Native American Astrology
In Native American astrology, which draws heavily on the ancient medicine wheel, each totem animal is associated with one of 12 different Moons throughout the year. The totem animals are grouped according to which compass direction and season they are associated with. The qualities of the season and of the corresponding Moon help define the meaning of each totem animal.
In Native American Astrology, Winifred Noe writes, “These totem animals can be identified as character or personality types, or spirits.” Noe also notes, “Each of the 12 Moons, or Moon phases, has an associated animal, which may be considered a birth totem or birth sign.” As Native American Astrology is connected to the seasonal cycles, and originates in America, the seasonal references allude to northern hemisphere seasons. Shamanic astrologer Jodie Cara Lindley says, “There are many native tribes and different animals”, so your totem animal may go by different names in different groups. But Lindley says the meaning of the Native American totem animals is “always based on the underlying seasonal energy”.
Snow Goose, December 22-January 19
Turtle Clan, Earth Renewal Moon
The Snow Goose is comfortable on land or water, which highlights the “versatility, tenacity and focused energy” of the Snow Goose, according to Noe. As the Snow Goose belongs to the Earth element, you may prefer stability and others may appreciate your steadfast, steady nature. You may have a “healthy dose of competitiveness and perseverance”, says Noe. “People born under the sign of the Goose have big plans and by climbing steadily, go far.” As a Goose, your practical nature means you always take the time to consider decisions rationally. You are strong and reliable and usually set your sights high.
You always strive to make sensible decisions and your ability to keep a level head even in trying times means others rely on you, at work and in your personal life. You have a quiet determination and driving ambition and are willing to work steadily over time to achieve your dreams. Because you’re serious and focused, others may misjudge you as being distant or cold. Mostly this is inaccurate as you are calm and restrained, and often are gentler than you appear. You may prefer ‘quality over quantity’ and have almost unlimited reserves of energy. Your ability to work beyond the limits of others may mean you focus a little too much on work and not enough on the personal and pleasurable sides of life. Allow yourself to enjoy the results of your work and take regular down time to relax and unwind.
Otter, January 20-February 18
Butterfly Clan, Rest and Cleansing Moon
Associated with the air element, as an Otter you are blessed with “flexibility, intelligence, communication and a wealth of ideas” according to Noe. You’re always able to “provide intellectual stimulation”. You are also a member of the Butterfly clan, which, according to Noe, “explains your free spirit and verbal skill”. You might also at times waste energy with deliberation or being a little indecisive. As an Otter you may be full of hope and confidence, especially about the possibilities of the future. You can be popular and may have an altruistic side. Noe says “Otters are revolutionaries and rebels” and “have a very keen sense of justice”. Even though you want to express your individuality, you cooperate easily with others and can have a positive influence, especially on morale in groups and organisations. Noe adds that “friendship and solidarity are important for Otters”. You are big on sharing, even if it means giving away your “last shirt to a friend in need” or someone who needs support. “Positive changes and progress in society at large” appeal, says Noe, and you “usually have very interesting ideas”.
Wolf/Cougar, February 19-March 20
Frog Clan, Big Winds Moon
As a Wolf you may appear strong or powerful, but you can have a hidden soft or cautious side too. You may prefer to travel in a pack, like the Wolf, rather than do things solo. You can be cautious about who you trust, but you are also very loyal and stick with friends or family throughout life. Wolf is connected to the water element, which blesses you with sensitivity and empathy. You can be strongly influenced by your feelings and will benefit from creating stability and balance in your life. Wolves are sensitive and according to Noe “have a special antenna for what is happening around them”. You can pick up on what those around you need without anything being said. Your sensitivity and intuition can sometimes be misunderstood or taken advantage of. If so, you may need to develop good boundaries to ensure your TLC goes towards those most deserving.
Quiet or peaceful settings will be especially soothing. You can be devoted to those you love and may be respected for your helpful, caring attitude by friends, family and colleagues. You have an easy-going nature which makes it easy to get along with other people, though you may not be overly ambitious.
Hawk or Falcon, March 21-April 19
Thunderbird or Hawk Clan, Budding Trees Moon
The Hawk or Falcon is associated with the east wind and the season of spring. It’s assigned the element of fire and represents the leader. As a member of the Hawk or Thunderbird clan, the Falcon/Hawk is a hero and wants to “inspire, convince, and move people”. Shamanic astrologer, Jodie Cara Lindley, describes the Falcon as having “foresight and intuition” and being able to see ahead. As a Falcon you have vision and benefit from having an eagle eye perspective. Being associated with the east and the March equinox (spring in the northern hemisphere), Falcons seek adventure and love to start a new project. They thrive on a challenge. A Falcon easily takes action and can respond to changing circumstances quickly. A gift of the Falcon is initiative and the ability to start things. If you’re born under the Falcon you are quick and spontaneous, and may sometimes take on more than you can manage. As you thrive on competition, you may sometimes seek a battle rather than stay calm.
Beaver, April 20-May 20
Turtle Clan, Frogs Return Moon
Lindley describes the Beaver as “industrious, hardworking and grounded”. Noe adds, “The Beaver is the engineer of the animal Kingdom, who, for his own security and comfort, changes his environment.” The changes Beaver can make to his environment speak to this totem’s great perseverance and steadfast nature. The Beaver is associated with the Earth element and has a stable, consistent quality. As a Beaver, others may value how dependable and reliable you are. You may get overly focused on the material side of life due to your focus on security. As a member of the Tortoise clan, you prefer a solid foundation. Protection is important. Your time of year is spring, after the new growth has appeared and when the plants start to strengthen their roots. As such you need a firm footing or general stability in life to achieve your goals.
You may be sensible and practical and prefer to focus on the tangible side of life. You can focus on the task at hand and once you’ve made up your mind, you follow through. You go after what you want with tenacity and are patient, even when things take time. You can be sensual and are probably risk averse. Try to avoid any ‘my way or the highway’-type behaviour.
Deer, May 21-June 20
Butterfly Clan, Corn Planting Moon
The Deer represents a totem group that has members who are all shapes and sizes, from the majestic Stag to the elegant Doe. What they all have in common are their quick responses to changing circumstances, and their nimble way of moving. Deer belongs to the air element. Deer likes movement and change and never likes to stay in one place for too long. Movement, change stimulation and communication will be important if you are a Deer. Deer rules over the period in late spring, when the first messages of summer start to arrive. As a Deer you may pick up change before it arrives or prefer to keep your options open, knowing there are fresh alternatives just around the corner.
As a Deer you may be relaxed and playful, but you are also sensitive. You may prefer socialising to quiet nights in and make great company due to your open-minded nature. While you love a good discussion, you can be impatient and have no fear about interrupting others. You might be considered flighty, which may make commitment in relationships difficult. Your need for excitement carries over into love and you may be a flirt, even when you’re in a relationship.
Flicker or Woodpecker, June 21-July 22
Frog Clan, Strong Sun Moon
“Safety and security are urgent needs for people born under the sign of Woodpecker,” writes Noe. If you’re a Woodpecker, the water element, connected to emotions, influences you. You may freely express your sometimes intense emotions. Because of your heightened sensitivity, you might be wary, especially when you first encounter a person or situation. You also belong to the Frog clan, which encourages talking about feelings. Your deep sensitivity also gives you strong empathy and you will thrive when you feel as though loved ones truly have your best interests at heart.
You may be protective of your own boundaries or shy about letting people in at first. You may have a tendency to be moody or even come across as aloof. This is really misunderstood shyness, and once you warm up to those around you, you show your nurturing side. You are trustworthy and trusting, so taking your time to get to know people at first can help you ensure those that you do bond with are worth your devotion. You belong to one of the most caring totem animals and those around you will thrive under your care and protection. Your domestic life may be especially important to you.
Salmon or Sturgeon, July 23-August 22
Thunderbird or Hawk Clan, Ripe Berries Moon
Salmon are known as the king of the fish and according to Noe, “They have an elegance and grace that we cannot help but admire.” Salmon is known to “overcome all obstacles silently, easily and with dignity”. As a Salmon, you’re connected to the fire element, which gifts you with “inner strength, passion and innate power. Salmons have fire in the heart.” This also blesses you with a generous side, especially with those in your inner circle.
As a Salmon, you have a strong personality and a well-defined sense of self. You know who you are and get better and better at sharing your authentic self as you gain in wisdom and experience. A strong sense of self-confidence is one of your assets and can help support your success. At times you may come across as a little arrogant. Your big heart and happy outlook mean others know you can be called on for help or assistance. You are also blessed with leadership skills. The fire element plus your dynamic nature mean you want to live life to the full. You are capable of taking on heavy responsibilities and may thrive in leadership roles.
Grizzly Bear (Brown Bear), August 23-September 22
Turtle Clan, Harvest Moon
In contrast to the size and power of the Bear, you can be shy and gentle, unless you feel threatened. Positive Bear traits that are gifted to you via
your totem animal are those of being good-natured, practical and adaptable. Earth is your element, which highlights gifts around being steadfast and reliable. You may enjoy an affinity with nature or find spending time in the great outdoors uplifting.
Consistency and routine can be important, as will having a stable and organised home life. You have a gift for using your practical talents and rational skills in a focused way. Relying on others doesn’t come naturally to you and you may prefer to operate independently. You are industrious and hard-working and others love how solid you are. You have an eye for detail and approach any challenge or goal systemically. Once you set your mind to something, you persevere and are diligent about dealing with responsibilities. You may struggle with a perfectionist streak or be a bit pedantic. Learning to develop tolerance will help you adopt a more accepting attitude towards both yourself and others.
Raven, September 23-October 23
Butterfly Clan, Ducks Fly Moon
The Raven is believed to be “an intelligent and capable bird” that is respected as a “balancing agent in nature” according to Noe. Your element is air, which helps keep you connected to those around you. This can gift you with talents at socialising, or bless you with a friendly and approachable nature. As a Raven you are associated with “harmonious and peaceful interactions” and may have skills with diplomacy and mediation. You easily accommodate others, sometimes overly so.
Your love of debate and willingness to see both sides of a situation reflect your well-developed sense of fairness and justice. Your skills at deliberation can sometimes shift into being indecisive, so try to find a balance between research, discussion and taking action. Ravens can find it hard to be alone, and you may be comfortable in a group or when working as part of a team. Confrontations may be uncomfortable for you and sometimes you may walk away from a tense situation rather than deal with it. Try not to let others have an unnecessary influence on your choices. Learning to express your own needs and wants will help you create meaningful balance.
Snake/Serpent, October 24-November 21
Frog Clan, Freeze Up Moon
The Snake is a “symbol for transformation and renewal” and “commands a great deal of respect”, says Noe. “The Serpent has also been seen as the protector of the mysteries of life.” Associated with the water element, the Snake represents “deep emotions and unconscious, spiritual needs”. As a Snake you may have a knack for observation, or the ability to understand “deep psychological undercurrents in other people”. As a member of the Frog clan, one of your strengths is in your “good judgement and intuition”. You are considered “experts of the soul”.
Your Snake totem may make you enchanting, enigmatic and unfathomable. You may always “want to know more than what your eyes can see”. You may excel in fields related to research and science, but can also have an interest in magic, the occult arts and sciences and psychology. You may be drawn to situations or people that are “obscure, ambiguous and dark”. Mysteries fascinate you, which may bless you with investigative talents. You can be competitive and once you take on a task will be persistent and determined. Noe says as a Snake you are a “true survivor who often lives between extremes”.
Owl/Elk, November 22-December 21
Thunderbird or Hawk Clan, Long Snows Moon
The Owl is a symbol for knowledge, wisdom and observation. Ancient cultures revered the Owl for its accuracy and insight. Your element is fire, but it is a more contained style of flame, like the embers of a slow-burning fire. Your fire element gifts you with “spontaneity, enthusiasm and idealism”, says Noe. Via the totem association to the Owl, “fire is used to acquire spiritual knowledge”. You strive to develop knowledge and understanding and always ponder the meaning of life deeply. As an Owl you are blessed with enduring strength. Your search for truth and purpose means you are always open to experiences that will add richness to life.
You are likely committed to your ideals and others may be inspired by your energy and enthusiasm. Freedom and independence are important and you prefer not to be tied down. You can be a little overzealous, especially about topics or passions you truly believe in. You have an open nature and can get straight to the point. Learning tolerance and acceptance of different opinions will be important. You have a thirst for life and an adventurous attitude.