These past few days I’ve come across deer mentioned in several posts and articles I’ve read. Deer are swift, graceful, beautiful, and gentle creatures. They are sacred to the goddess Artemis (Diana), the goddess of nature, animals, wilderness, childbirth, and the Moon (mother). Similarly deer symbolize fertility, creativity, and abundance. Deer are also watchful and resourceful, knowing what is necessary for survival and how to find fresh greens. However, they seem to exist from a place of gratitude with their deep understanding of Nature.
Thinking about the deer has reminded me about a dream I had just about three years ago exactly.
I was with my boyfriend at the time, and we were scuba diving in the Antarctic. I had taken many pictures underwater and was excited to look at them later. When we surfaced and were about to get back onto the boat, I realized that the film had fallen out of the camera. I wanted to go back and get it, but my boyfriend said we had to let it go and that I always had my memories for pictures. I felt disappointed but agreed. Still in the water I turned to look back (maybe for one last glimpse for memory’s sake) and just then I saw deer swimming by.
Though I immediately understood the messages of this dream when I awoke, I was baffled by the deer swimming by. It was a surprise to me both in the unconscious and conscious mind. Why were deer swimming in the freezing Antarctic waters? What were they telling me? This was the first time I had ever heard of/seen/known of deer swimming. Interestingly and more surprisingly, maybe a couple of weeks later, I received an email about a story about a boat that rescued some deer swimming miles out to sea in freezing waters. Or, more accurately, these deer swam to the boat and asked to be let on board. The boaters has no idea why the deer were out there.
I hadn’t thought about this dream and experience in a while and had worked out some of the deer meaning. But since this has come up again, maybe there is more to the message of the deer. If any Jungians, dream-lovers, and symbolists out there have any ideas, I’d love to hear from you.
With their woodland wisdom and resourcefulness, deer, like in my dream experience above, are known to take alternative paths to reach a goal. A few months ago, a couple of deer decided that the easiest way to get to the woodlands in Marin, north of San Francisco, was to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Though it happened to be evening rush hour, people graciously let the deer cross the bridge safely. These deer were very wise not to swim across, since the waters of the bay are freezing and dangerously choppy.
Besides the deer’s connection to Artemis, a Moon goddess, in Vedic Astrology the deer is a symbol for the Moon as represented with the fifth Nakshatra: Mrigashira. The Moon symbolizes mother, nurturing, emotions, the unconscious, and the psyche, and perhaps deer too have a deep connection to the soul (psyche) and the unconscious realm (dreams).
The Deer symbolizes:
- Beauty, Grace, Love, & Gentleness
- Fertility, Creativity, & Abundance
- Being Watchful & Resourceful
- Nature Wisdom
- The Moon