What is Native American astrology based on, and how does it work?
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, we all know the Western zodiac signs, which influence our temperaments and life destinies. Like the Chinese, the Africans or the Polynesians, the Amerindians also have their own zodiac. Here, it is based on the medicine wheel, an ancestral tool used by Amerindian shamans. This wheel aims at finding a balance on the physical, emotional, psychic and spiritual levels. The Medicine Wheel is presented as "a vision that wanted to bring people to have a better relationship with the Earth and all beings living on Earth: minerals, plants, animals, humans and spirits". Just like with the signs of the Western zodiac, each moon (a period of 28 days corresponding to a month) is attached to one of the four directions, a mineral element (a stone), a plant element (a plant, herb or flower) and a totem animal that gives its name to the sign it represents.
Straight lines are the work of mankind, and only humans are able to perceive them. The Natives produced circles which, for them, followed the roundness of the Moon and complied with the shapes of their architecture. Even their social rituals involve circular forms; the sun dance and their medicine wheel. This culture's philosophy sees the world as being divided into four compass points and then by intermediary points. The arrangement known as the ‘octagonal system’ is based on eight separate parts, which can also be found in other astrological beliefs, such as in Chinese astrology. Vertical and horizontal lines are used to mark the solstices. The compass points are of great importance for the Native Americans, along with the number four, which is said to be sacred. Each compass point is associated to a color, an animal, a planet and a mineral.
Native American astrology is used to predict events, through a shaman capable for communicating with and channeling the spirits. The predictions could focus on the harvests, the ideal time and place in which to hunt, climate changes, as well as the consequences of our acts.
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What is your Native American sign?
The Native American year kicks off with the summer solstice and isn’t based on months but on the Moons, which explains why in this culture there are 13 signs; each associated to a Moon.
Find your sign according to your birthday:
- Snow Goose (December 22nd - January 19th): your Amerindian sign corresponds to the Earth Renewal Moon
- The Otter (January 20 - February 18) : your Amerindian sign corresponds to the Moon of Rest and Purification
- Cougar or Wolf (February 19 - March 20): your Amerindian sign corresponds to the Moon of the Great Winds
- The Saurian Falcon (March 21 - April 19): your Amerindian sign corresponds to the Moon of Budding Trees
- The Beaver (April 20 - May 20): your sign corresponds to the Moon of the Return of the Frogs
- The Deer (May 21 - June 20): your sign corresponds to the Moon of the Planting of Corn
- The Golden Colapte or Green Woodpecker (June 21 - July 22): your Amerindian sign corresponds to the Moon of the Strong Sun
- Sturgeon or Salmon (July 23 - August 22): your sign corresponds to the Moon of the Ripe Berries
- The Brown Bear (August 23 - September 22): your sign corresponds to the Moon of the Harvest
- The Raven (September 23 - October 23): your sign corresponds to the Moon of the Flight of Ducks
- The Snake (October 24 - November 21): your sign corresponds to the Moon of Frost
- The Moose or the Owl (November 22 - December 21): your sign corresponds to the Moon of the Long Snows
Native American horoscope: Each direction has a spirit that protects 3 signs
The wheel turns according to the seasons. Spring, summer, autumn and winter are thus broken down into 12 moons which are themselves grouped into four families. The wheel is read starting from the East, where the Sun rises.
- In the East is the Wabun spirit and the signs of the Wolf or Cougar, the Saurus Falcon and the Beaver.
- In the South is the Shawnodese spirit and the signs of the Deer, the Green Woodpecker or Golden Pileated Woodpecker and the Salmon or Sturgeon.
- To the West is the Mudjekeewis spirit and the signs of the Brown Bear, the Raven and the Snake.
- To the North is the Waboose spirit and the signs of the Elk or Owl, the Snow Goose and the Otter.
Each clan has 3 signs under each element
As in the western horoscope, the Butterfly, Turtle, Thunderbird and Frog clans are associated with one of the four elements.
- The Butterfly clan, corresponding to the Air element, rules the Otter, the Deer and the Raven.
- The Turtle clan, corresponding to the Earth element, governs the Snow Goose, the Beaver and the Brown Bear.
- The Thunderbird clan, corresponding to the Fire element, rules the Saurus Falcon, the Sturgeon or Salmon and the Elk or Owl.
- The Frog clan, corresponding to the Water element, rules the Cougar or Wolf, the Golden Colapte or Green Woodpecker and the Snake.
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