The Long Snows Moon (November 22 to December 21) is
the last moon of Mudjekeewis and the final moon of the
year. Moving clockwise, the stone representing this
position is three-quarters of the way between the western
and northern stones of the wheel. Obsidian is the mineral
totem, the black spruce is the plant totem, and the elk
is the animal totem. The color is black and the elemental
influence comes from the Thunderbird Clan.
From Obsidian, the people experiencing this position
can learn about their ability to perceive and mirror the
thoughts and feelings of others. The black spruce teaches
how to be soft and strong at the same time, and the elk
demonstrates the power of beauty, majesty, and
cooperation. This is the position in which to learn about
your desire for justice, and your ability to live with
the dualities of nature and life. The Long Snows Moon
teaches about mental strength, deep fear of emotions,
relationships, teaching, and communicating. People in the
elk position are insightful, independent, fearless,
determined, and open hearted. They need to guard against
being overly argumentative and erratic in intimate
is the animal totem associated with the Long Snows Moon.
The elk, also known as wapiti, is the largest and most
regal member of the deer family. Elk antlers can resemble
Elk live in the woodlands and seem to have a sense of
responsibility for one another. When snows are heavy they
will take turns breaking the trail. Sometimes elk form a
big circle; prance around, sometimes breaking into a
gallop of joy; and seem to dance together. Elk are fast:
able to go at thirty miles and hour for short distances.
They are also able to leap fences as high as ten feet.
Elk have few natural enemies. Cougars, bears, and
wolves will sometimes succeed in bringing down a calf, or
a weak or sick animal. Non of them are a match for the
bull in his prime. Before 1900, however, most of the elk
in the United States were slaughtered by hunters. Often
the only reason for the killing was to make two of their
teeth into jewelry valued by a fraternal organization.
Most of the year elk, like deer, live in same-gender
herds. When the mating season is about to begin, bull elk
try to get as many cows as they can into their harem, and
they will fervently defend their harem from the approach
of any other bulls.
In the spring, when it is time to calf, the cows go to
the valleys. Calves are hidden for the first part of
their lives while their mothers go out to browse. Like
fawns, calves are born without a smell to afford them
Native people had great respect for the elk: for her
speed, her beauty, her strength, and concern for her
people. In some tribes if a man dreamed of an elk, or saw
one in a vision, it made him one who could attend and
speak in the council of women.
From working with elk you can learn about strength,
responsibility, joy, speed, agility, possessiveness,
protection, regality, justice, and wisdom.
Spruce is the plant associated with the Long Snows Moon.
Apart from providing beauty, wood, and oxygen, the black
spruce has other uses. The tips of this tree are high in
vitamin C and can be used as a tea or nibbled on. A tea
made from the leaves is good as and antiseptic and helps
to loosen mucus in the throat and chest. The gum can be
applied to cuts and wounds to clean them and can also be
used as an inhalant both in and out of the sweat lodge.
The tree gum can be made into a plaster for setting
bones. A tea from the twigs makes a good bath and is
helpful in curing colds. Black spruce can help you
explore lofty ideas, your earth connection, and your
unique ways of reaching to Spirit. It can teach you about
a deep inner strength that encourages softness.
Obsidian is the
mineral associated with the Long Snows Moon. Obsidian has
the power to ground people to the earth energy, teaching
them how to respect and use this energy within their own
Obsidian reflects the thoughts of another person to
the one wearing it, bestowing on the wearer a sort of
clairvoyance. It also helps people to see into the
Obsidian is a strong protective stone and is also good
for clarifying your inner state. Obsidian helps your to
center your being with the earth energy, and thus
provides the protection of stability.