Turtles have lived on Earth for more than 200 years, making them some of the oldest animals in the history of humanity.
Most cultures associate the land and sea turtle with positive traits such as wisdom, longevity, and self-confidence.
As an animal that spends a lot of its time in the water, the turtle symbolizes calmness, tranquility, mystery, and a connection to our inner world.
When a turtle shows up in your experience, it is a strong sign of spiritual guidance from the Universe. This animal lives both in water and on land, symbolic of the spiritual and physical worlds.
I wrote this article to explain the various turtle symbolism and spiritual meaning. You may not resonate with all the spiritual meanings and interpretations I list here; the symbolism that makes the most sense will depend on your life circumstances.
The most important thing here is to heed the message from your celestial guides, which help you navigate life.
Let’s jump right in!
Turtle Symbolism & Spiritual Meanings
The turtle is depicted in folklore, tales, and mythologies across many cultures. Most cultures revere this animal and consider its presence a good omen.
Among Native Americans, the turtle symbolizes stability and connection to Earth. The turtle’s affinity for water and Earth reminded the native tribes of their oneness with nature and brought them closer to the creator. These tribes made and gifted turtle tinctures to symbolize fertility, longevity, and good health.
The Chinese associate the turtle with feminine energy. The sightings of a turtle symbolize fertility and an expected pregnancy in the family. The turtle also represents longevity, determination, and divine power.
Turtles explore the inner and underworld of water bodies and come out to the land to busk and lay their eggs. Celtic communities saw the turtle as a link between the inner and outer worlds. They also represent fertility and connection to the Earth.
Among Christians, the turtle is not viewed favorably. It symbolizes an unclean spirit burdened with sins. On the upside, the turtle is also seen as representing longevity and good health due to its long life span.
In African traditions, the turtle symbolizes creativity and healing. In West African folklore, the turtle is a clever trickster that finds creative solutions to problems.
In North Africa, the sea turtle was a messenger between the underworld and the physical world. This animal was used to wade off evil spirits and bring good health to the family.
If the turtle is your spirit animal, you are open-minded and easy-going. But underneath your laidback nature is an old, wise soul with lots of knowledge and wisdom to share with the world.
With the turtle as your totem animal, you can call on its power for health, longevity, and wisdom. The turtle spirit can also grant you creative energy, patience, and endurance.
Next, let’s look at some common turtle symbolism and spiritual meanings.
What Do Turtles Symbolize? (Spiritual Meanings)
Whether you see a turtle in your waking hours or your dreams, this adorable animal is sending you a positive message.
With the turtle as your power animal and totem, you can call upon and meditate on its spirit whenever you need guidance.