You can’t help but admire turtle and tortoises.  Their ancient wisdom, unfaltering character and physical characteristics make them among nature’s most interesting creatures.  The turtle is a creature of both water and the land.  Because of its great age and its slow metabolism the turtle is associated with longevity.  The oldest known tortoise died in 1965 in Madagascar at the age of 188.  The largest living species is the Galapagos tortoise weighing in some cases, over 570 pounds.  Stupendemys geographicus was a prehistoric turtle that was 10 feet long and probably weighed 4,000 to 5,000 pounds.  Turtle medicine can teach new perceptions about time and our relationship to it. It can also help us grow old gracefully and in harmony with our environment. When the pace of life becomes too hectic the turtle shows us how to slow down and go with the flow.

The turtle has its own built-in house on their back.  The upper shell is composed of about 50 bones, including modified ribs, vertebrae and bony skin plates. The shell is very much alive and not dead tissue.  If turtle has crawled into your subconscious, it may carry the message to remain mobile and flexible in your spiritual walk and not to acquire more possessions that you need.  The burden of possessions can slow our spiritual journey. 

Growth rings (scutes or scales) on a turtle/ tortoise shell cannot be used to determine its age with any degree of accuracy.  In most cases, the rings are determined largely by environmental conditions.  The size, color and other physical adaptations of the turtle are also largely determined by its environment.  The turtle teaches us to accept the world we live in and to adapt to changes when needed. 

Grandfather Turtle has amazing survival skills and strategies. They sense vibrations in the water through their skin and shell.  If turtle comes with a message for you, it may be interpreted to mean that you should listen closely to your physical and spiritual senses and vibrations and move slowly and cautiously to adapt.   

Water turtles come ashore to lay eggs and bury them in the ground. After the eggs hatch, the baby turtles crawl to the water.  This characteristic is a significant sign in pointing out connections, especially for the purpose of reproduction, between the elements of water and earth.  Turtle may be telling us to combine the deep emotional and spiritual qualities of the water element with the strong and solid grounding qualities of Mother Earth in our search for balance.

When the turtle negotiates uneven terrain and its weight causes it to flip over on to its rounded shell, it uses its strong neck to right itself.  This ability when communicated by messages from the turtle may be  a sign to use the tools at your disposal to use your inner senses and knowledge to correct the problem when your life becomes upside down.     

When old turtle slowly crawls in to your dreams and visions, it is time to get connected to your most ancient heart and delve deeply in to the shell you have constructed around yourself.  Peer deeply into that shell.  The turtle cannot be separated from its shell and we cannot separate ourselves from who we are.  We can develop ways to emerge from our shell to interact and take sustenance from the world around us, and at the same time, allow that emergence to be a blessing to all around you and your spiritual walk on earth.

The slow moving plod of the turtle does sooner or later get them to where they are going.  The turtle is famous for getting things done in its own slow-moving way and winning the race.  Could this be a sign for you to slow down and enjoy the blessings gifted by the Creator?  

Dream Analysis: Tortoise’s message is to get grounded.


Some deep shell thoughts on this first day of 2014.