Imagine that you are in a forest glade, a clearing lit by shafts of sunlight that filter down through the canopy of leaves high above. For a moment it seems as if you are alone in this clearing, but then you hear the sound of scuffling hooves, and all of a sudden you see a young white hind approaching you – its graceful body caught in the sunbeams. She stops, and for a moment the two of you simply stare at each other – each surprised, each entranced for a moment. Then she turns away from you, slowly and deliberately, and walks – not runs – back into the forest from whence she came. She moves so slowly she seems to want you to follow her. You can almost hear her saying “Come with me. Follow me deeper into the forest.”
Just as every plant and tree is considered sacred in Druidry, so every animal, fish and bird is seen as sacred too. But in the same way that some trees and plants, such as the oak and mistletoe, receive special veneration, so too do certain creatures receive particular attention within Druidry. The hind, which is a female red deer, is one such animal, and it is considered especially sacred by Druids. In Scotland they are called ‘fairy cattle’ and the old people tell stories of seeing these cattle being milked on the mountaintops by the fairies. Some say that the hinds are in fact fairy women themselves who have shape-shifted into these graceful creatures. To have a hind appear in our lives – either in the outer world or in the inner world in meditation or dreams – usually means that we will soon experience great happiness – that our lives are about to change in positive ways.