I have been turtling again. Looking for turtles, for Mother Earth's symbol carrier. Looking for some protection from the disorder the world is currently experiencing. And to my fortune, another beautiful turtle came to me - an eastern painted turtle this time.
I can take a hint. You have to know when to pull back from things, pull in and protect yourself. Turtle moves slowly, and is the most philosophical resident of the wetlands. Turtle has a lot of time to think and dream while overwintering in the bottom mud of watery places.
Turtle teaches us that we need protection, balance, and to ground ourselves in preparation for taking action. We need to be prepared - there is a lot to be done, as pointed out by quantum physicist David Bohm back in 1980.
"The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion.
Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today.
Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it.
Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it."
- Wholeness and the Implicate Order
The animal medicine cards done by Jamie Sams and David Carson offer an excellent way to learn the natural lessons all creatures have to teach us.
"In Native American mythology, Turtle represented the Earth, the mother from whose substance the bodies of all creatures living on Earth were formed, and the nurturing Force that provides an opportunity for the human spirit to evolve.
As a power animal, Turtle teaches the need for protection. Although you should find expression for the creative sources within, and allow your thoughts to reach up to "heavenly" things, it is essential to stay well grounded and to be connected to the power of the Earth. In other words, you must keep your feet on the ground of practicality.
Turtle also stresses the need to keep the physical body in balance, and to remember that this is the vehicle through which we experience life on Earth.
Turtle teaches the wisdom of aligning yourself with the cyclic flow of life, and demonstrates that the fastest way is not necessarily the best, for it takes time for ideas to develop properly.
Turtle indicates Earth harmony, and draws you to all that is whole and good and abundant. Make haste slowly.
Connect to Earth Mother. Ask for her blessings. Fertility and manifestation will follow."
- Medicine Cards (Santa Fe: Bear and Company, 1988).
There is a time to take action, and there is a time to engage in some turtling, or pulling into your shell and protecting yourself from whatever threatens.
Go slow, lay low.