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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in stag

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stag of Light

Daddy, why do people put lighted deer in their front yards?

We're headed towards the tail-end of November, and the front yards in my neighborhood are suddenly sprouting deer.

These are not the wild animals, although here within sight of downtown Minneapolis we've got a sizable urban herd. (They mostly live in the wooded Mississippi Valley that runs through the heart of town.) No, these are Yule Deer.

(Up here in Snow Country, if you want to decorate outdoors, you've got to do it early.)

As a pagan, and myself a worshiper of the Deer Man, I find it deeply amusing that one of the foremost symbols of American Christmas: the Secular Holiday should be the Deer.

The connection is pretty tenuous. Presumably these are the reindeer that pull Santa's sleigh. Of course, the Deer of Light that you see in people's yards are clearly not reindeer. You can tell because reindeer have a very distinctive antler configuration. No, the Yule Deer are based—insofar as there's a natural prototype at all—on the American Whitetail, as (after all) they should be.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I remember Kate Seredy's The White Stag well. "Little Father" Attila leads his people--the- Huns--to the Promised Land--Hungary--b
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In "Christianity the origins of a Pagan Religion" Philippe Walter connotes white deer with Halloween. His examples are of Saint H

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Cernunnos is known by many names. The Horned God, God of the Hunt, Lord of the Animals. He can be found in the sacred grove in the heart of the forest, in the call of the rutting stag. Of all the names he is known as I grew up knowing him as Herne the Hunter. As I generally make female dolls I was quite surprised that Cernunnos appeared, maybe I was inspired by the fallow deer stags I got to hang out with this summer.

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  • Jude Lally
    Jude Lally says #
    Ah! I was wondering who he had a message for, as it wasn't me!!!
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Yep, apparently!
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    OMG I love him! I shouldn't have, but...yeah, that was me who just snatched him up. I've been wanting one of your dolls - still in

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
World Stag

They say that once long ago,

when the sky was in danger of falling,

he caught it up on his antlers

and held it,

and that way we weren't all crushed.

They say that it's him

as holds up the sky on his antlers

still, to this day.

So that's why they call him the World Stag,

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stags that Wear Torcs

One of the mysterious creatures that inhabit the dark forests of Arthurian lore is the stag with a crown around its neck.

This bizarre figure has entered heraldry and folklore as well. A stag gorged with a crown (French gorge = “throat”) appears on numerous coats of arms and pub signs.

The meaning is not far to find. The stag is the preeminently crowned animal—“crowned with antler”—and, as such, Lord of the Forest. Still: a crown around the neck? Weird.

Peeking from behind the High Medieval Dudgeon of much Arthurian lore one may sometimes see hints of something older and wilder: retroflections of the early Iron Age, post-Roman Keltic world that gave rise to the later material. And here, I suspect, we may find a key to understanding the stag gorged with a crown.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

What is it about the Stag and Yule? Three traditional Midwinter's carols about stags from all over Europe, as charming as they are mysterious.

 

Nine-Tined Stag

Nine-tined stag a-running came

(Kalado, nine-tined stag)

came and into water gazed,

gazed and counted tines.

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  • Jaime Johnson
    Jaime Johnson says #
    These are beautiful and mysterious. I couldn't help but sing along as I read them; loving them!
  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
    Fascinating. I knew about the carol 'O the Rising of the Sun' which has the line about the running of the deer in its chorus, but

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