The Mother Night – The Deer Mother – Light Bringer – so long ago over thirty years ago, did I dream of you. We were riding through the sky towards the East. Over tundra and forest. I see you in my mind’s eye as easily as closing my eyes. There you are as we race across the sky – in joy, not fear.
I do not think Sun male or female – the sun is Sun, light-bringer, and Deer Mother carries you in her antlers. I know different peoples have different ideas – and that is fine and interesting and makes the world taste good. I did hear a “joke” in Tuva, by my Mama Kagai-ool: we say the Sun is a she because she is always there, always present, always constant. Hot, strong, even to hot! And that Moon, well, Moon is a “he” – because you never know where he is going to rise up! You don’t know when! and you don’t know how big!”
And we all cackled with laughter.
I know some cultures talk about male Sun, hunting or giving chase, or hungry, as the female gives way to the Sun so that she can be impregnated and life begin again. I wonder did she really give herself away or was she “taken”? I think of that story of the moose which ran through the sky and was being hunted by a horny young male who wants to get the daughter of the Queen (Wise Woman) of the North as a wife- that she was a female moose….and thus began the conversion over to patriarchy: the dominion of man, rape culture, war culture, extractionism, ownership of women and wombs, destruction of all the varieties of expressions of humans, etc etc ad nauseam. Truly “with nausea”. There must be a deeper story there.
The Give-away story of the Deer Mother or Goddess and Sun is very different.
I am interested in all the Maral – Wapiti – and the reindeer – and all deer around the world. So very very necessary for everyones survival. Between the shit and dropping their antlers, they provide a feast for all. Just as rabbits and hares eat some of their droppings because they contain grass and many nutrients so do the deer eat their antlers if needed. And if they don’t someone else does. Perhaps that is why antlers are difficult to find? And thinking of the reindeer antlers collected and sold to tourists – makes me wonder.
Humans seem to be fouling the clean water needed, building up roads in the middle of ancient migratory routes and then building up fences to keep them off the roads and giving them a piddidly “green bridge or tunnel” to use; and the predators needed are not present, the clearcutting only increases hays and grasses which increases ticks and moose flies (simply put); and many places industrial farming takes over, as well as fences and private property.
All the media outlets and green organisations are celebrating that the nations of the world are saving 30% of nature for nature? What a twat load of hubris. Sounds like one book I read – funny how they call it dystopia.
In the book – and if I remember the title I shall put it up here – a small group of humans specially selected are allowed to live in a reserve, natural pristine wilderness with mountains, deserts, rivers, lakes and especially CLEAN air and water, etc etc. and it is fenced. And they are allowed to not build structures (except the rangers cabins), nor keep stores of supplies – just what they can carry. They cannot stay in one place too long or they break the rules, leaving too much of a human impact on the site. They are part of some experiment of control. Turns out that there are more than just one group living there – and as things get worse outside the fence more folk start entering the reserve…. Well, we know what happens. And the ending is not all rainbows and glitter.
So on this day of Sun’s return, of the return of the Mother Deer I give thanks to the PEOPLES who care for all deer and especially reindeer: Evenki, Daur, Evens, Tozha Tuvans, Sámi in Norway/Finland/Kola Peninsula/Sweden, Nganasan, Sakha, Nenets, Khanty, Tofolar, Tsaatan, Chukchi, Komi, Koryak, Mansi, Dolgan, Dukha, Enets, Yukagir, Selkup, Chuvan, Inupiaq Eskimo, Inuvialuit, Uil’ta, Kets, Negidal and Soyot and even in Scotland and Greenland.
For the lands, fields, woodlands, wetlands, mountains, valleys, desert-like regions, tundra thank you.
And to have hope that we will not be fooled by the 30% number and we go for more! For that number will be used against any and all who want to protect local areas as well as vast areas. The countries will be having the map out and dividing up regions. It will be like the old days of ethnography and anthropology, the doctrine of discovery: who gets what region to study and investigate is determined by the Party, the state, the institution and relationships (kin to money).
So please Deer Mother return return – bring your sun with you in your antlers, flying high!
Photograph from personal book copy of stories from the Amur – Gennady Pavlishin, artist.
More information about all things deer in English and or other languages:
Esther Jacobson: The Deer Goddess of Ancient Siberia (amazing book and research!!)
And a beautiful write up by Danielle Prohom Olson DOE, A DEER, A FEMALE REINDEER: THE SPIRIT OF WINTER SOLSTICE https://gathervictoria.com/2017/12/15/doe-a-deer-a-female-deer-the-spirit-of-mother-christmas/