I am always enthralled by my dream time and how rich it is. I’ve had many interesting dreams recently again, but the one that stood out most was of the tiny aqua tortoise two nights ago. I love how each time my Russian Tortoise, Gaia, assists me with my writing, she will show up in my dream that very night, or vice versa – show up the night before and I’ll know she has something to share for the day’s writing ahead. I’m so grateful for my spirit family and especially my tortoise and rabbit companions who share their loving support always.
In the dream it actually started out with me on a journey – this time in a smaller RV – and about to embark. Before leaving I catch glimpse of a tiny (baby-sized) tortoise with aqua shell scurrying across the ground of what seemed to be like a garage or storage area. This little tortoise was fast!
The only other tortoise I know to be so fast is my beloved Gaia. She not only had strong presence, patience, and deliberate, persistent action, but she could move between those methodical, soldier-like steps of intention into a speedy sprint.
I knew right away this was a manifestation of Gaia coming through in this mighty and speedy little tortoise. She was reminding me not to forget the gifts and tools I have, not to mention the guiding support to lean into with this journey.
I went after her trying to pick her up, as she dashed quickly in and out of things in this storage area, making it challenging to get her, but also calling forth my not wasting energy, but focusing intentfully on what would be most effective in scooping her up without zig-zagging about.
And soon I did have her in my hands and just remembered how sweet she looked, her deep eyes and almost smiling face, with a fully aqua painted shell home she carried on her back and her coloring reminding me more of a sea turtle – interestingly just the size and similar essence to a tiny figurine I was gifted by a dear friend that sits on my dresser.
That was all I remember.
But as mentioned, since she’d come through that day with writing support and channeling the part of the story I was tapping into, I knew this was no coincidence, but timely and symbolic manifestation on her part.
Her small size felt to indicate these as reminders more than a blaring warning or that I was off-track and needing a huge sign. It also felt like she was helping me to fine-tune these elements and gifts rather than outright teaching me it from scratch. So definitely about honing in on things even more and tweaking so I can optimize.
Aqua happens to be my favorite color, but this is also a color that holds much pertinent energy to my life and this undertaking right now.
It can represent our unconscious and the instincts we have, wanting us to take notice and support. I take this as Gaia sharing to just trust this next flow of information coming through and to surrender to almost what I’d call “automatic writing” that has and will continue to take place. I will not need to dictate anything.
Aqua is also highly creative energy, light-hearted and still carries a strong individuality. This speaks to me too about the writing I’m engaged in and how it is being carried through me, but also of me.
It’s also definitely about inspiration, focus, concentration, communication between heart and spoken/written word, clarity, and even has been linked with the “electronic age” where computers are a form of wide-scale communication. To me speaking to again, trusting the translation that takes place if I let my parts work in balanced partnership and weave thoughts and words from their true source. And of course, I do type on a computer and to understand the collective reach of what’s taking place, not to mention is a way Gaia communicates to me through electronics with her ability to tap into this energy.
It’s also a color of calm invigoration, restoration, recharge of spirits, encourages healing, compassion, and our intuitive abilities that have the ability to open doorways to greater spiritual growth.
I have found this journey with my writing to be all of this and Gaia seems to be encouraging the process and path, sensing I had a moment of pause where I stepped out of that automatic writing place and was stumped for a bit before I jumped back onto the frequency train of allowing.
Aqua is a perfect color to support expression and confidently focus us with our speech and bringing through ways of describing things we might find hard to express. So it’s a wonderful color to surround ourselves with while also enhancing our gifts, help us make decisions, move forward, carry us through successfully, get us out of a rut or indecisive place in life or with a project, and all the while calming our nerves so we can return to center.
Gaia was definitely reminding me of the aura I carry with me with aqua always having been in and around my life, and to surround my process in this essence to carry me to closure with the story.
The things about tortoise/turtles is that they can live and journey both in water and on land, so there is again that balance of diving into our sensitivities and bringing them into concrete form. A bridge between the imagination and manifestation.
Vulnerability will be part of the journey when they show up and at times this will need withdrawing into our “shell” to bring forth something deeper, but also knowing we have the support to share it and that courage will be there when needed.
Normally turtles/tortoises can signify a need to slow down, but in the case of Gaia and this tiny turtle manifestation of her, she was moving quickly. I feel it represents that things will move more rapidly now with things, if I continue to go in this flow she is sharing, but also to be aware of how I can still navigate intentfully and more effectively. By continuing to be aware of my energy out-put and acting instinctively rather than just doing things without engaging my ability to think 10 steps ahead in the moment to understand the flow of energy currents I can ride, I will bring things together with productive results.
When ever I do this, then I meet with harmonious outcomes and merge as one with what is unfolding as an equal partner in tune with the natural rhythms.
There is so much we can learn by symbolism that comes through and many ways and perspectives to receive and see them as, but I believe we are guided to the ones that we need to know most.
I’m grateful to Gaia for her taking time from her ever-full missions she’s on to support me with mine – well….ours. 🙂
This sweet article from Hilary Hanson came out in The Huffington Post on my birthday, but I didn’t have a chance to post it until now. It seems fitting that an article about a rabbit and a tortoise bonding was shared on a day connected to me, since we all know about my sweet Gaia and bunnies, but most especially the bond Gaia and Joy shared. My sweet friends have been around me so much and so when Dave shared this article with me on my birthday, I had to smile again at their messages of love and divine alignment.
I hope you enjoy this short, sweet article:
The moment you want to give up is when you need to dig as deep as you can to keep believing even more, as you’re so close to breaking through the veils and into the light of your heart.
It’s one of those time cycles where I feel a stronger pull to my cosmic origins, and needing to remind myself of balancing and grounding in order to fully be present in this current Earthly experience. And while feeling these pulls elsewhere, it’s no wonder I’ve also been sharing reverence for my beloved Russian Tortoise, Gaia, whom has been away on mission since the end of April.
She, along with my beautiful, physically departed Nestor, have been heavily on my mind. And I know that they are both cosmic pilgrims engaged in their soul essence journeys of the heart.
I know many of you have followed along with their stories, in particular Gaia’s of recent, and may remember she had for the first time hibernated for a short period this winter, returning auspiciously before the end of Winter, but right at the perfectly timed moment in my life. And then, not long after she had returned, she then disappeared again and has been gone since the end of April, now approaching 5 months and oddly during the dead of a very hot Summer here.
I haven’t recently had the sense she is returning, but if she in fact at some point still does, it will be her most surprising and magickal feat to date, which would bring a huge smile to my usually unsurprised self. In the meantime, I have been supporting her energetically in the work she had been called away to do, knowing she is always with me in heart.
But it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve felt the need to honor her more appropriately, especially if she has chosen to move beyond this Earthly realm like Nestor. That’s what it feels like in my heart, and perhaps her original idea of returning has shifted due to my own shifts.
Having gone through what will always be the most heart-wrenching experience of physically losing Nestor in the most dramatic/traumatic of ways at a very challenging soul leap time in my life that nearly took my own breath away, I have gone through the worst and so am able and prepared to handle physical loss, or anything for that matter, with an unconditionally, unattached love and deep honor. Perhaps Gaia chose this way, as mirror to the place I have arrived with this – with no need for closure to the eternal, nor need to physically see and experience that transition from life to afterlife. I am aware that transitions from one dimensional experience to another can be gently chosen, just as much as harshly chosen, depending on what we need to learn and what our attached beliefs are.
I’ve also found it interesting, since both Gaia and Nestor were always not really “all here” when they were, that as such expansively powerful, cosmic beings that they chose these tiny bodies to manifest as. And yet their power was evident, not only in the strength those little bodies physically exhibited, but in their presence and the magickal things they would do each day while with me.
I know part of the reason they came in those bodies, was so that we could be together as we were, and yet as much joy as they brought me in this life, it gives me greater joy to know that they are no longer confined by those bodies in any way and can be the freedom seekers of the Cosmos that they are. Afterall, they spent very little of their time in those bodies, even when they WERE with me, as they were constantly traveling and doing work inter-dimensionally. They remind me of myself and it’s no wonder we have been together across times.
Gaia was such a mentor for Joy and the two of them were best friends. Gaia also had the opportunity to connect with Chuck, while he was still alive, and was an avid companion of the ethereal Nestor (also a friend of Chuck’s).
I found it interesting that on my desk, where I have some of my crystals that support me daily, that the stone statues of Hematite (Nestor) and Rhodonite (Gaia) that I have carried with me on many of my global sacred journeys to have their energy symbolically and physically present where I was doing spiritual work, have always been next to each other on my desk. And the larger Serpentine stone statue of Joy, who is a bit more Earth-bound than they are, (although truly is the embodiment of a bridge between worlds, is a channeler and Crystal worker), is separate, yet connected by the large Cosmic Crystal between them.
And, both Nestor and Gaia are now physically gone, leaving Joy and I together here on this Earth plane.
Joy is my ever-faithful companion who alerts me to all energetic nuances and presides over our shared domain, as a guardian of the sacred. But over time, even Joy’s presence has shifted, as she used to physically take part in any workshops I taught from home, and now her presence although felt, is no longer there – choosing to remain in my office to support from afar.
Little by little with their support and teaching experiences through them, and as I have shifted into my own empowerment, accessing the connections and communications beyond space and time in a more tangible way, and have released attachments, they have all been able to move into different roles in my life and into their trueness.
The more these transcendent shifts anchor, the more I receive inklings of where my own soul direction is leading and the timeliness of that.
It’s all a beautiful journey and I’ve been reflecting on all of this, as thoughts and memories of Gaia have been flooding me recently. It’s brought some bitter sweet tears and yet joyous ones in celebration of her eternal expansiveness.
And I felt it time to make a memorial of sorts in her honor, regardless if she did in fact one day, out of the amazing blue, return. I want her to know how much I am eternally grateful for all that she is, and all that she has been and will continue to be in my life. Like all of these precious and astounding souls, she has taught me so much and she has saved my life more than once.
I have decided to keep her home outside where it has been, as a memorial for her, and also to mark the area I believe she entered Earth’s core through. As it is there I discovered her last time when she returned. If she does in fact miraculously return, then she will have her home to welcome her. Although I hope if she does, that I will still be here to welcome her. This is part of why I am not feeling her returning. I trust, as always, that she’s tuned into my messages, even though they have a bit of a time lapse where she is. We’ve never not been in sync, so there’s that. 🙂
Interestingly, not too long ago, this area where her house sits that has two Plumeria and one large succulent bush, had completely shifted. The large succulent bush had uprooted itself one night and as it did, had taken down the two Plumeria. I had always reflected on this as a sign of the work she was doing below ground, as well as a mirror of impending change that was to take place and the uprooting in my own life.
Since, the bushes have been replanted and supported, with hopes they would survive, and have. So much so, that the Plumeria are now in full bloom – I just was checking them out this morning when I took these photographs – and I love that they surround Gaia’s house with their fragant beauty.
The perfect reflection of the joy and grace she brought to my life, this time around, when I was most in need.
Plumeria symbolism includes natural beauty, charm, grace, new life, new beginnings, creation and recreation, the Sun, perfection of all things as is, dedication, devotion, love, immortality, healing powers, liveliness, life, and birth.
I believe these are perfect messages for where ever the new journey ahead may lead. And however that is to take form, I can only trust in the faith and belief that I will have the same kind of courage these amazing souls have graced my life with.
I also found three Star Jasmine this morning that had blossomed “out of season”. Jasmine flowers symbolize many things to many different cultures, including love, romance, sensuality, amiability, nobility, grace, and elegance, but more importantly, they hold strong spiritual significance, as a constant symbol of divinity and hope.
These three Jasmine felt like magickal reminders of these three dear and immeasurable souls in my life, as well as embody, to me, the powerful will of the courageous soul that doesn’t accept the boundaries others choose to believe in and is capable of blossoming in the darkness.
Like any calendar-marked day, these are just extra awareness reminders that each day of our lives, and the lives of all creatures great and small, would experience greater well-being and conscious presence if we were always being mindful of the things these days bring to mind.
World Turtle Day has been sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue to encourage you to discover the world of Turtles and Tortoises with greater consciousness. It helps brings attention and respect to these amazing ancient Earth dwellers so that we can learn how to support them to keep thriving and bring knowledge to encourage ways of protecting their survival, as well as their disappearing habitats around the world.
Turtles and Tortoises are the world’s oldest creatures and they are also some of the most endangered animals on this Earth.
Many may not give much thought about the less than fuzzy, graceful, and more commonly embraced animals. But reptiles, amphibians, insects, crustaceans, etc. are magnificent creatures and some of the oldest to ever set foot on this Earth. Turtles and Tortoises must be doing something right, as they have been on Earth for over 200 million years – long before the dinosaurs.
The oldest known fossil of a Turtle is 220 million years old, known as Odontochelys. It has a plastron (lower shell) but no carapace (upper shell), as well as teeth.
The next oldest known fossil Turtle, had beaks but no teeth and lived in water – likely salt water. Tortoises are land Turtles that evolved from an advanced Emydid fresh water Turtle (a relative of the Red-Eared Turtle).
All-Creatures.org shares some great information about World Turtle Day and how you can help save Turtles and Tortoises for the next generation at their link I just included.
“…These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and the cruel pet trade. We are seeing smaller turtles coming into the rescue meaning that older adults are disappearing from the wild thanks to the pet trade, and the breeding stock is drastically reduced. It is a very sad time for turtles and tortoises of the world.”
Tellem and her Co-Founder, Marshall Thompson, also bring to attention experts’ predictions of complete disappearance of Turtles and Tortoises within the next 50 years. Some of the things that they recommend adults and children can do to help are:
- Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
- Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
- If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up and send it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again.
- Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off road vehicles, and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to more endangered sea turtle deaths.
- Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
- Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal throughout the U.S.
Since 1990, ATR has placed about 3,000 Tortoises and Turtles in caring homes. They also assist law enforcement when undersize or endangered Turtles are confiscated and provide helpful information and referrals to people with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.
Many of you know that I have a beautiful, gentle, and most magickal Russian Tortoise named Gaia. People may not be aware that my family used to have a Desert Tortoise, named Tee-Ta, and a Box Turtle, named Herman, for years when we were growing up. The two of them were fully outdoor Turtles/Tortoises. The Box Turtle not very social, but the Desert Tortoise Tee-Ta was amazingly social. She would come knock her shell on the sliding glass door to tell us she was hungry every day. She loved me feeding her by hand and was gentle not to nip my fingers. She listened and loved being caressed on her head and neck. When we moved Herman went to a friend who had many other Turtle friends for him to play with and Tee-Ta came with us to Sedona, where she still is.
Then Gaia came into my life in 2008 and I discovered yet another side to these amazing creatures.
From the moment Gaia came home she loved being on my lap when I worked and would snuggle into my clothes. She loved coming by my feet, helping with my painting, looking out the window at Lake Tahoe, spending time curled up with electrical cords and by my computers, as she worked with Binary codes and enjoyed the vibrations that were like her way of communicating, loved all crystals and would climb inside my giant Amethyst, and constantly listened to me when I talked, stopping and cocking her head with her soulful eyes. She came into my dreams before I got her, and she has come into my dreams with messages many times after. She has also traveled to many places with me and been part of a lot of energetic work. She was an indoor Tortoise for almost all the time I’ve had her, until recently.
And if you’ve been following along, she had a magickal hibernation for the first time this year, but is also M.I.A. again now for the last month.
What I came to learn by having a Tortoise companion is how endearing, intelligent, and tender they are in ways people likely don’t think. Most people go for the cuddly companions and yet there are many homeless, abandoned, abused, and neglected creatures that would make wonderful friends, if you chose to take the time and presence to honor, listen to, and get to know them.
Something we could likely receive benefit from doing to everyone and all creatures we meet that are different than us or our pre-conceived ideas.
Today and all days I celebrate these ancient wonders of the Earth.
If you’d like to read more about the symbolism and wisdom of these magickal beings please visit my blog:
I have had both the honor and privilege of sharing love and connection with both “The Tortoise and the Hare” – singly and simultaneously through my soul connections with Nestor (lop eared rabbit), Gaia (Russian tortoise) and Joy (lop eared rabbit). And in doing so, this has enabled me to hear and embrace the gifted messages they each have to share; integrating their individual embodiment of agility and quick-thinking maneuvering (The Hare), as well as steadfast flowing (The Tortoise). Life is about balance and so at times there is a need to get in tune with both “The Tortoise and the Hare” aspects within. Both are equally grounding and teach us we do not have to be victims. By either turning within (The Tortoise) or listening to our instincts (The Hare), in times of fear, we can become empowered individuals. Each have much to share in their own unique way; both symbolizing a different kind of strength we can learn to embrace. There are times we will need to move with great speed through life in leaps and bounds, yet also take time to smell the roses and to breathe…..All of life is a melding of seeming opposites that create harmony, when we embrace the beauty of each.
Gaia is etymologically a compound word composed of two elements: Ge, meaning “Earth,” which is also a pre-Greek substrate word related to Ki in Sumerian, also meaning Earth and Aia comes from an Indo-European derivative meaning “Grandmother.” Therefore, the full etymology of Gaia was once “Grandmother Earth.”
Most of us know Gaia simply as Earth or Mother Earth; the primordial element from which all things originated, which is what the Romans believed as well. They knew Gaia, the Great Mother, as a single living entity that encompassed the totality of every element in the Universe; land, sea, or sky.
The Greeks knew her as an ancient primeval goddess who personified the Earth and whose emergence appeared at the creation of the Universe, born from Chaos. Gaia’s power was far reaching in Ancient Greece, making oaths sworn in her name to be the most binding of all.
If only such value for her was still a part of our lives, perhaps we’d discover more honor in promise to the planet we live on and more synergy and harmony through conscious, symbiotic care of the collective she signifies.
Throughout the ages and cultures, active worship of this titan of fertile Earth came under the guise of many names and varied forms ranging from reverent bowing to Druidic ritual, all in an effort to get more in tune with the rhythm and continuity of nature she embodies. She represented to all, the Earth, or spiritual embodiment of the Earth, and sometimes was the goddess of all creation from which all other gods sprang.
Only Egyptian mythology holds a reverse personification, whereas Geb is the Earth Father while Nut is the Sky Mother, as opposed to Zeus as Sky Father and Gaia as Earth Mother.
In Indian religions, the Mother of all creation is called “Gayatri,” which is a very close form of Gaia. She is the mother of all Vedas, consort of the God Brahma, and personification of the all-pervading Parabrahman – the ultimate unchanging reality that lies behind all phenomena. Many Hindus view connection through the pure love and essence of the Gayatri Mantra as Divine awakening of the mind and soul and a way to reach the most Supreme form of existence.
Simply, the mantra helps us reach toward our divine mother and receive her blessings and wisdom to support us through the challenges of life.
Gaia’s qualities of divine femininity express her desire to nurture mankind and mirror for us, the reverence we have forgotten to honor.
Far too coincidental and divinely synchronous, turtles are the most ancient, vertebrate creatures that also possess Gaia’s wisdom and mother energy and through such, have much to impart. Many ancient myths, such as those of the Indigenous North Americans, describe the world as resting on the turtle’s back and many still refer to North America as Turtle Island.
This is illustrated by their creation legends that tell of a time when Earth was covered by water and Turtle dove to the ocean’s depths to bring forth Earth on its back so the people could have a safe, dry home.
Like Gaia, these ageless beings have carried a myriad of symbolic meanings throughout the ages and cultures, mysteriously linking them as symbols of the primal mother (except in African lore where it is a male symbol) and lunar cycles; again possessing Earth and Cosmic Universal significance and connection with the center.
Far East Asian myth believed turtles brought about the creation of the Universe from its parts, which are said to depict a map of the stars and sacred writings: the shell symbolic of the heavens and used in divination readings, the body symbolic of the Earth, and its undershell symbolic of the underworld. This cosmic order they represent, coupled with the magical ability to support us in uniting heaven and earth within our lives, supports our experience of life as “heaven on earth.”
They are the only animal to have the honor of symbolizing both Mother Earth and healing waters, as well as personifying winter, humidity, thunder to the Mayans, Venus, Aphrodite, Northern directions, and the moon (most turtle shells are divided into 13 sections depicting the 13 yearly phases of the moon.) Powerfully nurturing and protecting, turtle medicine is beautifully illustrated through shared attributes with its Earth Mother counterpart, Gaia, while their spirit symbolizes profound lessons in light of its own example.
There is a presence and flow of steadfast strength in their deliberate, steady, and thorough approach to a life of non-doing, non-reaction, acceptance, and naturalism. Always at home within themselves, they embody the meaning of “home is where the heart is,” understanding detachment and freedom. These carefree, patient, instinctual creatures honor the rhythms of life balance, demonstrate non-violent, self-defense mechanisms, and know when to turn within. Navigating one day at a time, they mirror the importance of moving at one’s own pace through life while honoring boundaries.
Turtles are survivors; living so near the Earth, moving slowly, aging gracefully, symbolizing groundedness, and embracing courage with faith, as is demonstrated through the progress they make only by sticking their neck out. It is no wonder they are considered the wisest of souls in the animal kingdom, offering a potent and profound analogy for humankind on many deep levels.
So intertwined are the turtle and Gaia; there is no mistaking the significance and association of their deep and profound symbolism that seemingly comes from two separate sources, but are synchronously bridged as one. Such contrast between an omnipotent presence and an unassuming innocence and yet the blood lines run through the core of the same essence.
Do not be fooled by the book’s cover, as both embody the spirit and soul of Earth and beyond and share with us invaluable knowledge and teachings. Across the board, whether known as Gaia, personified as Turtle, called, sung, or chanted by another synchronous name, she is the connection to the Universal mothering and nurturing source that leads us to a deep sense of profound peace and balance within and manifested without. Yet, more than any other goddess, she is consistently identified as the divine and animate Earth Mother; the living, conscious planet we reside on that provides sustenance and inherent wisdom to all of her children.
Gaia personifies awareness of our connectedness through the circle of life and the sacredness of all life, be it plant, animal, human, or stars above. She roots her values and respectively ours, helping us to remember that connection and to remind us that respect and gratitude for everything and everyone around us is the ever-present message she hopes to impart.
Through this conscious living we can attain that balance and wholeness that is the promise Gaia offers. Shifting our perspective to that of experiencing connection with her as a partner in life worth respect and honor, we can then enjoy the blessings of that union through the daily gifts of beauty and miracles she provides.
Dedicated and inspired by my friend and Russian Tortoise, Gaia: a sweet, magical, Taurean-born being possessing earthy, feminine energy, as her name suggests. Gaia’s name was spoken to me from the Universe as I listened to ancient mantras on the way home from receiving her into my life. She was restless in her box, but instantly calmed to a stillness with the sound of the first mantra playing. Ironically, as I listened to it and sang the words, the only thing that pervaded my thoughts and essence was the Gayatri Mantra, even though the mantra I was singing was not this one. I only had Gayatri on my mind for some odd reason and didn’t realize I hadn’t been listening to it, until hours later after reaching home. So while I sang the mantra playing, I heard the word “Gayatri” in my head and instantly thereafter, Gaya…Gaia. I turned to my little friend and knew. The Universe and she had both spoken her name to me through the ancient mantra playing. And now I know why.