Symbolism of a Deer

Learn the symbolic meaning of deer.
Learn the symbolic meaning of deer. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

A majestic and beautiful mammal, the deer possesses symbolic meanings that have ancient roots. Knowing the symbolic meaning of a deer gives you the opportunity to learn about totem animals and other branches of animal spirituality. Different cultures share varying symbolic meanings of deer.

Celtic Lore

The deer, in Celtic folklore, symbolizes art, poetry and music. The deer as a spiritual symbol reminds people to be themselves, to be kind and to be aware. It's a symbol of patience while persevering through one's spiritual journey.

Druid Lore

In the folklore of Norse Druids the deer symbolizes what feeds from Yggdrasil, the tree of life. In mythology of the Norse, four stags are seen grazing at the foot of Yggradsil. These deer represent the winds and the changes in the season, as they are encountered mostly during the winter when they are seen grazing the buds from trees.

Native American Lore

In Native American culture, the deer symbolizes someone who is conversational and "the life of the party," so to speak. The deer is quick-witted and loves to make people laugh. Inspired by the zodiac, the deer symbolizes someone who can be two-faced when it is a totem-animal. Sometimes the deer symbolizes someone who is narcissistic in Native American folklore.


In Greek mythology the deer symbolized celibacy or devotion to the gods. In fact, many cultures revere the deer as a prophetic creature sent by god. Even in Native American prophecies, deer are often spotted on vision quests along with other totem animals.

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