Values: wisdom, calmness, protection, independence, slowness, confidence
In tattoo culture, the turtle is one of the oldest and most symbolic animals. For modern people, the first associations with a turtle are, of course, slowness, bewilderment and even lethargy, but antiquity dictates to us somewhat different ideas and attitudes towards this animal.
Chinese culture, for example, calls the turtle the Faithful Warrior and considers a symbol of endurance and strength… In general, in China, the turtle enjoys great respect: it is one of the four enlightened, spiritually illuminated animals, along with the Azure Dragon, White Tiger and Phoenix (Red Bird). In this quartet, she symbolizes the water element, primordial chaos, black, north, yin. The warriors of the imperial army of China applied a turtle and a dragon to the body, as symbol of invincibility… In some legends, she is endowed with predictive abilities.
In the Greco-Roman tradition, the turtle was dedicated to Venus (Aphrodite), she embodied femininity and fertility water world, was the emblem of Hermes.
One of the most important symbolisms of the turtle is longevity, which is explained by the long life span of these creatures (about 150 years). Her longevity and wisdom were especially revered in Japan; the Japanese also considered her an attribute of the main god of the sea Kumpira and a symbol of navigation…
In many myths and legends, the turtle is considered as a symbol of the beginning of the world of creation. So in India and the adjacent countries of Asia, she carried an elephant on her, which rested the world on its back. Moreover, the elephant was the personification of the masculine principle, and the turtle – the feminine, together they meant all the generating power of creation.
And among the Taoists, this animal was also sacred and, perhaps, the most revered. The turtle tattoo embodies the entire cosmos along with the dome of the sky (shell). In the American Indians, the Space Tree also grew from the back of a turtle. For the ancient Sumerians, the turtle was a deity – the guide of great depths.
But the strongest and, perhaps, the deepest symbolism precisely as a tattoo, the turtle found in ancient Polynesia. There, the meaning of the turtle tattoo was primarily expressed as a strong amulet.… After all, this animal played an important role in the entire culture of Polynesia, it was considered strong and mysterious, therefore it could not but be reflected in the art of tattooing.
In the west, the attributes and characteristics of the turtle included symbols such as calmness, self-confidence, stability, great knowledge… Also, the turtle is often found as a symbol of protection, thanks to its strong shell., who hides her from all dangers. In Russia, turtles were also treated well, considering it the wisest and most calm of all animals.
A turtle tattoo can have a special meaning for every person, as for the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy, the turtle tattoo was a symbol of a reminder of how he once crossed the equator.