Walking through the hills of the Lomonds, a Spring day, the hills thick with dew-covered ferns, a movement higher up caught my eye, a red deer within my sights. We both freeze, caught in each others glance, no movement, frozen in time, we are in each other’s hold, bonded for an eternal, poignant moment, nothing exists outside our gaze, frozen in time, no distance between us, our awareness becomes one. The pungent smell of the wet dew on the ferns, the morning mist lifting from the top of the hills, the sweet call of the birds around us, but only we exist, caught in eternity, and then I spoil the purity of the silence. The thought enters to take a photo, and there and then the spell was broken, my thought made a movement in the stream of connectivity. The deer ran, disappearing rapidly, seeking invisibility amongst the ferns, the world came flooding in again, the magical moment was gone.
The deer are the Gatekeepers, the graceful forms that guard the portals to the faerie realms. A Celtic symbol of love, peace and beauty, they guide the departed across the thin veil between our physical world and the world of the ethereal. The deer are linked to the arts, poetry and music and were revered by the Celts.
The Dawn and Moon
Celebration of Life, the Child learns
Watched over by the Dancers
The need for sustenance, nourishment of hand
Mentally, emotionally, spiritual food for our soul
The pulsating life force of the deer, stand by our land.
I use the symbol of the deer often in my work, they appear whenever I paint the mystical crossings, they are there to guide the soul across the divide. They stand around the Standing Stones and the places where the veil is thinnest.
When I see a deer on my walks or when I am on a train which races through the countryside and I spot a deer, I am filled with a moment of remembering, I feel a sense of the knowing and know that I have been given a sign, a small message in the midst of the busy world we find ourselves living in. A moment to remember the ancestors and the peace that sits behind our man-made busyness, a moment to reflect on our lives, remembering who we are. Trusting in ourself and believing in what we know to be true.
Look, It Cannot be Seen
by Lao Tzu
Look, it cannot be seen – it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard – it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held – it is intangible.
These three are indefinable, they are one.
From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
Unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
Form of the formless,
Image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.
Stand before it – there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the Tao, Move with the present.
Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao.