Celtic Animal Astrology

A combination of animals and astrology can be a potent one. Astrological animals represent more permanent qualities in our natures. Whereas you may temporarily need to seek the loyalty of the dog when friends are under stress, astrological associations are linked to an underlying trait that you perhaps noticed in yourself as a child, although many of us have forgotten these powerful links over time.

A combination of your astrological animal with a temporary totem can help put you in control of any situation. The animals in this article are based on their associations through Celtic myth and legend.

Your Personal Animal Collection

You can find astrological animals in many forms. I suggest you tell people that you are fond of your individual animal – I can almost guarantee that this will ensure that you will be given hundreds of gifts in the shape of the animal you suggest.

Best of all is a visit to your power animal, either in the wild or in a well-tended animal park where you can watch it quietly for long enough to forge a true connection. Observe how the animal moves and its natural dignity and strength. When you go to sleep, let the last picture in your mind be of your animal.

Animal Signs

Stag – December 24th – January 20th

The stag was the Celtic King of the Forest. As a result, this sign has high ideals and aspirations. If you want to start a new project, enlist the aid of someone with the Stag sign to help you. They won’t be deterred once they get started. They are thorough, patient, and very persistent in nature. When others falter, Stags buck their way past obstacles. They are proud, and are naturally noble without ever really feeling or acting entitled. They believe in hard work, and their integrity is their trademark.

Cat – January 21st – February 17th

Quick minded and with an even quicker wit, the Cat’s true influence is in the realm of the intellect. Cats have impeccable reasoning abilities, and a knack for seeing the true nature of things. They are the perfect people to call on when you need ‘out of the box’ thinking. They are usually found on the fringes of things, observing, but they have a kind, humanitarian quality which makes them lovable. They do need an artistic outlet in order to express themselves, and become bored and restless without this.

Adder – February 18th – March 17th

People who have the Adder as a sign have a cool exterior but are truly lively once you get past that. They are curious and are always full of questions about how the world works, and how the people around them work. They are natural communicators, and can be hugely persuasive if they are passionate about a cause. They can be a little unpredictable, and if things don’t go their way they will quickly become uncooperative.

Fox – March 18th – April 14th

People who have the Fox as their sign have a sly sense of humour. Full of guile, vigor, and bright intelligence, it is impossible to truly tame the Fox. People with this sign are story-tellers, and able communicators, although they often spend these gifts in jokes and play. If you are fortunate enough to call a Fox a friend, you have a friend for life. They are never shy of showing their loyalties, and will defend their friends to the death.

Cow – April 15th – May 12th

Cows have been important to Celtic societies for centuries. The great Irish cycles tell of cattle raids causing wars, and the great strength of cattle was harnessed in many ways. Cows are the people you turn to when you need honest opinions and solid advice – particularly if that advice is centered around relationships. They are highly intuitive people, and not to be messed with, as they will root out lies with unerring accuracy. It is easy to misunderstand people who fall under the protection of the Cow as being moody or overly emotional, but this is merely a side effect of their empathic and intuitive natures. They are deeply trustworthy people, and know how to keep a secret.

Seahorse – May 13th – June 9th

Those who have the protection of the Seahorse are vastly flexible and resourceful. These are the people you want dealing with complex legal or financial matters because they’ll either find or invent the loopholes they need. They also have brilliant memories, and will be able to recall tiny details to help them prove whatever point they want to. They are changeable, versatile people who can find their feet in any environment.

Wren – June 10th – July 7th

People with the sign of the wren are natural care givers who can remain calm regardless of the storms around them. They are the ideal company to have in any sort of crisis, as they are resourceful and remain cool under pressure. People who are watched over by the Wren have a high sense of responsibility and moral integrity, and make great community leaders – even if part of them just wants to explore the world.

Horse – July 8th – August 4th

People who are under the protection of the Horse are competitive, and rightfully so. They have a huge amount of confidence in whatever they do, particularly in business. They are openly charming people, who love making grand entrances. While they strive to be leaders, they will fit into any role as long as their contribution is given the recognition it deserves. They are brave at heart, and won’t falter when times get tough.

Salmon – August 5th – September 1st

The Salmon has been revered for its deep knowledge for centuries, and those who fall under its protection are highly intellectual in nature. They make some of the world’s best artists, poets and visionaries, although they run the risk of diving far too deep for the rest of us to follow. When they return from the depths of thought, however, they bring with them bright pearls of inspiration for the rest of us to marvel at.

Swan – September 2nd – September 29th

Swans are refined, noble creatures, and this trait is shared by the people who fall under their protection. They have deep composure and are natural aristocrats with very clear ideas on how things should be done. Never assume that their outer appearance of detachment is all there is, however. Beneath that there lies a deep passion for those who have the ability to bring it out.

Butterfly – September 30th – October 27th

Flitting from flower to flower, butterflies bring a sense of effortless grace to any scene. Exchange ‘flower’ to ‘friend’, and you have the essence of the people who fall under the protection of the Butterfly. They are always in contact with people, and they love to dream and express new ideas – even when those ideas aren’t terribly practical. They are highly empathic and will go out of their way to avoid harm to anyone. They make friends easily and love to cheer people up. They are endlessly child-like, and help remind the rest of us about the wonder in the world.

Wolf – October 28th – November 24th

Wolves have a strong sense of purpose, and will go to great lengths to make sure that any point they make are fully understood. Those who have the protection of the Wolf are fearless, brave, and rarely allow themselves to compromise. They are those you want at your back when you enter the heat of battle, because they will not back down or falter in their determination. They have impeccable character and are deeply honourable. You always know where you stand with people of the Wolf.

Hawk – November 25th – December 23rd

Hawks have intense focus, and this is shared with those under their protection. When the people of this sign see something they want, they go after it with a force that is truly remarkable in its dedication. If they don’t find a project interesting, however, they will quickly head elsewhere. They have a keen sense of balance, and are strongly opinionated and not easily persuaded away from those opinions.

Animal Magic

It is common enough to say of someone that he has the heart of a lion or she has the cunning of a fox, but for societies all over the world, this is more than just a figure of speech. They believe that we all have kinship with certain animals who can endow us with their qualities.

Modern men and women can also draw upon the universal qualities of various creatures, using them as a ‘totem’ to help steer a path through life. For example, if you are seeking independence, you may sense affinity with the cat. You may find that if you are faced with a difficult dilemma and conflicting opinions, the elephant can offer wisdom and stability. The tiger can offer strength to endure difficulties and the knowledge that, given courage, the future can be changed for the better. Below is a brief overview of a handful of the more common totems, and the strengths they can offer if you call on them.

Bears: Protection and Sacrifice

Use the bear when you need to protect those you love or temporarily give up a pleasure for long-term gain.

Bear shrines and bear skulls and bones were buried with human remains by Neanderthal Man. In ancient Greece and Rome, bears were sacred to the moon goddesses Artemis and Diana. In the cult of Artemis, maidens in yellow robes imitated bears at the festival of Brauronia. The expression ‘licked into shape’ comes from the ancient belief that bears were born without form and were licked into shape by their mothers.

Traditionally bears are companions of dwarfs and guard their treasure, although sometimes, like in the story of Snow White and Rose Red, the bear can be an enchanted person.

Bees: Clear Communication

Use the bee when it is important to convey your views or feelings or overcome prejudice in others.

Bees, like birds, are traditionally messengers of the gods. If you have a bee hive, you should keep the bees informed of the family news. For example, if someone in the family gives birth, marries or dies, you are supposed to tell the local bees or they will stop making honey. It is said that if you listen outside a bee hive on Christmas Eve, you will hear the bees humming the twenty-third Psalm.

Fishermen believe that if a bee is flying in the same direction as their boat it will mean a good catch.

Cats: Independence

Cats are among the most magical of animals, although traditions vary widely as to whether they are fortunate or unfortunate omens. They were worshipped in ancient Egypt and were sacred to Bast, the cat-headed goddess and protector of pregnant women. In ancient Rome, the cat was the symbol of freedom and the Goddess of Liberty was depicted with a cat at her feet.

Black cats are said to be the familiar spirits of witches. This association may have come about because Freyja, the Norse fertility goddess, had a chariot pulled by black cats. When Christianity reached Scandinavia in the eleventh century, the female pagan deities were regarded as witches and the cats became their familiars. It was said that after seven years a cat became a witch.

Sailors like black cats and their wives keep them to ensure their husbands return home safely. It is said that if you keep a black cat, you’ll never lack for lovers. A restless cat often means a storm is coming.

Cows: Caring for Others

Use the cow for patience when family responsibilities seem too heavy or when you are concerned with the health of another person.

The cow is a sacred creature within Hinduism and milk is offered to the gods in Hindu temples to represent both the nourishing Earth Mother and the Lunar Goddess. Hathor, the ancient Egyptian Goddess of Women and Love was represented as a cow and later as a goddess with the head of a cow, her horns being the crescent moon. The link between the cow and the moon lies in the link between the moon and fertility. The moon has long been associated with the weather, growth and fruitfulness. In Scandinavian legend, Audumla the Cow sprang from the melting ice at the creation and licked a block of salt to create the first of the gods, Buri.

Dogs: Fidelity and Friendship

Use the dog when friends need your support or when your loyalties are divided.

Dogs have been ‘man’s best friend’ for thousands of years, certainly from about 7500BC in early Egypt. Hermes or Mercury, the messenger of the Green and Roman gods was accompanied by his faithful dog. One of the most famous dogs was Odysseus’ faithful hound, Argos, described in Homer’s Odyssey. Argos waited faithfully for Odysseus to return from the Trojan War and was the only one to recognize his heavily disguised master after many years’ absence, but the joy was too much for his old heart and he died.

Dogs are said to sense evil or death approaching and to howl a warning. This is an Ancient Greek belief but prevails throughout the world.

Elephants: Wisdom and Stability

Use the elephant when others are offering conflicting advice or trying to force you down a path that you feel is unwise.

It was once believed that the elephant had no joints in its legs and so had to sleep standing up. The ancient Roman scholar Pliny the Elder believed that the elephant had religious feelings and worshipped the ancient deities of the moon and stars. The Greek philosopher Aristotle echoed in Hinduism where the elephant-headed Ganesh is God of Wisdom and is always invoked at the beginning of any journey or before any important enterprise.

Horses: Swift Action

Use the horse when you must respond to a sudden challenge or crisis or need to make a swift decision.

The horse, which was first domesticated in about 1750BC, is a magical symbol of swiftness and power who can bear heroes and gods not only across the earth at incredibly speeds, but can also carry them through the skies, across the waves and even through the Underworld in safety. According to classical myth, Poseidon (Neptune to the Romans) first created the horse Arion by striking the earth with his trident. Its right feet were those of a man, it had a human voice and ran as fast as the wind. At first it was given to Adrastus, King of Argos, who led the Seven Heroes against Thebes. The horse eventually passed to Hercules. Pegasus, the winged horse of classical myth, was ridden by the hero Bellerophon who performed many hazardous task with its help, including slaying the Chimaera, a hideous monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and a dragon’s tail.

Lions: Courage and Nobility

Use the lion when principles are at stake or you are cornered by those who have no scruples.

In Western mythology, the lion is the King of the Beasts. He represents the power of the sun and was associated with the sun gods and later with kings. The lioness is a symbol of the moon goddesses and often pulled their chariots. Juno, wife of Jupiter, had a chariot drawn by lions. The lion was sacred to the Egyptians who decorated their doors with gaping lions’ mouths because the Nile, source of water and prosperity, began to rise when the sun was in Leo. A lion guarded the tunnel through which Ra the Sun God passed at night. In China, stone lions protected the courts of justice and were believed to come to life at night.

It was originally thought that lion cubs were born dead and that after three days the lion breathed life into them and the lioness howled over them to call down power into their limbs. Lions were said to sleep with their eyes open and, when moving, destroy their tracks with their tail.

Tigers: Strength and Permanence

Use the tiger when faced with a long-standing problem or when making a permanent commitment to maintain your resolve.

The tiger is the King of Beasts in Eastern mythology. In China, it is given the title of Lord of the Land Animals. Coloured tigers are used to represent the seasons and different directions. The White Tiger represents the Earth, the West, Autumn and the region of death because the West is the direction of the setting sun. The Blue Tiger is the East, Spring and Plant Life. The Red Tiger is the South, Summer and Fire. The Black Tiger is the North, Winter, and Water. The Yellow tiger in the centre is the Sun. In Japan, the tiger is believed to live for a thousand years. Malaysian legend tells that tigers contain the soul of sorcerers and therefore their name must be used with care for fear of attracting bad magic.