Spirit Animal Deer
Gifts: Innocence. Simplicity. Gentleness. Camouflage. Compassion. Community. Knowing when to stay and when to run. Sacrifice for the greater good. Alertness and caution. Forgiveness.
Challenges: “Deer in the headlights”—staying when you should run. So alert that you become anxious. Self-sacrificing to the point of martyrdom. So much “forgive and forget” that you get taken advantage of again.
Deer is the epitome archetypal symbol of innocence and wonder. People looking for more “power” in their power animal may view Deer gifts as a weakness or reject Deer when it comes into their life. As with all spirit animals, Deer gifts come with challenges, but the primary gifts and messages offer a profound and unique way to approach the world and your place in it.
Deer sees the world through the eyes of a child, with simplicity, awe, and innocence. I am reminded of the character “North” in the animated film “Rise of the Guardians,” whose gift to the world is “a core of wonder.” For many people, the older we get, the more jaded we become, the more we reject Deer gifts, and the more weactually need Deer gifts. A perspective of simplicity, awe, and innocence creates space for creativity and innovation. It makes room for change, while the lack of such a perspective resists innovation and change.
Deer offers a wisdom that focuses on minimalism, gentleness, and compassion. When we fall into a sense of overwhelm, it is usually because we have overcomplicated things. We have lost sight of our true priorities and values, and we become overloaded with a false urgency of what needs our attention.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, call in Deer to help you cut through the noise and identify what really matters now. Feel how this discernment of priorities is not ruthless, as it may be with Hawk or Lion. Rather, Deer’s way of discerning uses a gentle touch and values openness. In other words, what fills you with lightness and wonder.
People who have Deer as a natural spirit animal may neglect to see the full value and wisdom of Deer. If you view innocence as a weakness or think of Deer primarily as an easy target for hunters, then you may overlook the depth of Deer wisdom. Deer knows its own worth and knows that worth comes from within.
This translates into messages of forgiveness and sacrifice for the greater good. When you are conscious of the unwavering depth of your own worth, you don’t feel sacrifice the way other people may feel it—as a loss. You feel it as an unconditional gift of incredible power. Deer may literally fall prey to others’ sense of lack. But Deer tends not to sense lack itself. Rather, it senses the abundance in simplicity.
A risk of having Deer as a spirit animal is feeling like a “deer in the headlights.” It can be a challenge for people with Deer to release the fear of standing out, of being in the spotlight. That spotlight can feel like the headlight of an oncoming car. But when Deergifts are strong and secure within you, you more easily stand in your power and your worth and let go of the fear of being an easy target.