As a Pagan and one who magically attunes with the `Horned God’ energies (of Hern the Hunter, Cernnunos Lord of the Beasts/ animals), I often find it enjoyable to visit Richmond park, and just wander through – and observe the Deer. Granted they are in a managed park (Richmond is one of the Royal parks of London), the deer are free to roam and do what they like!
Here are some hi-resolution photos of the Deers of London’s Richmond Park – taken about a month ago, a few hours before sunset.
In early Autumn (September and October) they begin their rutting – where male deer (Stags) begin their courting behaviour – first eating a lot in the weeks leading to this period, putting on a lot of body mass, and then herding and rounding up a large number of female deer to mate with (his Harem). During this time, the Stags do become highly agitated and can charge at people or animals (dogs) if they go anywhere near the herd. It’s a pure and simple territorial act!
Those other stags that do not have a harem of female deer do try to sneak into already rounded up female groups – when the Stag of that group is distracted or drifts out a few yards. But then the leading Stag will charge and antlers get locked.. and often the intruding stag(s) are chased out. During the rutting season, the leading Stags make a lot of growling sounds. They do not eat much, and expend their energy in mating and defending his herd. (and by the end of the rutting season, his body mass goes down!)
In Richmond, towards the end of Autumn, planned and managed culling (killing) occurs – where Rangers and trained gunners select a percentage of deer to kill.. so that the park can continue to sustain the deer population. During the culling weeks, the park is closed early (culling takes place after hours!) People are not advised to be in the park lest they get shot by mistake!
How to get to Richmond Park
- Richmond Park is in the South West part of London. There’s a main Railway station (Richmond) that has both british rail (from Clapham Junction take the trains towards Reading..) and also the underground tube trains (District line going from London Victoria station)).
- Once at Richmond station, come out, and within few steps, you’ll find bus stop (same side as station).
- Take the Route Bus 371 from Stop: E towards Kingston. (buses every 8-10 mins)
- Travel in bus for about 15 mins. Get out at `American University’ stop.
- Walk forward on the same side for 3-5 minutes, and turn left at main junction (Land mark: Star & Garter nursing home)…and you’ll arrive at `Richmond Gate’ of the park. (The park has many `gates’ )
I’ll be adding more photos, video clips and sound clips soon .. (ones I have been filming & recording for a number of years!)
Hern’s Tribe – outdoor ritual group with Hern – Hunter-Horned God as main focus All welcome to Hern’s Tribe seasonal rituals
Pagan God & Goddess – article in my Witchcraft & Magic website