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  • Writer's pictureMandira Antar

Tattoo symbols-The turtle and Tortoise

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

First thing when it comes to the turtle-symbol is to separate the turtle from the tortoise.

And this clarification is essential because i see in the web many tattoo designs as tortoise that are turtles and vice versa.

In fact, though they have many characteristics in common (obviously) and belong to the same animal family, their energy and meaning is not the same.

And that is because they have one very significant difference which is that the tortoise is a land animal and the turtle is a sea creature.

Dotting, colour, linear tattoo design
Turtle mandala tattoo design by Mandira

Turtles and Tortoises have been present on planet earth for the last 300 million years, so they have so much to teach us!



Turtle Myths and cultures

In Hindu cosmology there is a myth that the sky is supported by four giant elephants that stand on a giant tortoise (the Akupara). This is a common myth for the Chinese and Northern native Americans as well.

For Native Americans (Iroquois and Mohawks) earthquakes happen because the World Turtle is stretching :)!