Turtle Spirit Animal Symbolism & Meaning

Written by Crystal
Updated: October 15, 2023
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Turtles are some of the most unique creatures on Earth. Turtles seem to take their time with everything they do. This can be frustrating for those who are always on the go, but it’s also a reminder to slow down and enjoy life. Whether basking in the sun or swimming in the ocean, turtles always seem to be having a good time.

Read on to learn more about the turtle spirit animal, its symbolism, and the lessons you can learn.

Turtle Spirit Animal Symbolism and Meaning

According to Native American legend, the turtle symbolizes Mother Earth. This is because turtles are one of the few animals that carry their homes on their backs, just as the Earth carries all of us. The turtle is also a reminder that we should take care of our planet, just like our bodies and minds. When we see a turtle, it can remind us to be more patient and present at the moment. It can also inspire us to stick with our goals and persevere through challenges.

Northern Map Turtle basking in the sun.

Turtles symbolize Mother Earth as they carry their homes on their backs.


Turtles construct their shells similar to the ways of the ancient and extinct Eunotosaurus. If the turtle is your spirit animal, remember to listen to your ancient instincts. Trust yourself. You have more knowledge about how to construct the life of your dreams than you may think. And remember, the turtle is always there to lend a helping hand.

Positive Characteristics of the Turtle Spirit Animal

People who relate to the turtle as a spirit animal have a lot of positive qualities.

Some of the most notable traits include:

  • Patience
  • Wisdom
  • Longevity
  • Perseverance
  • Protective
  • Nurturing

Wisdom: Turtles are also known for their wisdom. They have lived on this Earth for millions of years, and they have seen it all. If we listen to their advice, we can learn a lot about life and the world around us.

Longevity: Turtles have a very long life span. Some species can live to be over 100 years old! This is a reminder that we should take care of our bodies and minds, so we can live a long and healthy life.

Protective: Turtles have hard shells that serve as their home and defense force. This reminds us that we should always be aware of our surroundings and be prepared to defend ourselves.

These are just some of the positive qualities that people who relate to the turtle as a spirit animal have. If you see a turtle, or if you feel drawn to this creature, it may be a sign that you have these qualities within you. Once you start relating to turtles, you’ll notice even more of the skills and abilities you share.

Negative Characteristics of the Turtle Spirit Animal

While the turtle spirit animal has many positive qualities, it also has some negative ones. These include:

  • Stubbornness
  • Laziness
  • Isolation

Stubbornness: Turtles can be very stubborn. Once they make up their mind, they’re not likely to change it. This can be a good thing, as it shows determination and perseverance. But it can also be a negative quality, as it can prevent us from being open to new ideas and experiences.

Laziness: Turtles are also known for their laziness. They like to take life slow and easy and are not fond of change. This can be a good thing, as it reminds us to take time to relax and enjoy life. But it can also be a negative quality, preventing us from moving forward and achieving our goals.

Isolation: Turtles are often seen as solitary creatures. They prefer to be alone, and they don’t usually socialize with others. This can be a good thing, as it reminds us to appreciate our own company. But it can also be a negative quality, preventing us from forming close relationships with others.

How To Be The Best Turtle Spirit

Ornate box turtles are a subspecies of the western box turtle

Turtles have lived on earth for millions of years and have infinite wisdom.

©Steve Byland/Shutterstock.com

Using the lessons the turtle teaches about wisdom and patience, you can start making mindful changes in your life.


Turtle spirit people often make excellent artists or writers, as they can invest the time and energy necessary to create something truly beautiful or meaningful. Turtle people also excel in medicine and education, where they can use their knowledge and skills to help others.


If the turtle is your spirit animal, you probably value stability and security in your relationships. You tend to move slowly and methodically, taking your time to get to know someone before committing. However, you can sometimes be too cautious, missing out on opportunities because you’re afraid of taking risks. Remember that even turtles come out of their shells sometimes, and don’t be afraid to take a chance every now and then. After all, that’s how we grow and learn.


Regarding finances, the turtle’s cautious approach can be a strength. You’re less likely to make impulsive purchases, and you’re more likely to think carefully about major financial decisions. However, there are also some potential pitfalls to watch out for. For example, you may be so risk-averse that you miss out on growth opportunities. And if you’re not careful, your conservative approach could stagnate. The key is to strike a balance between safety and opportunity.

How to Interpret a Turtle Dream?

If you see a turtle in your dream then it means you need to be strong and tap into your emotional side.

©Ryan M. Bolton/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever had a strange dream about a turtle? If so, you’re not alone – turtles are one of the most commonly dreamed-about animals. But what does it mean to dream about a turtle?

Turtle dreams mean you’re entering a time when you’ll need to practice strength, endurance, and perseverance. They are also associated with the element of water, which can represent emotions, intuition, and our subconscious minds. The turtle dream tells you to tap into your emotional side or listen to your gut instincts. Alternatively, it could signify that you are feeling overwhelmed or out of your depth in some area of your life.

Of course, the interpretation of any dream is unique to the individual. So if you’re unsure what your turtle dream means, take some time to reflect on the specific details of the dream and how they relate to your current situation. With a little introspection, you should be able to figure out what your subconscious is trying to tell you!

Are Turtles a Good Omen?

Turtles are good omens. One of the most popular symbols of good luck is the turtle. Indeed, turtles are often considered a sign of long life and good fortune. In many cultures, turtles are also associated with healing and protection. So if you spot a turtle crossing your path, consider yourself lucky!

Do Turtles Represent Evil?

In some cultures, turtles are a symbol of evil. This is because they have ancient associations with dark forces, such as death and destruction. Turtles are also often associated with darkness and coldness because of their aquatic habitats.

In Greece, turtles we’re seen as citizens of the underworld, and in China they were traditionally used in funeral rites. However, it’s important to remember that turtles also have positive associations in many cultures. So while they may be a symbol of evil in some traditions, this is not universally true.

Turtles in Folklore

There are many stories and folktales about turtles. In many cultures, turtles are wise and knowledgeable creatures. One famous story is about a turtle who outwits a fox.

The Wise Turtle and the Fox

A wise turtle challenges a fox to a swimming race. The fox, confident in his speed, agrees. The wise turtle secretly ties a long rope to the fox’s tail! When the fox would get far across the pond, the turtle began pulling on the rope, dragging the fox back to shore. Exhausted, the fox had to concede defeat, and the turtle won! This story illustrates the wisdom and cunning of the turtle, making them famous creatures for storytellers.

Turtles in Astrology

According to astrology, the turtle is most closely aligned with the sign of Cancer. Cancers have a slow and steady nature. They also have determination and the ability to weather any storm. Like turtles, Cancers are often seen as wise beyond their years. They have a strong sense of family and home and are always there for their loved ones.

Ways to Connect to the Turtle Spirit Animal

Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri)

You can connect with your turtle spirit animal by spending time outdoors and observing turtles in their natural habitat.

©iStock.com/Dan Rieck

The turtle spirit animal symbolizes wisdom, luck, and longevity. Connecting with your turtle guide allows you to access these qualities in your life. There are many ways to communicate with your turtle guide.

Go Outside

One way to connect to your spirit animal is to spend time in nature and observe turtles in their natural habitat. If you’re lucky enough to live near a body of water, take some time to watch turtles swim and sun themselves on the shore.

Guided Meditation

Another way to connect with your turtle guide is through meditation. Try to quiet your mind and focus on your breath. Imagine a beautiful turtle swimming slowly through the water. As you meditate, ask your turtle guide to reveal themselves to you.

Creative Connection

If you’re looking for a more creative way to connect with your turtle guide, try painting or drawing them. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try sculpting them out of clay. As you work, focus on your intention to connect with your turtle guide.

No matter how you connect with your turtle guide, the most important thing is to relax and be open to whatever comes.

Choosing the Turtle as Your Spirit Guide

If you’re looking for an animal spirit guide, consider the turtle spirit animal. You just might be surprised at what this old soul can teach you. Turtles are known for their wisdom, patience, and strength. They are also symbols of good luck, long life, and protection. If you’re drawn to the turtle, keep learning about them and noticing how they make you feel. It’ll only strengthen your connection with nature.

What Does it Mean When a Turtle Visits You?

the stinkpot turtle or common musk turtle ( Sternotherus odoratus ) one of smallest turtle on earth finger comparison

If a turtle pays you a visit it is a sign of good luck.

©forest warrior/Shutterstock.com

When a turtle visits you, it is often considered to be a sign of good luck and protection. Turtles are associated with long life, patience, stability, and determination. They represent the power of endurance in all aspects of life – whether it’s physical or emotional strength or just being able to take on any challenge that comes your way.

Turtles can also symbolize the journey through time; they have evolved over millions of years and their shells represent the passage from one place to another, much like the journey of life. Therefore, when a turtle visits you it may be an indication that you are on the right path and need to stay determined in order to reach your goals. It could also mean that things will take time, but they will eventually get better with patience and perseverance.

Turtles have strong spiritual connections as well, often being seen as messengers from spirit guides or ancestors who are watching over us. When a turtle crosses our path it can be interpreted as a sign of encouragement and guidance from our spirit helpers, reminding us to stay focused on our goals and never give up. They can also provide clarity in moments of confusion or indecision, helping us make the right decisions for ourselves.

What Do Turtles Symbolize in the Bible?

Curious friendly Hawks Bill Sea Turtle in blue water

Sea turtles are a symbol of endurance and faith on a long journey.

©Rich Carey/Shutterstock.com

In the Bible, turtles have been used to symbolize faith and trust in God. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is instructed to “take courage and be strong” as he leads the Israelites through their journey in the desert. This verse is often interpreted as having a turtle-like quality, representing how we can take on any challenge that comes our way with strength and perseverance if we keep faith in God’s plan for us.

The story of Noah’s Ark also contains a turtle symbolism. Noah was instructed by God to build the ark and collect two of every creature, including turtles. This story is seen as representing how our faith in God can help us overcome any obstacle if we are willing to put in the effort and be patient.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Steve Byland/Shutterstock.com


  1. Andrews, Ted. 1952-2009. (1970) Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small/ Ted Andrews. Published Woodbury, Minnesota by Llewellyn Publications
  2. Dr. Steven Farmer, Available here: https://drstevenfarmer.com/blog/
  3. Pelayo Benavides (1970) DOI:10.1080/0015587X.2013.767484 (2013) Animal Symbolism in Folk Narratives and Human Attitudes towards Predators: An Analysis of their Mutual Influences, Folklore, 124:1, 64-80,
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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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