The deer was sacred to the feisty goddess Artemis, from Greek mythology.  Deer symbolize the powers in nature that are not easily subdued.  They are native to every continent except Australia, thus they are able to adapt very well to many habitats.  They represent instinctual energy, independence, and regeneration, which stems from their antlers being shed and re-grown each year.  This instinctual energy that deer represent tells us to trust our gut reactions, because those instincts will tell us when to fight or flee.

Deer also symbolizes the gentle, enticing lure of new adventures.  Should a deer come into your life, Ted Andrews tells us to look for new perceptions and degrees of perceptions to grow and expand for as long as the next five years (deer shed and grow their antlers for five years).  But there is also a cautious element to deer.  Their antlers grow behind the eyes and offer protection.  They also protect their fawns, by keeping them close while the mother nurses them.

Deer has many sides—deer is powerful and feisty, cautious, adventurous, and protective.  But deer has great individuality, calling for people to trust their instincts and trust themselves.

The following is a conversation between Marilyn and a wild buck...

Large buck with a great rack stood before me on the hill. We are proud. We are a proud but gentle species. It is our intent to live in peace and multiply. We are co-operative with each other for the most part although, like any species we have misunderstandings and jealousies, but we are more peaceful than conflictive. While we strive to live and grow and learn, we also understand that there are predators who take their nourishment from our bodies. This is the circle of life. We enjoy our bodies fully and love to jump and run and play. We also have a keen awareness of our environment. Stay aware and alert in your environment. Look for opportunities to enjoy where you are at any given moment. Trust yourself, believe in what you KNOW to be true and act accordingly. Stay balanced and connected within yourself.
Thank you, buck, for your great teaching.

Information from Ted Andrews's Animal-Speak, Jessica Dawn Palmer's Animal Wisdom, and Steven D. Farmer's Power Animals.