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Beyond the Lone Islands

http://dawntreader-island2.blogspot.com

Friday, 20 November 2009

Oh Deer, I Won!

(No, it's not a spelling mistake!)

This has been a tough week for me in many ways, computer crash included. Yesterday, however, in spite of "only" having my laptop... I made an attempt at the Blog Anniversary contest at Dan's blog Wood and Pixels, which he generously kept running for four days (Tuesday-Friday). And I WON! Three other people also came out winners, on the other days. For an extra special reason, though, I am especially happy that Thursday got to be my lucky day. The special reason has nothing to do with the prize, because we will each get a photo print of our own choice. Which of course would make me happy any day! :)  No - the extra special thing for me about Thursday had to do with the picture to which the clues were pointing on that day - a white deer. (Click on the I WON link above to see Dan's photo.)

Dan provides a link to the Native American folklore about the white deer. However, the white deer or stag is also special in Celtic folklore, which I have been interested in ever since my first visits to Britain in my early teens.  In Celtic mythology it represents a closeness to the Otherworld. For example, "the white stag or hart often appears in the forests around King Arthur’s court, sending the knights on adventures against gods and fairies". The deer is also used in Christian /Biblical symbolism, to represent the human soul's longing for God. Modern fantasy writers have made use of the deer/stag symbolism, too. Two examples:

In C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, what brings Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy - by then grown up and Kings and Queens of Narnia - back to England at the end of the story, is the rumour that a White Stag has been seen in the Western Woods of Narnia. They go on a hunt and they see the stag and they follow it. This brings them back to the lamp post, and from there back to the wardrobe, and their life in this world.

In J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter books, a white stag, and towards the end also a white deer, also have very important guiding roles to play.

As I said in my comment on Dan's congratulations post:
Some things in life can really make you wonder about coincidence vs "meaning".

And as it happens, that very topic has been appearing in different shapes to me more than once over the past couple of weeks. Now here it was again, through the white deer...

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4 comments:

Scriptor Senex said...

The name White Hart is a popular one of English pub signs and in some cases this was from local legend but in others it was from the appearance of a white hart on some local lord's heraldry. There's a lot about it on this website after one was seen in the New Forest.

DawnTreader said...

Thank you John for that additional link which held a very good summary!

Dan Felstead said...

Scriptor and Dawn Treader...thanks so much for the link and the additional information. I may have mispoke on my blog...perhaps he was a "white" deer instead of an "albino" deer as the article suggested. It was my supposition that he was albino...but I think I did see pink eyes. Anyway, Dawn Treader I do believe in fate and I am glad that I was part of your past in connecting you with the Deer. That is a real treat for me and I felt it as well when I saw him but I did not have the past experiences that made it special for you.

Dan

DawnTreader said...

Dan, seeing the live white/albino deer must have been awesome just in itself, as is anything that you come across which you understand must be a really rare sight...

Before entering the Blog World, I was caught up in analyzing J.K. Rowling's symbolism in the Harry Potter books during 2½ years at the HP discussion forum Leaky Lounge, which has left its "marks" on me ;) Among other books this also made me reread some of the King Arthur stories and dig a bit deeper into Celtic mythology. And the Narnia books I've kept returning to for 25 years or so...

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