The Native American horoscope with its extraordinary close connection with nature can be seen as one of the precursors of modern astrology. Similar to the Chinese astrology, Native American astrology uses animals as zodiac signs and not stars and planetary constellations, which are the foundation of modern Western astrology. The American Indians did know about the motions of celestial bodies but they focused much more on the tangible impact of nature on mankind, which is why they based their horoscope system on natural phenomena. Despite this huge difference between the modern and the Native American approach, Native American astrology has quite a number of followers in today's so-called civilized societies.
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The Native American zodiac signs as a precursor
Every human being in the Western hemisphere who is interested in astrology and horoscopes today is familiar with classical modern divination systems like the daily horoscope based on the twelve zodiac signs. He might also know the Chinese horoscope with the twelve animal signs and the longer duration of the zodiac cycle, which is becoming more and more popular in Western societies. As opposed to that, the Native Indian horoscope uses a completely different astrological approach which is based on natural phenomena on earth and on the Medicine Wheel as an expression of their understanding of life cycles and of harmony between nature and man. The Medicine Wheel is said to be as old as the Chinese horoscope tradition and it comprises also twelve animal signs, based on which we could say that it is something like the precursor of modern astrology. However, unlike the modern Western astrology, Native American astrology does not regard the infinite dimensions of Space with its myriads of stars and planetary constellations but it uses the natural phenomena that surround the human beings as a foundation for the horoscope. Since the American Indians and their entire culture practically had to merge into the forces of nature to learn everything about it to survive, their lives were in perfect synchronicity with nature and so it is self-evident that they would use that approach for their astrological divination system.
Every individual has his own birth animal
When the American Indians developed their horoscope, they assigned every human being to a certain power animal, which they called birth totem. The idea behind it was that every individual had the exact same qualities and character traits, be it good or bad, as his totem animal and that these properties were used as a basis for the Native American zodiac sign horoscope. So here we are dealing with animals like Otter, Woodpecker, Deer, Red-Tailed Hawk or Falcon, Puma, Snow Goose, Brown Bear, Raven, Owl and Serpent. Some Indian tribes use the Wolf instead of the Puma, depending on their personal experience in their everyday lives. The Native Americans presume that every man is born into a circle that is inhabited by his totem animal which has specific character traits. At the moment of his birth, that person absorbs all the properties of his totem animal. This may sound peculiar and naive to the enlightened Western mind, but from the point of view of the American Indians, this is a logical way of seeing the world and the secret of life. On the one hand it expresses the traditionally close relationship they had with nature, on the other it was a good way of finding a common basis for a system that would work for people from many different tribes, each of which had their own customs and traditions. Today the Native American zodiac signs have become quite popular in the so-called civilized Western societies as well. Astrologers also like to see the Native American horoscope as the little brother of the Celtic Tree horoscope.