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Deer represents grace, swiftness, and peace; nurturing, innocence,
and gentleness; keen senses,
intuition, listening and messages.
Deer's actions are swift and graceful. Always alert to subtle
shifts in the environment it can
bound to safety in seconds. It teaches that through gentle nurturing
and guidance we can tame the
wildest of hearts with compassion and love. Its keen senses
demonstrate the heightening of your
own through conscious awareness. With strong intuitive abilities
she will teach you to trust your
own instincts and let them guide you safely along your path.
She does not try to change the
nature of her young but guide them to wisdom through her loving
ways. Through example she
demonstrates that if one avoids their enemies they will remain
safe and that through the
innocence of love great things can be accomplished.
Through acts of peace this creature-teacher shows you that answers
do not come from battle but
from acceptance and going about your way in as unobtrusive a
manner as possible. Her big warm
eyes will take you into dreams and visions, teach you to calm
yourself and obtain meditative
skills, and balance yourself in the centeredness of Spirit.
Through this Totem you will learn to
increase your psychic skills of intuition, dreaming, prophecy,
and other perceptions. They can
reveal to you through these skills the secrets of past lives
and the future. When Deer appears it is
often to indicate that you will soon meet someone new. This
person will have an impact on your
life in relation to love. The stance Deer takes will give you
a clue of just how positive or negative
that meeting will be.
The healing qualities of Deer teach us that through gentle nurturing
we can heal spiritual wounds
of others and is often indicated by its appearance. Love is
the message brought by Deer and
through that love the protection it warrants. Deer is of the
Earth and the love it exudes is that of
Mother Earth in its sustenance to nurture and teach. Through
this teacher you will find the
enduring patience that leads to a gentle strength and keen skills
of observation, intuitive
guidance, and creative movements.
*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
If the deer was captive or in an unnatural surrounding, it signifies
emotional upsets and/or
disappointment in some trusted friend; however, in its natural
habitat it augurs the cementing of a
new and pleasant friendship. To kill a deer or see a dead one
is a warning to look out for a
backbiter masquerading as a friend.
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Deer applies to a tendency to be cautious; watchful; aware.
*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
A deer can represent the gentle aspects of yourself. This can
also be a sign of feeling victimized
and defenseless. Remember, there are no victims, only volunteers.
Try to find areas in your life
where you can take control and make changes. If you identify
with the innocent deer, remember
too, the power of the stag--magnificent and forceful.
*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Gentleness. One day Fawn heard Great Spirit calling to her from
the top of Sacred Mountain.
Fawn immediately started up the trail. She didn't know that
a horrible demon guarded the way to
Great Spirit's lodge. The demon was trying to keep all the beings
of creation from connecting
with Great Spirit. He wanted all of Great Spirit's creatures
to feel that Great Spirit didn't want to
be disturbed. This would make the demon feel powerful, and capable
of causing them to fear
Fawn was not at all frightened when she came upon the demon.
This was curious, as the demon
was the archetype of all the ugly monsters that have ever been.
The demon breathed fire and
smoke and made disgusting sounds to frighten Fawn. Any normal
creature would have fled or
died on the spot from fright.
Fawn, however, said gently to the demon, "Please let me
pass. I'm on the way to see Great
Fawn's eyes were filled with love and compassion for this oversized
bully of a demon. The
demon was astounded by Fawn's lack of fear. No matter how he
tried, he could not frighten
Fawn, because her love had penetrated his hardened, ugly heart.
Much to the demon's dismay, his rock-hard heart began to melt,
and his body shrank to the size
of a walnut. Fawn's persistent love and gentleness had caused
the meltdown of the demon. Due
to this gentleness and caring that Fawn embodied, the pathway
is now clear for all of Great
Spirit's children to reach Sacred Mountain without having to
feel the demons of fear blocking
Deer teaches us to use the power of gentleness to touch the
hearts and minds of wounded beings
who are trying to keep us from Sacred Mountain. Like the dappling
of Fawn's coat, both the light
and the dark may be loved to create gentleness and safety for
those who are seeking peace.
If Deer has gently nudged its way into your cards today, you
are being asked to find the
gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds. Stop pushing so
hard to get others to change, and love
them as they are. Apply gentleness to your present situation
and become like the summer breeze:
warm and caring. This is your tool for solving the present dilemma
you are facing. If you use it,
you will connect with Sacred Mountain, your centering place
of serenity, and Great Spirit will
Contrary: Deer in the contrary position indicates that you are
courting your fear by fighting the
internal demons of negative ideas. This is a clue to you that
force is not always the best method.
You may not be willing to love yourself enough to feel your
fears and let them go. You may be
projecting your fears on others. It may also be others whom
you fear, reminding you of a time
when you reacted to life in much the same manner. At any rate,
love is the key. The only true
balance to power is the love and compassion of Deer. Be willing
to find things to love about
yourself and others, and your demons will melt away. Your fears
cannot exist in the same place
that love and gentleness abide.
Remember, Fawn can teach you many lessons about unconditional
love. In its true application,
unconditional love means that no strings are attached. The gentleness
of Fawn is the heart-space
of great Spirit which embodies His/Her love for us all.
The Druid Animal Oracle by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Hind: Subtlety, Gracefulness, Femininity:
Hind brings us the gentleness and grace of the feminine principle.
Whether you are male or
female, opening to the qualities of the hind will enable you
to achieve a greater degree of
sophistication, subtlety and elegance--in the best possible
senses of these terms. Deer and the
white hind in particular, call to us from the Otherworld, from
the realm of Faery, and invite us to
look beyond the material, beyond the superficialities of life,
toward the heart of things, toward
the realm of causes rather than effects. Poised in moon or sunlight,
it invites us to begin an
exploration of the Otherworld, of the spiritual dimensions of
Contrary it may be warning you to be less self-effacing. Rather
than adapting yourself, like a
chameleon, to the perceived demands and expectations of those
around you, you may need to
become more assertive. You may also need to be wary of becoming
preoccupied with the
Otherworld. Our psychic life has its seasons, and at times it
is good and balancing for us to
explore the inner mysteries, but at other times it is important
for us to focus our awareness on
everyday life. You may have reached a time when an interest
in the esoteric needs balancing
with a period of outer activity. Do not worry that you will
lose touch with the Otherworld, for the
magical white hind will always be waiting for you at the edge
of the woods, ready to guide you
into the heart of the forest.
Stag: Pride, Independence, Purification
Stag brings us the qualities of grace, majesty, and integrity.
Contemplating the stag can help you
achieve a greater sense of poise and dignity. if you are ever
confronted with a situation in which
you feel vulnerable or under scrutiny, such as in a court of
law or a public appearance, by
attuning to the stag and asking for the protection of his spirit
you will find yourself feeling
calmer, stronger, and more dignified. The stag signifies independence
too--both spiritual and
physical. You will be able to find the strength to gain and
maintain your independence. It relates
to the birch tree and the number one. The birch is associated
with the blessing of beginnings. It is
auspicious when contemplating new projects. The stag's connection
with fertility and sexuality
signifies that you will find a way to bring dignity, grace,
power and integrity to your sexual life.
Contrary it shows that you need to examine the degree to which
your pride is helping or
hindering you. Pride can be a valuable feeling when it helps
you to give only of your best, but it
can also block your development and enjoyment of life if it
exists only to protect your feelings of
vulnerability and inadequacy. ask yourself whether your pride
is serving you, and if not, see
whether the qualities of the Stag can help you find integrity
and dignity without the need for
inappropriate pride. The stag-god, as Lord of the Hunt, is responsible
for culling, which can be
seen as a process of purification or sacrifice, maintaining
a proper ecological balance. Contrary
may signify the need for sacrifice or purification in your life--perhaps
through letting-go of
unnecessary possessions or emotional attachments, thereby helping
you to gain independence
*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
Deer/Stag:Deer are even-toed, hooved animals of the family Cervidae.
They also chew a cud,
like cattle do. Most males have antlers which are shed every
year. However the female among
the caribou have antlers like the males. The coats of deer are
of a neutral color in shades of red,
brown, or gray; the fawns in some species are temporarily spotted
The species of deer come in all sizes, from the tiny deer of
Africa to the now extinct Irish elk
which had an antler-spread of eleven feet from tip to tip. Some
type of deer is found in nearly
every area of the world. The deer can go a long time without
water and still maintain its strength.
The deer has long been considered a magickal creature. This
animal was sacred to such Greek
goddesses as Artemis, Aphrodite, Athene, and the roman Diana.
At an Attica festival, Artemis
was presented with a sacrificed deer and honeycakes in the shape
of a deer. This goddess who
was also called Elaphaia ("She of the Red Deer") and
Elaphebolia ("She Who Strikes the Red
Deer"). The Etruscan version of Artemis is shown winged,
holding a deer in one hand and a lion
in the other.
Fawn skins were worn by the Greek Maenads and the Bacchant and
Orphic devotees. The fawn
skin was also a sacred garment of the lower initiates of some
of the Greek mystery religions.
Dionysus was said to wear the magicakal skin of a fawn, tiger,
or leopard and had been placed on
a fawn skin by Hermes when he was born from the thigh of Zeus.
However, the stag was also a creature of Apollo at Delphi. The
Greeks believed that the stag
could identify medicinal herbs and plants. In early Egyptian
temple paintings the deer is shown
On a Minoan seal is shown the figure of an antlered stag dancer
with large breasts. Stag dances
were performed by men dressed as women at the New Year in England,
Romania, and Germany
into the nineteenth century.
In India, the deer was the mount of the god Vayu, deity of the
wind. In China, Lu-Hsing, god of
salaries and employees, rode a deer; to the Chinese the deer
represented high rank, official
success, and wealth.
Among the Celts, the stag was an animal of Cernunnos, the hunting
god Cocidius, and the hero
Ossian. When connected with these deities, the stag symbolized
the virility of the warrior, the
Sun, and fertility. Deer were sacrificed as substitute for the
Horned God in goddess rituals. In
Celtic myth, a white doe or white stag was often sent by the
Otherworld deities to guide some
human into their realm. The animal god Cernunnos wore an antlered
headdress. The Irish
goddess Flidais was associated with deer; they drew her chariot.
Sometimes deer were called
faery cattle and messengers. Stories tell of nymphs and faeries
changing into fawns to escape
capture. The skin and antlers of deer were used as ritual garments.
From earliest times the stag was a sacred animal in the Black
Sea and Anatolia areas, and among
the Hittites. In some Sumerian rituals the statue of their fertility
god was clothed in the skin and
antlers of a stag.
In both China and Japan the dragon is often called the Celestial
Stag. Chinese also have a god of
immortality, Shou-Hsien, sometimes pictured as a white stag.
In certain cultures of Asia and preColumbian
America the stag was associated with regeneration because it
shed and renewed its
antlers each year. It was also believed to be an enemy of the
Amulets made of deer skin parchment were preferred by ceremonial
magicians of the Middle
Ages. Some of the magickal power of the deer was believed to
remain in such parchment.
To Native Americans, deer and all forked-horned animals represented
dangerous psychic and
spiritual powers that had a double nature. By observing this
creature, humans learned to hide
when being hunted.
Superstitions: If deer feed on the herb dittany, they can become
immune to arrow wounds. Deer,
especially stags, can be charmed by the music of pan-pipes.
After eating snakes, a deer can shed
its coat and old age with it. To heal, use the right antler.
To keep snakes away, burn either antler.
Ointments made from stag bone marrow will cure fevers.
Maickal attributes: Keen scent, grace, swiftness, gentleness.
Using other methods to reach your
goals than force. Being alert for any danger. A white deer in
meditation often bears a message or
will lead you to seeking, abundance, dreams, intuition, introspection,
listening, death and rebirth,
transformation. Accept others as they are and don't try to change
them. Deer: woodland Goddess,
psychic powers, alternative paths to a goal. Stag: Lord of the
Underworld, messages from guides,
better understanding of the cycle of death and rebirth.
*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Shy, light, sensitive, intuitive
Magical influences: Peace, tranquility, easing of nerves, ability
to see future events clearly.
Personality: Deer are true introverts; they shy away from any
suspected confrontation. They
know who their enemies are and steer clear of them. Deer are
among the most psychically
sensitive personality types; they can impart information about
events moments before they
happen. They are quite at peace with themselves and the world.
*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
Swift, agile movement. The deer is an excellent guide through
any figurative forests in your life.
Buddhist: A representation of the Wheel of Law in action. Also
symbolizes meditation and
gentility. A stag specifically is regarded as solar and masculine
in aspect, banishing evil by
symbolically trampling snakes under its swift, strong hooves.
*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
Deer are good powers and can be messengers in many different
ways. They can be our eyes and
ears if we acquire their power. They can tell us what is up
ahead on the road while we are
traveling, help us to see into the future via dreams and meditation,
and remind us that we should
try to live lives that are balanced and graceful. If a woman
sees a buck while traveling, it is a
warning that she might meet a man up ahead who has sexual desire
for her. And more than likely
he will be flirtatious. This can be a good sign or a bad sign,
depending on one's personal desires
and perspective. By the same token, if a man sees a doe alongside
the road, it is usually a sign
that he will encounter a sensuous and flirtatious woman, a woman
who would like to mate with
him. Once again the sign can be good or bad, depending on one's
ethics, desires, or preference.
If you go on a vision quest and see a Deer along the way, it
is usually an indication that you will
meet a stranger on the trail, so study the Deer's behavior well.
More than one Deer means more
than one man or woman. If the Deer comes close to your campfire
and hangs around, it is trying
to bring you a message from the spirit world. Thank it for coming
and ask it to talk to you in a
dream, in a language you can understand. I provide a detailed
example and experience of such a
situation in my book Native Healer. If a man sees a big buck
pawing the ground with its head
bent downward, then it is a sign that he will encounter a challenger
in a social situation involving women.
Among all Native American tribes who had contact with the deer,
the graceful creature was
considered a sacred totemic animal. The Medicine doctors of
various tribes believed that the deer
had a keen sense of determining which plants yielded the greatest
curative powers, and a great
deal of time was spent stalking the deer for its ostensible
knowledge of pharmacology as well as
The Native American zodiac names deer people as those born from
May 21 to June 21 and says
that they are generally of a good disposition, but they sometimes
appear to be creatures of
In numerous cultures throughout Europe, Asia, and North America,
the male deer, the stag, was
regarded as a symbol of regeneration because of the way its
antlers are renewed. In certain
mystical traditions, the horned deer is also linked with the
Tree of Life because of the similarity
between its antlers and the branches of a tree. Consequently,
the horn contained great magic,
whether worn intact, broken in pieces, or ground into powder.
Very early in humankind's religious observations, the stag became
the Shamans' Horned God, the
sacrificial consort of such goddesses as the huntress Diana/Artemis.
With the spread of
Christianity across Europe, the Horned God easily became a representation
of Satan; but in
nearly as many instances, the stag was idealized as a symbol
of Christ, for the deer, as did Jesus
on the cross, gave its blood (flesh) for humankind. St. Withburga
has the doe, the female deer, as
her animal symbol.
If the deer has come to you as your totem animal or if you have
felt drawn to the animal through
a dream or a vision, your spirit self is now in the company
of one who has long been cherished as
an intermediary between the Great Mystery and humankind. With
the deer as your totem, you
will feel an acceleration of your powers of intuition. Many
Shamans attribute the greatest
psychic sensitivity to the Deer People.
With the deer as your spirit helper, you will find that you
have an increased desire to spend more
time in the Silence and in nature. You will also notice that
your dreams have become more
enriched. Among the lore of some native tribes is a regard for
the deer as the Lord of the Dream.
To focus on the deer before falling asleep, according to some,
will bring prophetic dreams that
may be shared or the good of your family and/or your community.
Keynote: Gentleness and Innocence--Gentle Luring to New Adventure
Cycle of Power: Autumn and Spring
Deer have always captured the imagination of humanity. It is
one of the most successful families
of mammals, native to every continent except Australia. They
have been able to adapt to every
sort of habitat. The white-tailed deer, the mule deer and the
caribou are three that are prominent
on this continent. The moose and wapiti (elk) are also part
of the deer family, but they are treated
separately in this work.
Each type of deer has its own special qualities and characteristics,
while sharing some of the
qualities of all deer in general. Caribou, for example, make
long migrations twice a year,
reflecting a need for those who have it as a totem to use that
same pattern in their life. They
begin rutting in fall and early winter, and these then are the
power times. The mule deer is also a
wanderer. it never follows the same path twice. This is part
of its natural defense, making it less
predictable to predators. Most of the information in this section
will focus on deer in general, and
the white-tailed specifically.
The name "deer" has several variations on its origin.
These may provide clues to past lives with
those with this totem. The Anglo Saxon word "deor"
was a general word for animals and was
often used just in the general sense. In the German language,
it has its root in "tier," simply
meaning wild animal also. It can also be traced to the Sanskrit
"mriga," also meaning wild animal.
To many the deer is considered the most important animal ever
hunted. The hunt of the deer is
what transfers our civilization to the wilderness. There are
many stories and myths of deer luring
hunters or even kings deep into the woods until they are lost
and begin to encounter new
adventures. One such example is found in the tales of King Arthur
and the Knights of the Round
Table. Sir Gawain follows a white hart to many adventurous encounters.
A reading of Sir
Thomas Malory's Le Morte D' Arthur will also provide more examples.
The deer is also a central religious image for Buddhism. Buddha
is often pictured with a deer,
and legend tells how he first preached in a deer park. This
image itself reasserts the meaning of
the deer as representing innocence and a return to the wilderness.
The white-tailed deer is the most common in the United States.
One of its most outstanding
features is the set of antlers that the male develops. In other
members of the deer family, i.e.,
reindeer and caribou, both the male and females growth them.
The antlers are solid bone, and
they are shed every year. Antlers grow behind the eyes and are
Each year until the age of five, the antlers grow bigger with
more points. If you encounter a deer
in the wild, try to make count of the number of points. This
will tell you some of the significance
the deer will have for you. Remember that numerology can help
define the essence.
Antlers are symbols of antennae, connections to higher forms
of attunement. Deer with antlers
thus can be a signal to pay attention to your inner thoughts
and perceptions, as they are probably
more accurate than you think.
The antlers are shed every year, and each year they grow back
larger and with more points, for
five years. If a deer has entered your life, look for new perceptions
and degrees of perceptions to
grow and expand for as much as the next five years. It can indicate
that there will be
opportunities to stimulate gentle new growth increasingly over
the next few years.
The antlers grow behind the eyes, again hinting at the symbolism
of heightened perception.
When the antlers are shed, they are eaten by deer and rodents
who gnaw on them to assimilate
One or two young are born. Fawns are born a color that protects
and hides them. In the first few
days, they hardly move, and the mother nurses them often. This
is very significant for those with
this totem. Many societies taught the importance of staying
with the newborn for a prescribed
period of time. No visitors, no family members other than the
father were allowed contact with
the newborn. Even today in the Muslim religion, a mother who
breastfeeds for a prescribed time
makes that child her own, whether it is her biological child
or not. This kind of attention and
separateness enables the child to link with the family more
strongly and protects the newborn
from subtle outside influences.
It has always bothered me to see new mothers with week-old babies
walking around busy malls
and stores. I understand the desire to get out, but it reveals
a lack of understanding of the subtle
energy influences of the human body. Our auras or energy fields
are electro-magnetic and
exchanges of energy do occur with other people and places. The
kind of energy a child is
exposed to in a mall can have strong effects. No one has ever
done any significant studies on
this, and it is an area that truly needs to be explored. Until
that child's energy is strong and firmly
grounded, it should be protected from extraneous influences.
The deer leads us back to the primal wisdom of those old teachings.
It reminds us to establish a
strong healthy connection with the child before we expose it
to many people and other strange
energies. It is a reminder that there is a tradition that is
natural and suitable for family units and
for the health of the young. It is for the child's best interest.
After the first few days, the fawn can usually stand and follow
its mother about. Doe fawns may
stay with the mother for as much as a year. The buck or male
will usually leave after a few
months. The father takes no part in the rearing of the young;
it is all the rule of the mother. Again
this can be a reminder for us to move gently back to the traditional
family unit and roles. It may
indicate, if the deer has shown up in your life, that you have
gotten too far away from the role
that would be most beneficial for you at this time.
A deer's senses are very acute. Its vision is designed for clarity
at a distance. It is especially
effective at detecting contrasts and edges in dim light. Its
hearing is equally acute. Anyone who
has deer as a totem will find increasing ability to detect subtle
movements and appearances. They
will begin to hear what may not be said directly.
When deer show up in your life it is time to be gentle with
yourself and others. A new innocence
and freshness is about to be awakened or born. There is going
to be a gentle, enticing lure of new
adventures. Ask yourself important questions. Are you trying
to force things? Are others? Are
you being too critical and uncaring of yourself? When deer shows
up there is an opportunity to
express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for
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