What Is Your Birth Totem?

Discover Your Birth Animal Totem

animal-birth-totem

Most people know the sign of the Zodiac that they were born under. That is your Sun sign. Do you know the animal totem or birth totem associated with your birth or your Moon Sign? There are a set of native totem animals for each of the 12 moons of a year and we carry them with us throughout our lives.

We are given totems by Mother Earth according to which of the Moons we were born under. Totems of distinct animals, plants, minerals, colors, elements (fire, water, air, earth), and wind directions. We share our basic dispositions with the basic characteristics of these totems. We can learn everything about ourselves by studying these birth month animals.

Follow me as I explain the twelve animal totems and their meanings associated with each Moon of the year from Native American beliefs.

Goose or Snow Goose Birth Totem

December 22 to January 19
snow goose birth totem

Moon: December 22 – Jan 19 Earth Renewal
Animal: Goose or Snow Goose
Plant: Birch Tree or Bramble
Mineral: Quartz or Peridot
Color: White
Spirit Keeper: Waboose (White Buffalo)
Power Direction: North
Element: Earth
Elemental Clan: Turtle

Determination and Resourcefulness

Persevering, determined, and ambitious to a fault, the Goose Totem sets goals for accomplishment, and always obtains them. The Goose is determined to succeed at all costs not for the approval of others, but Goose Totem competes with their own internal foe. Driven is Goose Totem’s dominating personality trait. If you want something done, give it to the Goose! – from Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams

Otter Birth Totem

January 20 to February 18

Sea Otters
Sea Otters

Moon: January 20 – February 18 Rest & Cleansing
Animal: Otter
Plant: Quaking Aspen or Fern
Mineral: Silver or Turquoise
Color: Silver
Spirit Keeper: Waboose (White Buffalo)
Power Direction: North
Element: Air
Elemental Clan: Butterfly

Joy – Primal Feminine Energy

Otters awaken curiosity. They remind us that everything is interesting if we look at it from the right angle. Birth Totem Otter is in a continual search of information, ideas and concepts. However, in their enthusiasm to glean as much knowledge as quickly as possible, there may be a tendency to skim the surface, rather than explore the deeper waters that would result in truer understanding.

A little eccentric and unconventional, the Birth Totem Otter is a hard one to figure sometimes. The Otter Totem’s methods aren’t the first ones 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! The Otter Totem may have an unusual way of looking at things, but is equipped with a brilliant imagination and intelligence. – Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams

Wolf Birth Totem

February 19 to March 20
wolf birth totem

Moon: February 19 – March 20 Big Winds
Animal: Wolf
Plant: Plantain
Mineral: Turquoise or Jade
Color: Blue-Green
Spirit Keeper: Waboose (White Buffalo)
Power Direction: North
Element: Water
Elemental Clan: Frog

Teacher – Pathfinder

Wolf is the pioneer, the forerunner of new ideas, to teach and share with others what they have learned. Wolves have an enormous sense of family as well as a strong individualistic urge. Baying at moon is wolf’s desire to connect with new ideas just below the surface of consciousness, for the moon is a symbol for psychic energy. – Medicine cards by Jamie Sams

A Book Teaching Of The Power Of Animal Totems

wolf totem
Totems: The Transformative Power of Your Personal Animal Totem

Red Hawk or Falcon Birth Totem

March 21 to April 19
red hawk birth totem

Moon: March 21 – April 19 Budding Trees or Awakening
Animal: Red Hawk or Falcon
Plant: Dandelion
Mineral: Fire Opal
Color: Yellow or Yellow-Green
Spirit Keeper: Wabun (Golden Eagle)
Power Direction: East
Element: Fire
Elemental Clan: Thunderbird or Hawk

Mental Speed – Agility – Focus

A natural born leader, those with a Falcon Totem are always looked upon for clear judgment in sticky situations. Falcon never wastes time; they strike while the iron is hot, and take action in what must be done. Falcon is honored and respected for its keen eyesight, speed of flight, and precision of movement.

Beaver Birth Totem

April 20 to May 20

Beaver Gnawing Bark of Alder Branch Cut for Food (Castor Canadensis), North America
Beaver Gnawing Bark

Moon: April 20 – May 20
Animal: Beaver
Plant: Wild Clover
Mineral: Jasper – Bloodstone
Color: Blue or Yellow
Spirit Keeper: Wabun (Golden Eagle)
Power Direction: East
Element: Earth
Elemental Clan: Turtle

Dream Builder

Beaver is the builder of the Animal Kingdom, and has a strong sense of family and home. In building its home, you will find several entrances and exits.

Beaver never limits itself to one escape route. Beaver’s lesson for us is: ‘not to paint ourselves in a corner’. In addition, Beaver is well equipped to protect its creation.

Deer Birth Totem

May 21 to June 20
deer birth totem

Moon: May 21 – June 20 Complanting or Flower
Animal: Deer
Plant: Yarrow
Mineral: Moss Agate
Color: White and green
Spirit Keeper: Wabun (Golden Eagle)
Power Direction: North
Element: Air
Elemental Clan: Butterfly

Gentleness – Innocence

The Deer is lively, quick-witted and always aware of her surroundings. Ever alert for the subtlest of movements and the slightest sounds that warn her of impending danger. Yet, her own flightiness often leads her straight into the sights of the hunter.

Jamie Sams Teaches About Animal Totems

medicine cards
Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals

I use these cards quite often during the month. It is fascinating how accurate the messages are with what is going on with my life when I do a reading with the cards. Sams also gives instructions on how to determine what your nine power totems are by using the cards. A very nice book with the information about each animal represented on the cards and the medicine they teach us.

Woodpecker Birth Totem

June 21 to July 21/22

Pileated Woodpecker, Caddo Lake, Texas, USA
Pileated Woodpecker

Moon: June 21 – July 21/22 Strong Sun
Animal: Woodpecker
Plant: Wild Rose
Mineral: Carnelian Agate
Color: pink or rose
Spirit Keeper: Shawnodese (Coyote)
Power Direction: South
Element: Water
Elemental Clan: Frog

Sensitive – Emotional – Protective

Birth Totem Woodpecker is the most nurturing of the animal symbols, the consummate listener, totally empathetic and understanding. The primary focus for Woodpecker is to be completely devoted to another, even at the expense of the self. When Woodpecker bores into a tree in search of insects for food, she uses her beak and head to drum out the holes and uncover her meal. This symbolizes to us, to gain emotional perspective, to learn detachment, and to use our head instead of recklessly following our heart.

Salmon or Sturgeon Birth Totem

July 22/23 to Aug 21/22

Moon: July 22/23 – Aug 21/22 Ripe Berries or Ripening
Animal: Salmon or Sturgeon
Plant: Raspberry
Mineral: Garnet
Color: Red
Spirit Keeper: Shawnodese (Coyote)
Power Direction: South
Element: Fire
Elemental Clan: Thunderbird or Hawk

Wisdom – Inner Knowing

Salmon, despite strong river currents, will always return to the place of its creation. Its determination is driven by the wisdom of instinct and inner-knowing, which yields a sense of purpose that cannot be stopped by outside forces. Salmon tells us to trust our gut feelings and inner-knowing.

Salmon teaches us to see every bend in the river as a new adventure, with a lesson we need to learn to grow, even when the flow of life seems to push us back, we can tap the hidden resources of our human spirit.

Brown Bear Birth Totem

August 22/23 to September 21/22
brown bear birth totem
Moon: August 22/23 – September 21/22 Harvest
Animal: Brown Bear
Plant: Violets
Mineral: Amethyst
Color: Purple
Spirit Keeper: Shawnodese (Coyote)
Power Direction: South
Element: Earth
Elemental Clan: Turtle

Keeper of Unconscious Knowledge

Bear seeks honey, or the sweetness of truth, inside the hollow of an old tree, and enters the cave, or womb, to hibernate, and to digest the year’s experiences. Bear seeks answers while hibernating, or dreaming, and then is reborn in the spring. Bear teaches us that to accomplish the goals and dreams we carry enter the silence within. If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions resides within us.

Animal Spirit Guides Handbook


Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers

Raven or Crow BirthTotem

September 22/23 to October 22/23
raven birth totem

Moon: September 22/23 – October 22/23 Ducks Fly or Falling Leaves
Animal: Raven or Crow
Plant: Mullein
Mineral: Jasper
Color: Brown or Blue
Spirit Keeper: Mudjekeewis (Grizzly Bear)
Power Direction: West
Element: Air
Elemental Clan: Butterfly

Keeper of Sacred Law

Crow knows the Unknowable Mysteries of Creation and is Keeper of All Sacred Law. This Totem signifies first-hand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than that indicated by Human Law. Crow see the physical and spiritual world, ( as humanity interprets them ) are an illusion and can simultaneously see the past, present, and future. Crow merges the light and darkness, seeing both inner and outer reality.

Snake Birth Totem

October 23/24 to November 21/22

Moon: October 23/24 – November 21/22 Freeze Up or Frost
Animal: Snake
Plant: Thistle
Mineral: Copper
Color: Orange or Violet
Spirit Keeper: Mudjekeewis (Grizzly Bear)
Power Direction: West
Element: Water
Elemental Clan: Frog

Wisdom – Healing – Symbol of Eternity

The shedding of Snake’s skin symbolizes the transformation of the life-death-rebirth cycle. They are compelled toward evolution and transformation, driven to discard the past and emerge with new ‘flesh’. It is the energy of wholeness, cosmic consciousness and the ability to experience anything willingly and without resistance. It is the
knowledge that all things are equal in creation, and that even things experienced as ‘poison’ can be integrated and transmuted with the proper state of mind.

Owl Birth Totem

November 22/23 to December 21
owl birth totem

Moon: November 22/23 – December 21 Long Snows
Animal: Owl
Plant: Black Spruce
Mineral: Obsidian
Color: Black or Gold
Spirit Keeper: Mudjekeewis (Grizzly Bear)
Power Direction: West
Element: Fire

Elemental Clan: Thunderbird or Hawk

Magic and Wisdom

Owl hunts his prey at night. Not only can Owl see in the dark, it can also accurately locate and recognize any sound. This gives it a great advantage when seeking food. Owl’s feathers are silent. You cannot hear an owl when it flies, but its prey definitely knows when it strikes! Owl is a symbol for wisdom, because Owl can see what others cannot. No one can deceive the Owl about what they are doing, no matter how hard they try to disguise or hide it from the Owl.

Animal Totems Taught By Ted Andrews


Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small

I own this book and refer to it often. I like the detail that the author gives on not just the animal spirits but the other aspects he touches on, also.

I know this post is rather long but I thought you might enjoy having a brief description of all of the birth totems in one place. If you want to know more about an individual birth totem and all of his or her messages just do a search at the top of the page.

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Beverly Two Feathers

Beverly Two Feathers is my spiritual name, other places I use my Anglo name you can find me as Beverly Owens on Google +

2 thoughts on “What Is Your Birth Totem?”

  1. Hi, these seem to go in line with western astrology signs – the elements and animals placed seem to correlate very closely to the deep meanings of the zodiac signs (beaver being a Taurus and building home; snake rebirth aka Scorpio, who’s in charge of death/life, etc.) What is this compilation based on? Actual Native American tradition (and if so, which?) or was it out together using the western zodiac as a blueprint? If the former, the correlations are impressive. I just wonder how much zodiac influence was used in this chart.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Michael. Everything in the universe is connected. The astrology signs are considered sun signs and the totem birth signs are considered moon signs. One could only study the sun signs but they would be missing part of the understandings of the teachings for the path that they are on. Together, the study of both sun and moon signs helps to clarify the whole. It is not coincidental, in my humble opinion, that the two are so closely related. The ancients were wiser than most give them credit for. What I think is so incredible is that in different parts of the world, humans were using the same animals, signs etc to understand and put meaning to the times of the moon/sun of the year and the personality traits that people would have if born under that “sign”. The birth totems are pretty universally used for most tribal traditions, as far as I know. Oh, there are a few variations but not many. With that, I have felt for many years that the knowledge of the ancients in both sun and moon signs was passed on by a higher being. In my tradition that would be the Great Spirit, other traditions might call that being by another name. As to whether a culture followed the sun or the moon in their understandings would vary from where on the planet they were. Pretty amazing that they are so similar in meaning, don’t you think?

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