If you are considering deer tattoos there are many different styles and designs available featuring this particular image. Perhaps one of the best known however has to be Walt Disney’s Bambi which makes a cute female body art design. A woman who chooses such a design may relate to certain attributes of the vulnerable fawn, perhaps using its image to reflect her own child-like qualities and charming innocence. On the other hand a doting mother may also feel drawn to this particular baby, left all alone in a forest fraught with danger, to express her protective maternal instincts. Disney depicted the female deer as docile and very feminine while the stag was one hundred percent masculine so this image can be adjusted to suit both male and female tattoo enthusiasts.

In prehistoric paintings, discovered in the caves of Lascaux in the south west of France, deer and bison were depicted in many of these illustrations as powerful symbols representing both life and death. This was a reminder that while these animals provide us with food for sustenance they also have the power to destroy us and potentially kill us. These ancient illustrations can be used today to provide a more unusual take on other deer tattoo designs. The Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis, also has great respect for these creatures and sought five golden horned deer as part of her entourage. One escaped but the other four bestowed upon to pull her golden chariot.

Tribal versions of this image are also popular and according to ancient Celtic folklore the deer was believed to be one of the oldest animals on earth, thus earning it associations with poetry and music, as well as other aspects of the arts. The Celts believed deer were supernatural beasts and referred to them as the faerie cattle who led packs of fairies and specially selected humans into the faerie realm deep within the forest. As a Celtic tattoo design, the Eilid (doe) signifies gracefulness, subtlety and femininity while the Damh (stag) is the silent but unmistakable voice of purification, pride and independence. The stag’s domain was the forest and was thus the protector of its fellow creatures so to the Celts this symbolized the virility and fertility of their mighty warriors.

Celtic cultures also attributed the deer with a special knack of finding herbs for medicinal purposes thanks to its keen sense of smell, thus cementing its respected status in myth and life. When it comes to the symbolism behind deer tattoos these vary greatly depending on the context in which the image is used. While it may seem rather a morbid choice of body art, an image of a slain deer depicted with a mouth full of herbs has a special artistic significance. This is symbolic for one who is love-sick, a lost love and unrequited love. However a deer trampling a snake underfoot signifies a spiritual victory against temptation so as you can see there are many different aspects to this particular design.

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