Symbolic Meaning of a White Deer

Written by avenefica on November 2nd, 2007

The following is a response to a woman who wanted to know the symbolic meaning of a white deer as she had recently seen one on a nature walk.

Dear Deer Seer: 

All creatures are noble, and have profound messages to share with us. However, those animals that are white can be some of our most powerful teachers.

The Native Americans believed the occurance of a white animal was a huge sign of prophecy – a sign from the great spirit that a major shift in their world was to come. 

Usually, white animals were seen during soul-quests, or vision-quests.  However, if one was seen during the normal course of day, this would cause a tremendous ripple among the tribe.  A great meeting would be called, the elders would be consulted, and great care would be taken to communicate with the animal spirits to determine the meaning of the message.

Not much has changed over time, as you yourself recognize the special power of the white deer that comes to you – and wish to know more about it.

When white occurs in the animal realm it is a message of:

  • higher thoughts
  • higher ideals
  • purity of soul
  • cleansing of spirit
  • attaining higher knowledge

Compound these attributes with the those that the Female deer represents:

  • Benevolence
  • Kindness
  • Creativity
  • Spirituality
  • Renewal
  • Connectedness

The Male deer holds the same representations, but also includes attributes of:

  • Longevity
  • Virility
  • Abundance
  • Endurance

The deer was/is a symbol to the Native Americans representative of the great spirit – a sign of the sun as its antlers spread like the sun’s rays.  The Native Americans also recognized the shedding and regrowth of the antlers and deemed this a symbol of regeneration, cycle, and growth.

Above all, we can recognize the sensitivity of the deer - alert, keen, and always aware – we can translate these qualities to of being spiritually aware – and this is why the deer is seen primarily as a spiritual symbol.

The fact that you were able to see this very powerful sign – the white deer – is a message that you are on a path of growth and expansion that will lead you in a direction beyond your wildest dreams.  The message of the white deer is one of “get ready.”

I encourage you contemplate this visitation, meditate upon it, and humbly ask the white deer to communicate its symbolic meaning with you as it pertains to your own persepctive.

Our animal friends are just as willing to communicate with us as we are with them.  All it takes is a open heart – and a willingness to be still enough to listen.

More on symbolic meanings of the deer can be found here.

Post script: Photo is from Velo Steve at

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21 Comments so far ↓

  1. Matt says:

    I was having my own solstice ceremony along with a group of Toltec friends and In the middle of the ceremony was a white egret that appeared out my back window at a little pool. It was either a white egret or a white heron, both of whom seem to prefer the southern latitudes and I am in Indiana. It was odd in that a Blue heron seemed to mirror its movements like black and white, and a big storm with hail passed as it was present. How would Native people view this and why? What messsage would the heron have for me?

  2. Vimala says:

    I moved to the desert September 1st.
    I was cleaning out the old neglected flower bed.
    When I looked back where I’d just cleaned I saw what I thought was a huge earthworm.
    But then I realized it was a small snake.
    And what made it strange was that it was white with a little bit of red on its head.
    No one here knows what it was.
    I am leaving here after only two months but I often wonder what that snake meant.
    Any why am I moving again?
    Today I saw a Javelina and a Scorpion.
    Both moved me to tears.
    So much change.

  3. Fleta says:

    I was driving along an wooded road and come upon 2 white deer, and I even got out and walked up to them within 15 or 20 feet and toke picture , It was if they were waiting for me. what des this meana

  4. Fleta says:

    Please let me know what this means. I was driving along and came across two white deer and they let me get out of my car and walk up to them within 15 or 20 feet and I even toke a picture . they were beautiful. a month latter I found out I had cancer. But came through it and have had it a second time and still can through it. It’s been over 5 years since my last cancer. and I seem to be doing Ok. I really think seeing the deer meant something for me.please write back and tell me what you think

  5. APOSTLE says:


  6. Char says:

    I work at a women’s resource centre, a shelter for women and children, in a small Northern Ontario Canada, community. Our centre has been open for 24 years with most of the original staff in place (pretty much unheard of in this social work field.) Our backyard has a 8′ wooden fence enclosing it. You might imagine our surprise yesterday, when we saw a female deer resting in the snow IN our backyard! First time in 24 years. Most of us are of First Nation descent, and we are trying to interpret the meaning of this wonderful gift, (she got out ok.) ANY info you may be able to guide us with would be GREATLY appreciated. Megweetch.

  7. avenefica says:

    @Chari, indeed – that all of you are still together for such a long time (yes, I’m familiar with the propensity for turn-around in your field) – this is a powerful testimony to a) your devotion to a common good and b) the strong connection each of you share with eachother. You already know this, but I think it’s relevant in context with the deer.

    I love that you encountered a doe, as a buck would have changed the entire interpretive flavor. The doe graces our energetic presence with an elegance that’s palpable. You could feel that grace when you saw her in the backyard, no? The doe is an ambassador for gentleness, forgiveness and spiritual awareness.

    I love the setting of your experience…the cleansing beauty of the snow, the amazing phenomenon of the doe having to leap “insurmountable odds” (the 8′ fence). The scene speaks to me of honoring the divinity within the soul of humankind and animal-kind alike. She speaks of raising above the challenges of the banal world, and surpassing limitations.

    The symbolism of your experience tells me there is something very special going on in your community….there is a call for spiritually minded leaders. These are non-traditional leaders. The doe calls to the nurturing, gentle-natured core of those who would lead in a passive (unsuspecting) manner.

    At least, these are my own impressions.

    I know for certain the nature of the doe would not go to such great lengths if she did not have a specific (and highly spiritual) purpose to convey. She’s a vastly spiritual totem, and her message will be profound for those of your staff who will receive it.

    I’ve written more thoughts about the symbolic meaning of the deer here: .

    I hope these observations offer a broader opening for insight.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. Amber Coffey says:

    A white buck with little velvet horns stands 15 ft from me, he looks into my eyes, clearly he was calm, regal, beautiful and he alowed me to take many photos. I feel blessed to have seen him so up close. Benevolence and kindness represent this animal. Blessings, Abenaki friends…

  9. ArtLady says:

    I have been practicing Tibetan sound healing & Qi Gong sleep meditations. I recently dreamed of an entire herd of white deer with small wings. They were moving about at the edge of the woods ~ possibly nibbling the greenery? I take this as a sign of guidance, as I am doing these practices for health & inner growth.

  10. silent child says:

    i just underwent reiki attunement and my teacher and saw within me a white deer. how would you interprete this, looking for another opinion

  11. judith A. Brunton says:

    I saw a very large while buck standing on a knoll in a winter pasture in Vermont. He was beautiful…I was thirteen…that Spring of 78′ I had a face to face encounter with “Bigfoot”. I have had encounters with fairies & gnomes…A few years ago, I stopped my car to let a buck cross the road. He stood staring at me, then lowered his head and touched the earth with his antlers three times before crossing. I hold this sacred.

  12. avenefica says:

    Judith, sacred indeed. Thank you for sharing this exquisite, enlightened experience.

  13. …thank you for sharing this!

  14. Kathryn says:

    I’m going to start with the fact that I feel so very blessed that my family and I spent a day with Miracle, the white buffalo calf. A profound spiritual experience,to say the least. Now i live in an area that is being quite populated by white deer, we have seen 8 together in the woods just down the road and know there are more in woods west of us also. The energy they give off is amazing and in the fresh snow they seem to glow….So thankful that The Powers That Be have brought them into my life….PEACE AND BLESSINGS…

  15. loreen says:

    I have seen the blue heron for the first time in the summer of 1995 at that time was sadness my neice was missing in the Atlantic Ocean found 5 days later she drowned “when i saw the blue heron i knew in my heart my neice had made her transition her spirit was here with me..she was scared to tell her mom she has passed to say my mother has passed away on palm sunday 2011 and was buried the day after i am grieving the loss of my beloved Mother the blue heron has landed on my property everyday during the waiting time to bury my mother… i would go down to the pond and sit their to admire and gain strengh from the heron i feel blessed after learning the heron has meaning about easter and everlasting life
    peace to all blessings and may the continued power of the blue heron enlighten me.

  16. Duh-Huh says:

    Okay, I’ve seen white deer before and even believe that Bigfoot might be plausible…but fairies, gnomes??? Seriously?

    And the whole heron thing was coincidence. I see them all the time.

    Please, take a big slice of reality and put down the doobie. Animals don’t have souls and they act almost entirely upon simple thought processes (association) and instinct. When you find a talking albino deer, you’ll become rich and famous. How’s that for a prediction?

  17. naysayer slayer says:

    Dear Duh,

    How wonderful for you to have found an outlet for your agression. And what a blessing for everyone visiting this site to be able to read your words of wisdom and……what? Close there eyes to there own wonderful spritual experiences and join you in your own reality where there is room for Big Foot but not for a Gnome? Your comment was rude. Its a shame you waste you energy making angry posts.

  18. Maeven says:

    Thank you for publishing this page- and to all who have contributed. I had an amazing dream where a glowing white fawn with incredible dark eyes crossed a field into my home. She silently walked up the stairs, and waited at the door to be let in. I opened the door and she looked straight into my eyes and I about cried, she was so young and beautiful. Then she climbed onto my bed and laid down. In the distance a man was calling out a name and she froze, scared and her heart beat quickly. She burrowed her head into my chest. As I listened, I knew this man was an angry person and that she needed refuge and she instinctively knew where to go- my house. I told her that she was safe and that I would not make her go back to him. Again she stared into my eyes. Then my dog came into the room- they touched noses and he, too, jumped into the bed between me and the fawn. I covered them both with a blanket, feeling grateful I had their trust, their acceptance and awoke. It was magical, moving and so powerful.

  19. Peter Pan says:

    Im curious what my experience with a white buck means, I was driving with my mom for awhile discussing life, spirituality, and my new existence walking in the light. At the time I saw it we were toward the exit of a local park, it was off in the distance by the tree line, but what throws me about the situation is simultaneously there was what sounded like and angry woman screeching at the top of her lungs emanating from the shelter (with no visible occupants) on the opposite side of the road and the buck. It sent shiverers up my spine and I high tailed it out of there. If anyone happens to have an explantation for this I would love to hear it. Namaste

  20. Violin Goddess says:

    Ever since my eldest niece was very young, I could tell that she was exceptional. Soon I knew she was born with active psychic gifts, and extremely intelligent. At the age of three I started teaching her about Faeries and how to see them. As time went by she would tell me about her sightings of tiny lights that she “knew” were Faeries, when her family would go on camping trips. Then one time, when she was about 5 or 6yrs old, she told me about another camping trip they went on. She said she saw a white deer come out of the forest near their camp. Trying to contain my jaw-dropping astonishment, I asked her if it walked up to her, and she said yes. Then I asked her if she saw this deer from inside the RV, or was she standing outside. She stunned me with the answer of “I was outside.” Before going further, I excused myself and basically ran out to the kitchen where my sister was and asked her to confirm what her daughter had just told me. And my (very mundane) sister did just that. Yes, they had seen a white doe, and yes, it walked toward my 5yr old niece while she was standing outside the RV. VERY unusual behavior for any colored deer!! After I read your article, I was wondering if there were any particular additional meanings if a white doe walks out of a forest, toward a child that is standing outside in plain sight?
    Thank You!

  21. sansan says:

    i know it’s a bit late… but i had the same exact experience with fleta, i had driving across the sunflower field with my bestfriend who will married the next day. Then suddenly there is 2 deers jump across the street, He slower the car. I saw that 2 deers just stand in the middle of the street, eyes facing through me, like they watched me very intensly. They stay unmoved for around 15 seconds. Then they jumped away. I just lost my mom 3 weeks before of breast cancer that she had for 20 years. And a week after that deers appreance i got diagnosed also of breast cancer. I wish the modem could give me her or his (Fleta) email. I know her or his post already back to 2008, but i just love to ask his or her feel. thank you.

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