I've been gifted with a visit from deer lately. On my birthday, returning home from a celebration at my parents' house, I saw a gorgeous big buck, traveling across the road in front of us, from left to right. He was in no real hurry, and we got to see him quite well. In the past I have usually seen does, or bucks when they don't have their antlers, but he had a nice big rack of antlers that I could see clearly. I felt it was a message from the masculine Divine, the God of the Woodlands. The visit brought tears to my eyes, at the time and when describing it later. I really wanted to give him a great big hug.
Tonight, nearly two weeks later, this time on the way to my parents' house, I had the feeling I would see some sort of critter, and sure enough, there was a deer. This time she was a beautiful doe, again moving left to right (which is auspicious), and taking her time, like she'd been expecting to see me, too.
I'm grateful for these signs, and look to some of the traditional meanings these beautiful creatures bring. Deer means gentleness, innocence, sensitivity, grace, alertness, and peace. It means touching others with healing and tenderness, which makes sense given my recent focus on my own health and also my Reiki energy healing service. Deer lead us into the wilderness, and into new adventures.
Ted Andrews writes, in his book Animal Speak, "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." Antlers are also used as protection, and thus can show us that we need to gracefully care for and protect our gentle and loving inner selves.
Deer, and particularly does, remind us of our path of spiritual growth, and ask us to be patient with ourselves along the path. In Celtic animal lore, deer are often associated with the arts, particularly poetry and music. As a writer and drummer, and with my recent focus on my arts, this makes sense. Another bit of Celtic wisdom tells how the stag would lead troops of the fae folk on a pilgrimage through the forest. What an amazing and vivid image that creates in my mind's eye! Perhaps I can draw or describe it...
The deer's list of qualities also includes abundance, which is an energy I've been working with lately. In China, the word for deer and for abundance and fortune are the same. This is something BlackLion noticed right away on my birthday, when he quipped a money pun about "the buck flowing into your life" (rather than "the buck stops here").
There are many levels of meaning, and much to explore. I have worked with deer energy a bit in the past, having met them while on a shamanic journey, and certainly plan to spend more time with them now. Thank you, Deer, for blessing me with your presence!