Part of the Sky Above Earth Below Oracle Deck I created in 2014. Mixed Media
Stag (Pathfinder, Pride)
Stag strides among the trees. Male deer of all species grow and shed new antlers each year. These male deer are called ‘bucks’ or ‘stags’ while females are called ‘does’. Though this card is called stag it will deal with deer in general. Deer are widely distributed in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They live in a variety of biomes, though most live in the transitional spaces between woodlands and grasslands. Deer have a gland, in front of each eye, containing pheromones that they will use to mark their home territory. This includes paths to food and water, linking them symbolically as pathfinders. Baby deer, called fawns, have characteristic white spots to help them blend in with the dappled light of the forest. Fawns are raised entirely by the mother deer and will remain with her for around one year. Female fawns may stay longer, raising their own fawns and creating small herds. Deer are strict herbivores, preferring a diet of tender shoots, grass, fruit, and fungi. Antlers are of great importance to stags where they are used as a defense mechanism, and in mating displays. Those with smaller, or uneven, antlers often have genetic defects which make them fall prey to predators. Deers have excellent hearing and a wide range of vision to see predators coming. As fast runners (and swimmers) they can usually get away but will fight with leg kicks and antlers where necessary.
Deer, especially antlered stags, are used frequently in heraldic devices. Deer are still hunted (and kept in captivity) for their meat, hide, and antlers. The Celtic people called deer ‘fairy cattle’ and believed they were herded by otherworldly women who could shapeshift into deer themselves. The Celtic figure Cernunnos, often thought of as a nature or fertility god, is depicted with stag antlers. In Greek myth deer are associated with the goddess of the hunt, Artemis. It is believed that stags pull her on her chariot. The Hindu goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning, can take the shape of a roe deer. Native Americans viewed deer favourably, believing them to be gentle spirits full of graceful innocence. White stags or white hinds are particularly well known in myth. Both Celtic folklore and Christian lore gave great significance to white deer. Because of their antlers stags are often associated with the crown chakra which is the spiritual center. They are even linked to psychic abilities.
When stag strides into your cards it may be time to examine your idea of pride. In what ways are you marking and walking your path? What is your crowning glory? What are you willing to shed so something new can grow? Because deer live in transitional spaces between woodlands and grasslands both biomes may offer insight.
Astrology-(Celtic Dec 24- Jan 20) This Celtic sign is linked to the tree Birch and is known as The Achiever. Those born under this sign have high aspirations and will not be deterred from their vision. Stag people will buck past almost any boundary and carry themselves with a regal air. Workaholic is the watchword for Stag. Goals are important, but Stag needs to be careful about working too much. Hard working Stag values integrity and rarely comes from a place of entitlement. Patient and persistent Stag makes an excellent leader, and should rightfully be proud of their triumphs.
(Native May 21- Jun 20) This Native sign is quick witted and lively. With a great sense of humour, Stag makes an excellent conversationalist. Intelligent Stag is always aware of their surroundings. Stag can be lazy, selfish and impatient. They should also be wary of appearing narcissistic. Nurturing Stag works as an inspirational force for others. With a gentle appearance, strong will, and fleet mind, Stag makes for a wonderful muse.
Stars and Constellations
Nature, Peace, Purification, Independence, Gentleness