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Seeking My Spirit Animal

Part of my ever-expanding home turtle collection….each one of these has a special story (including the little red not-turtle ladybug at the very end!).

When I googled “turtles represent…” just now, this immediately popped up:

…the turtle is a symbol of longevity, endurance, persistence, and the continuation of life (sometimes against incredible odds). – Animal Symbolism

As I read further, the turtle started to sound less like a turtle (as in, the living, breathing shelled beings walking around my living room right now) and more like Shangri-La.

The turtle is carefree. Peaceful. Innocent. Wise. Protected. Patient. Intuitive.

Must be nice.

In lieu of actually possessing any of these qualities myself, I have an ever-expanding collection of metal, cloth, ceramic, and stuffed animal turtles scattered all over my house.

Just when I think I have run out of room for any more turtles, a surprise package (my favorite kind!) will arrive and in it I will discover another turtle.

There is always room.

Often I’ve wondered about which animal is my totem or spirit or guide animal. Sometimes I think it is the parrot (my many reasons for this belief are described in detail in Pearl’s and my book together, “Love & Feathers: what a palm-sized parrot has taught me about life and love and healthy self-esteem“).

At other times I think it is the turtle.

Mostly I think it is the parroturtle, or the turtleparrot, because you can have animal spirit guide mashups where totems are involved, and I have so many aspects of both in my personal makeup.

For example, I like to hide when things frighten me (usually in my house and under the covers since, unlike my turtles, I don’t have a hiding receptacle right there on my back). I also often feel the desire to scream or bite when life gets irritating (since this isn’t socially acceptable for homo sapiens, I can trust my parrot to act out these behaviors on my behalf).

When I read about how to locate one’s persona/ spirit animal, the instructions typically say things like “let nature lead” or “meditate free from any distractions.”

Since I live with two turtles and one parrot, I am never free from distractions. And as far as nature goes, it’s in my house with me on a daily basis, which inevitably brings my thoughts back around to the parroturtle or the turtleparrot.

So I think that must be my spirit animal/guide/totem.

Aesthetically speaking, since I have two shells and one set of feathers mentoring and guiding me, I was thinking this combination could make for a nice balanced totem design – one turtle could be on top, with the feathers in the center and then the other turtle on the bottom.

Once it as all carved and polished and ready, only one step would remain….finding room for it.

But there is always room.

Today’s Takeaway: Do you have a spirit animal or totem or guide? My DNA includes recent remnants of the American Indians, and I’ve always had an affinity for nature and animals, so perhaps it is something I was born being curious about. But I’ve never really delved into it, since I’ve nearly always had pet animals in my life and they teach me every day. I’d love to hear if you have a spirit animal or know someone who does!

Seeking My Spirit Animal

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2017). Seeking My Spirit Animal. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Aug 2017
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