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What is the Spiritual Meaning of Deer

What is the Spiritual Meaning of Deer

If there is any doubt about the deer being an essential spiritual and mystical symbol of humankind, there’s one simple way of proving it wrong. Just look at the prehistoric cave paintings, which, so often, represent the majestic deer, and not only as a simple prey during the hunting parties. They appear as symbols in rituals, on the adornments and jewels of shamans and ancient priests, on the folkloric clothing and architecture of civilizations of ancient times. Humanity, born in the cradle of nature, gave to spirituality the shape of the most representative natural elements and being.

The deer, in its powerful splendour, joined us, since the very beginning, in our deepest soul searches, as the Forest Lord, the symbol of kindness, purity, honour and nobility, but also a guide between this world and the world of dead. The deer is a general positive symbol of life, wisdom and virility. 

Sacred Deer

The holiness of the deer symbol is proved by the medieval bestiary book that presents the deer next to a water spring, sometimes even next to the Unicorn, or other times, even replacing the Unicorn. This represents the soul which is thirsty for the Eternity water, as it is also represented within the Bible, within David’s Psalms (Ps. 42, 1-2).

There is also an old Latin saying: “Omes ante Mosem per Unicornem profetaverunt”. This translates in: All before Moses have given prophecies with the blessing of the Unicorn. The transformation from a deer state into the Unicorn state represents a cycle of the spiritual initiation.

What is the spiritual meaning of deer?

Generally, in most cultures, especially the Indo-European ones, the deer symbolizes the Sun, or the Father figure, within the Holy Trinity. It stands for life, power and faith. Its lethal opponent will always be the snake, the symbol of darkness and Underworld. 

According to ancient traditions, the most powerful and magic part of it, are the horns. They are to be feared, whereas, sometimes, the deer is represented with a pine tree instead of horns. This amplifies its power and brings an extra meaning to the deer symbol. The firmness, immortality and sacredness of the pine tree merges with those of the deer, thus embodying the fullness of the Sun God, the life giver of all there is and will be. 

Often times, the deer represents the equivalent of the Tree of Life, and it is used as such in magic rituals. It is the central figure during the rituals of growth, rebirth. Many cosmologies show how the deer’s bell brings back to life the entire nature, after the long winter. In the Indian beliefs the Tree of Life often times sprouts from between the deer’s horns. The deer also announces the coming of light and shows the path towards the dawn. Other cultures give the deer a role of mediator between Earth and Heaven, a symbol of the Sun and its eternal cycle of rising and going down into the sunset.

Sometimes we find the deer as a spiritual being with a cross between its horns, being a representation of Jesus Christ coming back to life, a symbol of mystic gifts and salvation of mortal soul. For Christians the deer also symbolizes purity and solitude. 

Deer Legends

The abundance of deer’s blessings is represented in some cultures by the numerous jewels and gemstones adorning its horns. They are a temptation for all heroes or villains, but only the deserving one will eventually receive this treasure, thus symbolically receiving all the values that the deer stands for.

The origin of the deer as a powerful spiritual figure, is that of a being that tracks down the snake in order to destroy it. It hunts the snake down to its lair and after the snake goes into the whole, the deer pees over the entrance. Thus the snake gets poisoned and the evil is kept away. 

We definitely see the deer, in all circumstances and cultures, as a favourable symbol, although it has a bipolar influence: on one hand it destroys dryness with fire, on the other hand it floods all living things in water.

In Eastern European legends, the deer appears during blessed weddings. IT Comes swimming out of a water and holds a maid between its horns. The boys will sacrifice the deer and its meat will be served as food at the wedding. The deer bones and skin will be the material for a new house for the young newly married couple. The deer blood is the paint for the walls, its hooves are cups for the couple, whereas the deer head will be the adornment at the house entrance. Thus the marriage is entirely based on deer life and will be blessed until the end with harmony and abundance

What does it mean to dream about deer?

Being such a complex and powerful symbol, the deer is significant also when it appears in dreams. Obviously its significance is directly connected to the spiritual symbol and its meanings.

As a dream symbol, the deer brings the same positive, favourable meaning. In order to best interpret the meaning of the deer coming during your dreams, you should try to remember as many detaiuls as possible, besides the deer, as they hold the key to the deer’s blessings.

The deer in dreams is interpreted as a salvation symbol, whereas its horns are a leather ascending towards God. Being a symbol of virility, the deer can be interpreted also as a sexual symbol, the sign of a good and blessed sexuality arising. 

For women the deer announces luck in their love life, sometimes temptation towards adultery. Whereas for men, it indicates future success and great ideas that could be put into practice very soon, but also, erotic success.

The symbol can also tell us about an incoming amount of money, or a plus in any area, for the entire family.

As always, with dreams, the symbol is interpreted according to the specific dream context. For example, if you dream a running deer, your plan will be successful. If you dream two deer running, this announces a passionate love that you cannot escape. If there is an entire hoard, you will win big. If a deer gets defensive in your dream, you will get unhappy in your marriage. If the deer attacks you, it generally announces some bad luck, or a fight with your partner. If you dream a baby deer with its mother, or not, this means fertility. If the dream shows you a pair of horns left in the woods by the deer, you can expect to get a gift or an entire inheritance. Dead deer symbolizes that you will win over your enemies, and take their power away. A deer resting announces infidelities. 

Dreaming the deer horns, without the animal, could signal the fact that you are about to get some new awareness about important issues in your life. If you dream a deer horns trophy, have in mind that a superior professional opportunity is about to enter your life.

A lot of the dream’s meaning can be deciphered by the way it presents itself before you. If the deer has a proud appearance, it brings news of a victory over your most difficult issues. If the deer is injured, it lets you know that you feel like having no self-control regarding some external events, which lets you feel inferior. If you hunt deer, be aware that if you enter illicit or doubtful activities, you have a lot of chances to get punished.

A single deer in the distance might tell you that a solitude time awaits you. However this is not a bad thing if you see this time as an opportunity to put all your thoughts and beliefs in order, and draw new conclusions for your future. 

If you touch the deer in your dream, your plans will get ruined. 

The white deer

This is a particularity of the general deer symbol, appearing in the spiritual world. It empowers the idea of purity and transformation during the initiation of a soul towards enlightenment. It is a closer stage towards the soul’s purity represented by the Unicorn. Just like the Unicorn, this magic being has the ability to eternally escape capture. In the Medieval Ages it used to appear before knights, signalling them that it is time to leave to war or towards their new conquest.

The white deer is a guide that leads the heroes towards the discovery of their inner treasures.

Spiritual meaning of seeing a dead deer?

Seeing a dead deer is often deciphered as a warning sign for the viewer. It could represent the fact that you are not paying enough attention to your inner gifts, or you are not paying enough attention to your real values and abilities. It could also let you know that you are lacking compassion or understanding towards the people close to you, relatives or friends.

The dead deer is also a symbol of a change that is soon to come. Like it or not, good or bad, you cannot stop this change from occurring, so you need wisdom to transform yourself alongside and use it as an opportunity to get to a better version of yourself, to take the next step on your spiritual path.

Spiritual energy of deer?

The spiritual energy of the deer is calm and wise, charming and always pure, transformational, intuitive and life-abundant.

Spiritual meaning of seeing a baby deer?

A baby deer symbolizes new beginning that are inevitable. The change is divinely guided and you should be flexible to go towards the new opportunities. The baby deer does not represents a good or a bad result by itself. The outcome of this transformation can only be determined by each of us if we collaborate with our new circumstances. The change is sure to come and nobody can escape it.

Deer as a spirit animal

Having the deer as your spirit animal, automatically brings to you the values of this majestic animal. The deer tell about you that you are a powerful and calm person with a lot of instinctive wisdom. You also have a strong eroticism coupled with a lot of elegance. Having a deer as a spirit animal also means you are energetic and agile, a good decision maker and an action taker. You are a trustworthy person and a helpful friend.

Deer symbol among cultures

The undeniable depth of deer as a spiritual symbol comes from its central position within cultures and rituals of the ancient world.

The Celtic mythology presents us with the God called Cernunn, which is considered the protector of all deer, and is depicted as a man with deer horns. It stands for the entire allegory of human transformation into a deer. This symbolized the human path towards enlightenment, towards reaching the qualities and special Sun powers of a supreme being. Some similar legends and deity we also find within the Irish and Wales traditions. In the Scandinavian area, we find the four deer from Yggdrasil, that represent the four cardinal points of Earth.

The Hittites, an ancient Indo-European people, living during the 3td millennium B.C. in Asia Minor, had a sacred cult that honoured as the central figure, the God of all gods, the deer. 

We also find the deer in the Ancient Greece world, as a symbol representing goddess Artemis (Diana in the Roman world) which stands for life, nature and regeneration.

On many archaeological objects gathered all over Europe, specialists found the depiction of two deer drinking water from the cup that gives life to the four rivers of Paradise. Thus, the deer symbolizes the water of life itself, the one that takes its wisdom directly from the Creation spot.

Legends from numerous people around the world have often as a wise character a deer. That wise character that puts the hero through tests and trials, and only after he is worthy will grant him the wisdom and the riches that are required to complete the quest or the hero mission.

During Medieval Ages, kings and rulers were often times compared with deer, in poems and literature, as a confirmation of status and values.

Shamans of North America get dressed as deer, thus requesting for the animal’s wisdom to come down and enlighten their minds and souls.

Buddhist traditions represent science as a whole, and the scientific wisdom, as a golden deer.


Deer are an incredibly spiritual animal. It has long been an important spiritual image across a number of cultures and religions and is an important symbol of life, wisdom and virility.