The Deer are on the move in my life. It all started when I brought my new website online, SingingDeerHealing.com, even though it is very much in a fledgling form.
The next morning I read a post by Suzanne Falter-Barns entitled A Transformational Accident on her Get Known Now Blog about hitting a deer and killing it, and teachings that resulted for her from the accident. In this tragic synchronicity, I just had this sense: go forward with the Deer. They are leading you somewhere!
The Deer Dance
Suzanne posted a follow-up article More Lessons Learned From Hitting The Deer, which featured a YouTube video, a Yaqui Danza del Venado — Deer Dance — held in Sonora, Mexico. Here, a man–blindfolded!–dances as the Deer, and is hunted and killed by hunters. I’m awed by the cycle of beauty and death enacted by the dancers. To me this Danza del Venado honors the exquisite sensitivity (symbolized by the blindfold on the dancer), the unique dance of life, and gifting nature of the Deer in a particular music and art form. We need to eat. And whether we eat plants, fish, animals, eggs, something usually dies so that we may be nourished. May we all honor and bless the unique lives we consume.
The Deer Scroll
Then I came upon this astounding experience of Japanese Renaissance art, calligraphy, and poetry known as the Deer Scroll, in which images of deer, symbolic of autumn, are interspersed with autumn poetry (or the other way around!):
In reading about this hand scroll and its restoration, be sure to continue to the second page and continue to the bottom, where you can click to a link that allows you to virtually experience the Deer Scroll as if you are unrolling it and gazing upon the images of the deer in all kinds of action, and reading the poetry. A lovely experience!
If Deer are symbolic of Autumn, then it seems to me that they well represent Autumn’s beauty, abundance, sense of transition and transformation, connection with the ancestors and the Otherworld, and loss and grief. In Celtic tales, Deer often lead the unsuspecting hero into the Otherworld, and into magic and destiny. Autumn is a time of bounty, creative expression, and a turning toward the close. Deer, for me, have that bittersweet quality about them. They can be so abundant (“oversized rodents”, I once heard a disgruntled gardener comment), and yet, I always feel blessed and graced when I experience them, as if I brush against the wild true heart in myself.
Who Is The Animal That Is Leading You?
And so, beginning with my own little threshold that is my new website, I venture into the forest of my own story, my own personal fairytale in the making. I encounter Deer in her many forms, how she appears in others’ stories, how she is art as much as wild nature. After experiencing the Deer Scroll, I created a pair of deer banners (one is to the left), realizing that I might discover my own forms of Deer if I allowed myself to plunge into the weaving.
Is a particular animal leading you through the leaves of your life? What story do you glimpse? What might happen if you followed that animal, absorbed its medicine ways, its teachings, just how it is both in the wild and with humans?
Please comment here with your tales! I’d love to hear them!