Deer Spirit, Totem, & Power Animal Symbolism and Meaning 1200x1200

Deer Symbolism & Meaning

Do you wish to move through this world with more grace?

Have you become hardened and want to dream more love into your life? Are you moving too slowly and need help hightailing it toward success? Deer, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Deer teaches you how to listen to the wisdom of the Higher Self all while showing you the easiest path along life’s journey. Delve deeply in Deer symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can illuminate, support, and guide you.

Deer Table of Contents

Deer Symbolism & Meaning

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Throughout the world, Deer symbolizes tenderness tempered with strength. This allows Deer Spirit to act even when obstacles challenge the path. Deer also comes as a playmate for our inner child reminding us of innocent times where the smallest flower provided a smile and excitement.

Deer medicine is strongly connected to the heart chakra. Where there is ambition, there is also love for inspiration. Deer, even when running from a predator, remains graceful. This means that Deer Spirit appearing in your life acts as a teacher of how to be gentle, determined and sure even in difficult situations. Remember that a gentle soul is not a helpless one. Deer wisdom shows you how to use your great horns for defense.

Deer may also challenge you to leave behind the safety of your grassy bedding for fresh horizons. Ever vigilant, Deer moves often for protection. As you move with her don’t take the negative patterns with you, rather let new surroundings inspire different perspectives. By so doing you create the energies of regeneration and renewal even as Deer’s antlers grow back when they fall off

Deer Spirit Animal

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When Deer jumps in as your Spirit Animal, She acts as a reminder of the power of love and compassion. Perhaps there is a situation in your life to which you’ve become apathetic or perceive in a negative light. The challenge here is not to wallow in those unhealthy feelings. It’s time to let Deer energy help you let go and embrace kindness.

Deer spirit also teaches us that peace is a powerful healer.

When you put aside ego and let yourself walk a mile in another’s forest, much of your ire naturally falls off burdened shoulders. In turn, you may be able to truly re-establish a relationship or situation thought long lost.

Just as Deer are ever alert in the forest, make sure to remain mindful and diligently aware of opportunities for bridging the gap(s).

Deer Totem Animal

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Those born with Deer as a totem animal are the gentle giants of the spiritual world. They know the value of life’s lessons and appreciate the people who have helped them survive as well as thrive.

Trust and kindness are never overlooked with you – you do everything possible to pay it forward!

With Deer as your Totem Animal, most moves you make are purely instinctual. It might take you longer than most to make up your mind but when you do nothing and nobody can catch you!

Deer people can be very inspiring but they do it with a nudge rather than “horning in”.

Deer are also naturally observant peacemakers, showing the way for communal healing by providing different perspectives from a place of love.

In nature, Deer can see well with little light, which gives Deer people the ability to see through the darkness and help guide others to safety and/or home.

Deer Power Animal

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Seek out Deer as a Power Animal when you cannot navigate your way through a situation swiftly and peacefully. Deer will help you see the signs of where to walk with assurance.

Deer spirit is also an excellent Power Animal when you are learning clairvoyant arts or practicing other psychic gifts.

Deer helps you “tune in” to the higher self and Astral residents to receive important messages, often about changes in your life.

Native American Deer Symbolic Meanings

Native Americans look to Deer for a successful hunt, but they must offer prayers that promise they will hunt no more than what the tribe absolutely needs.

Some folktales claim that humans were once Deer. South American and South Western tribes both consider them sacred, as ancient caretakers of Mother Earth.

In Northern tribes, Deer is mostly connected with fertility of a spirit messenger who offers peace.

Deer as a Celtic Animal Symbol

In Celtic symbolism Deer is both male and female – the Hind is the feminine aspect who can access the fairy world and teaches humans about spirituality.

The stag is the male aspect who has strong ties to the forest and Earth element. The Stag is king of the forest and he protects all creatures therein.

Deer Dreams

Dreams about Deer often has feminine overtones. This is a time to reach out to the Goddess and see her in yourself. By so doing you integrate the characteristics of compassion and gentleness into your very soul, but without sacrificing your sacred self.

Learn more about Deer Spirit by reading What Do Deer in Dreams Mean? on!

Deer in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

Deer is one of the 12 Native American Zodiac Signs.

Those born between May 21st and June 20th were born on the sign of the Deer. Deer people are strong yet gentle, and desperately desire the unity of humankind. If Deer is your sign, you are intimately alert – so much so that slight noise may keep you awake at night. The best way to calm this is by meditations focused on your heartbeat combined with deep breathing.

Sound is your omen or sign. By listening you will discover where danger lies and how to avoid the hunt. Nonetheless, Deer doesn’t constantly run – they crave family and shared goals. Deer sees all people as potential friends until they prove otherwise.

Click to read the full description of the Native American Zodiac Deer birth totem.

Far Eastern Deer Symbolic Meanings

In China Deer appear on charms and amulets. The character for Deer is one that represents a high paid government job and symbolizes a wish for the same. It also means a long life, having associations with the God of Longevity, Shou.

39 thoughts on “Deer Symbolism & Meaning

  1. RadheKrishna says:

    Thank you for this post. Much thanks.

    • Bernadette King says:

      Hi, RadheKrishna;

      Please accept my apology. I normally respond much faster. I was on a mini vacation and, then, Hurricane Matthew decided to visit me in Florida. 😉

      You are most welcome! And, thank you for visiting!

      Stay wild,

  2. Aly says:

    Every weekend my husband and I travel with our kids to visit family. My husband is usually behind the wheel, but whenever I drive we come across a deer standing on the side of the road. This has happened about four times within the last month or so; my husband thinks it’s kind of freaky that it only happens when I drive (and I agree!).
    What could these sightings signify??
    I hit a deer about a year ago and the whole experience was very upsetting, I wonder if that has something to do with it (facing my fears?)
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • Bernadette King says:

      Hello, Aly;

      I’m sure sorry you hit a Deer. I know how upsetting these situations can be. I have an article coming out in the next few weeks about what it means when we see our Spirit Animal die or we inadvertently harm or kill them. Sometimes, it can mean that it’s time to move on from that Spirit Animal’s teachings. But, my intuition is telling me that’s the opposite in your case – that, actually, Deer as an animal spirit guide is really trying to get your attention and the urgency of its lessons and medicine are ramping up.

      Take some time and truly focus on Deer teachings. See what resonates most with you and integrate it as best you can.

      Sure hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

      • Aly says:

        Thanks for your response!! I am currently going through a lot of changes in my life and dealing with a lot of uncertainty and self-doubt; after reading the article above I strongly believe the deer is trying to help me navigate through all of the confusion. Thanks again ?

        • Bernadette King says:

          Hello, Aly;

          You are most welcome! Thank you for visiting and commenting on Whenever you’re feeling that self-doubt creep in, focus on your Spirit Animal and all that beautiful Deer energy will help you through just as gracefully as a world class ballerina!

          Stay wild,

  3. jacquelin says:

    I enjoyed reading your writings of Deer totems. I’ve lived most of this life in the country but have moved to the city several years ago. My first home was just off one of the main business street and I was amazed when a large doe ran along the outside edge of my fence and paused and we stood there looking at each other. She left gracefully and I felt so privileged to have experienced the moment and feared for her safety. I now live on the opposite side of the same city and also a very busy street and have been visited at least twice a year for the past three years and just last evening, it was dark and I was standing on my porch and saw small bright green flash twice. I looked around and there walking into my front lawn were two beautiful does. Again, we had looked at each other a good while. Amazingly there was no traffic at all. They just walked off calmly. I felt so happy and peaceful for the experience. I’ve no intentions of sharing the experience with anyone but felt compelled to share with you. I’m very glad that I chose your site and feel very reassured for my deer guides. Curious if you might have an insight or message of the meaning of my experience. Thank you for letting me share, Jackie

    • Bernadette King says:


      Apology for delayed reply. I’m finding that having two hands is not enough and I’m looking into getting surgery to become an Octopus. 😉

      Thank you for sharing your story. It has a magical feel to it – like something one might see in the quiet moment of a dream or movie. Intuitively, I’m picking up that you have become interested in The Law of Attraction. It feels like you’ve been working to create an energetic bubble around yourself as well as hearth and home. I wonder if you do some kind of healing work as a career or want to do healing work. Deer is coming to tell you that your energetic pursuits are paying off – that Deer offers support so you can stay in your heart chakra, operating at all times from a place of love. However, Deer don’t always hightail it away when trouble is around. Though more usual for the bucks, does will take a stand and can be fierce. I think Deer is asking you to remember that you can be strong as a Sequoia but do not have to be combative. Stand your ground with quiet strength. What you’re dreaming of is on the way.

      Hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

  4. Jack says:

    Thank you Bernadette, for the time and energy spent in developing this site. I found your information to be quite intriguing. It is uncanny how accurate the details of deer match my personality. Being a fan of metaphysics, I was surprised that this expression of spirituality has only now, crossed my path. I look forward to the experience that this information will offer me. May God bless and keep you, in Jesus Christ’s name, I pray and I praise you Lord.

  5. Eric says:

    Hi Bernadette,
    Thank you for this posting. Last night I had a very vivid dream about a deer. I didn’t recall the dream until later the next day in the afternoon. Although it was very vivid with a lot of colors all I can recall in detail was a voice saying that “You are a Deer Seer. You have the skin of a deer and the eyes of an eagle.” I’m not familiar with Native American culture or shamanism, but I feel like that’s the best place to start. If you have an idea of what that statement from my dream means your insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you : )

  6. AeroHawk says:

    Hello Bernadette,
    I am hoping you can offer some insight to my dream. This is my second attempt here as the first was turning into a short novel. You can contact me for more details if wanted.

    The scene opens with myself and a being on my right out in the meadow. I have a bow and an arrow. As a large doe walks in front of us and stops, I draw the bow and aim but the doe turns lays down in the grass. then the arrow falls off the bow. I asked the being next to me to pick up the arrow ans put it back on the bow for me as I was trying to be quiet but he would not help.I got the arrow back in place and as the doe stood up he said shoot, but I hesitated and then could not take the shot as I was only willing to make a heart shot. When the time came that I finally let the arrow fly it went so slow it hit the doe in the side with a small thud and fell to the ground. She looked at me and turned to walk away. Next I was standing alone at a bonfire, I turned and went over to the next bonfire with 3 beings there and looked deep down into the glowing red and orange coals through the burning logs. It was very quiet, like I some how let them down. I just kept looking for more in
    the glowing coals. Earlier in the dream I traversed a difficult and steep path through the forest. Later in the dream I was in a kitchen where 2 others were showing me how they juice vegetables. and surprising to me it tasted pretty good.

    So is the doe helping me to navigate the path I am deciding to take towards a higher spiritual level?
    Is my not being able to shoot the doe and the empty bonfire and feelings represent my feelings of wanting to give more of myself to my family?
    Or was I supposed to ask if the doe was my spirit guide, and that was why I could not harm her. The bonfire was me reflecting on my lost opportunity to meet a spirit guide?
    Could it be all three?

    My zodiac is the Bear.
    Thank you

  7. Erin says:

    I have three roe deer that live in the field behind my house. One day, I went outside while they were out there and just sat there, watching them. They were a bit scared at first but eventually didn’t mind my presence.

    Now they come closer to my house when they’re there. Could this mean something?

  8. Burke says:

    Bernadette hi!
    So, I was going camping with my friend Andrew and he just hit a deer. We’re outside now. The car is kind of totalled and I don’t know what we’re going to do. But you can’t help with that. I’m just so certain that this is big. right? I mean, I think that if I had a spirit animal it would be a tiger, or a cat. Or something. Another website said I was a hummingbird, I dunno. I feel really guilty, though. I know, it’s not my fault. But what does the death of the spirit animal mean. This deer is a doe and that must mean something right? Like worse? We’re two young white dudes, I mean, we killed the symbol and gentleness and feminity. this is bad . How do I reconcile this? Should we eat it? Andrew said that legally we’re allowed to it. But should we bury it under an oak tree or something. I don’t know what’s right here. All i know is what’s wrong. I think we’re the problem.
    If this is an omen or something I need to know what to do.

    thanks all the best much love,
    Please help Bernadette.


    • Burke says:

      I don’t mean to be rude but as soon as you can reply THAT WOULD BE GREAT. Definitely panicking here.
      Not a joke. I’ve been denying my spiritual self for too long!

      all the best much,


  9. Dori says:

    Well here goes I feel compelled to share this. A little over a month ago I had some things in my life that were going on and it was upsetting to my whole being. Feeling frustrated and uncertain of what to do I went to the woods to meditate/ pray. I must have meditated for 20 to 30 minutes. When I was done meditating I knew what I needed to do but before I opened my eyes a small still voice or intuitively i knew that when i opened my eyes and looked to my left there would be a deer there as a sign. Ps I did not hear the deer and to look look to my left was I open my eyes and looked to the left there was a deer walking on the path. It was such an amazing awesome thing. Ì had come to a definite knowing of what I needed to do. Unfortunately when dealìng with a really difficult situation with a loved one it seems easier to be apathetic then to deal with the issues. I kept putting off dealìng with the issues. So last night everything came to abreaking point and I knew the time had come no longer could I put the confrontation off. So I took a drive to prepare myself. As I turned down my street I thought to myself it was odd that in the year I have lived here I had never seen a deer. I have lived in other parts of the city and seen them but never here . Right after that at the next house I saw a deer walking in the yard it stopped and turned its gaze at my car and we stared at each other for quite a while. I felt something so strange in heart.last night the issue was brought to light. I am not sure how it will turn out but I know I am in the right direction. That is why I am on your site because today i needed to gain understanding why a deer. I knew the deer were placed As a reassurance but what was the spiritual meaning. So thank you so much everything I have read fit perfectly with my situation

  10. Amanda says:

    Several years ago I saw a spiritual medium who told me that I had “two dears” guiding me. She asked if the word dear had any significance to me. It did not then and it does not now… and she also said she saw the word “Hunter”. Anyway, since I couldn’t figure out the meaning of any of it, I considered it a farce. The medium was very accurate in so many other details of our session but for some reason, 8 years have passed and I cannot shake the “dear” comment from my head.
    I have been going through some health/fertility challenges over the past two years. For some reason, I had this nagging thought to look at the paper the medium gave me all those years ago. I see how she wrote dear and I thought maybe she meant DEER… so I look up the symbolism of DEER as my spirit animal. I see they are linked to fertility. If this is what she meant by “dear”, I am still unclear as I have no idea why she saw TWO deer and I don’t know what role this plays in my current fertility challenges. Should I take this as a sign that I will beat these challenges? Can you provide any insight? This feeling is so strong and I can’t shake it.

    Thank you!

  11. EILEEN M AULT says:

    I live in an senior apartment complex. I went out of my front door and to my surprise there was a deer mask on my entrance. I don’t know who or why they left this other than I love Halloween. Also where I live I see many deer in the valley. I love watching them grow from babies to bulk or beautiful does. Anyway but what i am asking does that mask mean anything because today is the first of November and Halloween is over.

  12. William says:

    A few days ago after meditation I saw a male deer in my backyard woods with pretty large antlers and yet I observed it with wonder and awe. Being around it was just incredible and peaceful, I tried not to get to close and provoke it but it looked calm. I studied deer behavior and knew that this encounter had more meaning than my other deer encounters. Is the deer my spirit animal? What does this encounter symbolize?

  13. Madison says:


    Just recently I have become almost certain the White Tailed Deer is my spirit animal rather than my original uncertainty and believing the wolf was my spirit animal. How ironic is it that rather than predator, the prey is my spirit animal.

    I totally get it to. I am way to forward and outgoing. The Deer Spirit is telling me to enjoy things a little more while being careful and observant. Watching things but looking forward and knowing to stop and love and enjoy things. Rather than my usual bulling through everyday. Thank you so much for creating this website, I think life is a lot better now that I know to stop and listen to the Deer as it visits me and tries to guide me along in life.

    This probably sounds stupid or weird, but I have pretty much always seen myself as a deer and always have ‘seen’ a misty looking deer before me on a path or in a hall. Guiding me, ushering me to a certain direction. Telling me that that was the way to go. Recently especially, my dreams have been crammed full of deer. I see mostly buck, but awake, I see does. Which to me is a little odd. Never the less, I think recognizing my guide has helped me along a lot!

    If it isn’t too much trouble, please let me know if you have any tips for clearing my mind during meditation because I have been craving a converse with my spirit animal recently and unable to contact it. Very frustrating. Thanks!

  14. Lucy says:


    I live on a farm and just about every night I go out to feed the chickens I always see deer. And whenever I drive around I usualy the first to spot a deer near the road. Earlier I saw a mama deer with this years baby and last years. A lot of times when I drive home at night I’ll always see the same buck standing near it next to the road I drive to go home. I nicknamed him Monster Buck because he looks so magestic. Although I’m convinced that the bear is my spirit animal because I often see bears in pictures, movies, TV, Andy hear the word bear in everyday speech, I’m curious if the deer is my spirit animal.

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  16. Robert Hernandez says:

    I really love deer. One morning I walked outside and there was a family of deer in my backyard, they seemed friendly so I said hello. The oldest started talking to me, we have a lot of similar interests and I could immediately tell I was falling in love. He had large horns, really big. It surprised me how big these horns were. He lives in my house now. I just took this quiz, thinking my spirit animal would be deer. Instead, a wolf. Does this create a strange power dynamic between my deer and I? (Predator and prey), please reply and let me know.

  17. violet says:

    I went to bed feeling insecure and apprehensive of several situations in my life.Iawakened this morning to find a deer sleeping right outside of my bedroom window. Later I was blessed to have 8 of them hanging out in my back yard all day. They are so peaceful, graceful and beautiful. I feel way better now.

  18. Ron Pepping says:

    I was born under the sign of the deer. I have special connection to deer in this lifetime. Beautiful wisdom you share. Thank you dear Bernadette

  19. Molly says:

    So it says that stags are linked to the earth element and forest (Celtic meaning) and that doe’s are spiritual. Are they also earth, or a different element?

  20. Marybeth Trilling says:

    I just discovered my spirit animal is a deer. How unexpected, but I am happy to welcome deer into my life. When I was a kid, we had a cottage in Michigan built by my great grandfather over a century ago and there was a mounted deer head on a wall. I am thinking that was a way to see Deer watching over me well before I understood. I tried to pet it repeatedly so even as a kid, there was a longing to connect on every level? There was also a sort of roadside attraction where you could feed deer, one of my favorite summer activities. It was a pelleted food from an ice cream cone where the deer could approach and they ate the cones. It was pretty incredible to be that close to such magnificent beings. Am looking to incorporate deer into my life.

  21. Katie Boyle says:

    About 2 years ago, I started seeing this female white-tailed doe almost every day. She did not seem scared of me. It was almost like she was domesticated. Then one day my cat was going crazy looking out the window. I looked and there almost on our driveway was a tiny spotted fawn standing up in some brush. I couldn’t believe it. It looked newborn. My gut tells me it was “my” doe’s fawn and she felt it would be safe to birth and raise her close to us. We watched this fawn grow up and it was a magical experience. Anything mystical bout this experience?

  22. Stacy says:

    Katie – that is truly beautiful and has it’s own magic. Your home must be a haven of peace 🙂

  23. Karen Spencer says:

    Today, a doe and 2 yearling fawns were running beside my truck in the town I’ve been living in for awhile. I’m moving next week. They ran almost a half mile beside me before turning and crossing the street, knowing that I would stop for them. Once across the street, the doe stopped and looked at me. She gave what looked to be a small nod of her head. Last spring, I had freed a small fawn that was stuck in the fence behind my home. What could her actions mean?

  24. beatrice bonini says:

    She’s thanking you and reminding you to show gratitude to others who are helping you now and/ or have helped you in the past.

  25. Christine Dettling says:

    This fall there was a 4 point buck rutting in my yard and I saved some of the skin, it was very powerful. What does this mean?

  26. Tommy Thompson says:

    i was walking about 7 PM last Sunday through our little town. As I walked by a small lot right across from our house I saw a very large deer about 25 ft. away just staring at me, just frozen in place. It was already quite dark. Then I looked farther into the darkness and realized there were actually 8 deer or more in that tiny lot not more that 50-60 feet away, some of the younger ones were eating, but the older ones were just frozen in place. I reached in my pocket and took several pictures of them with my phone. When I finally moved after a couple minutes they moved also…bounding into the larger field directly across from our house. This felt….. different. Them my intuitive card reader asked about deer, she had a picture in her head of deer, and I told this story today. She referred me to this page and I found the information fit where I am and what I am working to help accomplish.
    Thank you.

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  28. Marsha says:

    I’m an August baby, 8/4. What would my spirit animal be?

  29. Hannah says:

    I took one test and got a deer. I loved it and started studying it for school. This is definitely a lot of information for my page. It filled up 1 1/2 pages!

  30. Rainbow says:

    Stag, or deer, walked into my life during a very interesting challenging time. And after reading all this, it’s clear why. A few weeks ago I took a long walk, further than usual. When I got home, I discovered I had walked for 5 miles. Anyway, on this walk, I was dancing and singing to music out in the open country and found a broken stag antler. I sat there for quite a while, asking and wondering if I was meant to keep it. I felt the answer was yes, so I brought it home. In all my life of long walks in nature, this is the first I had ever come across an antler.

    Some days later I was at a festival out of town and found a miniaturist artist that paints portraits of animals on agates and makes them into necklaces. I found a stag on a fiery red agate, and it was also on sale. It’s such a stunning, beautiful necklace, and I am wearing it right now. Upon research, I found red agate is a warrior stone, something that is meaningful to me.

    I am not Native American, but when I was a child I was friends with members of the Mohawk nation. An elderly Native I used to know and love as family told me I had been born during the deer zodiac and called me Green Corn Deer. This was so long ago, I had forgotten about this. After reading this article, I remembered. Deer is helping me a great deal, as I navigate through a major life change and transition. Interestingly, I also am solar-oriented, I love and follow the sun. And I’m also non-binary, a mixture or balance of masculinity and femininity. For me, this isn’t just being part of the LGBTQ diversity, it is part of my spirituality. Perhaps, part of my path with Deer.

    This was an interesting and enlightening read, thank you for sharing this information.

  31. Andy says:

    I recently found a deer heart buried in some dirt that I had moved while transplanting a bush in a new home we just moved into. The heart was not there when I originally dug up the bush, but when I put in the replacement bush and moved the dirt back-there it was. It was a fresh heart and had to have been buried there that night. There was no sign of anything having done the that the night before, including video on my door cam.

    I spoke with my Reiki master and she said that (and this is according to what she learned in our session) that I buried it myself for some sort of protection or ritual tied to the land our new house sits on. Like blessing the land that we now live on.

    I am not saying this is what happened, but is there any evidence of any culture performing such a ritual using a deer heart? Or does any of this make sense at all?

  32. Kimberly K Payne says:

    My friend and I made an emergency trip from Wichita Falls to Fort Worth tonight as her grandson went into the hospital with an emergency and they med-evaced him to Fort Worth . It is a two hour drive through, mostly, rural Texas. We drove back to Wichita Falls and arrive home around 11:15pm. As we were leaving one busy highway for another not-so-busy highway a buck ran across the highway in front of us. We were inside the city limits and the buck was running from the country into the city when he passed in front of us. We did not hit him nor did we see any predators chasing him across the road. He was literally running for his life. My friend and I discussed it and there is no other way to describe it. He was running scarred as he had to cross a 4 lane highway, a median, the highway we were on another median, and an exit road. He made it but he was lightening fast and running for his life. We both think this was a sign. Do you have any ideas what the sign was meant to convey?

  33. Heather says:

    I’ve been using this site for years and it’s never been anything but spot on. I just wanted to say thank you for all the hard work you put into it and I hope you know how much peace and guidance you are providing. You’re a rockstar and I am eternally grateful for this website and those who work to keep it going.

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