(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...