Let me introduce you to an interesting area of Celtic lore. It’s a fantastic European Druidic astrology grouping with an ancient history going back many centuries.
Every culture has a different set of animals or symbols for each cycle. This makes sense since the animals around Native American culture, for example, will be different than Greek or Celtic. However, a strong focus on nature and their environment mean not only are there plant and tree signs that act as a Zodiac match with your birth, but also animal symbols, as well. The Celts are well known for their mystical and spiritual side, and the Druids remain a symbol of mystery and mysticism to this day. If you are interested in learning more about the Zodiac signs, then just read on to learn all about the meanings of each of the totem signs and discover how they were honoured and interpreted by the ancient Celt peoples.
Introducing the Celtic Zodiac animal signs
The Stag (aka The Deer)
December 24th – January 20th
If your first thought, when you hear someone mention a stag, is royalty, then you’re not far off! A stag is a very powerful symbol in this society’s belief, and The Stag is no less prominent! Known for an air of nobility and an incredible honesty, stags are great supporters for new projects.
Common zodiac traits include being patient, thorough, and persistent. They can be proud, but that pride is earned from their natural hard work that allows stags to time and time again succeed where all others have failed. When they truly believe in a vision, they cannot be deterred!
January 21st – February 17th
Cats don’t mind being on the fringe so much, as it’s an excellent place for them to observe everything taking place. Cats are known for having almost a 6th sense when it comes to seeing the motivations or the emotional undercurrents of what is going on in any given situation.
Cats are known for having the ability to see things in a completely different light, and they have absolutely no fear of taking the road less travelled. This doesn’t mean that cats can’t figure out a situation as they are very rational by character, and their tendency to observe means they pick up on many details that others will miss.
Cats are very creative thanks in part to their unorthodox view of the world and tend to be kind and intelligent although sometimes they come across as a little aloof or out of touch due to being caught up in their own mental world.
The Adder (aka The Snake)
February 18th – March 17th
The Celtic peoples would have understood the story of Adam and Eve quite well as snakes have a reputation for being natural communicators who can be extremely persuasive. Curious and always studying how interactions work in the immediate world around them, they can be amazing for rallying a group to a cause.
Snakes can also be very spontaneous and unpredictable, sometimes not even understanding their own motivations for a sudden urge or action. This can be exciting but also comes with a dark side: snakes don’t like it when things don’t go their way and can be extremely uncooperative if confronted harshly or pushed towards an action they disagree with.
March 18th – April 14th
Some totem animals just have the same reputation in every culture, and the fox seems to be one. Foxes are seen as cunning and sly, with the type of guile and intelligence that allows them to work a room. When you need someone to get you into (and out of) fantastic adventures, you’ll be hard-pressed to do
better than a fox.
Foxes can put some people off because of their sly reputation as well as an intense spirit that can’t be dominated. Foxes do display strong courage and although they don’t often show a sensitive and emotionally open side, foxes are extremely loyal and if they’ve chosen to honour you as a friend, you have a loyal friend for the rest of your life.
The Cow or The Bull
April 15th – May 12th
These animals are known for broad shoulders and as a large and solid rock, and those zodiac traits carry over into the Celtic Zodiac signs they represent. The three most common characteristics to describe this sign are strong, stable, and caring. They can also be incredibly stubborn in defending those they love.
Cows/Bulls are known for being trustworthy individuals and having an incredible intuition. If someone is lying, they’ll know about it. Because of that intuition, they sometimes understand the bigger picture of what’s going on before others do and can come across as moody or be having a sudden swing in temperament for no reason. The truth is that often they’re just upset before everyone else is.
May 13th – June 9th
Flexible, resourceful, and adaptable are three of the most common words used to describe a seahorse. Like the animal of their sign, they might not be the biggest or the strongest, but seahorses are clever and know how to adapt to almost any situation.
Seahorses often work well as lawyers or accountants because they understand complex systems like law and finance, and they know how to pull odds in their favour by using technicalities or loopholes.
Personality-wise, seahorses love being loved and feel very comfortable giving back affection. This makes them well-liked in general and helps explain how their sharp minds don’t conflict at all with their overall popularity.
June 10th – July 7th
This summer sign brings an interesting set of traits with it. Although wrens have a strong sense of moral responsibility, honour, and integrity, they don’t let this get in the way of their normally sunny dispositions. They love to cheer up their friends and are invaluable friends and comrades during difficult times.
Despite being natural caregivers and devoted friends, wrens work best on their own and are often self-employed because they are exceptional self-starters who know how to motivate themselves without help.
Balance is hard for the Wren. They are natural leaders who feel the weight of moral responsibility to others, but they have a free bird heart that would rather be travelling aimlessly without a single care in the world.
July 8th – August 4th
The horse is a strong sign, and those bearing this Celtic symbol generally do it proud. Horses are powerful, exuberant, and very competitive. They don’t stay to the outside like cats or use cunning like foxes, they like to charge right in. Horses have a lot of talent and can normally back up their bravado, especially in the business world! Their boisterous and gregarious nature helps!
When it comes to planning out a strategy, they know how to navigate a forward path and are equally comfortable leading the team or being a part of a team as long as they get the recognition they deserve.
Horses tend to be headstrong and they don’t shrink away from adverse times, making them a great and welcome addition to almost any group, especially when there are plenty of challenges afoot.
The Salmon (aka The Fish)
August 5th – September 1st
The salmon is an animal zodiac sign that represents two worlds. Many salmons are introverts who need quiet time to dive deep within themselves for the answer, and inspiration often comes in the form of dreams or waking visions. They are quietly very intuitive and embrace a unique view of the world.
Many salmon tend to be artistic in nature and although their inside world can seem so far away the rest of us can’t follow, it makes for brilliant observations, poetry, art, and overall inspirational reactions when they come out of their world back to join the rest of us.
September 2nd – September 29th
Swans are natural aristocrats who have reached their place through spiritual growth and transformation. Swans tend to be eloquent, refined and pride themselves on high taste, not to mention a sharp eye for the beauty around them.
Swans can sometimes come across as detached, but the truth is they are very composed and often adhere tightly to a public code of conduct. They are still very passionate, especially as lovers, and they care deeply about the details. They simply aren’t as openly passionate about their feelings as say the wolf, the horse, or the wren.
September 30th – October 27th
Butterflies are among the most social of all the totem signs, they are gentle and caring souls but you must understand they simply don’t like to be held down for too long. They are dreamers who know how to brighten up anyone’s day and their natural empathy makes them extremely easy to befriend.
Butterflies might not always be there with undying loyalty like the wolf of the fox, but they always care and they will always make your day a little better for having been there.
The Wolf (sometimes referred to as The Hound)
October 28th – November 24th
The term “Lone Wolf” can easily apply to many wolves, but remember that wolves are pack animals and they will be extremely loyal to a group – but a wolf chooses his/her pack. If a wolf appears anti-social, it just might be they don’t see you as a good fit for them in particular.
A wolf who accepts you as part of their inner circle will appear extremely social and gregarious with you and others they consider close.
Often misunderstood, there is still little doubt among anyone that wolves are brave, utterly fearless, and honourable with a capital “H.”
When you need an unflappable hero, an uncompromising warrior guided by honour, or someone to push you through to the end, a wolf is your best bet. Wolves have strong beliefs and are devoted to you as long as you’re in line with them, but a wolf can also be stubborn to the point of absolutely refusing to compromise.
Maybe more than any other animal sign, the same traits that can make the wolf an amazing force can also be their downfall. The stubbornness can be strength or weakness, depending on how things play out during any face-off.
The Hawk or The Falcon
November 25th – December 23rd
Hawks and falcons are renowned for their eyesight in nature, and the same trait can be said of those who claim this sign. They care about the lofty view that comes with wisdom and knowledge and seeks to share both with others.
Those under this animal zodiac sign also can spot a clear target from a long way away, and pursue it with a direct single-minded force that even gets the attention of a wolf. However if there isn’t anything that grabs their full passion they fill simply float from one project to another, one thought to another, until that major idea demands their full focus.
Although very open to new ideas, thoughts, and philosophies, you can count on hawks/falcons to always have an inherent moral and directional compass that always sees them returning back to a certain direction.
While falcons/hawks love to debate and hear ideas, they can be hard to convince as any idea strongly opposed to that internal compass will have a hard time gaining traction.
These are the 13 signs of the Celtic Zodiac calendar. In some of these signs, it’s obvious to see what the traits are while others can be quite surprising. Some traits are clearly more inner focused than outer focused (Salmon, Falcon/Hawk, Wolf, Swan) while there are signs that go the other direction and absolutely excel in the social setting (Adder/Snake, Butterfly, Fox, Horse) and others are some combination of the two.
Druidic symbols tend to reflect the fact of how heavily tied to nature their philosophies and beliefs were. These aren’t two separate things but nature is intertwined in everything from religion and astrology to everyday life and interaction.
For those who are also interested in how the animal signs line up to the Celtic plant or tree signs, they partner up thus:
Stag or Deer – Birch
Cat – Rowan
Adder – Ash
Fox – Alder
Cow or Bull – Willow
Seahorse – Hawthorn
Wren – Oak
Horse – Holly
Salmon or Fish – Hazel
Swan – Vine
Butterfly – Ivy
Wolf or Hound – Reed
Falcon or Hawk – Elder
This is all the information you need to get a good feel for every one of the animal signs in the Celtic animal Zodiac and to follow up on the tree signs and more. This is a fascinating calendar, and one worth even more study!