Turtle Symbolism And Meaning: Everything You Need To Know About This Slow Animal

Turtle Symbolism and Meaning

Turtles can have some extremely impactful interpretations in the lives of humans. Humans, since their inception as living creatures on Earth, have witnessed the existence of Turtles.

And hence, just like we have seen the turtles exist all our lives, we also have created and believed in their symbolisms since the start. 

So In this article, we will explain Turtle’s symbolism and meaning in detail.

Understanding Turtles Symbolisms and Meaning 

In a general context, turtles represent healing, protection, transformation, longevity, and tranquility. In western culture, the turtle symbolizes the mother earth, wisdom, and change. While in eastern culture turtles are a symbol of wealth, longevity, and good luck. 


We all are aware of how long Turtles tend to live. They generally have longer lifespans than most other animals on Earth.

Also, they have been existing in abundance for 220 million years on Earth, even though some of its species are endangered at present.

Hence, such longevity in the lives of Turtles makes them symbolic of longevity on Earth and in the lives of humans.


Turtles are the epitome of Perseverance. They move slowly yet have all their moves calculated and are sure of the results that they have calculated to achieve, just like in the fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

They overcome the hurdle of their slow movement with their immense capabilities of consistency and focus and always come out victorious of any challenge they are subjected to confront.

Hence, they symbolize endurance and perseverance at their best.

Protection to thyself

One must protect oneself before one puts effort to protect someone else. This is genuinely the ultimate truth of life, and that is exactly what a turtle represents.

These creatures are well capable of protecting themselves from any given situation that challenges or threatens their existence, through their naturally built shield.

Hence, Turtles symbolize how one should always protect themselves first.

Healing and Tranquility 

Turtles, when wounded, are quite prone to healing quickly and hence represent recovery and healing. These are also peace-loving animals that move slowly and avoid any violence, hence the message of tranquility.


Turtles stay close to Earth, be it under the water or on land. They belong to the Earth all their lives, living all parts of their life in it. Hence, undoubtedly Turtles are Symbolic of Earth and life on Earth.

Transformation and adaptability 

Turtles transform from breeding in water to eventually becoming land animals in the subsequent phases of their lives.

Hence, these animals symbolize the beauty of growth and transformation, along with the ability to adapt to new circumstances in your life as it is an inevitable process of your life cycle.

Turtle Symbolism And Meaning In Different Civilizations 

What Does Turtles Symbolize In Native American Culture?

Turtles generally have a positive impact and symbolism in the lives of the people of most tribes.

Tribes like Lenape and Iroquois say that the entire planet came to existence when it was escorted by God on the back of a turtle.

They claim their habitat to be “The land of Turtles” or “Turtle Island” and relate them to the God of Earth.

Some tribes hold on to the longevity exhibited by the Turtles for long life and fertility, and hence make a sea turtle pattern out of the umbilical cords of baby girls for the same reason.

Chippewa and Menominee tribes have clans of Turtles as symbols that signify Mother Earth.

What Does Turtles Symbolize In Eastern Culture?

The Chinese believe that Turtles are symbolic of divinity and supreme power along with perseverance and tenacity. They relate Turtles with the creator of the world and also the Water God.

Turtles are also believed to be directed towards the North and hence as directioners. This Northward inclination of Turtles is also symbolic of strength and analogy. They are also believed to be of mythical nature.

Koreans believe that Turtles rule over insect life for their wisdom and psychic symbolism. Buddhism also abides by the divinity of Turtles.

What Does Turtles Symbolize In Christianity?

Christianity symbolizes Turtles as burdened beings, who are constantly weighed down by society, for their shell, which is believed to bear the sins of the heretics. 

Biblically, Turtles are also symbolic of immortality, for their believed capabilities to defeat death through heroic characteristics.

They also symbolize zodiac constellations and lines of the afterlife imprinted on their shells.

What Does Turtles Symbolize In Celtic Civilizations?

Celts believe that Turtles are the gateways to the fairy world out there and symbolize self-introspection and seeing the world in yourself.

They also are icons of magic to sense all vibrations in the air around them through their shells. They are also the symbols of fertility and connect the Earth with the Spirits.

Are You Dreaming of Turtles? Here’s The Meaning 

  • When you see a turtle in your dream it means that you are going to have a long and healthy life with wealth and prosperity. You have a long vision in your life that is reflected in your actions.
  • When you see a turtle under the shell in your dream it means that you are seeking protection through emotional withdrawal, a defensive attitude with no factual basis.
  • When you see some turtles in your dream, you feel peace and joy in your heart that stays somewhere deep in you for days like a boost of serotonin. In such a case, you are assured to achieve success.
  • When you see a dream of a moving turtle, it might mean that even if your life is slow-paced, it still is on the right track, bringing you closer to your success with each passing day.
  • However, such a dream can also mean that you are moving way too fast in your life and hence should go slow and not miss out on the necessary details.
  • Vegetarian Turtles that live on dry land are believed to be harmless.
  • They are believed to be reliable cures for cirrhosis and a potency booster, which belief however is absolutely baseless.
  • These animals generally symbolize good luck in human lives and encountering one predicts good things in your life.

Is Turtle Your Spirit Animal? 

If Turtles are your Spirit Animal, it means that you are an expert in space orientation. You are never lost and always find a way out of your life.

You tend to follow the Turtles when in an emotionally vulnerable state, i.e. retrieve yourself from the world around you and stay out of sight until you heal yourself enough.

You are filled to the brim with compassion, immense knowledge, and an understanding approach towards all the odds. You are homesick and a person people find their homes in.


Hence, Turtles bring a lot to humanity, be it through life, existence, symbolism, messages, or anything that brings in positivity.

These creatures are here to spread optimism in the world as barely any culture of Earth refers to them as a bad omen or symbol.

They are iconic creatures that preach several messages to humankind for us to observe and learn with a true will.

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