Tortoise/Turtle Medicine

Cinnamon Moon 1
Spirit Keeper
Joined: 16 Oct 2003, 23:40

11 Apr 2004, 23:16 #1

Tortoise Medicine (*For Earthwalker *S*)

*Note: there are subtle differences between Tortoise and Turtles. In definition both are often addressed together so you should continue your search under
either name.

Sea Turtle/Ted Andrews/Animal-Wise:

Marine or sea turtles -- 5 main types: two most common and larger being the leatherback and loggerhead. If sea turtle has appeared we can expect success and
achievement if we persevere. Our progress in things creative will become smoother. We will encounter much less resistance to our efforts. Goals will be
attained. The worst is over and as long as we maintain our courage and persistence, we will shortly succeed. A powerful signal that the future looks very good
in all endeavors, especially business.

All shore areas and beaches are doorways between the human world and the spirit world, the Faerie realm in particular. The sea turtle is especially the keeper
of the doors between dimensions, and its appearance heralds a time of new wonders and rewards if we maintain courage. New dimensions are opening for us.

The survival skills and strategies of sea turtles are amazing. They have acute hearing, and they sense subtle vibrations in the water through their skin and
shell. The appearance of sea turtle reflects a heightening of our senses, and they remind us to trust our senses in our pursuits. If we do, we will be
rewarded. They rarely come ashore. Although graceful in the water, they are very clumsy on land. If it shows up we should examine whether we are trying to
accomplish and achieve in an environment that is not suitable for us. We may be out of our element and need to look for more suitable surroundings.

They do come ashore to lay eggs and remind us that we are living in a creative environment. But there must be a practical expression of that creativity. It
alerts us to find a balance between creativity and practicality. Both aspects have to be considered if we are to be productive. We must plan more carefully and
be patient. They lay dozens of eggs at a time so that some will survive the high rate of predation. It warns that we may be relying too strongly on one or two
possibilities. We need to expand and increase our productivity.

Ask: Are we persisting in our efforts? Are we allowing minor setbacks to prevent further efforts? Do we need to act with more courage? Are we not hearing and
sensing what we should about our endeavors? Have we taken on too much? Not enough? Are we trying to accomplish too much at once? Are we giving up too easily?
Are we afraid to come ashore and give birth to that which we desire?

*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams

A tortoise that withdraws into its shell is protecting itself and asking you: From what do you feel the need to hide? In Chinese and Hindu mythology, the
tortoise carries the world on its back, and personifies endurance. What burdens are you carrying for which you need support? In Taoism, this is the symbol of
cosmic and prophetic power. As such, a tortoise appearing in your dream may presage some positive spiritual developments. The Japanese believe it is a
messenger from the gods of the sea, which equates to a bulletin from your subconscious, intuitive self. Watch and listen closely!

*Brad Steiger/Totems

The world that the Native American tribes knew existed on the back of a great turtle. All of North America, including Canada and Mexico, constitute that
landmass that traditional Native Americans still refer to as Turtle Island. The Native Americans were not alone in awarding the honor of bearing the weight of
the Earth Mother to the turtle, for both the Chinese and the Hindu cultures also award Brother Tortoise the task of balancing the globe on his back.

The turtle is the animal totem that represents peace on the earthwalk. As Grandmother Twylah explained it, "The turtle rattle is emblematic of peace of
mind, and it is used in the dances to help portray happiness. Peace is a state of mind. It can be attained through daily learning experiences. We must learn
and understand how to walk in balance on the Pathway of Peace."

In china, and among a number of African tribes, the turtle is emblematic of the female principle. At the same time, the Chinese saw the turtle, with its hard
shell, as the perfect totem animal of the invincible warrior. Conversely, among the Aztecs, the turtle was symbolic of the braggart and coward, who talks
tough, but has a soft underbelly. In numerous cultures the turtle is a symbol of longevity.

In certain metaphysical thought systems, the turtle represents the slowly developing aspects of physical evolution in contrast to a rapid burst of spiritual
evolution, as might be symbolized by an eagle or hawk. If the turtle is the animal totem it is a spirit helper that will greatly assist you in a profound study
of the ancient wisdom. It may well be that you have needed steady persistence to guide you in your spiritual search and to temper your impatience and your
tendency to require instant reinforcement. It may be Turtle's job to help you become more grounded. This spirit helper can also bring stability to weakened
relationships and help you to bolster a family life that may have begun to deteriorate. Ask Turtle to help you form a true respect for the Earth Mother and a
renewed appreciation of the feminine principle.

Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth

Turtles of all kinds, both water and land, are good signs and very good powers. The Turtle is considered very sacred to most Native American tribla cultures.
The Turtle is a healer and protector. It can grant long life, wisdom, and good health. Oour elders tell us never to eat Turtle because doing so can bring bad
luck and sickness. Turtle shells are made into dance regalia, and some whole Turtles sacrifice themselves to be used as a power rattle in healing. If a Turtle
comes at a time when someone is sick, then it usually is assured that the person will get well and live a long time. But you must make good prayers and wishes
to the Turtle at that time in order for the luck to have a better chance of happening. Otherwise it just might take longer to happen.

*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick

The tortoise can be land-dwelling or land -living pond chelonian and a vegetarian. Tortoises are members of the family Testudinidae, which have unwebbed feet
with stubby toes. The hind feet are often elephant-like. They have a plated nose and a high-domed shell. They vary greatly in their shapes and colors.

Turtles are reptiles, Testudinata or Chelonia. There remain about 300 species in 12 families. They tend to spend their time in and around water. They are
slow-moving and have tough, horny shells protecting their bodies. Turtles have powerful jaws with sharp-edged horny ridges instead of teeth. All tortoises and
turtles breathe air and deposit their eggs in holes in the earth.

To the Hindus, the tortoise is a lunar creature. Their myths tell of a giant tortoise upon whose back stands an elephant who in turn supports the world. It is
also a creature of Prajapati, the Creator, who was also called the Lord of Creatures. The Chinese also believed that the tortoise supported the world, and was
an attendant of the world-architect P'an Ku. This creature symbolized strength, endurance, and long life, and was called the Black Warrior. Other Chinese
deities were connected with the tortoise, such as Wu Hsien, called the Transcendent Tortoise, and Hsi Wang-Mu, Golden Mother of the Tortoise.

In Japanese legend, the Cosmic Mountains were said to be supported by a tortoise. Among the Ainu of Japan, however, this creature was associated with the god
of the sea and was considered to be his messenger. In Arcadia, the tortoise was connected with the god Pan, while in Greece and Rome it was a companion of
Aphrodite/Venus and Hermes/Mercury. It was sacred to Ea-Oannes in Sumeria. To the people of West Africa the tortoise symbolized feminine power and fertility.
The Nigerians say the turtle represents the female sex organs.

The images of turtles appear on Mayan stelae but we do not know much about their symbolism in that culture. To the Aztecs, this creature signified treachery
and cowardly but boastful people. Native Americans associate the turtle with the Elements of Earth and Water. It symbolizes the energy of the Goddess, the
give-and-take cycle necessary for productive life. Its shell is a physical shield and, therefore, a psychic and spiritual shield. The turtle symbolized
material existence or the massa confusa in alchemy. It represented natural evolution, slow and methodical.

Superstitions: The tortoise protects itself from venomous snake bites by eating marjoram. If the right foot of a tortoise is carried on a ship, that ship will
not be able to move very fast.

Magickal Attributes: Patience, long life, perseverance. Slow down; enjoy life more; allow your ideas time to develop properly. Visualize the shell as a
spiritual shield to protect yourself from the negative thoughts of others. Learning to relax and enjoy life. Developing new ideas. Psychically protecting

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:

Turtle pertains to a fear of facing responsibility or reality.

*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:

Throughout the ages, the tortoise has been held a symbol of longevity, stability, and immortality. To kill a tortoise is said an ill omen. Tortoise shell
bracelets are thought to protect one against evil. Among Native American Indians, legend has it that a muskrat brought up mud that led to the creation of the
world, and a turtle holds it steady on his back. A turtle causes thunder, according to the Pueblo Indians. Rattles of turtle shells are used to retain some of
its mystical qualities. Turtle oil has long been advocated for its pain-reducing qualities and for producing longevity. One is said able to relieve gout by
hanging a tortoise's foot on the foot of the ill person--right for right, and left for left.

Denise Linn/Secret Language of Signs:

Native Americans--the legend goes that once there was only water and there wasn't anywhere that people could live. Turtle made a very great sacrifice and
let everyone live on her back. Thus she became the spirit keeper of the earth. When Native Americans enter into the darkness of a covered dome structure for
the sacred purification ceremony of the sweat lodge, they believe they are entering into the turtle, into the very essence of the Mother Earth. It is a time of
spiritual death and rebirth.

A sign of slow but steady progress toward reaching a goal, or completion through diligence. A turtle pulls into its shell when frightened. This sign may
signify a wish to withdraw from a problem or a need to go withdraw and go inward to gather forces.

Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/Dreamer's Dictionary:

These strange creatures are a symbol of frustrated ambition due to hidden hostility; if you persevere, you may dispel the opposition; however, if, after a
reasonable time, the obstacle remains, you should reassess the position with an eye to altering your aim or your approach to it.

BeWater's contribution:

By Jamie Sams and David Carson from Medicine Cards


Turtle . . . Great Mother,

Feed my spirit,

Clothe my heart,

That I may serve you too.

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 or 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

If you have chosen the Turtle symbol, you are being asked 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.

If you draw the Turtle card, it augurs a time of connecting with the power of Earth and the Mother-Goddess within. This is a reminder of the ally you have in
Mother Earth. It does not matter what situation you have created: ask her for assistance, and abundance will follow.


Pulling the Turtle card in the reverse means that Mother Earth is calling you to reconnect in some way. If you have become flippant and forgotten to place
waste in its proper place instead of throwing it out the car window, she is calling. If you have been struggling financially or have little to eat, or if you
have desired a child and see no pregnancy in the near future, she is your medicine ~ use it. You are not alone . . . ever. You are a child of Earth. All acts
of pleasure, joy, and abundance are given by the Mother of the creative force. Use her energy to aid you, and you will be healed enough to share that energy
with others.

The idea of a Turtle helplessly trying to right itself after it has been flipped upside down can also symbolize contrary Turtle. You are not a victim, and you
are not helpless, no matter how much it may seem like this is the case in your present situation. To right the ill-dignified Turtle, you need only list the
things you are grateful for, and from that grateful place in your heart, look for the abundance of alternatives that Mother Earth gives.

Medicine open for discussion. *S*
Last edited by Cinnamon Moon 1 on 17 Aug 2008, 19:09, edited 3 times in total.
~To Be A Feather In Spirit's Wing~


Honored Senior Member
Joined: 28 Sep 2002, 06:53

12 Apr 2004, 03:56 #2

Thank you so much
for the information about the Sea Tortoise. Like all of
the animals, birds, reptiles tree and stones they each
become very special and have a personality of their own.
The Whale, Orca, and Tortoise I usually see as part of
saying good morning. I can typically gauge the day based
on their reactions. WEhen all is in balance the three of
them are swimming in the gentle waters and surf. Often
the tortoise will come and take hold of my left wrist
suggesting to watch the pulse of the day. When she
doesn't come out of her shell I kow it is a day to keep
my big mouth quiet. Sometimes it is just nice to sit with
her and feel a slower pulse to life. These turtles are
ancient and have not become extinct as many other have.
She seems to teach survival skills when burdens maybe
around. I like her alot. She has helped me a great deal
with feeling as well. Her neck skin has a different feel
to it. Its not like that of the whales it is so much more
pliable but also rugged. She helps one learn to swim
since she has four limbs as do we. I also like her since
she has a sense of humor, she is awkward on land and
knows it but neverthelss goes there. Yet she is not self
conscious and completely accepting of her envrionment;
she sems to exemplify acceptance and that carries over
into my day.
Thank you again for
all of the inofrmation.
Walk in
Peace, earthwalker

Walk in Peace

Cinnamon Moon 1
Spirit Keeper
Joined: 16 Oct 2003, 23:40

12 Apr 2004, 04:03 #3

You're welcome and thanks for sharing your insights
too. I like the part about acceptance, especially with
the pace of life, we are all so impatient aren't we?
"The power and ways are given to us to be passed
on to others."
...........Fools Crow,
Ceremonial Chief, Teton Sioux
~To Be A Feather In Spirit's Wing~



12 Apr 2004, 04:14 #4

I absolutely love sea turtles. Image She
carries the world on her back, and her home is where ever
she happens to be. She teaches me about what's really
important to me, and what can be left behind.
On a personal note, I was in Mauii 8 years
ago. While snorkelling off a ship, these sea turtles came
up to us and swam all around me. It was an amazing
feeling! Other people would try to get close to them, and
off they'd glide, but they seemed interested in me, and
stuck close for about 10 minutes or so. Truly beautiful!
But this quote:
shore areas and beaches are doorways between the human
world and the spirit world, the Faerie realm in
particular. The sea turtle is especially the keeper of
the doors between
made me think of my
daughter, since she has a strong relationship with the
Fae, and I came home from this trip newly pregnant with
her. I wonder if they knew? Image I suspect
they did, and were welcoming her. ImageImage

Cinnamon Moon 1
Spirit Keeper
Joined: 16 Oct 2003, 23:40

12 Apr 2004, 05:25 #5

Do you know if Alyssa
has Turtle/Tortoise Medicine? Does she have a strong
interest in them or talk about them at all? It sure
sounds like they liked you and I can imagine they were
welcoming her. Perhaps the link of the feminine energies
(motherhood) was what they sensed. Have you had any
further encounters with them, either in journey work,
visions, or dreams? If not they may have been more for
Alyssa as you suspect. How excited does she get when she
sees them at the zoo or an aquarium? I know she loves the
Fae, and yes, shorelines, like forest edges, are border
realms where dimensional shifts are located. *S*Blessings,
"The power and ways are given to us to be passed
on to others."
...........Fools Crow,
Ceremonial Chief, Teton Sioux
~To Be A Feather In Spirit's Wing~


Honored Senior Member
Joined: 28 Sep 2002, 06:53

12 Apr 2004, 07:22 #6

What an absolutely
beautiful experience. It is such a wonderful gift when an
animal in the wild is somehow drawn to you. Thank you for
sharing it!Image
Walk in Love and Peace, earthwalker

Walk in Peace


12 Apr 2004, 07:23 #7

She likes them, but I'm not sure if it's because
mommy has some representatives of them in the house.
*grins* I've worked quite a bit with turtle in the past,
not much in the last two years or so. Hmm...may be time
to start working with her again. ImageImage

Cinnamon Moon 1
Spirit Keeper
Joined: 16 Oct 2003, 23:40

12 Apr 2004, 22:55 #8

I think it may well be, Katt! Image Pixie
"The power and ways are given to us to be passed
on to others."
...........Fools Crow,
Ceremonial Chief, Teton Sioux
~To Be A Feather In Spirit's Wing~


Honored Member
Joined: 12 Feb 2004, 08:05

14 Apr 2004, 09:50 #9

I was first introduced to a large sea turtle a few
weeks ago during the first journey I'd had in months. He
appeared at the mouth of the cave and I found myself
riding him.... he was large and green. Strangely I was
surprised that it wasn't a desert tortoise since I live
in the desert, but I guess totems don't discriminate by
He took me to the
underground tunnels of the large dam where I work, and
told me that there was a lot of pain in those rock
Since then, I've been coming
across images of turtle just about everywhere I go. And a
couple of nights ago, when I was extremely distressed
about a situation, I dreamt that I was being presented
with an award from the manager of the dam. The gift was a
large green turtle, "wrapped" between
two sheets of brown paper but his legs and head were
sticking out. I took him lovingly and hugged him to my
chest... I couldn't wait to get home with him.
If someone has pulled the wool over your eyes, just turn it into yarn and make a snazzy hat!!!

Cinnamon Moon 1
Spirit Keeper
Joined: 16 Oct 2003, 23:40

14 Apr 2004, 11:03 #10

Sounds like you have a very special new friend,
Sally. Good for you, and I hope the information in this
thread is helpful to understanding how to work with him.
Ask if you need help and we'll do what we can.
"The power and ways are given to us to be passed
on to others."
...........Fools Crow,
Ceremonial Chief, Teton Sioux
~To Be A Feather In Spirit's Wing~