Updated: Sep 19, 2019
Native American culture has always been heavily influenced by nature. Most tribes hold nature as a sacred part of life. People, who are familiar with the Western Zodiac, often want to know if Native Americans have a similar concept. The short answer is yes. Although, the animals and meanings are vastly different from the Zodiac most people are familiar with, the Native American Zodiac describes the nature of a person's personality based on the hemisphere and date they were born.
The core philosophy of Native American birth totems is connectivity. People are connected to the universe, the stars, and nature as a whole. What Native American astrology seeks to illustrate is this connection, which can be hard to see as we go about our daily lives in the modern era.
Some of the key differences between the Western Zodiac and Native astrology is its multifaceted nature. The Native American Zodiac takes into account numerous pieces of astronomical data to provide people with a deeper understanding of the animal that represents who they are.
Stones between the 4 cardinal directions of the medicine wheel are considered birth stones
Snow Goose – Direction. December 22 - January 19 The Earth Renewal Moon
The Earth Renewal Moon is the first moon of Buffalo, The Spirit Keeper of the North.
This moon begins at the time of the winter solstice when father Sun starts his return from his journey South and begins to bring the warmth that quickens growth in the Earth Mother and all her children.
The stone representing this moon is placed one-quarter of the way to the East in the northern quadrant, moving clockwise.
The mineral totem for the Earth Renewal Moon is the Quartz Crystal,
The plant is the Birch Tree,
The animal is the Snow Goose.
The color is white. The elemental clan influencing this position is the Turtle clan. The Earth Renewal Moon teaches you to be as clear a receiver and transmitter of universal energy as the Crystal, as important a communicator of the ancient knowledge as the Birch Tree, and as respectful of tradition and ritual as the Snow Goose. This is a position with the potential for great power. The Earth Renewal Moon teaches you to be fluid, yet proper in conduct as well as clear, adaptable, prudent, and wise.
People in this position have keen vision, are good ceremonialists, and can take large steps in their personal evolution. If you want something done – give it to the Goose. Persevering, dogged, and ambitious to a fault, the Goose sets goals for accomplishment, and always obtains them. The goose is determined to succeed at all cost – not for the approval of other – but those with this Native American animal symbol competes with his/her own internal foe. Driven is the watchword for the Goose’s dominating personality trait – which makes them excellent in business and competitive sports. When tempered with supportive, nurturing family and friends, the Goose excels in all things he/she attempts. In a loving environment the Goose can be very passionate, humorous, gregarious, and even sensual. However, lead to his/her own devises, the Goose may fall into obsessive or addictive behaviors that will inevitably be his/her demise.
Snow Goose people need to guard against becoming blocked, against using their enormous power incorrectly, and against being so perfectionist they never have time for fun.
Otter - The Humanitarian . January 20 - February 18 The Rest and Cleansing Moon
The Rest and Cleansing Moon is the second Moon of the Buffalo.
The stone for this Moon is placed midway between the Northern and Eastern stones.
Silver is the mineral totem for the Rest and Cleansing Moon,
the Quaking Aspen is the plant totem,
the Otter is the animal totem,
and silver is the color.
This position is influenced by the Butterfly Clan. People experiencing this Moon are considered as valuable as Silver, as lighthearted as the music of Aspen leaves, and as playful as the Otter. The Otter position can help you truly to like people, yourself included, and to be more humanitarian in your views. This is a time when you can excel in communication, in developing your intellect, and in romance. The Rest and Cleansing Moon can help you both to develop your psychic abilities and to uncover the clever, bold, humanitarian, and gentle aspects of your own being. A little quirky, and unorthodox, the Otter is a hard one to figure sometimes. Perceived as unconventional, Otter methods aren’t the first to be chosen to get the job done. This is a big mistake on the part of others – because although unconventional, the Otter’s methods are usually quite effective. Yes, the Otter has an unusual way of looking at things, but he/she is equipped with a brilliant imagination and intelligence, allowing him/her an edge over every one else. Often very perceptive and intuitive, the Otter makes a very good friend, and can be very attentive. In a nurturing environment the Otter is sensitive, sympathetic, courageous, loyal and honest. Left to his/her own devices, the Otter can be unscrupulous, lewd, rebellious, and isolated.
Although Otter people have the potential to be noble and loving, they need to guard against dreaming so much that none of their noble ideas ever become reality.
Cougar - Leadership without insisting. February 19 - March 20 The Big Winds Moon
The big Winds Moon is the last moon of Buffalo, Spirit Keeper of the North.
The stone representing this moon is placed three-quarters of the way between North and East.
The mineral totem for the Big Winds Moon is turquoise,
the plant is the plantain,
the animal is the cougar,
the colors are blue and green,
the elemental clan influence is that of the Frog clan. Turquoise can teach people in this position about the real meaning of value and about protection. The plantain can teach them about their healing abilities, and the cougar can teach them about mystery and the need to establish safe territory. The Big Winds Moon can help you discover your own natural medicine power and the depth of your psychic abilities. In this position you will learn about your deep sensitivity, your yearning for spirituality, your hesitation to express your true feelings, and your need for grounding on the earth.
People experiencing the Big Winds Moon can be prone to moodiness and to melancholy. They need to learn to temper their sensitivity and to have a greater sense of reality.
East- Southern hemisphere
Red Hawk - Observant. Messengers of the Gods. March 21 - April 19 The Budding Trees Moon
The Budding Trees Moon is the first moon of Wabun, Spirit Keeper of the east and occurs at the time of the spring equinox.
The stone for this moon is placed one-quarter of the way between Eastern and Southern Stones in the outer circle.
The mineral totem for the Budding Trees Moon is the Fire Opal,
the plant is the Dandelion,
the animal is the Red-tailed Hawk.
The color is yellow.
This position is directly influenced by the Thunderbird clan. The Fire Opal can teach people in this position about the need for Water--the emotions--in tempering their fiery energy.
The Dandelion can show them the advantages of taking root as well as flying.
The Red Hawk can demonstrate the joy of freedom and of a long, clear view.
The Budding trees Moon will teach you about energy, intensity, catalyzing change, fearlessness, and optimism. Being in this position will show you your leadership ability, the enormity of our own spirit, and the extent of your clear-sightedness.
People experiencing the Budding Trees Moon need to learn to channel their energies, contain their tempers, and be more patient with others.
Beaver - Builder and do-er. April 20 - May 20 The Frogs Return Moon
The frogs Return Moon is the second moon of Wabun of the East.
The Stone for this Moon is placed midway between the Eastern and Southern Stones in the outer Circle.
The mineral totem for this Moon is the Chrysocolla,
the plant is the Blue Camas, and
the animal is the Beaver.
The color is blue and the elemental clan influence is the Turtle clan. From the Chrysocolla, people in this position learn to balance the Earth and Sky within themselves;
from the Blue Camas, to sustain themselves and others;
from the Beaver, to make all environments as pleasant as possible.
This is the position to explore when you wish to learn about stability, the value of hard work, luck, and your ability to create and maintain an orderly and beautiful environment. The Frogs Return Moon will teach you about perseverance, patience, stability, and practicality.
People in this position need to guard against being too stubborn, overindulging, and holding back all their feelings.
Deer - Power and gentleness. May 21 - June 20 The Corn planting Moon
The Corn planting Moon is the third Moon of Wabun, the Spirit Keeper of the East.
The Stone representing this Moon is placed three-quarters of the way between the Eastern and Southern Stones in the outer circle
The mineral totem for the Corn planting Moon is the Moss Agate.
The plant totem is the Yarrow, and
The animal is Deer.
The colors are green and white, and
the elemental influence is from the Butterfly clan. The Moss Agate teaches people in this position to clearly see their link with the mineral and plant kingdoms.
The Yarrow teaches about both cleansing and strengthening.
The Deer demonstrates the beauty of grace and quick movement.
This position teaches about beauty in yourself, in others, and in your environment and teaches about your own healing abilities. This position will point out any cutting edges in your personality, the necessity of balancing time and energy, and your ability to create.
People experiencing the Deer position need to learn to be more consistent, less suspicious, and more willing to show some of their own deep feelings.
Flicker – Music. June 21 - July 22 The Strong Sun Moon
The Strong Sun Moon is the first moon of Mouse,
Spirit Keeper of the South, and occurs at the time of the summer solstice.
The Stone honoring this position is placed one-quarter of the way between the southern and western Stones of the Medicine Wheel.
The mineral totem for the Strong Sun Moon is Carnelian Agate,
the plant is the Wild Rose,
the animal is Flicker.
The color is pink,
the elemental influence is from the Frog clan (water). From the Carnelian, people experiencing this position can learn about their strong heart connection; from the Rose, about their ability both to heal and to inspire;
from Flicker, about their desire for self-expression.
The Strong Sun Moon teaches about the importance of the emotions and the need for a strong home base.
People experiencing the energy of this position are intuitive and wild in some aspects of being, but conservative and home loving in others. The Strong Sun Moon will educate you about the law of relationship and about family, mothering, and nurturing.
While working with Flicker you must guard against wallowing in all your emotions and about fearing to take any stand.
Sturgeon - Moving through life, swimming. July 23 - August 22 The Ripe Berries Moon
The second Moon of Mouse, Spirit Keeper of the South is the Ripe Berries Moon.
The Stone for this position is placed midway between the Southern and Western Stones in the outer Circle .
Iron and Garnet are the mineral totems for this Moon,
Raspberry is the plant totem, and
Sturgeon is the animal totem.
The color is red and this position is influenced by the Thunderbird clan (Fire). Iron teaches people in this position about their strength and Garnet shows them their heart is the source of that strength.
From the Raspberry they learn about their sweetness and the thorns they project to protect this part of themselves from other people.
Sturgeon shows them their depth and their need to teach. Ripe Berries Moon teaches how to work from the heart-center, how to demonstrate affection, how to face fears, and how to develop leadership abilities. This Moon helps develop courage and power.
People experiencing Sturgeon energy need to guard against impulsiveness, arrogance, and a tendency to dominate any scenario.
Brown Bear - Sweetness of truth. August 23 - September 22 The Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon is the last moon of mouse of the South.
The Stone Honoring this position is placed three-quarters of the way between the Southern and Western Stones.
The mineral totem for this position is the Amethyst,
the plant totem is the Violet,
the animal totem is the Brown Bear.
The color is purple
the elemental influence comes from the Turtle clan. The Amethyst can teach people experiencing this moon about good judgement and justice; the Violet, about their ability to penetrate to secret regions of the heart and soul; and the Brown Bear about their capacity for creative curiosity. The Harvest Moon teaches about discrimination, fair decisions, good sense, perseverance, confidence, and the ability to analyze. The energy of this position is one of balance, rationality, and practicality. This is the place on the Wheel that will help you truly understand the concepts of work and duty. In the Brown Bear place you need to guard against being overly critical of others, or cynical about life.
Raven - Keeper of Sacred law. September 23 - October 23 The Ducks Fly Moon
This is the first moon of Grizzly Bear, Spirit-Keeper of the West, Father of the Winds.
The animal of this time is the talkative, social, trickster bird, the Raven;
the plant is the mullein;
the mineral is bloodstone jasper; the color, brown;
the element, air (the Butterfly Clan).
People born under this moon, or experiencing its influence, seek to deeply understand the concept of balance in all aspects of life. They will sometimes go to extremes in order to find the mid-point of balance, occasionally confusing others who don't have the Raven's ability to change their minds quickly and easily. Raven people are great communicators, who enjoy conversation for it's own sake. They are comfortable in most situations, and can help other people to feel that way also.
They need to temper their changeability, and to remember to make important decisions in a timely and decisive manner.
Snake - Power of creation. Transmutation. October 24 - November 21 The Freeze Up Moon
This is the second moon of Grizzly Bear, Spirit-Keeper of the West, Father of the Winds.
The stone honoring this time is placed midway between the Western and Northern stones in the outer circle
The mineral totems are copper and malachite,
the plant is thistle,
the animal is Snake.
The color is orange
the Frog Clan is the direct elemental (water) influence. Copper teaches people experiencing the Freeze Up Moon about how to focus their energies and malachite teaches them to be more sensitive to all energies.
The thistle demonstrates healing abilities and versatility.
The Snake teaches adaptability and the capacity to silently travel to places others might fear to go.
This is the position to learn how to travel between the different realms of creation and how to become a messenger for the spiritual aspects of life. The Snake position will teach you about the extent of your own energy, your ability to create change, your inquisitiveness, your desire for truth, and your keen sight.
When working with the Freeze Up Moon you must be careful to keep yourself grounded and not to become too suspicious of people.
Elk - Stamina. To go the distance. November 22 - December 21 The Long Snows Moon
This is the third moon of Grizzly Bear, Spirit-Keeper of the West, Father of the Winds
The stone honoring this time is placed just before the Northern stone in the outer circle The mineral totem is Obsidian,
the plant is the Black Spruce Tree,
the animal is magnificent Elk.
The color is black
the Thunderbird Clan is the direct elemental (fire) influence.
This is the third moon of Grizzly Bear, the time when autumns gentle and changeable weather begins to hint more and more of the uncompromising winter fast approaching. People born under this moon, or experiencing its influence, are concerned with the welfare of others, and with doing their part to make it a just world. They are insightful people who, in times of self-clarity, can reflect to others what those other's need to see.
Elk people love to teach anything they have learned to anyone who will listen. If they are sensitive to others they can become master teachers in any field.
Elk people have a dramatic flair, and a good business sense that contributes to their teaching ability. They need to curb their competitiveness, and to be tactful in order to be all they can be.