Animal Spirits: The Deer

DeerThese 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. 

DeerSwimThough 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.

DeerBridgeWith 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
  • Swiftness
  • Gratitude
  • Nature Wisdom
  • The Moon
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About Julianne Victoria

I am a writer, healer, spiritual life coach, astrologer & tarot reader in Santa Barbara, CA. I hope to help heal, teach, and inspire others on their journeys and in this life. © Julianne Victoria and Through the Peacock's Eyes Press under the Common Law Copyright; My main Blog: www.peacockseyes.com
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27 Responses to Animal Spirits: The Deer

  1. Our Dreams and our Animal totems usually surface to bring us their messages… Many thanks for sharing Julie, and I hope your Thanksgiving was both delightful and relaxing.. Enjoyed reading this.. Enjoy your weekend..
    Sue

  2. Hi Julie,

    Amazing dream – Deer are everywhere here in the mountains!

    A little synchronicity, I was just reading a book about “Earth’s Medicine” and it was talking about the animals that align with the astrological signs, according to the medicine wheel. My animal is an Owl (of course! it’s my primary totem!) but it said I could directly benefit from interaction with Deer folk so I read up a little on Deer.

    Here’s what it said about Deer:
    “Deer people blend well with the environment. They are sensitive to sounds and movement and are quite intuitive, understanding and compassionate. They have the ability to see things at a distance. Deer people are connected with higher forms of inner thoughts and perceptions which are quite accurate. They are alert and fast moving, especially in moodiness. Thoughts race through their minds and they feel the need to express themselves – often times interrupting conversations. Deer people are beautiful but can discern the deeper beauty in people, places and things. They have the ability to draw the best attributes out of people. Organization is a quality that deer people need to learn. Bubbly and expressive, they thrive on change. Full of fun and charm, but can be sarcastic as well. Deer have good communications skills – they love to talk but may listen too little.”

    My intuition about your dream is very similar to Linda’s; I was quite stunned when I read her interpretation and saw how similar it was to my initial feelings. The Soul parts left behind feel soft, nurturing, yet in my heart they definitely feel retrievable, especially as you noticed them before waking; if it were my dream, this would mean the energy is still available for retrieval and transmutation.

    Namaste, Lovely!

    • Hi Amanda! Thank you for the Deer people info! Much of it sounds like me, though I am organized. 🙂
      I didn’t feel any sense of lost soul parts back then (3 years ago), but did and can see now how I had to let go of attachment to the past/other life relationship that that current relationship had woken up to trigger healing. I will contemplate on it though, though I never felt part of me was missing per se.
      There was a span of about 7 years where I was sort of unraveling past life relationships, and this was at the end of that long, painful, but oh-so-fascinating experience!
      Thank you again and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
      Julie

    • litebeing says:

      We are so in synch! What is the animal for Scorpio? Actually the deer description you read sounds uncannily like me, almost spooky 😉

  3. cdog5 says:

    This post is so interesting! I recently wrote about deer, as well. And I have to tell you that a woman once told me a story about a deer her boyfriend saw — he saw the deer start swimming out to the horizon in Lake Michigan. It just kept going and going, and probably died. I’ve tried to learn why it is that deer sometimes run to the water and begin to swim — do you know? I love deer and find them very interesting creatures. 🙂

  4. speedyrabbit says:

    Beautiful Julianne,xx Rachel

  5. Hi Julie, How lovely that the gentle strength of deer keeps appearing to you. Since I love dream symbolism, here are some thoughts creeping into my consciousness. Deer, as you mentioned, are typically creatures of the forest, which can often be symbolic of hidden mysteries and all that elemental magic and wisdom that we can acquire when we venture inside. I think the deer was drawing you out of that place into the watery element of the emotions and asking you to face your fears, asking you to brave the icy waters of self. There are some fears here. The water is cold, you are with a boyfriend (perhaps some insecurities with the emotion of love here) and you lost the material manifestation of your adventures together, your film. I think it’s interesting that your boyfriend in the dream (who can also be viewed as an aspect of yourself, in this case, that masculine/confident energy that you needed to balance those fears expressed in the dream) reminded you that your gifts are really inside. You have a lot of balancing of energies wanting to happen in this dream. That yin and yang, the earth and the water. Venturing into new places. A trust in yourself. That’s my stream of consciousness! Take it as you will. xo, Alethea

    • Thank you Alethea! Awesome insights! Yes, much had to do with this boyfriend too and me trusting myself and letting go of the past (especially a past life with him). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! ❤

    • p.s. The email of the deer safe on the boat came after I had ended this relationship. It was an affirmation from Spirit that the fears that the relationship triggered (my own issues and those of our other life relationship) were relieved (some, still had work to do) and that I was on the way to more balance of my yin/yang. 🙂

  6. Great post. We also need to remember the symbolism associated with the flying reindeer (something we will be seeing a lot of as the holidays approach). I believe this ties in to what you say about deer having a connection to dreams and the psyche, that is is a symbol for the ability to use astral projection or to have out-of-body experiences. Anyway, thanks for the post and have a blessed day.

  7. fozziemum says:

    What a lovely creature the Deer..i have no idea about your dream..being such a personal thing in time and place for you…for me Deer always seem to tread lightly on this world and yet can have a strength that belies their grace..maybe for deer to be in such a cold and seemingly out of context place..shows resilience to all emotional environments..not just those you are comfortable in…perhaps a sign that emotions can be seemingly out of place but in fact they are indeed exactly as they should be…a lovely image though …much love for a beautiful and joyous Thanksgiving my sweet Bev xx ❤ ❤

  8. What a lovely post. The men in my family in Louisiana are deer hunters (boo hiss) but they are. My brother was telling me how intelligent the deer were and how they really had to be clever to outsmart them.

  9. Heather says:

    Love the picture of the deer on the Golden Gate bridge!

  10. Marty the Manx says:

    Thanks, very enlightening Julianne Victoria. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Marty and Mom

  11. litebeing says:

    Loved this post, especially your dream and the pictures! I recently saw some sculptures of Diana with her bow and arrow and they were stunning. Deer are quite common where I live, but my heart beats faster whenever I see one ( or more, as they usually travel in small groups).

    I will take an intuitive guess regarding the deer swimming in the freezing Antarctic. A part of yourself that needed more nurturing had emotional shut down. It was immersed in freezing water. You attempted to retrieve it with pictures but they alluded you. You were sad to leave these soul parts behind and the swimming deer were another symbol of these pieces of you.
    I always enjoy these posts Julie and hope my mini analysis bears some fruit for you.

    Namaste,
    Linda

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