Animal Symbolism:
Meaning of the Turtle

Symbolic Turtle Meanings


Symbolic Turtle Meanings

Those with the turtle as their animal totem can relate to the "sure and steady" message this creature brings to our lives.

It is also a powerful totem for protection as withdrawing into it's shell is an amazing self-defense mechanism.

The turtle has few predators, which gives it an innocent energy. This also increases its lifespan, and so holds the symbolic meaning for longevity in many cultures.

Did you know the turtle is one of the oldest living animal ancestors walking on the earth today? The oldest fossils of turtles are dated at over 200 million years old. This is highly symbolic. It indicates the turtle is a symbol of longevity, endurance, persistence, and the continuation of life (sometimes against incredible odds).

-Ever hear of the old adage "slow and steady wins the race."? Not only is the turtle's walking pace sure and steady, but so is its insistence at being a part of biological life on this earth. Something to consider when connecting with the turtle as a guide and mentor in living a dynamic, long life.

Animal Symbolism of the Turtle

  • Order
  • Creation
  • Patience
  • Strength
  • Stability
  • Longevity
  • Innocence
  • Endurance
  • Protection

Because of its seemingly wide-eyed, long-lived, carefree attitude the turtle is often thought to be the wisest of souls among the animal kingdom. We would all do well to take this as a lesson and move at our own pace as the turtle does.

Furthermore, the turtle takes its wisdom one day at a time - not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its natural methods. Again, this is a powerful analogy for humankind, and we would benefit from adopting the same behavior pattern.

Tutles share an association with water, which lends meanings of motion, intuition and emotion to the myriad of more symbolic meanings of the turtle.

Avia and Turtle Totem

Avia with Turtle Friend

Other Symbolic Meanings Associated with the Turtle

In China and Japan the turtle is a symbol for longevity. Furthermore, in Asian myth the turtle represents cosmic order.

Cosmic Orders of the Turtle

  • Its shell is symbolic of the heavens
  • Its body symbolic of the earth
  • Its undershell represents the underworld.

Furthermore, it is considered to have brought about the creation of the universe from its parts.

What's more, the turtle is a symbol of motherhood and creation. You can read more about that here.

Divination or foretelling has been known to be conducted by reading a turtle's shell and underbelly. These parts of the turtle are said to depict a map of the stars and sacred writings. Furthermore, most turtle shells are divided into thirteen sections which is associated with the thirteen phases of the moon in a year.

I hope you have enjoyed this page on symbolic turtle meanings. Be sure to check out the links at the end of this page for more articles on animal symbolism.

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An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!



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