Photo by Royce

"The Giant Galapagos Tortoise, now almost extinct because of slaughtering by pirates, whalers and fishermen, is a survivor of the prehistoric age.  The St. Augustine Alligator Farm maintains one of the world's largest groups of living Galapagos tortoises.  Here, under scientifically controlled conditions, the breeding of this species is being carried on successfully.  These tortoises weight up to 500 pounds, are vegetarian and have a life span of several centuries." -Donald D. Spencer

From MEDICINE CARDS by Jamie Sams & David Carson:

"In Native American teachings, Turtle is the oldest symbol for planet Earth. It is the personification of Goddess Energy, and the eternal Mother from which our lives evolve. In honoring the Earth, we are asked by Turtle to be mindful of the cycle of give and take, to give back to Mother Earth and the Goddess Spirits as they have given back to us.

Turtle has a shell which is similar to the protection that Earth has employed for centuries as her body has been defiled. Mother Earth’s protection has come in the form of Earth changes, new plant growth, the creation of new land masses by volcanoes and climate alterations.

Like Turtle, you also have shields that protect you from hurt, envy, jealousy, and the unconsciousness of others. Turtle teaches you, through its habit patterns, how to use protection. If you are bothered by the actions or words of others, it is time to go inside yourself and honor your feelings. If you are attacked, it is time, like the Turtle to give a warning snap.

By choosing the Turtle symbol, you are being asked to honor the creative source within you, to be grounded to the Earth, and to observe your situation with compassion. Use the Water and Earth energies, which represent Turtle’s two homes, to flow harmoniously with your situation and to place your feet firmly on the ground in a power stance. Turtle is a fine teacher of the art of grounding. In learning to ground, you are placing focus on your thoughts and actions and slowing to a pace that assures completion.

Turtle warns of the dangers of “pushing the river,” as evidenced by the plodding pace it keeps. The corn that is harvested before its time is not yet full. However, if it is given the chance to develop at its own rate, in its own season, the sweetness will be shared by all. So it is with the Turtle.

Turtle buries its thoughts, like its eggs, in the sand, and allows the Sun to hatch the little ones. This teaches us to develop our ideas before bringing them out into the light. Look at the old fable of the tortoise and the hare, and decide for yourself whether or not you would like to align with Turtle. Bigger, stronger, faster are not always the best ways to achieve a goal.

The Turtle symbol is present to remind us of our power to connect with the power of Earth and the Mother-Goddess within. This is to remind us, we are never alone. Allies, on Earth, and in the Spirit World are always around us. Listen closely to the music. It is a sign from Turtle. It does not matter what situation we create for ourselves: Ask for assistance, and abundance will follow."

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