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Elusive and elegant, innocent and beneficial. Sacred, vital beast, incarnation of spirits and legends. King of the forest.

Its first representation is found in cave paintings and meant the mystery of the transformation of the young person into an adult and, at the same time, the strangeness of the arrival of old age.

Numerous cultures compared the Deer to the tree of life and attributed a meaning related to fertility.

Its antlers were associated with light and the flash of fire, which is why, on more than a few occasions, it was considered an animal of a solar nature and mediated between the celestial and terrestrial natures.

He was considered an enemy of the Serpent and, therefore, a protector of light and brightness.

For the peoples of the Far East and for pre-Columbian cultures, the Deer meant the spirit and the body that are renewed, due to the birth of the buds of its horns.

For the classics, the Deer was consecrated to the goddess Artemis, protector of the vegetative energy, and to Diana the hunter.

The Chinese interpret the meaning of the Deer in a sense related to infertility and the barren.

Instead, Buddhists claim that it is the animal of right knowledge and honesty.
He was also considered, among the Celtic tribes, as the conductor of the spirits and symbolized the strength of light in the face of darkness.

The Romans and the Hellenes spoke of the mystical character of the Deer, which knew how to distinguish the different species of healing plants, due to its perfect intuition and its elucidating nature. It was considered a quintessential symbolic animal, due to its agility and beauty.

Deer tattoo symbolism

Deer tattoos represent good fortune, passion and virtue. Due to the beauty and that apparent fragility, they are associated as messengers and guides that will take you on the right path, just like a star tattoo does.

In many places it is associated with the East, the Nascent. From the East the sun rises and the light and the cycle of life arrive. In addition to all this it is also a  symbol of dawn, in addition to light, purity, renewal, creation (in music and poetry) spirituality.

In China, if you also add abundant antlers to the deer design, it will be a symbol of prosperity.

For Native Americans, the deer symbolized the tree of life, the rays of the sun, longevity and rebirth. It also represents a zodiac sign for all those born between May 21 and June 20.

The deer possesses spiritual energy and in many of the tattoos it is staged as a god with a beam of light and the most important part from where the details that complete it emerge.

The deer is an animal that has enchanted humanity, not only for its enigmatic beauty, but also for the grace of its movements, power and speed. It is an animal that appears to be delicate, but is agile enough to escape from the jaws of its wild hunters. Due to its attractive and charming characteristics, it is an animal with which many tattoo designs are made, but it is also loaded with symbolism, and that makes even more people tattooed with deer.

There are people who for its beauty associate it with music and poetry. But they are also seen as messengers and guides to indicate the right path (they say they have the ability to find medicinal herbs).

These animals, as we see, are seen as noble and faithful, thus also symbolizing cautious people and who are good at listening.

And, among these multiple meanings, it also symbolizes piety, devotion, and innocence.

Deer ( Abhach or Sailetheach ): In its white doe or white deer form, the deer was often a messenger and guide from the Otherworld.

It brings the innocent human being in contact with supernatural beings.

The Cernunnos antler headdress is a symbol of deer stature.

The deer represents pungent aroma, grace, speed and kindness. These are the ways to achieve our goals without using force.

In Celtic myths, the deer had a reputation for being among the oldest animals. His natural elegance associated him with the arts, especially with poetry and music. To the ancient Celts, the deer was the king of the fairies (“fairey cattle”), a supernatural being who led the troops of fairies, and chosen humans, to his kingdom in the forests, the kingdom of fairies. The doe personified femininity, elegance and discretion while the deer spoke to us silently but without a shadow of a doubt about independence, pride and purification. The forest was the domain of the deer, and thus assumed the protection of its creatures. Not surprisingly, the Celts related the deer to the virility and fertility of warriors. It was a symbol of the sun as well, closely related to the Celtic god of hunting, usually represented as a horned creature.

In heraldic representations the deer speaks to us of peace and harmony, and declares himself  “one who will not fight unless provoked.”

In both Celtic and Native American culture, the deer has a special talent for locating medicinal herbs, thereby earning special respect and reverence in tribal life and folklore. The image of a dead deer with the pasture in its mouth has assumed a special meaning in the art world, symbolizing unrequited love, lost love, or sadness of love. A deer trampling on snakes symbolizes victory over temptations.

Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt, was represented with an entourage made up of five golden antlers. He captured four of them but the fifth escaped, to be later captured by Hercules who dedicated it to her. The four deer pulling Artemis’s chariot appear in Callimachus’s book, “With a belt and golden armor, you rode a golden chariot drawn by golden deer.”

China has many symbols for happiness and good fortune, and the deer is one of them. In fact, in China, the words “deer” and “abundance” sound exactly the same. Buddhists like to tell the story of their teacher’s first lesson when his sacred presence attracted even the region’s wild animals, especially deer. The present place where this first teaching of the Buddha is supposed to have taken place is called today “the deer park”. In some Tibetan monasteries, buddha-deer disciples appear on both sides of the wheel of Dharma (the wheel of doctrine).


The spirit of the deer will show a great sense of kindness, gentleness and above all, compassion.

The deer always feels in harmony with its habitat, although any alteration of its environment affects it appreciably.

The deer power animal will provide us with extrasensory intuition and perceptions, as well as speed in the performances, having as main qualities the ease of speech and sociability. It has a great capacity to give love and understanding.

To defend himself, the Deer activates  his incredible perception. It is extremely sensitive to its environment. At the slightest noise or strange smell your alarm system goes off. The crunch of a branch makes him vanish. When running, they can reach a speed of 72 kilometers an hour and can jump up to 2.5 meters in height. The main gifts that the Deer offers us are its sensitivity and softness. The expression of his eyes, the delicacy of his features, the tenderness of his gaze, move without a doubt the hardest heart. So too, many love magic items are made with debris from Deer. However, the sensitivity of the Deer can be detrimental in today’s world. Thousands of deer die on the roads, and when faced with the headlights of vehicles, outside their natural habitat, they become paralyzed and unable to react. This teaches us that we cannot be extremely sensitive, but that we must learn to react to life’s unforeseen events and above all to stay away from problems.

Deer, Power Animal, Symbol of Gentleness, Unconditional Love and Kindness

By Ina Woolcott

Deer’s medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understanding of what’s necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland goddess, alternative paths to a goal

In the Celtic tradition, there are two aspects of deer – female and male. The Hind (the red female deer), called Eilid in the Gaelic language, symbolises femininity, subtlety and gracefulness. The Hind is believed to call to us from the Faery realm, tempting us to release the material trappings of so-called ‘civilization’, to go deep into the forest of magic, to explore our own magical and spiritual nature. The topic gentleness is part of this tradition. Many stories tell of Hinds changing into women, often goddesses, to protect does from being hunted. The lesson to be gleaned here is that when we explore magic and spirituality, it must be with good intention, to harm no living being, but to enter the realm of the wild things in the spirit of love and communion. The Stag, Damh in the Gaelic tongue, is also linked to the sacredness of the magical forest. The Damh represents independence, purification, and pride. It is known as the King of the Forest, the protector of its creatures. For time immemorial people have sought to identify with the stag by ceremonially wearing antlered headdresses and imitating the deer’s leaping grace.

Both Celtic and Native American hunters prayed to the deer to give them a good hunt, and in return promised to take no more than was essential for the survival of the tribe. This helps remind us that our spirit of gentleness and unconditional love should extend to all species, not only our own.

Maybe the most effective way to summarize the lessons of these beliefs, is to say that only when we move through life in the spirit of love for all beings can we melt the barriers that separate us from others, from other life forms, and from the beautiful mystery which is our own magical and spiritual gift.

By observing the ways in which deer behave, it is possible to see what amazing qualities – or powers – they possess. From the deer we can learn that the gift of gentleness and caring can help us overcome and put aside many testing situations. Only love, both for ourselves and for others, helps us understand the true meaning of wholeness.

If a deer crosses your path, this may show you that you are a very compassionate, gentle and loving person. If you don’t have these qualities, then consider if you have a problem that needs addressing. Are you facing a challenge in your life, whether with a fellow human being or a delicate situation? If you are feeling negative emotions such as anger, try letting go. Think about whether a gentler and more loving approach can sort the issue out. It may be necessary to speak the truth, this is best done with kindness and from the heart, this will generally give a better result.

Deer teaches us how powerful it is to be of gentle demeanour, to exert keen observation and sensitivity. Deer’s are in tune with nature and all it comprises. They are sacred carriers of peace and show those with this power animal how to open their hearts and love unconditionally.

Frequently twins or even triplets are born in the spring. Females and males reside in separate groups until the mating season. White-tailed deer are rather sociable, and family members forage food together along with other family groups, which gives the appearance of a large herd. Fawns are born a colour that protects them, camouflaging them from a predator’s sight. In the first few days of their life they hardly move, until their energy field is strong and grounded. They then stand up and begin to follow their mother around. A magical sight to behold is fawns coming out of forests, following their tenderly protective mothers. Even when grazing, the mothers are constantly watchful, fully aware and alert of what is going on all around them. They travel through forest and field with deliberateness and clarity, mindful of the fragile creature they nurture and protect. There is a powerful lesson to be learned here by us. Though we are born with an inborn ability to be unconditionally loving, often we are born to parents whose life experiences have taught them to become hard, and to lose that ability to experience and give unconditional love. Watching the deer and her babies is a reminder to honour and respect the child-like innocence within your self and go about your life with gentleness and an open heart. You should also stand strong on your path, in your beliefs, and not allow yourself to get distracted by outside influences.

Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of love with full consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love ourselves.

A deer’s senses are very acute and they see extremely well in low light, giving them the ability to understand the deeper symbolic meanings of things. They can hear a twig snap a very long way off. People with this power animal are often described as being swift and alert. They are intuitive, often seeming to possess well developed, even extrasensory perceptions. Sometimes their thoughts seem to race ahead, and they appear not to be listening, to be somewhere else. Anyone with power animal has latent clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities. They can see between the shadows, detect subtle movements and hear that which is not being uttered. Ask the deer to help you develop these true gifts.

The set of antlers grown by the male deer are antennae that connect it to higher energies. If you come across a deer in the wild, try to count the number of points on their antlers. This number is associated with numerology and can carry great significance for those with this power animal.

Deer teaches us to be gentle, to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are in our lives. Don’t push people to change, rather gently nudge them in right direction, with the love that comes from deer. Love and accept people as they are. The balance of true power lays in love and compassion.

When a Deer totem enters your world, a new innocence and freshness in about to be awakened. New adventures are just around the corner and there will be an opportunity to express the gentle love that will open new doors for you.



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