Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

The deep roots of fables are often surprising, not entirely as we might imagine, and sometimes reveal a “self evident” truth we have somehow become blind to…

Gather Victoria

Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song

Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.

santareindeer

Today it is her beloved image that adorns Christmas cards and Yule decorations – not Rudolph. Because unlike the male reindeer who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the larger and stronger doe, who retains her antlers. And it is she who leads the herds in winter.

reindeer100-001

So this season, when we gather by the fire to tell children bedtime stories of Santa and his flying reindeer – why not tell the story of the ancient Deer Mother of old? It was she…

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About Running Elk

My given native name, Running Elk, was bestowed in 2008 as I took my first steps as a fully fledged Medicine Man of the Zuni tradition. A most unlikely candidate for the role, my journey as a healer began some four years prior. The detour onto the shamanic way was most unexpected, yet has been one of the most rewarding challenges to date.
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2 Responses to Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

  1. David Robertson says:

    Really fascinating, I was totally unaware of the depths of significance reindeer had in northern cultures for 1000s of years.

  2. Widdershins says:

    What a wonderful website that link led to … and right in my backyard too! 😀 … thanks.

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