When we see the deer in the wild, its grace and beauty catches our breath. Its delicate movements and spectacular appearance have not gone unnoticed by our ancestors.
The deer is an important beast for Celtic culture. The Celts consider it leading troops of fairies through the forest. Not only Celts but also Native Americans noticed high intelligence of the deer being searching for the best herbs. They followed it to the prime herb patches and many of these herbs were very useful in medicine. Thus, one of the meanings of the deer tattoo symbolizing its help in search of our inner treasures.
For the Native Americans, deer’s antlers represented sun’s rays. Therefore, the animal itself is strongly associated with the Sun. Antlers also symbolize regeneration, circularity and new life — as they shed and regrow.
Deer as an animal symbol is also special in its ability to represent opposites like femininity and masculinity: the stag is associated with power, spirituality, virility and masculinity; the doe is associated with femininity, fertility, beauty, grace, innocence and protection.
Often other symbols are included in deer tattoo design, and they also have their own special meanings contributing to the main idea. Or it may be one of the most popular deer tattoo design among women — the Bambi tattoo. Though it doesn’t have any special meaning, it looks cute and girly.
Just like many others, tribal deer tattoo design includes not only deer itself, but also other characters. Meaning depends on the elements included in the image. The most popular of them connected to Celtic and Native American culture, thus tribal deer tattoo design has deeper spiritual meaning for the bearer.
The other unique and meaningful design is the deer skull design. As you see from the name, the main part of this design is deer skull. Those tattoos are mostly black-and-white — with no bright colors included. The image is often used by hunters, or as a commemoration of a hunter.
If you look for tattoo design typical for hunters, you may have already seen an image of the deer head with arrows passing through its neck. As the previous design, it symbolizes the life of a hunter, or commemorates a deceased hunter. Or it also can be inked by a deer keeper — to remind that the deer was killed by poachers.
One of the most popular deer tattoo designs is deer antler design. For a really long time, antlers symbolize strength, masculinity and virility: they are also the main feature of the god of lust in Celtic culture, Cernunnos.
Deer head design is surely the most known deer tattoo design. It can be represented in different forms, from the simple drawing of the head, to designs that consist of many various pieces: elements of the nature, birds, bushes and trees, human’s face, hearts, etc. All of them determine the overall tattoo meaning.
If you want a one-size-fits-all deer tattoo design no doubt you should consider deer track tattoo design. It looks great inked on any part of your body at any size; it may also be one track or a few of them. Meanings of this tattoo are pretty obvious — it shows that there is an exact direction in the life for the bearer; that the bearer has some deer’s features or it can be simply inspired by a hunter.