In Native American teachings, Turtle is the oldest symbol for planet Earth. It is the personification of Goddess energy, and the eternal Mother from which our lives evolve. We are born of the womb of Earth, and to her soil our bodies will return. In honoring the Earth, we are asked by Turtle to be mindful of the cycle of give and take, to give back to the Mother as she has given to us.
Turtle has a shell which is similar to the protection that Earth has employed for centuries as her body has been defiled. Mother Earth's protection has come in the form of Earth changes, new plant growth, the creation of new land masses by volcanoes, and climate alterations. Like Turtle, you also have shields that protect you from hurt, envy, jealousy, and the unconsciousness of others. Turtle teaches you, through its habit patterns, how to use protection. If you are bothered by the actions of words of others, it is time to go inside yourself and honor your feelings. If you are attacked, it is time to give a warning snap.
Turtle asks you to honor the creative source within you, to be grounded to the Earth, and to observe your situation with motherly compassion. Use the water and earth energies, which represent Turtle's two homes, to flow harmoniously with your situation and to place your feet firmly on the ground in a power stance.
Turtle is a fine teacher of the art of grounding. You may even be able to overcome some of your "space cadet" tendencies if you align with Turtle medicine. In learning to ground, you are placing focus on your thoughts and actions and slowing to a pace that assures completion.
Turtle warns of the dangers of "pushing the river", as evidenced by the plodding pace it keeps. The corn that is harvested before its time is not yet full. However if it is given the chance to develop at its own rate, in its own season, its sweetness will be shared by all.
Turtle buries its thoughts, like its eggs in the sand, and allows the sun to hatch the little ones. This teaches you to develop your ideas before bringing them out in the light. Look at the old fable of the tortoise and the hare, and decide for yourself whether or not you would like to align with Turtle. Bigger, stronger, and faster are not always the best ways to get to a goal. When you arrive, you may be asked where you've been and you may not be able to remember. In that case, arriving prematurely can make you feel very immature.
- from: "Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals" by Jamie Sams &
*I've been trying to tap into my creative side more and let myself be truly seen through my work. So, it's not surprising to me (especially after re-reading this passage) that I've put my focus into Turtles...and that others have affirmed my thoughts and ideas before I even made them known. Below is the first of many vibrant "Bohemian" Turtles that I will be making. I feel it shows my whimsy, my playfulness, my love of color, and a bit of my Bohemian side. Hope you enjoy!!