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The Dream Meanings of Turtles

January 5, 2024

Medicine wheel

Keywords: sea turtle,- service,- sacrifice,- ancient,- endurance,- stability,- mother earth. Description: In the inner circle of the medicine wheel, the turtle is the animal of Mother Earth, who is associated with the element earth. Turtles are reptiles and often live on land. They can sometimes live to an unusually long age of up to 150 years or more. The natives of the American continent honored the turtle by calling North America “Turtle Island”. This is partly due to several legends which say that the turtle or sea turtle provided its back as the foundation for what is now North America and Canada. This happened after the earth had been cleansed by the power of water. A spirit woman, First Woman, came from the heavens, found a handful of earth, spread it on the turtle’s back and breathed life into the earth so that the turtle could return and live with the creatures of her own kind. The turtle and its sacrifice were honored by the Native Americans naming North America after it. General meaning: Your deep connection with the earth,- your willingness to sacrifice yourself for others. Association: See sea turtle. Transcendent meaning: Gift of ancient wisdom.


Most people associate turtles with slowness and comfort. In dreams, they also embody the shell that the dreamer or a person in their environment has developed in order to be protected from attack. The turtle usually symbolizes sensitivity and a rich emotional life, but these qualities are hidden behind apparent hardness and indifference for fear of injury. If the animal moves slowly, this is often an exhortation to patience, perseverance and persistence so that all obstacles can be overcome gradually.


The turtle is an animal that withdraws into its shell at the slightest danger or even if approached. In dreams, it is therefore a symbol of the dreamer’s insecurity, reserve, reticence and sensitivity. However, it also indicates his communication problems and fear of contact. It symbolizes the protective armor that we put around our often hostile self, the retreat that we keep within ourselves. As a dream symbol, it warns us to exercise restraint, because then nothing can happen to us. As some people keep turtles as pets, they can also take on this meaning in dreams. The turtle is also a symbol of long life.


In Chinese tradition, the tortoise is revered as the embodiment of wisdom and prudence. It is said to carry all the wisdom of life on its shell. On a spiritual level, the turtle symbolizes creation in dreams. It is the fertility symbol of Aphrodite (Venus) and stands for health, vitality and immortality.

Cultural Interpretations


  • seeing: Experience strange things – certain people in your surroundings need your help – also: you have silent friends, but be cautious not to be taken advantage of – also: you will change your apartment,
  • seeing oneself running towards the sea: one should help a friend in a very desperate situation where they are helpless.


  • seeing: Secret joy – promises a protector or advocate – long life, health, and success – an unexpected incident improves the professional situation – brings joy, but also warns against reacting too slowly in certain situations,
  • killing: one will lose the favor of a protector or advocate,
  • finding a dead one: external circumstances will cause the loss of a protector or advocate,
  • eating: you will achieve success through great effort.

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