Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I love all of nature, animals, reptiles, insects, fish, plant life and land formations. I love everything about being outside. If I had to name one type of wild animal as my favorite, it would have to be turtles. If I had to name a species of turtle, it would be the Northern Wood turtle. Why? I have no idea what and where the attraction came from. I just know since I was a little girl they have fascinated me. As a child growing up on Long Island there were not too many opportunities to get up close and personal with wild turtles. At 8 years old after many weeks of convincing, my mom took my sister and myself to the pet store to purchase a tiny Red Ear Slider. They cost 50 cents back in the day, we each had a quarter to spend. Once we were in the Pet store....we saw a much cooler, bigger turtle that cost a 1.00. We had to have him! We begged mom for the other 50 cents, she finally gave in, and Pee-Wee became my pet for the next 28 years. When ever I am fortunate enough to see a turtle in the wild, I always become like a little kid again, the excitement of childhood returns. If that turtle happens to be a Wood Turtle, I feel as though my day has been blessed. This year....I've lucked into 2 male, and 4 females all in the last 10 days....I am truly living in the moment, doing what I love, and loving what I'm doing,just like my new affirmation rings says.
In Native American Wisdom the Turtle is: A very powerful symbol for women. It symbolizes fertility, long life, and perseverance. It is sometimes even considered able to defy death. Turtle - Self contained, creative source, Earth, informed decisions, planning, adaptability.
The Native American turtle has a significant place deep in the heart of Native American culture. Throughout history, the turtle has been regarded as mythical, symbolical and sacred. Itâ€™s been embedded in several stories and among several tribes. The Native American turtle and its various meanings are still very much alive today, especially in art.
The Native American turtle has a lot of meanings. The turtle, a water animal, is a symbol for strength, fertility and perseverance. It was considered a power fetish animal. It was believed to have the ability to defy death.
The turtle was part of communication between tribes. The Great Plains people regarded the turtle as a symbol of a meaningful and long life. Not all tribes used the same symbols, but they often communicated using languages to portray a central idea.
The Native American turtle was a symbol of truth as well. It is believed that knowing the truth means understanding and staying loyal to all the fundamental laws of the Creator. It is believed that the Grandmother Turtle was present when the Creator gave man the 7 sacred laws. The Grandmother Turtle was there to make sure that the sacred laws would not be forgotten or vanish.
The back of the Turtle consisted of the 13 moons, which portrayed the truth of a single cycle of the Earthâ€™s revolution around the sun. There are also 28 marks on the back, portraying the womanâ€™s body and cycle of the moon. The shell itself portrays the actual happenings of the body and is also there to remind people of the Creatorâ€™s plan and teachings.
As one can see, the Native American turtle is very much embedded in age-old folk tales. It was believed that the earth itself was born on the Turtleâ€™s back. Because the turtle carries its home atop its back, it is believed that the turtle could brave through very difficult situations. The turtle was essentially regarded as a symbol of protection.
There was a Cherokee story about a race between a rabbit and turtle. They both wanted to win the race, and they raced through valleys and hills. Atop every hill, a new turtle would show up. The new turtle would then continue the race. Because there was only one rabbit and several turtles that each continued the race along every hill, the rabbit lost and the turtle won!
The Native Americans made symbols out of animals and used them in moral stories. A life of sharing and contributing to nature was very important to them. They had great respect for animals and nature itself.
What made turtles very special in Native American culture was their unique characteristics. They had a very different physical form compared to other animals. They are comparatively very slow when they travel, but are well protected and live a fairly long life.
In Native American tradition, every animal has natural powers and unique characteristics that can assist its owner. The Native American turtle was a symbol of the peopleâ€™s spirit and often expressed in oral stories and songs. Today, it is present in pecked designs on rocks, basketry and pottery.