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Native American Astrology: Finding Your Clan

Updated on May 1, 2010

Native American Spirituality

The Concept of Animal Medicine

This spiritual approach of finding power animals and spirit animals and animal allies all begins with the belief that they have "medicine" to share with us. But this medicine is not the traditional kind that most of us think of when we hear the word.

For Native Americans, "medicine" is anything that connects us more deeply to the divine (or "Great Mystery") and to life, in general. Healing of our bodymind and our spirit is part of that and so is personal power.

"This medicine is also anything that brings personal power, strength, and understanding. It is the constant living of life in a way that brings healing to the Earth Mother and to all of our associates, family, friends and fellow creatures. Native American medicine is an all-encompassing 'way of life,' for it involves walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the Universe." --Jamie Sams and David Carson, Medicine Cards

Native American Astrology or Medicine Wheel Astrology

"Every culture on earth has a link to the invention of some form of astrology and various forms of calendar. Native Americans have always been people of the land rather than city dwellers, so it is not surprising that the animals related to the seasons and areas in which they lived have become part of their astrology."-Deborah Durbin, Simply Native American Astrology

Seasons

"Native American astrology uses the images of creatures to depict the seasons. These creatures exist in addition to the twelve 'zodiac' signs of the medicine wheel. They mark the turning point of each season and also the turning points during each day (dawn, noon, dusk, mid-night).

The four 'seasonal' creatures are the white buffalo, the golden eagle, the coyote, and the grizzly bear." -- Deborah Durbin, Simply Native American Astrology

They also connect different animals, seasons and elements to the four directions on the medicine wheel: North, South, East and West. Using medicine wheel astrology, you can discover your major power animal and your minor ones.

Twelve-Month Calendar

Though there are some Native Americans still using the Aztec agricultural calendar, most now use a 12-month lunar calendar and have aligned it and the medicine wheel with dates used in Western astrology.

"The twelve Moons [they use] correspond to the weather or activities that one would expect to occur during each season. Each astrological sign also corresponds to a tree, a stone and a color."-- Deborah Durbin, Simply Native American Astrology

The Four Clans

In addition to those other associations, Native American astrology matches each month with a clan animal whose spirit helps you develop an intuitive inner knowing and a deeper connection with your true self. There are four clans: turtle, butterfly, frog and thunderbird.

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Did you amble slowly into the Turtle Clan?

When were you born?

Being a member of this clan means that turtle is one of your power animals, with you for life, helping you connect with your true self...

Turtle Clan Member Birthdates

December 22nd-January 19th

April 20th-May 20th

August 23rd-September 22nd

What Turtle Offers You

"Turtle is the calm, cool and collected contemplator." --Stefanie Weiss, Spirit Animals: Unlocking the Secrets of Our Animal Companions

If you are feeling overwhelmed by life's challenges, stressed out or jangled by your frenetic, hectic, schedule and you know you need to stop and recover, turtle can help. If you need restful time in nature, take turtle along as a silent companion.

If you're worried about "not enough" ~~ it feels like there isn't enough time to get it all done or not enough money for what you need, etc., call on turtle's grounding, comforting, nurturing energy.

Some Native Americans believe that the shell of the turtle symbolizes the spiritual protection it offers. You also can call on its energy when you want to deepen your connection to Mother Earth.

How to Deepen Your Connection

(1) Use vanilla essential oil. Its warm, comforting, nurturing, earth-mother energy complements turtle's energy and will help to enhance your experience.

(2) Take a day off and spend some of that time journaling. Slow down the pace a little. Move more slowly through your day. Remember that you're not trying to win the race, you just need to get to the finished line at some point.

Turtle Lessons

From time to time, ask yourself if you are taking enough time for yourself. Turtle will help you nurture and ground yourself.

Are there things you aren't seeing or hearing that are important? Are you missing vital information as life flies by? Turtle sharpens vision and can give you with clairaudience.

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Did you float beautifully into the Butterfly Clan? (I did!)

When were you born?

Butterfly Clan Member Birthdates

January 20th-February 18th

May 21st-June 20th

September 23rd-October 23rd

What Butterfly Offers You

Butterfly means that transformation is always available to you, and may begin without your conscious participation. Study the process of metamorphosis. What stage are you in?

(1) Are you in the conception stage, just beginning a process of change?

(2) Get clear about what you want the end result to be! Have you fully decided to do it?

(3) Are you in the planning or development stage? Creating the change?

(4) Or are you about to bring the change to life, give birth to it?

"Whatever part of the cycle you're in---be it the larva phase, the cocoon stage or the emergent phase, where you spread your wings and float into your new life---know that you're safe and that this is part of a natural movement." --Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D, How to Connect with Your Animal Spirit Guide

How to Connect More Deeply

(1) Use elemi, to help create balance between the spiritual and wordly aspects of your life.

(2) Get outside and enjoy watching the butterflies dance. Dance, yourself!

(3) Think of a change you might like to make or something you want to create, and let butterfly help you go through each stage of the process.

Butterfly Lessons

Butterfly can help you organize the project you're working on or get clear about how to order your steps each day. It also can awaken a sense of joy, an appreciation of nature, and a trust in the process of transformation.

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Are you a hopping member of the Frog Clan?

When were you born?

Frog Clan Member Birthdates

February 19th-March 20th

June 21st-July 22nd

October 24th-November 21st

What Frog Offers You

(1) It can help you get more in touch with your feelings and be more sensitive to the feelings of others. With frog's energy, you can deepen your compassionate responses to others and express deeper empathy.

(2) It can also help you come into your own, in the creative sense.

(3) You may find that being around water nurtures you. Lakes, pools, rivers, beaches ~~ even your own shower can provide a nurturing experience if you are open to it. Frog can help cleanse and clear you of negativity.

"Call on the rains to help clear emotional and mental toxins that have accumulated, those that contaminate your heart, mind and body and prevent you from being fully you."--Steven Farmer, Ph.D, Power Animals: How to Connect with Your Animal Spirit Guide

How to Connect More Deeply

(1) Become aware of anything you need to let go of and connect with frog to do so. Physically, you might you could try hooping around a bit, frog-style (my son, a frog clan member, loves to do this!).

(2) Create a physical cleansing by taking a bath with Epsom salts or choosing to detox from toxicity. Journal about the ways in which you need to let go emotionally.

(3) Sing. Your voice can be used for clearing, too! Also, ask yourself where in your life you have lost or are losing your voice and journal about how to get it back.

Frog Lessons

Frog can help you let go of things that no longer serve you, find your voice when you hesitate to express how you feel, clear your home or work space of negativity and help you get clearer about who you really are and what you are here to do.

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Did you beat your wings into the Thunderbird Clan?

When were you born?

Thunderbird Clan Member Birthdates

March 21st-April 19th

July 23rd-August 22nd

November 22nd-December 21st

What Thunderbird/Eagle Offers

"The Thunderbird, to the Native Americans, is most often depicted in the form of an eagle. This was the great spirit who controlled lightning and rain, punishment and reward. To the Plains Cree all eagles had mystical power, and these powers could be shared by anyone who possessed part of the bird. To align oneself with eagle medicine is to take on the responsibility and the power of becoming so much more than you now appear to be. To accept the eagle as a totem is to accept a powerful new dimension to life, and a heightened responsibility for your spiritual growth."--Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

(1) With eagle, you have access to spiritual growth and power, as well as the ability to move easily between the spiritual world and the earthly plane of existence.

(2) Eagle asks you to be willing to explore your emotions and connect more deeply to your inner child for healing, and for a greater sense of passion and creativity.

(3) Eagle offers alchemy and purification as you fly into your own sun! You may be given a healing role both for yourself and others.

(4) With Eagle, you have access to new vision, and an ability to see clearly into past, present and future.

How to Connect More Deeply

(1) Use Cedarwood to enhance intuition and connect with the Divine. Meditate and then journal about any insights or intuitive information that came to you.

(2) Write in your journal every day for at least 21 days. Notice any judgements you are making about others and write about any aspects of those traits in yourself. At the same time, keep a gratitude list, writing down at the end of each day what you are grateful for that you experienced.

Eagle Lessons

Eagle can teach you to see from a new perspective, to connect fearlessly to every hidden part of yourself, to let go of judgement, to heal and grow spiritually and remain grounded at the same time.

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“When you call upon the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature’s essence. Gaining understanding from these brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom is a healing process, and must be approached with humility and intuitiveness.” --Jamie Sams and David Carson, Medicine Cards

I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting!!

Jeanine

What's your clan animal?

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    • profile image

      WLS 

      4 years ago

      so, what of your mothers or fathers clan ? is that NO longer important ?

      so, what if you are an initiated thunderbird ?

      and; what happened to the goose as december ?

    • IntuitiveHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      IntuitiveHealer 

      4 years ago

      @The_Kelster: Thanks! :)

    • IntuitiveHealer profile imageAUTHOR

      IntuitiveHealer 

      4 years ago

      @anonymous: Sorry you feel that way! Sharing this information was not in any way meant to be a desecration. And I have quite a bit of Native American ancestry, so your comment about desecrating my own culture does not quite work. Blessings!

    • profile image

      The_Kelster 

      4 years ago

      Such a cool lens! I really enjoyed it! I am part of the frog clan :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      im in wolf clan :) i fought you follow your mothers clan?...

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      You follow your dads clan not by birthday my dads clan is beat and I'm bear

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: heyy Nana ~Nikki

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      rickSPIRIT OF THE HAWKguess-----tribal member of Nation of Sequoyah here----turtle has my choice

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      im in th wolf clan

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Belonging to a clan is not something you pick but belonging to a clan is something you are born into or adopted into a nation. It is your ancestry not a game. Jean Deerfoot Kraus Mohawk Nation Turtle Clan (Kanawake Res.)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Absolute NONSENSE. New-age nonsense at that. This is NOT how Native clan systems work at all. Nor do all of these animals mean anything to all Native Americans. Desecrate your own culture with such drivel thanks. We've had all the crazy we need from new-agers.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Wow, the hopping frog clan hit it on the nail for me. I grew up on the river, worked and lived on the rivers and ocean as a commercial fisherman & I feel more at ease being on the water. That's uncanny!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      This is really interesting :) I have no one in my family that's Native American but I've fallen in love with everything about it in the last few days of researching I've done. Thanks for putting this up :)

    • LadyCharlie profile image

      LadyCharlie 

      6 years ago

      Interesting lens...never having studied this aspect before according to your lens I am in the Thunderbird clan. I enjoyed reading your lens and thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I have Eastern Cherokee in my tree, about 6 generations back. Nice work.

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