© S. Roger Joyeux September 2007
The first awareness that many of us have of deer is through Walt Disney’s wonderful animation film, “BAMBI”. We watched, (or have watched our children or grandchildren sit) spellbound as the story of this gentle creature unfolds. We marvel at all the lessons in the film. First we see that the deer are very gentle and seem to get along with all animals. That trait is true in real life. The next thing we notice is that we don’t always see deer! Deer has the knack of blending in to its surroundings, and keeping still, even in broad daylight. This is one of the first lessons that the fawn learns. We also see the way the mother protects the young, and how the animals alert the Deer to danger. This is also true in real life as magpies, crows, ravens, and even four legged creatures will create noise telling the Deer that a hunter or danger is near.
The very large ears assist Deer in “hearing” both the sounds in the immediate environment, and the sounds far away that are carried by the winds or breezes. The ears act like radar antennae and provide the Deer with an uncanny ability to discern what is going on in the world around them. Antlers on the bucks are believed to be receptors for information from the heavens. Many early peoples believed that the Deer was sacred to the Gods, and because it appears at dawn and dusk, was actually a messenger from the Gods. Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, held the Deer sacred and nightly killed a deer with a bow and arrow so that it might be reborn again in the morning. This then is a symbol of death and rebirth, and of transformation.
Deer graze in the early morning and evening. However, a doe with two young fawns may graze during the day time as well. The deer will be sure to be in an open place where it can see clearly all around it. The Deer readily defends its young as Roger and I witnessed this spring in Fish Creek Park. A coyote decided to hunt a fawn to feed its young. As it stalked towards the site where the fawn lay, the Doe was alerted. We watched as she bounded towards the coyote. We thought the coyote might attack her! Never get between a Mama and her Baby! That coyote had one good swipe from Mama’s hooves and he was running. We watched Deer chase the coyote for a good twenty minutes. We think it passed on fast food after that.
Those with Deer as totem or power animal are very fortunate because the gifts Deer brings are clairvoyance (seeing) and clairaudience (hearing). Deer also brings great gentleness, kindness, courage, skill at blending into the surroundings, and a strong sense of family loyalty. Deer travel in herds that may include several generations. Some of the tribes of The People in Canada and the United States believe that Deer is a guide to the Sun (Deer appears at dawn and dusk) and as such, that Deer is a part of the cycle of life. When Deer appears to you, watch to see what message it brings, and how to be gentle to yourself.
We all honor Deer at Christmas as the wonderful animals that pull Santa Claus through the sky. We know that it is Deer’s place to do this since they are favored by the Gods and have been given the ability to fly between the worlds.
-©Judith Hirst- Joyeux. Judy is a sage, seer, shaman-healer. See more on www.angelsandancestors.com