What Is Your Birth Totem?

Discover Your Birth Animal 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.

Living With Owl As Your Birth Totem

owl totem If your birthday falls between November 22nd and December 22nd then your moon sign is the Owl. This wise winged brother came to mentor you from the day you were born and will council you until your journey on earth ends. When you are ruled by the Owl totem you are a person who needs to understand from the deepest of levels. You are also often times able to see the higher purpose of things.

As a person who walks with owl medicine you often frighten people because you can not be deceived no matter how hard people try to disguise what they are up to. You may take this ability for granted but the people around you do not.

This spirit animal will often come to you at night through your dreams.  You might also see the actual predator around you at times. When he has a message for you, you might see owls everywhere you look both real and in images. Pay attention, Brother Owl is trying to share some wisdom with you.

He is a sacred medicine bird that helps the truth emerge with his silent flight, his omens and magic. He resides in the West Winds and so do you for the most part. The West direction is a place for personal reflections and insights. The Spirit Keeper of these west winds is Mudjekeewis (Grizzly Bear).

By having the Owl as your birth totem, you belong to the Hawk Clan. You belong to people who are creative, spiritual and are intent on actions and not just words. The Hawk Clan follows the element of fire.

Your stone guides are amber and obsidian. You will find good energy when you encounter these minerals and may benefit from wearing jewelry made from them. Another good idea is to get a sample of one or the other or both.

With the owl birth totem you are also connected to the plants of Poinsettia and carnations along with the colors of gold, crimson and purple. The trees which hold spiritual significance for you are Elder, Mulberry and Chestnut.

owl totem chart

I placed the chart above to help those of you remember the different parts of having the owl as your totem of birth. As you begin to work with your totems, the ones in the chart are good ones to begin looking at. Search for information about the West Wind and the other directions of the Medicine Wheel and what they mean. Find out the significance of belonging to the Hawk Clan and the element of fire. Find the meanings of the stones and the plants associated with your moon signs. Be like Brother Owl and find the wisdom of each of them. It will help you feel more balanced and will probably make a lot of sense to you because they are connected to you in such a personal way.

Obviously, this is just a start in your learning about your own totems. You also have power totems that walk with you on your earth journey along with messenger totems that journey with you for shorter periods of time.

Your Birth Totem Otter

If your birthday falls between January 20th and February 18th, your birth totem is the Otter. You were born under the element of air during the Rest and Cleansing Moon with Waboose (White Buffalo) acting as your Spirit Guide throughout your lifetime. You have a strong connection to the winds of the North and you belong to the Butterfly Clan. You will find a connection with your plant totem, the Quaking Aspen or the Fern. Silver or turquoise act as your mineral totem.

You are active physically, mentally, and emotionally because of your connection with the Butterfly Clan. You find new and unusual ways of doing things and like Air you are always shifting and moving much like the Butterfly. Butterfly people look for ways to serve the people and usually help others in the healing of mind, body, and spirit.

Two River Otters mug
Two River Otters by wildlifehotspots at Zazzle

But what does Otter bring you as your birth totem? Whether you are male or female, Otter looks at your feminine energy. Yes, guys, everyone has a feminine side to their inner being. Sister Otter teaches us the importance of balancing our energies.

We learn from the playful otter have a space where others can enter our lives without being judged with suspicion or any preconceived barriers. Otter is never jealous or catty. The Sisterhood of humans allows for us to believe that all accomplishments are beneficial for the entire tribe and should be celebrated. It does not matter whether you had the accomplishment or your neighbor had it.

Otter swims through the river of life spreading joy in her playful ways and her receptive nature.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

A Day To Reflect On Birth Totems

Today is my birthday, it is a day I take to reflect on my birth totems.  The gifts from Great Spirit given to me on the day that I took my first breath. Oh what precious gifts they have been! So, firstly I humbly thank you for these teachers that you so wisely chose for me.  You knew that I would need the Keeper of my spirit to be Wabun (Eagle) who would teach me to soar above the experiences ahead of me and give me the courage to survive them.  Beaver has given me a personality that feels strongly about family, a hard worker, a builder.  Making sure that I was born into the Turtle Clan gave me the strong connection to Mother Earth, I feel your pulse when I have my hands in the earth and feel your energy when I am around the Stone People (rocks).  Thank you, Great Spirit, for your wisdom in knowing just the right day for me to enter this lifetime.

Thank you to the Animal Spirits who chose me to teach as I came into my Earth Walk.  Elk teaches me my path to illumination in my East direction. Thank you Elk! Thank you Skunk for showing me when to be humble and when to trust in my South direction.  Coyote, you teach me about my personal truths and give me my inner answers and I thank you! Oh sweet Sister Deer, thank you for giving me wise council in my North direction.  Dolphin swims with me in my dream time.  Eagle, I most humbly thank you for being a double totem for my simple soul! You keep me grounded yet you encourage me to soar with great courage. Bat, you teach me about my sacred space and my personal truths, thank you. Blue Heron you walk on my right side and remind me that every traveler is a messenger and every destination is the beginning of a new life cycle. Raven, you chose to walk on my left side and teach me of the magic of life.  Thank you all for choosing to teach me your noble lessons!

Our day of birth is a glorious gift and we celebrate, for me it is a day of thanksgiving too. Thank you, Great Spirit, for this wondrous journey!

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

My Personal Power Totems

Yesterday I introduced you to the Power Totems that guide us throughout our lives. These Native American Totems choose us at birth and work with us during our lifetime.  Representing the directions of East, South, West, North, Above, Below, Within, and our left and right sides.

My East Totem is Elk. The animal that works with you in the East direction teaches you of your Spiritual Challenge and your path to illumination. Elk reminds me to pace myself and not to drain my own energy and also to align myself with support groups of my own gender.

My South Totem is Skunk. Don’t laugh! The South direction works with us on knowing when to be humble and when to trust. Skunk medicine teaches us how to use our energy to attract honor or disgrace…our reputations.

My West Totem is Coyote.  The west direction holds our personal truths and our inner answers.  Coyote seems odd for this direction but he works with the ability to laugh at myself.  He helps me to keep things light and not too serious.

My North Totem is Deer.  The north direction gives us wise council and Deer comes to me often with council. Gentleness is the message of Sister Deer. The gentleness of spirit that will heal all wounds. Loving people for who they are. Wise council and peaceful energy.

My Above Totem is Dolphin. The above direction reminds us of the Star Nation from where we came and it protects our Dreamtime.  Dolphin represents the “breath of life” and swims with me through my dreams helping me enter the rhythm of my inner being.  Dolphin brings the message that I am to be a link to some solution for the Children of Earth.

My Below Totem is Eagle.  The below direction works with us to be grounded. It might seem odd to have a flying animal to be my grounding animal. Eagle is connected to the Divine. In order to be grounded we must first be illuminated and look higher to Grandfather Sun with our hearts.

My Within Totem is Bat. The within direction is our sacred space or personal truth. Bat represents the rebirth of the soul. Bat works with me to let go of old habits, old patterns and to be reborn. We are always asked to grow. Bat reminds me to let the old die so that I can become my future.

My Right Side governs my male side. Blue Heron walks on my right side. Self reflection and the courage to look at myself honestly keeping my reflection in balance. I must act like a warrior to keep the enemy within at bay and defeat my personal weaknesses.

My Left side nurtures my female side. Raven walks on my right side. Magic and the power of the unknown are the gifts of Raven from the Great Spirit.

How did I find my power totems? I used the Medicine Cards of Jamie Sams to discover them. They might help you, also. I found them quite enlightening and use the cards each day for guidance.  Once you have done the spread to find your Nine Power Totems, there is no need to do them again as they will never change.  You can use other spreads to delve deeper and also pick only one card per day for a message that you are to receive for that day.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related