women at the age of 50 years. This mirrors myths in Native American legends that tell of hunters who discover that their wives are actually foxes. The theme of shape-shifting figures large with the red fox spirit animal, but also the gray fox. What transformation is occurring in your life right now? What are you shifting into? – Stacy L.L. Couch
When I read this, it suddenly became obvious to me that this animal visit wasn’t for Ella, it was for me.
In my stare down with that fox, I was in the greatest transition of my life – undeniably shifting into the most important role I may ever have. That of protector and guardian of this new life I had brought forth. And in regard to The Day of the Goddess, as I have realized of late, guardian of the Divine Feminine.
But it went on:
“Fox spirit animal reminds us that no matter what costume we wear or shape we’ve shifted into that it is important to know and tend our sense of “home” whatever that might be.” – Stacy L.L. Couch
“If red fox spirit animal has made it into your life, now is a good time to examine your own cleverness. Who are you outsmarting today? Sometimes we are too clever for our own good and other times we need to think way outside the box…” – Stacy L.L. Couch
For anyone who has followed my art over the past year of two, you may recall that I have a pre-occupation with the idea of ‘home’. It’s a complicated subject for me.
One one hand, if we think of home as a physical location – a dot on a map – there will only ever be one for me. But ‘home’ can mean a lot of things…
A place… a body… a feeling… a belief.
For much of my life, I never felt at home with myself.
This, I believe, is where my pre-occupation with the idea originates… my effort to come back home to myself.
And this, I know now, is the significance of my visit with the fox, on February the 13th, no less.
Until this day, I had been ‘outsmarting’ myself, in a way. Denying much of my true nature, my Divine Feminine, for something that seemed more culturally pleasing. For years, I had been preventing myself from being at home in my own skin and allowing myself to believe it was normal, while my intuition whispered otherwise.
For ‘home’ – in all of it’s possible manifestations – is really only one thing.
And so with that in mind…
I am a home for myself.
I am a home for my children.
I am a home for my family.
I am a home for the Divine Feminine.
I am a home for creativity.
I am a home for love.
On Friday the 13th, I finally came home.