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The Magical Journey with the Deer Spirit Animal

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book "Becoming the Medicine" (Chapter 6, Shamanic Animal Guides)


When it comes to the realm of Spirit animals, this is one of the most profound and magical relationships we can and should develop with the unseen realm. I also have experienced that when weaved with a firm rooting into land and our ancestral lineages, it can open deep work of service and a path to becoming a potent medicine for the world.


My story of connection with the sacred spirit of the deer has grown in so many ways that I often see it as similar to a growing tree now with hundreds of branches and leaves. The ramifications of the knowledge, wisdom, healing, and guidance I have received over the past 20 years are impossible to share here entirely. Still, I will share some key moments on that journey, hoping it will give you insights and support on your journey with that mystical connection.


It would not only take an entire stand-alone book to narrate all the mysterious, magical, and profound insights I have received and keep receiving daily from shamanic journeying and my connection to my spirit animals.


This wisdom is also so often beyond words, so I would be unable to relate to anyone what I have truly experienced in that relationship.


I am also aware and attentive that our most sacred and profound spiritual experiences are not to be written down but are meant to stay very private and, occasionally, can be shared orally in private and intimate circles when the time and space are right for them. In a world where everything is over-shared on social media and other mediums, I invite you to continually reflect on what truly needs to be shared and the true origin and aims of those shares.


With all this in my heart and mind, let me share this ancient love story between one of my spirit animals, the deer, and myself.


It all started over 20 years ago. I was searching for tools and teachers to access and better understand the spiritual realm. At the time, I was a busy executive in New York City, with a mind too full of knowledge to hear any wisdom and a life too busy to access the slowness and silence needed for any connection deemed "sacred."


On an early cold spring weekend, I drove a few hours from the city for a shamanic exploration workshop called "Discovering and learning shamanic journeying and your spirit animal powers."


It seemed exciting, enticing, and radically different from any workshop I had ever attended in my life before. I was finally taking a step towards this great path that had been calling me since I was born and probably way before that.


Before I tell you what happened that weekend, let me share that this connection to the sacred, the mystical, and the divine was always very open and quite potent when I was a little boy. I could see the matrix of energy within and behind the leaves of a tree, a precise sacred geometrical vibration of pulsating light buzzing in my hands and through my eyes. I could see it in the large meadow of spring flowers, where the astounding vibrations of the plants and insects' conversations filled my heart with magic. I could find it when observing a drop of the local pond water under a microscope, thriving with millions of odd and weird-looking friends. All felt so alive, so rich, and so mysterious to me. There was a kind of bright light, a vibration that dwell within and around all those beings that seemed to lead into a vortex of "unseen" communion and creation.


Yet probably because no adults around me at the time had an understanding of such visions, nor did the culture I grew up in have a cosmology to hold such space and understanding, I slowly, over the years when I grew up, got away from this connection and become willingly (I guess...?) swallowed into the capitalistic vortex of self-achievement. I let the wild parts of me dormant almost to death so I could belong in the sanitized offices of corporate powers. Early childhood visions persisted like a fading dream and felt nearly unattainable or, at best, very tamed.


But here I am, sitting in this retreat center for a weekend to learn about what I had forgotten. To reopen the ancient gates of perception. I wanted to call back into my life what seemed to hold the magic and meaning lost to the adult world.


I am sitting in a circle. We share our names. Our intentions for the weekend. And then we dived into the teachings. We learned to read and talk to stones, clouds, and trees throughout the weekend. We experienced many shamanic journeying with the sound of a drum to open the underworld journey necessary to meet our spirit animal. We also did a few shape-shifting dances, which seemed quite bizarre to me at first.


After an entire weekend of exploration, despite being able to read stones and receive wisdom from clouds easily, I did not meet any spirit animal in any of my journeys. I could see darkness with some shapes and colors but nothing close to an animal shape.


I left disappointed, angry, anxious, and puzzled. Why was this happening? Why could not I see like others did? What was missing? What did I not understand? My brain and ego took over the discourse and locked me into that blind spot and false narrative that "there is something wrong with me."


For months after that, I tried to journey on my own every week with the help of recorded drum tracks. Weeks and months pass, and still nothing. I was ready to give up when one day, out of "nowhere," I was catapulted down into a magical forest vision, and there was a gigantic stag made of vibrant energy, colors, and sacred geometrical shapes right before me. He was so lively and powerful, nothing like a "deer" I had seen in the forest, but so authentic that my heart felt an immediate connection, a profound love, and a desire to connect that has never left me to this day.

Stag Deer Spirit Animal Shaman

I had no idea the deer was my spirit animal before that. Well, I never knew, but it does not mean the deer were not trying to show me they had been here for me, what I would learn way later on my journey.

So, I started to connect to my spirit Stag, a giant multicolor vortex of energy vibration. The Stag would only communicate with me through changes of shapes and colors but never with a word. I would feel his answer but never hear them in the traditional sense of hearing. Initially, I was annoyed with this, as I wanted him to talk to me. But already then, he knew I had to let go of my "strong" sense to develop a deep understanding of feeling & hearing through body sensations, colors, and shapes. I had to listen to him talk through my own feelings and body sensations. That was the journey to walk, which will take me years to fully accept and understand.


More than twenty years later, this has become my primary skill in doing my shamanic healing work, to read people's energy, bodies, traumas, and spiritual connections, a way to recognize entities from good spirits and much more. My Stag 20 years ago already knew I would need that skill and, therefore, had prepared me all along in the most unexpected ways.


Fast forward five years after that first shamanic workshop, I am doing a ceremony of healing the land I just acquired (what would become "the sanctuary" land), and during a prayer, a vision of a herd of deer comes to visit me. They are telling me that this land is not called the "Land of the Sacred Light" (as I had called the land when I moved there) but is called "the Sanctuary."

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