Turtle Spirit Animal

By Elena Harris, SpiritAnimal.info Editor

turtle totem

The turtle totem wisdom teaches us about walking our path in peace and sticking to it with determination and serenity. Slow moving on earth, yet also incredibly fast and agile in water, those who have the turtle as totem or spirit animal may be encouraged to take a break in their busy lives and look around or within themselves for more grounded, long-lasting solutions. Traditionally, the turtle is symbolic of the way of peace, whether it’s inviting us to cultivate peace of mind or a peaceful relationship with our environment.

Turtle Symbolism

The turtle symbolism is characterized by the association with the Earth and earth symbols of groundedness and patience:


  • Symbol of the world, of the Earth
  • Ability to stay grounded, even in moments of disturbances and chaos
  • Slowing down, pacing yourself
  • Determination, persistence
  • Emotional strength and understanding
  • Ancient wisdom

The turtle is also linked to the spirit of the water and the fluid nature of emotions.

Turtle totem teachings for walking your path

The turtle totem symbolizes our peaceful walk on this earth. It represents the path we take as we embark on our journey through life.  In contrast to emotional or spiritual development occurring in bursts, the way of the turtle anchors our personal unfolding in a slow, more grounded series of steps and longer cycles of transformation.

The turtle is associated with our physical and embodied evolution on the earthly plane. Call this spirit animal for help to be more grounded. You can also get help slowing down and pacing yourself, so you can take your next step with more confidence.

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The turtle and ancient wisdom of the Earth

The American continent is referred to as “Turtle Island” in the Native American folklore. It is said that the Turtle carried the weight of the land of that continent on her back. This image is also present in Hindu and Chinese cultures, where the turtle is the animal carrying Mother Earth  and holding the world in balance.

Having the turtle as totem means that you have an affinity with the ancient wisdom of the earth. You are naturally tuned into the elements, land, plants, people and animals. You carry your home on your back figuratively speaking and feel at ease wherever you are.

The turtle totem and determination

The wisdom of the turtle totem teaches us about determination and staying strong despite obstacles or distractions. This animal encourages those who have it as totem to listen deeply to their guidance and trust their path no matter what.

It is a great helper for those who need to provide a steady effort and persistence. You can call on the wisdom of the turtle when you need help to sustain your efforts and succeed in a long-lasting endeavor. By analogy with the biological attributes of this animal characterized by a long life, this spirit animal is also associated with longevity.

If you have the turtle as spirit animal, you may be inclined to base your decisions on a deliberate process of reviews and considerations. It may sometimes take you longer than most to make your move, but the results tend to be long-lasting and solid.

The turtle and the way of peace


The turtle represents the way of peace – whether it’s external or internal. It is considered as the Peace-Maker in Native American traditions. This animal is also often associated with the feminine principle or feminine energy, which foster peace and harmony with all things.

Being inspired by the wisdom of the turtle totem, you can slow down when you feel you are getting overwhelmed by a situation or emotions and rest to gain a more grounded perspective. This spirit guide can assist you in taking time for yourself to better integrate all the aspects of a given situation or issue.

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Post your ideas and comments about the turtle by using the comments below.


154 Responses to Turtle Spirit Animal

  • mohammed

    i was in my long daily walks across the rice fields, im thinking what could be the criteria of finding your spirit animal, im thinking is it rare encounters, what about biodiversity, i mean i have alot of geckos at home, i have a weired shrike outside who likes coming real close to me when im doing my laundry, or is it my dog, who im always around wondering about, or should i wait for it in my dream which i rarely remember.

    with that thought in mind i found a TURTLE in a dry rice field that day..then all my thought went away. this is my spirit animal..talk about good timing!. this is real guys, ive been walking the same road for more than a year.

  • Dave

    Hi,
    I’ve always been a fairly spiritual person but I’ve never really looked into animal totems before and was hoping someone could educate me a bit. I was winding down and meditating a while ago, when I do this I like to imagine myself floating above the earth in the serenity of the cosmos, when I had a very powerful and unexpected “vision” I suppose you could say. Suddenly I felt what could only be described as a powerful wave coming down over my body which was then accompanied by the very powerful image of a large tortoise or turtle floating above my body, staring VERY intently at me. I felt as though he/she was trying to say or communicate something to me but I’m not quite sure what it was and it all unfortunately ended rather quickly. Again, I have focused/meditated SEVERAL times in the past but this was a surprising first. I was hoping someone out there could explain this experience to me. If maybe there was something I missed or was supposed to understand. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Rachel

    A couple of months ago I was meditating quietly in bed when all of a sudden I was transported into the body of a baby sea turtle. Me and my siblings had just been born and were walking in a line along the beach to reach the sea. It was nighttime and I could clearly sense the wet sand under my feet and the full moon on my shell. I could also hear the waves lapping and felt a clear instinct to reach the ocean.It was a very joyful feeling. All of my senses were heightened.

    Does this mean the sea turtle is my spirit animal? I’ve never considered this before, but I’ve only started meditating recently.

  • Abiona Okunola

    Hello, I just had a dream where I met a prophet with hope of getting a tuber of yam from him, but instead the prophet gave me a very big tortoise to kill and eat, he teaches me on the method to kill it which was too cumbersome compare to killing method of the other animals, so I choose to keep it and take care of it instead of killing it. As I woke I was worry on what could be the meaning. Kindly help if you can

  • Christy

    My son gave me a beautiful necklace that had two turtles on it for christmas.  I immediately looked up the symbolism (I am a strong believer in listening to the universe when it talks) I am in the middle of an epic personal journey and the turtle’s wisdom is exactly what i needed to guide me on my path. I never would have looked to turtle had it not been for this gift.  Kinda gives a girl goose bumps!  🙂

  • […] You can read what I found here:  http://www.spiritanimal.info/turtle-spirit-animal/ […]

  • Charissa

    A few months ago, my father gave me a turtle totem from the Dominican Republic. When I look at that totem, I realized that I’ve been going too fast. I did not have peace within me.

  • Oyvind

    I was once lucky enough to encounter a shaman. After examining me with her mythical skills, she told me my totem animal was a turtle. How cool!

  • […] “Having the turtle as totem means that you have an affinity with the ancient wisdom of the earth. You are naturally tuned into the elements, land, plants, people and animals. You carry your home on your back figuratively speaking and feel at ease wherever you are.”   —-Elena Harris from “Turtle Spirit Animal” […]

  • Mirranda Martinez

    I’ve always loved turtles ever sense I can remember. I was heart broken to see one in a tank knowing that where I’m from this is as closest as I will get to seeing one… at that point in my life. There was This one Sea Turtle caught my eye it was mesmerizing and before I knew it I was following this beautiful sea turtle around the aquarium. It was hard to leave I have to say I will never forget how I felt that day, Peaceful and protected if that makes any sense.

  • Tabitha Bosaw

    4 U

  • Fulgensiusmariono

    I just return From My trip in a remote island in Borneo . I was lucky enough to encountered with turtles, yes a few of them . One was approaching me when i was on My floaty . Id like to think that means something giving turtle is a shy creature. Any insights? Thank you

    • John

      You are drawn to turtles, you have the T energy. You
      know what that means to you. Search within.

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