William eventually connects the symbol to the Jägermeister logo and the Laihona. I had never heard of the Laihona before, so I looked into it. According to the Book of Mormon and other LDS sources, a Laihona is a brass ball with two spindles that operates as a sort of compass. By following the direction in which one of the spindles pointed, Lehi and his party determined where they should go after escaping Jerusalem.
However, the Book of Mormon emphasizes that the Laihona only worked if its users were faithful.
From the Book of Alma:
38 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it a Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.
39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.
40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
The connection William makes between the stag and the Laihona is a notable one: both involve spiritually guiding or leading people where they need to go.
As I have noted on this blog, the white stag — also called the miraculous stag — occupies a big place in Hungarian mythology.
According to legend, a white stag led Hunor and Magar to Scythia, thereby establishing the Hun and Magyar people, who eventually moved into the Carpathian Basin. Some eighteenth-century German settlers to Hungary identified with the white stag and featured it in the emblems of the villages they established.
The white stag trope also appears in the mythology and folklore of other peoples/cultures, including the Arthurian legends in England, and as commenter WW notes under William’s post, C.S. Lewis includes a white stag in his The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to lead the Pevensie children where they needed to go.
The association of the white stag with Christ in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions likely stems from the conversion story of Saint Eustace, who experienced a vision of a cross or crucifix appearing between the antlers of a stag he was hunting. The cross/crucifix/antler vision also appears in the story of St. Hubertus, who was also hunting a stag.
Anyone who has visited this site will surely have noticed the stag with the crucifix between the antlers on the blog header. The image is a detail taken from Albrecht Dürer’s engraving of Saint Eustace, and what it depicts has become my way of reminding myself of the purpose of mortal life, that is, figuring out where we need to go and coming to the faith-filled understanding that Jesus is ultimately “where” we need to go.
In connection with this, I left the following comment on William’s antler post:
I like the stag-antler-crucifix symbolism because it includes the notion of actively pursuing something/following something to where you need to go, coupled with the reality that, ultimately, Christ is the "where" that you "need to go."
However, like the Laihona, the white stag with the cross/crucifix between the antlers works according to our faith in God, and our faith in God works according to our deepest and most sincerely held assumptions concerning the fundamental nature of reality and the divine purposes underpinning Creation — and then thinking according to these assumptions.
Without that, we will be diverted from “where we need to go” as we travel through the wilderness and remain in a no-where we never left.
Dr. Charlton -- who has also been connected to the antler/crucifix/St. Eustace in a meme, of all things -- explains (bold added):
What is needed is such a fundamental change in our current and recent attitudes and understanding as to be mind-exploding; a living world, a conscious world, a world primarily of Beings, a world primarily of spirit, a world that is God's creation and directed towards Christ's salvation...
Yet anything less leaves us exactly where we are.
For far too long, Christians have been pouring the new-wine of a life of Love following Jesus, into the old-bottle of abstract, materialist thinking that posits the irrelevance of Love and regards following Jesus as just-another-set-of-processes - firmly located within the usual kinds of social process.
Christians do some different things; but they think in the same way as everybody else - so that when times are tough, their ingrained and habitual materialistic-abstract-externally-driven mode of thinking limits and controls everything they do.
Christians shall persist in getting absolutely nowhere - except to remain a "lifestyle option" within a hell-bound totalitarianism; unless and until we begin and continue to think the work of God.
Note: The "need" in "place we need to go" is, of course, opt-in. It can't be compelled. However, that does not imply that the "need" is in any way unnecessary.