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Celtic Animal Symbology

Celtic Turtle Symbology

by Marc Choyt 19 Feb 2014 104 Comments

Contest Winner: Tell Us What the Turtle Means To You

Celtic Turtle Symbology

In Celtic history and lore the turtle is known as the keeper to the doors of the faerie realm. Turtles sense vibrations through water and through their skin and shell, they are amazing survivors; with very good hearing and sense of smell. From "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews, "If turtle has shown up, it is time to get connected to your most primal essence. Go within your shell and come out when your ideas are ready to be expressed. It is time to recognize that there is an abundance out there for you." In the modern story of the tortoise and the hare, the turtle represents patience, tenacity, and longevity. The turtle uses its hard exterior shell as a means to carry the troubles of the world on its back, as well as to protect itself from harm. The turtle is an earth wanderer, grounded, and sure in its footing.

Contest Winner: Tell Us What the Turtle Means To You

We asked you to tell us what Turtle means to you, both here and on our Facebook page, and there were so many interesting and heartfelt stories. The one that captured our hearts the most is by S. Treadwell, whose winning post is this:


"I am a member of the Long Island Unkechaug, a tribe of fisherman who were 'the turtle clan' and saw the turtle in our native lore as the bedrock under the oceans that created the continents that we live on. The "mother earth" to many is the back of a massive sea turtle, with the dirt and ground being what she pulled up from the depths of the ocean so we could live. It is a powerful, spiritual, and very significant symbol in Native american lore, especially to my tribe."


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21 Jul 2015 Rebecca

I’m not in this for the competition, just wanted to share what the turtle means to me. As a child I experienced things no child should ever have to go through and these horrors continued through my teens and the turtle has always been my favorite animal… not only do I see the turtle as strong because it’s hard outside I also see it has a soft inside. The turtle grows old and lives a long time and to me it’s like they live even through hard times and I feel like they are wise because they’ve seen so much. Sorry if it sounds stupid but the turtle means a lot to me because it’s tough and wise.

24 Feb 2014 Sharon McMahan

well I really need to learn how to spell and use spell check. sorry everyone!!! LOL

24 Feb 2014 Sharon McMahan

The turtle is a sign of Beauty, gentleness, unique, peace, and the past. It is a sing of shelter, cover, armor and confidence. The turtle is a sign of your home is where your heart is and the turtle carries it’s home on it’s back. Where ever the turtle is is home. May everyone know the peace of always being home where you are comfortable and at peace.

24 Feb 2014 Leah Whitten

The turtle takes its wisdom one day at a time – not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its natural methods.

24 Feb 2014 Brandis Standridge

As a disabled person, someone who lives in chronic pain, the turtle is my favorite symbol.

He reminds me that slow is ok because I will get to my journeys end regardless. He whispers in my ear encouragement and holding steadfast to determination.

When I think of my Scottish roots and the turtle, I’m reminded of lessons in overcoming challenges of great or minor consequence. I will only lose if I allow myself to flip over and stop fighting.

Lastly, like the noble and wise turtle, my home is where ever I make it. I do not need the burden of accoutrements, only to lay down and rest safely within.

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