Many people don’t think of turtle tattoos when they are thinking about getting some type of animal design, but chances are more would if they knew how meaningful these tattoos can be.
Not only that, it’s also quite easy to have a very attractive turtle tat while also bringing along a turtle tattoo meaning or two. Below you will find why turtle tattoos deserve to be more popular than they are and you can decide for yourself if it’s the right animal tattoo for you.
Turtle tattoos may not seem to have much meaning when you first look at them, but they mean a lot to most of the people who get them. That’s because turtles have come to be known as more than just hard-shelled green creatures of sea and land. They are some of the toughest reptiles out there, so it’s no surprise that there are a multitude of turtle tattoo meanings. What’s most interesting about them is that they bring with them meanings of all kinds, so plenty of people can find at least one that they would love to use in their designs.
As far as spiritual creatures go, the turtle has to be near the top of the list. Native Americans once believed that the turtles were the ones that created the continents by bringing mud up to the surface on their backs. They believed that because they recognized that turtles were able to survive on earth despite their supposed weaknesses.
That ability to be far more than they first appear makes turtles obvious spiritual animal choices for some people. If you do decide to use this spiritual meaning, it would probably be a good idea to add in more spiritual symbols if you want outsiders to recognize that meaning.
Japanese seamen once saw the turtle as a protective spirit helping them get through their tough treks out at sea. This is because they could be seen far out in the ocean surviving (and sometimes thriving) despite many believing that they were meant to be on land. Not only is this an additional spiritual meaning, you could also see it as another symbol of hope.
Thanks to The Tortoise and the Hare, the turtle is also seen by many as a symbol of intelligence and wisdom. Look at any older turtle and try not to see the wisdom in its eyes. Obviously, intelligence and wisdom are traits that most people want to have, so it could be one of the many reasons why they would get a turtle tattoo. You can even use this meaning with a cartoony turtle by making it look intelligent, perhaps with glasses or by having it reading.
Thanks to their hard shells, turtle tattoos can also be seen as a symbol of strength. Turtles have to carry those shells around on their backs for their entire lives, so yeah, they are pretty strong. People who get their turtle tattoos for this reason either want to be seen as strong individuals or they want to use the tattoo to encourage them to be strong.
You could make that meaning more obvious in your design by having the turtle carry something heavy on its back, such as Earth itself (this could add in the meaning that you feel you do have the strength to carry your world and everything in it).
That shell they have is also a great symbol of protection. Without that shell, turtles would have absolutely no chance of survival out in the wild, and they know perfectly well how to use that protection. In most cases this turtle tattoo meaning shows that the owners are the type of people who take pride in taking care of their family and friends. It can also mean that they want to be protected from things that could derail their lives. Either way, the turtle is one of the best tattoos to get if you wanted to use the “protection” meaning.
They may be slower than most other reptiles and animals, but no one can deny that turtles have an incredible amount of stamina. They have to almost constantly be on the move not only to avoid predators but also to seek out food for survival. They can walk and swim for a much longer period of time than most people realize. This is a rarer turtle tattoo meaning, but people who want to have the stamina to make it through all of the tough times might get this tattoo for that reason alone.
Similarly, some people use the turtle tattoo meaning of longevity. This is a great meaning to use if you want to have the strength to be able to make it through the tough times so you can have more good times in your life. Many people have great dreams but have a tough time staying the course, and the turtle tattoo can serve as a reminder to stick it out.
Another common turtle tattoo meaning is innocence. Even though some turtle species are a bit more aggressive than others, for the most part they are calm, cool, and collected no matter where they are. They are almost like the monks of the reptile world because they will keep moving along or in groups simply being peaceful and enjoying their lives. It’s very easy to make this turtle tattoo meaning clear; just give your turtle a cute/innocent look!
Some people see turtles as a symbol of good luck because of their ability to stay alive even though plenty of other creatures attempt to eat them throughout their lives. The fact is that a turtle’s shell might help to save its life dozens of times, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. Like a four-leaf clover, owners of turtle tattoos can look to their turtles in times when they need a helping hand getting through an important event in their lives.
If you’re looking for a unique symbol of peace, then you should definitely consider a turtle tattoo. They don’t like to bother people and for the most part will even stay calm when any other type of creature approaches them. You can even add in another symbol of peace onto its shell to make that meaning clear, though that’s not totally necessary.
Some people get their turtle tattoos simply because they think they are the living embodiment of cuteness, which is a meaning all its own. There are so many ways that you can design a turtle to look cure, though the easiest and most common way is to give it a cartoony look. As with any other animal tattoo, you can give your turtle big doe eyes to make it extra cute.
If you decide to get one of the many cartoon turtles out there, you can add in even more meanings and use the meanings listed above. The fact is that plenty of people like the cartoon look a lot and will opt to use it even if they want to use more serious turtle tattoo meanings. Definitely think about adding in more symbols to make your meaning clear if you go with a cartoony design, though.
As you can see, there are a whole host of turtle tattoo meanings. This makes it a great tattoo since you can attach a different meaning to it depending on who you are or what you are going through. Ideally you’ll choose a meaning that will always mean as much to you as it does right when you get it. Since there are so many meanings, you can always add in one or two more if they make sense to you in the future.
If you just happen to love the turtle and it’s either your favorite animal or one of your favorites, that’s a good enough reason to get a turtle tattoo. It’s usually better if there is more meaning to a tattoo, but if the animal itself makes you happy, that is definitely a good enough reason to get one. And, as we said before, you can always give it another meaning later on in life if it works for you.
Another reason why the turtle is a popular tattoo is because there are a ton of designs to choose from. Some people will want to just get a picture of a hard-shelled tortoise, while others might want a more abstracted look. We highly recommend coming up with your own design rather than using a book or online images so it can feel that much more special. You can even use a favorite picture and then change up the design a bit to make it more unique.
Put all of that together and you can probably see why turtle tattoos are a good idea for a lot of people. Most people can come up with at least one of those turtle tattoo meanings to use and there are so many great ways to designs these tats. If you do end up deciding to get a turtle tattoo, be sure to find a respected artist in your area to do the job for you.