This is a perfect example of a deer tattoo. It’s beauty and graceful nature is a siren call beckoning us to the wild. But, the deer is more then just a symbol of nature and in many cultures has a deep symbolism associated with it. China has many symbols for happiness and good fortune, and the deer is one of them. In fact, in Chinese, the words ‘deer’ and ‘abundance’ sound the same. Buddhists like to tell the story of their master’s first teaching, when his blissful presence attracted even the wild animals of the region, most notably the deer. And in both the Celtic and Native American cultures, the deer had a special talent for sniffing out medicinal herbs, earning it special respect and status in life and folklore. The image of a slain deer with herbs in its mouth has even assumed special significance in the art world as a symbol of unrequited love, lost love, or love sickness. And if a deer is seen trampling a snake under it’s hooves then it’s a symbol of overcoming personal temptation. So, as you can see getting a deer tattoo pronounces not only one’s love for the wild but also has a significant spiritual meaning.
Many people consider a deer tattoo to be a design that only belongs on hunters or nature lovers. But, did you know that deer tattoos have symbolic significance in many different cultures and mythologies? A deer is not only symbolic of luck for Asian cultures but it is also a symbol for abundance. And it’s a symbol for abundance in not just the East but in almost every civilization that the creature is prevalent in. To native Americans, the deer was also a symbol for rebirth. It’s arrival often signally the start of spring or the end of summer. Also, in some cultures deer are synonymous for virtue and on occasion passion. The deer tattoo can also have a meaning associated with love, believe it or not. A deer tattoo with a branch or thistles in it’s mouth is symbolic of forlorn love. The deer tattoo in the picture is a cross between a naturalistic depiction of this animal and a tribal design. I really like how the whole motif flows and still retains the characteristics of this beautiful and peaceful creature of nature. This is a design that can be blended into almost any body of tattoo work.