Once upon a time, I was walking in San Pedro Valley Park in Pacifica, California. It’s a beautiful park that retains a wild flavor while being on the outskirts of a big city. I was hiking along a trail with a lot of switchbacks, up the mountainous terrain. Suddenly, from above me, a buck (male deer) with a full set of antlers came thundering down the side of the mountain. He wasn’t so close as to be dangerous, but he was close enough for me to witness his magnificence. What impressed me most was his power! My tendency had been to think of deer as gentle, grazing creatures. Almost fragile! However, this was no wuss. There was strength in the body, the muscles, the legs, the form, the energy.
This painting came from a photo I took of another deer, a tamer version of deer. This one was within a few feet of me, comfortably foraging. I painted it in my own naive style around Christmas time. I added collage.
According to author, Ted Andrews,
“When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are highly sensitive and have a strong intuition. By affinity with this animal, you have the power to deal with challenges with grace. You master the art of being both determined and gentle in your approach. The deer totem wisdom imparts those with a special connection with this animal with the ability to be vigilant, move quickly, and trust their instincts to get out of the trickiest situations.
The meanings associated with the deer combine both soft, gentle qualities with strength and determination:
• Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace
• Being in touch with inner child
• Being sensitive and intuitive
• Vigilance, ability to change directions quickly
• Magical ability to regenerate, being in touch with life’s mysteries”
In Native American Tradition, the energy of deer is described as “gentle.” It takes both courage and strength to be gentle in these times. Both with ourselves and with others.
Do you have an animal that you are particularly drawn to in these challenging times?
If you want to find out what your animal guide signifies, you can Google Ted Andrews and the animal of your choice. See if what he says feels true for you.