The meaning of the dream symbol: Deer

In a dream, alone Deer depicts innocence, frailty and natural beauty. In the symbolic sense, the Unconscious may be illustrating a dire need to protect a precious quality in ourselves or someone close to us. If however, the deer is a large stag with great pointed horns, the representation is one of freedom, independence and virility. In all cases the dreamer must analyze his or her interaction with the deer, if any, and the dream landscape surrounding the animal.

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In a man’s dream a deer may represent a (young) woman; the hunting may be a symbol of sexual pursuit, and sexual 'conquest'. If so, what is the dream saying about your relations with women and, by implication, with your own anima?

A dream of hunting may be recollecting something recently seen or read about. However, a dream whose contents are taken from recent experience may still have symbolic meaning.

Try to identify with or 'talk' with both the hunter and the hunted. Usually they will be parts of yourself. Is the hunter your conscious ego? What part of you are you - unsuccessfully - trying to kill? An instinct? Your anima/animus?

Eating deer (venado) is taboo to the Panche Indians of Colombia since they believe that after death human souls pass into the bodies of these creatures.

The Aztecs sometimes depicted the first deified woman, the mother of the Twin Heroes, called the serpent-woman, as a two-headed deer which dropped from the sky and was used as a fetish in war.

In Mayan hieroglyphics, the dying deer is a symbol of drought.

In several ancient Mexican codices, including the Codex Borgia, deer are depicted carrying the Sun.

To most of the tribes peopling the steppes of central Asia the deer was a conductor of souls. The robes of the shamans were often made from deerskin and some shamans wore on their heads or their backs iron copies of deer’s or stag’s antlers.