Deer Animal Totem

Baby deerKristin Clark Haas

Deer Animal Totem

The deer is a powerful animal spirit guide. It is especially relevant here in the Americas, as it has its own Mayan and Aztec day signs, and the Huichol culture, among many others, celebrates special deer dances, meditations, and spirit invoking journeys.

Key knowledge and powers of the Deer are silence, symbiosis with nature, powerful grounding on four legs, the four directions, responsibility to community, deep grounded wisdom, forest spirit support, motherhood, and a do no harm approach to resources. The Deer also has very acute senses, and will pick up on indirect communications.

In ancient neo-lithic Europe, the deer represented the moon, water, female and male fertility, respectively. Antlers themselves were used as tools and materials for creating art, and served as a symbol of excess life force and wisdom, on the part of all horn-bearing beasts. The antlers are part of how the deer is tied to rebirth and regeneration. The symbol of the Sumerian birth and rebirth goddess, Ninkursag, was a doe.

The Huichol Center explains the significance of the deer in Huichol culture as appearing in male and female pairs, symbolizing the unity between men and women on their spiritual journey. They add that Deer Mother is the guardian spirit, and among the most important animals in Huichol shamanism. “She holds tobacco gourds and corn plant, both of utmost importance for Huichol survival. The Huichols believe that deer give their lives willingly to those who hunt them in a sacred manner. After a deer hunt, the hunters have to perform purifying rituals for many days to insure that the animals are properly thanked for giving their lives to the benefit of the people.”

For we who reside in the north, the deer serves to remind us to be careful with our impact, to ground in the four directions, and to use silence and symbiosis with our environments to defend ourselves against threats. The Deer reminds us of the role we each play in the collective, and if you have the Deer as your spirit animal, your role is one of benign strength and leadership for a collective cause. The deer also reminds us to seek peace and to always trust our instincts – a deer will not dally in an unsafe environment! Finally, the deer is an affirmation that if you are called to lead women’s facilitation work and support the cycles of life, that you are indeed supported in this work.

♥ In LOVE ♥