Sunday, October 4, 2009

Native American Symbols - Turtle

Symbolism: Turtle Island is another term for the North American continent. I remember hearing the story when I was a little girl. I’ll tell it as best as I can remember.

A long time ago there was a tremendous flood. The survivors were the creatures that could swim and fly. Immediately after the flood, the turtle, dove to the bottom and brought up a clod of earth and placed it on it’s back. Soon the other animals and birds followed the turtle and dove and dove into the water bringing up more and more earth placing it on Turtles back. Suddenly winds from all four directions gusted and gailed and the turtle became large and larger and the clods of earth grew larger and larger eventually making a new earth on the turtles back. Everything re-populated and we have the turtle to thank for saving the North american continent.

Symbolism: The Eagle Feathers take our prayers, wishes and desires directly to the Creator. The feather is considered a great gift from the Eagle who listens intently to our words and even our silent thoughts. The Eagle also closely watches all of our actions.

Inspiration: The turtle shield earrings have a green circle showing the earth and the red and green triangles showing the healing medicines from above and below. Head and tail pointing north and south show us we will never be lost. The Eagle feathers remind us that if we ask we will receive. The Eagle Feathers in these earrings are my design with the black tip in the shape of a Water Bird. The Water Bird dives into the water and brings up medicine from the bottom of lakes depositing them on the shore for us to use. Much like the Turtle, the Water Bird has an affiliation with land and water. These earrings are deeply symbolic and remind us that we have available everything necessary for a successful life in this world.

Teachings: Some turtles are engraved with thirteen segments on their shells. These represent the thirteen moons in a lunar year and the thirteen cycles in a woman’s body. In each of these moon segments there are teachings. I cannot tell all the teachings, but in general there are lessons of patience in the slow movement of the turtle, perseverance in the Turtle’s untiring completion of every journey, awareness of surroundings, knowledge that we have everything we need represented by Turtle’s home on it’s back and adaptability represented by the fact that Turtle can live on earth or in the water.

Artist: Paula Bidwell of Native Talisman Art is an American Indian artist, jeweler and author. She is also considered an Indigenous Healer and spent many years on the reservation learning traditional healing and ceremony. She combines being an artist and indigenous healer into her art. Paula believes strongly that we are all related and there is very little separation between us. Her art resonates with all cultures and peoples.

These earrings are available for $18.95 plus $3.00 shipping at:

Native Talisman Art

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