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Friday, July 8, 2011

Animal Signs: The Turtle

I have been hearing turtle stories lately. A couple of days ago, someone I had just met, told me that a turtle had laid eggs in the mulch in her garden. She was very excited (the woman, not the turtle, although I would think the turtle might have been excited to get that effort over with). We talked about how unusual that seemed to be - to have turtles being hatched in your mulch. The next day, in a local paper, the front page picture featured a turtle in the process of laying her eggs in the gravel beside a country road. That too seems a little peculiar. I am told that turtle "mothers-to-be" are very selective in where they lay their eggs. I'm not sure about that spot beside the road, but then again, who am I to judge a turtles' birthing selection process! Normally, they very carefully choose an ideal site, lay the eggs and walk away! The baby turtles hatch on their own and make their way in the world. I guess the mother turtle doesn't even know how many of her eggs made it. That's perhaps the ultimate example of "letting go". While that sounds like a system with a few flaws in it- there are a lot of turtles in the world and they seem to be fairly well adjusted I think...

Perhaps it's because of that early forced independence, that allows the turtle, as a totem creature, to provide support for solitary pursuits. This seems to fit with the previous blog entry It can be kind of lonely and frightening when pursuing individual efforts and actions instead of going with the crowd or established group and maybe that's a good time to connect with turtles. Daniel Mapel, in "Into the Heart of the Wild", suggests taking turtle essence when you feel vulnerable dealing with specific individuals or groups of people. His Wild Earth website provides more information on the animal essences

Turtles are said to provide grounding, a sense of oneness with the earth. They help us to focus on the now, the moment at hand, and the problems or issues in front of us. As a totem creature, they ensure emotional and psychic protection when dealing with intense situations and environments. Turtles are said to help humans slow down and appreciate the moment, the earth, and our soul purpose.

So it seems interesting that turtles are coming a little closer to us these days in their choice of where to lay their eggs. I'm sure there is a scientific reason for why they are laying eggs in people's gardens and on the side of the road, but I choose to ignore that kind of science this time. Instead, I'm going to believe that the turtles recognize these are pretty intense times for humans and we could use very tangible evidence of their closeness and support for us. I choose to believe they are willing to help us connect with the earth and feel safe, secure and grounded when pursuing individual paths that may be out of sync or contrary to organized groups.

Seems like everyone could use a turtle or two in their lives!

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