What lessons do we learn if Turtle is an animal totem that is working with us? In Native American traditions and teachings we find that Turtle is the oldest symbol for our planet. Both the symbol and the animal spirit are a personification of goddess energy and the eternal Mother from which life itself evolves. All of us are born of the Earth’s womb and to her soil our bodies return when our journey comes to an end. Turtle will ask us to be attentive to the cycle of give and take and to remember to give back to the Mother as she has given to all of us.
The shell that protects Turtle can be compared to the protection that Mother Earth has utilized over the centuries as her body has been ravished by us humans. Actually, we can see Mother Earth protecting herself right now with the climate changes, volcano eruptions, and earthquakes that are happening around the world. We humans have shields like Turtle to protect us from hurt, jealousy, envy, and the insensitivity of others. Sister Turtle as an animal totem will teach us how to use our shield or shell for protection. If the actions or words of the people around us leave a wounded feeling, Turtle is telling us to go inside ourselves and to honor our feelings. If we feel that we have been attacked, the message from the animal totem Turtle might be to give a warning snap.
When Sister Turtle comes to us as an animal spirit to share her wisdom and medicines, she asks us to honor the creative source that each of us has within us. She wants us to learn to be grounded to the Earth and to observe our situations with motherly compassion. Turtle has two energies, earth and water and we can use those to create a harmonious flow in our situations.
In the Native American tradition of animal totems, Turtle acts as the best teacher for the art of grounding. She helps us to focus on our thoughts and actions and to slow to a pace that assures completion of what lays before us. We learn to not “push the river” and cause a situation where resolution or completion doesn’t happen too soon. It is important to remember to allow things to happen at their own rate and in their own season.
La Tortuga (Turtle) by ZiaSun
As Sister Turtle would bury her eggs, we need to bury our thoughts and allow them to hatch into what they should be. In other words, allow them to develop before we bring them out into the light for others to see or know about.
When the animal totem of Turtle comes to work with us, we are reminded of the ally we have in Mother Earth and that no matter the situation we find ourselves in…we can always ask for help.
~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related
Amazing! Love it!!
Absolutely Beautiful and clear, Big Medicine Turtle brings to us. Thank You.
There is a book called “Medicine Cards: the Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals” by Jamie Sams and David Carson published in 1988 and if you turn to page 77, the chapter on Turtle is identical to this blog post.
I have rescued two dinner plate sized snappers in the last 3 weeks. One was stranded next to a highway, the other on it.
I was not afraid although they were quite vigorous. I put them into water…
This is interesting because somehow a baby turtle find its way into my house today. I am a little puzzled by it as there are no ponds around here and I am not sure where it came from. I made it a home in an empty aquarium as I am not sure what I should do with it.
When I first moved into my house 11 years ago, and started to plant flower and herb gardens arount it, for some odd reason I became facinated with turtles. So I started to clllect plastic garden turtles, turtle pins, ceramics, etc. Then after a perod of time I began to realize that my obcession with in turtles that I did not understand was a message. That the turtle was a spritual force that was tryng to tell me something. The more I read about the turtle as a totem, the more I understand the message.
I run a small Bible Study group, and our ministry is one of taking on an interest of helping the poor, needy and interest in Global Warming, and Climate Change. We have an outdoor worship area, a Meditation Garden, and meet in each other’s homes for meetings. The Turtle tells me personal things about myself, as well as direction for our ministry.
Wow! Our daughter-in-law will love this – they “adopted” a little turtle at the beach last weekend, and then released him/her to its natural habitat before they left. Now she will know why Turtle came to visit for week! Super!
This is an amazing post which teach us to see different angles of healing, protection, I will say even allowing thinks to happen.
Thanks for the wisdom and subtle advice.
All the best
Really interesting post, Bev. These concepts are all really new to me. I do not have much patience for “new age” types of philosophies in general, but the qualities associated with the turtle make sense.
Of course this is not really new age, but I am usually so cut and dried that I miss these types of nuances.
I’m touched that the Turtle totem lesson spoke to you, Paula. These traditions and teachings are hardly “new age”. Many date as far back as the beginning of the Ice Age when Antelope came to The People and taught them to eat from his flesh so that they would not starve and to use his hide to keep warm. He also told them to never waste what they took. Turtle goes back about that far, too. The animal spirit totems of the Native Americans pre-date Judaism and Christianity and the amazing thing is that they still make sense after all of these centuries.