I have a chronic interest in spirit animals and totems especially, stories and folklores that ask of humans to remember their origins and the powers eminent in the life surrounding them. But only particular interactions with animals make me read or look for anthologies that deliberate their significance. Tonight, I had such an interaction – with a deer.
This deer with six antlers and a metallic body sits on my desk. I found it in a shop in the mountains of Ladakh and from there I brought it to this semi-arid city of illusions and deliberate realism. The lady from the shop remained quite adamant about the price of the deer and I realised that I was driving a hard bargain. It was only settled when my friend and co-traveller offered to purchase another deer for the quoted price. Of the two deer, one reached Japan while the other reached Delhi, where I live. This was a year ago. Ever since my half of the pair has been moved a couple of times – once when it was displayed in the drawing room of our house and then a prolonged period when it was placed on my work desk. It remains there till today. Of the other deer, I know only that it had been given a name and that it was in a good pair of hands.
Tonight, I was listening to my sister, who particularly disturbed, was speaking about her bodily energies changing during and after a heavy conversation. She was depressed, sharing that it appeared to her that something leaves her body when she engages in politically-charged conversations. In exchange, she receives another energy (she described it as a black female figure with flowing hair) which sits inside her. I took out my phone and played an audio to heal female energy, a practice that my sister and I have cultivated to neutralise or enrich the energy of the living space. After this, I rested my ankles on the back of the chair and listened to what she said. That is when I saw the deer totem.
From the position where I stood, it appeared that the statue was alive and real – that it would discharge itself from its sitting position and stand in meta-reality. I also saw an enriching radiance around its body, perhaps a vibrating radiance too that heightened my senses. With the healing music and the display of this grand totem, I was stunned and stilled. After absorbing this new energy, I pulled the chair and asked my sister to sit and focus on the deer.
I am speckled with a tendency to force change among people, to facilitate a change in the mood, or ask them to perk up. Usually, none of my help really helps the other. But tonight the action happened through a trance-like resolve and a quickness that is uncharacteristic of me. What I had asked my sister to do was as surprising to me as seeing the totem itself vibrating with energy. I left the room to allow my sister space but also to look at my baffled mind. When I entered the room again, my sister got up and hugged and thanked me with a gentle-natured smile.
It is said of the deer totem that it represents gentleness and awareness. A deer crossing your path or appearing in your dream is an alert of one’s journey into their inner dimension, a heightened knowing of intuitions, and a balance between their values and their living. The totem also represents innocence, childlike purity, and unconditional love. Appearing in three forms – the fawn, the doe, and the buck – the deer is also helpful in discerning the right action. When I write this piece, it is two hours past midnight. The deer totem is still radiant and vibrating with life. And, I know that everything that has happened in the last few hours is because of it.