Foxes are poets of beguilement, not least in Japanese folklore, which tells of their ability to take human form. They are also the most gifted trespassers, entering our dreams through their own.
In some stories, foxes are faithful guardians, hence their presence as sentinels in Shinto shrines. In others, they are expert thieves. A fox spirit may even inhabit your lover. White foxes are usually good luck; red foxes often less so. You don’t really know until you’re already too close.
In nature foxes are quite solitary, but in yokai myth they meet at night, their gatherings marked by clusters of little yellow-red lights called kitsune-bi, or foxfires. These are sometimes visible far off in the dark, appearing in pairs and not so high off the ground, go figure. They are said to have the luminosity of distant paper lanterns. So the stories go.
These images boast no social relevance; they continue my exploration of ritual, altered states and the darker side of beauty. Peruse them and make your own stories.
And beware of the light.
– Luke Hardy 2018