Deer’s medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understanding of what’s necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland goddess, alternative paths to a goal.
In the Celtic tradition, there are two aspects of deer – female and male. The Hind (the red female deer), called Eilid in the Gaelic language, symbolises femininity, subtlety and gracefulness. The Hind is believed to call to us from the Faery realm, tempting us to release the material trappings of so-called ‘civilization’, to go deep into the forest of magic, to explore our own magical and spiritual nature.
The topic gentleness is part of this tradition. Many stories tell of Hinds changing into women, often goddesses, to protect does from being hunted. The lesson to be gleaned here is that when we explore magic and spirituality, it must be with good intention, to harm no living being, but to enter the realm of the wild things in the spirit of love and communion. The Stag, Damh in the Gaelic tongue, is also linked to the sacredness of the magical forest. The Damh represents independence, purification, and pride. It is known as the King of the Forest, the protector of its creatures. For time immemorial people have sought to identify with the stag by ceremonially wearing antlered headdresses and imitating the deer’s leaping grace.