Animals are an important part of Native American culture and there are representations of just about every animal imaginable in the symbolism of Native American horoscopes.
We’ll focus primarily, in this article, on the animals most closely associated with birth months, in other words, the zodiac of Native American tribes. Similar to the Greek horoscopes that we use today, Native American tribes held the belief that the time of year a person is born into will directly affect a person’s personal characteristics. Similar to the animal symbols of the modern horoscope, the Native one is also represented by animals.
Native American Astrology originated nearly about 5000 years ago. It was the ancient Native American people who planned to develop a system which will allow them to derive the maximum benefits from the rhythms of life. This led to the evolution of the Native American Astrology.
The MesoAmerican calendar mechanism that was created with the aim to harmonize life with the natural events is one of the ancient and the most accurate form existing till date. This form of astrology has its zodiacs named after animal names, because Native American cultures have most of their myths and legends with animals as the principal characters. These people believe that animals play an important role in preaching crucial life lessons to the younger generation and thus, the zodiacs have also been created on the basis of animal guides.
The twelve signs of the Native American Astrology have been named after the twelve animals:
Like Western astrology, the Native American astrology also has 12 animal totems. In their astrological chart, one year is divided into four important sections (or clans)―North Wind (Winter), East Wind (Spring), South Wind (Summer), and West Wind (Fall). Each clan consists of three zodiac animals. The following chart will give you a quick view at the months and dates that divide these signs, and also tell you of your animal totem according to your birth date.
Otter (Jan 20 to Feb 18)
Western Zodiac: Aquarius ♒
Stone/Mineral: Silver or Turquoise
Traits: Unconventional, Independent, Friendly
Compatible With: Deer, Raven, FalconThe otter is an unconventional creature which behaves differently than its closest kin, the weasel. The traits of those born under this symbol are quite similar to this totem. They are highly creative, friendly, independent, and tend to view life in a way that is seldom understood by others. They are intuitive beings and tend to look beyond what may meet the eye. They are not afraid to experiment and are highly witty by nature. Because of this, many people may take them to be stupid or foolish, only to realize that their eccentricity got them to the right path.
Otters can be great friends and companions, and they will always pay heed to their friends’ needs with sensitivity and undivided attention. However, on the flip side, they can become somewhat rebellious, unscrupulous, and detached from society, especially if their out-of-the box perception fails to be compatible with others. The detachment gives them a sort of freedom that they crave for when it comes to living life on their own terms.
Wolf (Feb 19 to Mar 20)
Element: Air and Water
Western Zodiac: Pisces ♓
Stone/Mineral: Turquoise or Jade
Traits: Sensitive, Intuitive, Generous
Compatible With: Bear, Woodpecker, SnakeThough we all tend to see the wolf as this lone, dangerous, and deadly creature, the Native Americans see it as a generous and caring creature. Those belonging to this clan are highly sensitive to their surrounding environment, like the wolf. Every positive or negative energy will affect them, which is why they are likely to lose themselves in the joy or troubles of others. A wolf is also a hunter who is strongly attached to its pack. Similarly, the bearers of this animal totem tend to hunt for spiritual fulfillment and the meaning of life. They belong to their pack, and a loss of any of its member, or their permanent lover, can prove to be devastating for them.
Wolves will sacrifice themselves to fulfill your needs. Their gentleness and generosity will make life seem to be a lovable journey indeed! However, if they suffer from an emotional blow, which they often do, these people can become extremely revengeful, resistant to change or authority, and impractical. They need someone to keep their head straight and their demeanor composed during turbulent times, else they can become highly vicious and wild.
Falcon (Mar 21 to Apr 19)
Western Zodiac: Aries ♈
Color(s): Yellow, Green
Traits: Powerful, Spontaneous, Sapient
Compatible With: Salmon, OwlA falcon is viewed as the fearless leader in Native American astrology. This creature is powerful, clear-eyed, and is not afraid of the turbulent winds of life. What makes the members of this clan born leaders is their ability to clearly look through the fogginess of a situation. They can weigh the pros and cons of any undertaking and are highly efficacious when it comes to getting a clear shot at their aim. They are persistent, stubborn, and confident. They will not hesitate to initiate anything that seems right to them. They are the perfect role models for other signs that are hesitant and have doubts about their judgment. They are also the ones who instill passion and fire in the environment.
On the negative side, falcons tend to be quite self-opinionated at times, and who could blame them, for they are gifted in this area. Also, if they fail to find a positive environment where their actions are appreciated, these people tend to become highly impatient, rude, adamant, and over-sensitive, which may not prove to be fruitful in the long run, especially when it comes to their personal relationships.
Beaver (Apr 20 to May 20)
Element: Fire and Air
Western Zodiac: Taurus ♉
Color(s): Yellow, Blue
Stone/Mineral: Jasper, Hematite
Traits: Practical, Hardworking, Reliable
Compatible With: Goose, Woodpecker, BearIt is remarkable how the beaver is highly strategic when it comes to digging underground tunnels and structures to create a safer haven for itself, free from the hardships and troubles of the outside world. Those belonging to this sign also believe in acquiring material possessions to live a comfortable life, free from misery and limitations. Which is why, they tend to use their heads while making decisions. They tend to go with the already established norms, and are not quite the risk takers. They are great providers, ensuring that their loved ones have all their materialistic and emotional needs fulfilled. They are also very helpful and loyal to the ones they love.
On the other hand, beavers do have a cunning side to them. While soaring high in their ambition, they can become quite authoritative, for which they do get into trouble at times. Also, they tend to become excessively cowardly, nervous, and desperate if they tend to control a given situation. It is also not easy for them to let go, for which they can be quite resentful and scheming.
Deer (May 21 to Jun 20)
Element: Fire and Earth
Western Zodiac: Gemini ♊
Color(s): Yellow, Blue
Traits: Moody, Intelligent, Conversationalist
Compatible With: Raven, OtterThe deer is an enchanter that grabs everyone’s attention. It is admirable for its looks, sharp senses, and swiftness. You will hardly find this creature steady at one place as it is always on the move, just as the member of this clan. Those born under this symbol are highly inquisitive in nature, which compels them to constantly move from one place to the other. They are also very particular about their appearance and tend to be well-groomed. Being quite sharp and intelligent, they can engage practically anybody in a great conversation, which makes them great hosts. They are constantly looking for stimulation and excitement in life, which makes them highly moody and fickle-minded.
Although they are amazing friends, imparting their humor and liveliness to the lives of others, on the downside, they can become quite lazy, selfish, impatient, demanding, and undependable. Being an equivalent to the western zodiac symbol, Gemini, these people can show their two-faced personality quite often due to their constant mood swings.
Woodpecker (Jun 21 to Jul 21)
Western Zodiac: Cancer ♋
Stone/Mineral: Carnelian, Rose Quartz
Traits: Protective, Sensitive, Supportive
Compatible With: Snake, Wolf, BeaverWoodpeckers are known to provide the perfect nest for their offspring that consists of anything and everything that they need to thrive. So are the members of this clan. They are highly protective and supporting, playing the part of the much-needed listeners who empathizes and understands with love and patience. They are totally devoted to their loved ones and will shower all their love and care to them without fail. However, they can be overtly protective and jealous at times.
Yes, although woodpeckers are the most supportive and romantic of all other zodiacs, their highly sensitive nature can also make a thriving environment quite smothering. They are best to be with when their situation is well secure. A defeated or unsuccessful woodpecker is likely to peck into your life without realizing its limits. The negative traits that may show in these times include possessiveness, anger, resentment, and jealously.
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Salmon (Jul 22 to Aug 21)
Element: Fire and Water
Western Zodiac: Leo ♌
Traits: Proud, Energetic, Confident
Compatible With: Owl, FalconThe Native Americans take inspiration from the salmon in many ways, one of them being the difficult journey it takes in its lifetime to find the perfect spot for reproduction. Those who bear this totem are known to have a salmon’s traits of being highly determined, focused, and enthusiastic about their goals and ambitions. Their willpower is un-vanquishable, and so is their power to influence others. These clan members will easily spark the spirit of others and make them a part of their quests in life. They are also very creative and friendly in nature, and always find the kind of moral backup that they need in their lives. In a good environment, they can be quite generous, helpful, and loving.
However, these people also possess the negative traits of being egocentric, obnoxious, and intolerant towards the need of others. In such situations, it is natural for others to lose their faith in those belonging to this sign, which in turn ends up hurting the salmon’s ego furthermore.
Brown Bear (Aug 22 to Sept 21)
Element: Water and Earth
Western Zodiac: Virgo ♍
Color(s): Brown, Purple
Traits: Practical, Modest, Dutiful
Compatible With: Goose, BeaverThe bear is looked upon by the Native tribes as a creature who is methodical, intuitive, and levelheaded. This ability of the bear makes its clan members great mentors, especially when it comes to making others listen to the voice of reason. The practical and modest demeanor of these people makes them great confidants as they are always able to understand and decipher the important details of a coiled up situation. They are also very generous and giving to those they love and care for. They have a big-heart, patient attitude, and an intellectual and inquisitive mind. They have great analytical abilities which makes them great advisers.
On the other hand, bears do tend to be lazy at times. They can also be quite a bit of introverts and skeptical, which may prevent from exploring their inquisitiveness towards their surroundings. A negative experience in life may force them to stay aloof from mainstream society, where they live secluded in bitterness.
Raven (Sept 22 to Oct 22)
Element: Earth and Air
Western Zodiac: Libra ♎
Color(s): Brown, Blue
Traits: Peace-loving, Friendly, Diplomatic
Compatible With: Otter, DeerRavens are known to balance the extremities of two sides. The Native Americans believed this bird began its life as a white bird. However, as it grew, some wrong actions and sacrifices changed its color from white to black. Hence, this totem is also symbolic of our outer as well as inner self. Those born under this clan are peace-loving creatures who strive for harmony and unity in the environment. They often act as the wise old men of the group, whom others look up to for opinions and advice. They are good at avoiding and resolving conflicts, which is why, they share good terms with almost everybody.
On the downside of their personality, their diplomacy may seem unappealing to many. Also, the otherwise easygoing and charming raven may, under difficult situations, become quite spiteful, harsh, demanding, and inconsistent in nature.
Snake (Oct 23 to Nov 22)
Element: Water and Earth
Western Zodiac: Scorpio ♏
Color(s): Violet, Orange
Traits: Impulsive, Secretive, Spiritual
Compatible With: Woodpecker, WolfSnakes are perhaps one of the most feared-yet-mysterious animals among all, and the same mystery is observed in those born under this clan. If you carefully observe the snake, its ability to be present around us without any evident sign, shows the secretive nature of this reptile. Also, its ability to rejuvenate itself at regular intervals is what makes its clan members excellent healers, be it at a physical, spiritual, or emotional level. These people may be quite a challenge to understand, which is why, they may always be doubted for their actual intentions.
They are spiritual beings, meaning, they always find themselves connected to the ethereal elements of this world. If they have a positive outlook towards others, these individuals can be extremely loving, caring, and supportive to the needs of others. Mess with them, and you will get their powerful and deadly strikes, because they can be highly revengeful, violent, and emotionally unstable in their actions.
Owl (Nov 23 to Dec 21)
Element: Earth and Fire
Western Zodiac: Sagittarius ♐
Color(s): Gold, Black
Traits: Adventurous, Broadminded, Independent
Compatible With: Falcon, SalmonAn owl is admired for many of its unique qualities, including its natural ability to look clearly in the dark. This is the reason why individuals belonging to this clan have the potential to gain immense wisdom and philosophical enlightenment in life. They are great listeners and are very good at imparting advice when it comes to life and its meaning. It is interesting to note that the members of this clan are quite like and unlike their animal totem. This is because they are party animals, highly social and outgoing in nature, especially when it comes to going out at night.
On the other extreme, these individuals can become absolutely overindulgent, shrewd, and diabolical, if influenced by negativity. They can become extremely selfish and will not pay heed to anything related to morals or ethics when it comes to fulfilling their shallow and self-centered goals.
Goose (Dec 22 to Jan 19)
Element: Earth and Air
Western Zodiac: Capricorn ♑
Color(s): White, Silver
Stone/Mineral: Quartz, Peridot
Traits: Dependable, Ambitious, Methodical
Compatible With: Beaver, Bear, RavenThe goose is admired for its ambitiousness and reliability. These birds are also very methodical in their way of living. Have you ever noticed how they travel in a group? They fly in a V-shaped formation, where the strongest female among the lot is the leader, followed by the second-strongest, third-strongest, and the like. This strategy is favorable when it comes to breaking the wind and paving way for the others behind. The V-shaped formation also helps the geese flying behind to view their path clearly. Which is why, the bearer of this totem are totally driven towards achieving their goals and invariably succeed at any cost, due to the strategic and methodical approach in life. It is said, that if you need something to be done, the goose will do it for sure. These people make great business leaders and are known for their practicality and seriousness, especially when it comes to work. Towards their family and loved ones, they can be highly generous and kind, ensuring that they provide their dear ones with all the resources, be it tangible or intangible.
Although they are perfect in every way, the flip side of their character is that in an unfruitful environment, these people may live in the darkness of their inner self. Also, because these people are highly ambitious, it is likely that when in a rut, they may lose their emotional side and lead a very practical and mechanical life.
The Native Americans adored animals. They believed that animals were messengers of the superior power that governs the world, and it was by observing and communicating with them that one could evolve and unlock the mysteries of the world. We don’t really know why only these 12 animals were chosen as the astrological symbols of birth, what we know for sure is that, they did an impeccable job at coming down to these animals among the many, and associating human demeanour with their traits. If you carefully sum it all up, the traits of us humans and animals are not so different after all!