Native American Chinese Zodiac

Spirit Animals in Native American & Chinese Zodiacs


In the rich tapestry of spiritual beliefs, the concept of spirit animals holds a significant place, particularly within the traditions of the Chinese horoscope and Native American birth totems. These ancient systems provide a unique way to understand one’s personality, strengths, and life path, linking individual traits to the natural world through symbolic animals based on one’s birth date.

Native American Birth Totems

Native American birth totems, as illustrated by Laurie Prindle, are deeply intertwined with nature, reflecting the core philosophy of connectivity among the universe, stars, and natural world. This system, distinct from the Western Zodiac, offers a multifaceted view of an individual’s nature through the lens of the hemisphere and date they were born. Each spirit animal, paired with a specific birthstone, channels the essence of nature, providing insight into the personality and life journey of the individual.

For instance, those born between January 20th and February 18th are represented by the Otter, with Turquoise as their birthstone, highlighting their creative and unconventional problem-solving skills. Similarly, the Wolf, paired with Jade, symbolizes those born between February 19th and March 20th, reflecting their passionate and emotional nature.

The system extends through the year, with each period associated with a distinct animal and birthstone, from the strategic Beaver of April, symbolized by Jasper, to the introspective Goose of December, represented by Quartz. These totems not only depict individual characteristics but also guide towards a deeper connection with the surrounding natural world.

Each totem reflects distinct personality traits and offers insights into the individual’s nature and path in life, emphasizing the deep connection between humans and the natural world in Native American culture.

Otter (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

  • Spirit Animal: Otter
  • Birthstone: Turquoise
  • Characteristics: Creative, unconventional, independent problem-solvers.
Spirit Animal Otter

Wolf (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

  • Spirit Animal: Wolf
  • Birthstone: Jade
  • Characteristics: Passionate, emotional, seeking compassion and understanding, values independence.

Falcon (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

  • Spirit Animal: Falcon
  • Birthstone: Opal
  • Characteristics: Symbol of wisdom, inspiration, natural-born leaders, seekers of truth.
Spirit Animal Falcon

Beaver (Apr 20 – May 20)

  • Spirit Animal: Beaver
  • Birthstone: Jasper
  • Characteristics: Master strategists, adaptable, sharp-witted.
Spirit Animal Beaver

Deer (May 21 – Jun 20)

  • Spirit Animal: Deer
  • Birthstone: Agate
  • Characteristics: Gentle, empathetic, social connectors, life of the party.

Woodpecker (Jun 21 – Jul 21)

  • Spirit Animal: Woodpecker
  • Birthstone: Rose Quartz
  • Characteristics: Community-oriented, nurturing, empathetic listeners.
Spirit Animal Woodpecker

Salmon (Jul 22 – Aug 21)

  • Spirit Animal: Salmon
  • Birthstone: Carnelian
  • Characteristics: Creative, focused, generous, intuitive.
Totem Animal Salmon

Bear (Aug 22 – Sep 21)

  • Spirit Animal: Bear
  • Birthstone: Amethyst
  • Characteristics: Level-headed, big-hearted, able to see the bigger picture.

Raven (Sep 22 – Oct 22)

  • Spirit Animal: Raven
  • Birthstone: Azurite
  • Characteristics: Clairvoyant, intelligent, charming.
Spirit Animal Raven

Snake (Oct 23 – Nov 22)

  • Spirit Animal: Snake
  • Birthstone: Copper
  • Characteristics: Deeply connected to the spiritual world, possess healing and leadership skills.
Spirit Animal Snake

Owl (Nov 23 – Dec 21)

  • Spirit Animal: Owl
  • Birthstone: Obsidian
  • Characteristics: Adventurous, seekers of truth and wisdom, artistic, versatile.
Spirit Animal Snow Owl

Goose (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

  • Spirit Animal: Goose
  • Birthstone: Quartz
  • Characteristics: Seekers of spiritual enlightenment, stoic, ambitious, driven.
Spirit Animal Goose

The Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year related to an animal sign. This system is deeply intertwined with Chinese culture and astrology, influencing people’s lives, decisions, and personality traits. Here’s a summary of the Chinese Zodiac animals, including their characteristics:

Rat (Recent Years: 2008, 2020, 2032)

Traits: Intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, charming, artistic, sociable.

Spirit Animal Rat

Ox (Recent Years: 2009, 2021, 2033)

Traits: Loyal, reliable, thorough, strong, reasonable, steady, determined.

Spirit Animal Ox

Tiger (Recent Years: 2010, 2022, 2034)

Traits: Enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious, leadership, confidence, charismatic.

Spirit Animal Tiger

Rabbit (Recent Years: 2011, 2023, 2035)

Traits: Trustworthy, empathic, modest, diplomatic, sincere, sociable, caretakers.

Spirit Animal Rabbit

Dragon (Recent Years: 2012, 2024, 2036)

Traits: Lucky, flexible, eccentric, imaginative, artistic, spiritual, charismatic.

Spirit Animal Dragon

Snake (Recent Years: 2013, 2025, 2037)

Traits: Philosophical, organized, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive, decisive.

Spirit Animal Snake

Horse (Recent Years: 2014, 2026, 2038)

Traits: Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent, adventurous, strong.

Spirit Animal Horse

Goat (Recent Years: 2015, 2027, 2039)

Traits: Peaceful, gentle, compassionate, understanding, motherly, determined, good-hearted.


Monkey (Recent Years: 2016, 2028, 2040)

Traits: Fun, energetic, active, influential, confident, curious, clever.

Spirit Animal Monkey

Rooster (Recent Years: 2017, 2029, 2041)

Traits: Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible, diverse, confident.

Spirit Animal Rooster

Dog (Recent Years: 2018, 2030, 2042)

Traits: Loyal, faithful, honest, distrustful, often guilty of telling white lies, temperamental, prone to mood swings.

Spirit Animal Dog

Pig (Recent Years: 2019, 2031, 2043)

Traits: Generous, compassionate, diligent, dependable, strong, enduring, sincere.

Spirit Animal Pig

Each animal not only represents a year but also embodies specific characteristics believed to influence the personalities and destinies of those born in that year. The Chinese Zodiac provides a fascinating and complex system of personality traits, compatibility, and fortune-telling that has influenced Chinese culture and beyond for centuries.

Chinese Zodiac signs from 1924

This table shows each zodiac sign along with the years from 1924 that correspond to each sign in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

YearZodiac Sign
1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020Rat
1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021Ox
1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022Tiger
1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023Rabbit
1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024Dragon
1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025Snake
1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026Horse
1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027Goat
1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028Monkey
1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029Rooster
1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030Dog
1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031Pig
Chinese Zodiac signs from 1924

Global Zodiacs & Animal Symbolism: Diverse Astrological Traditions

There are numerous systems and traditions around the world that utilize animals or zodiac signs to interpret personalities, destinies, or provide spiritual guidance. Some of these include:

1. Celtic Zodiac: Similar to Native American and Chinese traditions, the Celtic zodiac uses animals to represent specific periods of the year. Each animal is associated with particular character traits attributed to individuals born under those signs.

2. Egyptian Zodiac: The ancient Egyptians used a system of gods associated with different constellations, many of which had animal forms or were associated with animals. For example, the god Anubis, often depicted as a jackal or as a man with a jackal head, was associated with the protection of the dead.

3. Japanese Zodiac: While it shares many similarities with the Chinese zodiac, the Japanese zodiac has some differences in the animals used. It also operates on a 12-year cycle, with each year corresponding to a specific animal.

4. Hindu Astrology (Jyotisha): Hindu astrology doesn’t necessarily use animals per se, but there’s a complex system of zodiac signs (Rashis) and planets (Grahas) often associated with deities that have animal mounts (Vahanas). These connections reflect various personality traits and life aspects.

5. Baltic and Slavic Zodiacs: Some Baltic and Slavic cultures have their versions of zodiacs using animals to represent different months or times of the year. These systems are often closely tied to local flora, fauna, and seasonal cycles.

6. Mesoamerican and South American Systems: Pre-Columbian cultures like the Maya and Aztecs had their own complex calendar systems and astrologies, often featuring mythological animals and deities. These were used to measure time, make predictions, and plan ceremonies.

These systems offer a rich diversity of perspectives and insights beyond the more familiar Western and Chinese zodiac systems. Each has its own history, symbolism, and method for interpreting the connection between the cosmos, nature, and human life.

one shamanism

Do You know your Spirit Animal?

Find it with our free Spirit Animal Discovery Guide. This workbook contains information about what spirit animals are, how you can discover yours with an entertaining quiz, how to honor your spirit guide, and meditation and visualization exercises.

You will receive the Spirit Animal Discovery Guide as a download link for €0 and the monthly Newsletter. Please agree to the privacy policy

Spirit Animal Discovery Guide

What are Spirit Animals?

Consent Management Platform by Real Cookie Banner