What is the meaning of the turtle tattoo

Turtle tattoo. In the fable The Hare and the turtle of La Fontaine, the tortoise symbolizes the slowness but also a certain form of wisdom: it leaves in point because nothing serves to run. The popular expression “slow as a turtle” would be reductive, because the tortoise is not only a slow animal; It has a place of choice in many bestiaries and cultures. Let’s see what the meaning of the turtle tattoo is.

Turtle tattoo meaning

Perseverance and Wisdom

In many cultures, including the Amerindians, the wisdom of the turtle is praised. His patience, perseverance and calm are all qualities that humanity claims. It also represents stability in all its forms: financial stability, emotional, relational …

See also: Ganesha tattoo – The Hindu deity

Longevity and fertility

Some turtles can live up to one hundred and twenty years. It is a symbol of old age and longevity.
In Africa, the tortoise symbolizes fertility and femininity, while the serpent is the masculine symbol of power.
In China, the tortoise is as old as the world: it is the symbol of longevity.
In Japanese folklore, the tortoise bodes well for it brings 10,000 years of happiness: good fortune, wealth, well-being, prosperity …


In China, the tortoise symbolizes the entire world *: the square belly of the tortoise represents the Great Empire, while the carapace delimits the physical world. The Ancients thought they could communicate with the afterlife through the shell of the tortoise (Scapulomancy): the question was put to the dead, then the carapace was placed on the fire and the crackle was interpreted as the answer of the ancestors.

  • In the picture below, the world is symbolized by a dragon carrying the shell of a turtle.

In India, the tortoise carries the world on its shell: it is the second incarnation of Vishnu, a divinity descended to Earth to save men.
In the Iroquois culture, the tortoise is at the origin of the world; It helps newborns to be born, especially among the Sioux. The Hurons see it as a symbol of immortality. Seeing a dream turtle is positive: the person will approach the difficulties with calm and without haste. Through his courage and perseverance, the person will overcome obstacles to evolve.


In the Polynesian culture, the tortoise is a divinity, a protective force capable of moving freely between land and sea. The sea is considered as a manifestation of the beyond: the tortoise facilitates the passage of souls into paradise.