Native American Birth Totem

Published on March 10, 2013 by Casey

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Native American Birth Totem
Native American Birth Totem

Native American Birth Totem

According to Native American tradition, everything in life is a circle. They saw that the Sun moves in a circle, from morning to night and then back again to another morning. They saw that, from the waxing and waning of the Moon from full moon to dark moon and back, the Moon too moves in a circle. And through observing the changing of the seasons, they knew that the Earth moves in a circle as well. Native Americans created the Medicine Wheel as an expression of all of these life circles. In fact, everything they experienced in life, every object, every thought, every aspect of being, had its place on the Medicine Wheel. The Wheel showed that everything in life was interconnected and joined together to form one complete whole. And so, the Medicine Wheel itself represented the whole of Creation.

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The Twelve Moons

The Native people saw that it took twelve moons (i.e. moon cycles or months) to go through a complete cycle of the seasons (or a complete turn of the Wheel). And so the twelve moons, along with the four seasons, found their places on the Wheel.

They believed that each of these moons had its own set of animal, mineral, and plant totems (as well as others), and that each of these totems possessed certain qualities that could be passed onto people depending upon the moon under which they were born.

Additionally, they believed that, not only could one possess the traits and qualities of their own birth totems, but that one could also explore and experience the traits of any and all of the totems at various times in her or his life. As one walked one’s way around the Wheel (i.e. went through life), s/he would experience many lessons and encounter many challenges, and the totems along the way would be there to guide them and to help them grow during these experiences.

It should be noted that the characteristics listed for each birth totem are not necessarily the traits that everyone born under that totem possesses. Every person is unique, and each has her or his own unique personality. Each person moves along the Wheel in their own way and at their own speed. Personalities are fluid, and over time they change and evolve. But those born under the same moon tend to share certain broad characteristics. Therefore, the qualities mentioned here are of a general nature, and describe traits that one may possess for a long or short period in their lives, or traits that one may lack and needs to develop at some point during their lifetime.

Use your birthday to find your birth moon, then click on it to learn more…

You can also use your birthday to find your animal totem:

And the same applies to your mineral totem:

Source: crystal-cure Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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American Psychological Association (APA):

Native American Birth Totem Unabridged. Retrieved May 24, 2015, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Native American Birth Totem Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: May 24, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Native American Birth Totem" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 24 May. 2015. <>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "Native American Birth Totem" in Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia Available: Accessed: May 24, 2015.

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@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2015,
    title = { Unabridged},
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    year = 2015,
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