Turtle Time Healing
The Goddess Turtle
I am a fairly tall and very strong woman, with an ability to "hold" a great deal of emotion for other people. I use a lot of humor in my day-to-day life, which also translates to my work. I feel that laughter is healing. I've been told that I could talk the paint off a wall, yet at the same time have been told I am a great listener. I am also interested in ancient symbolism, meanings, and traditions.

When I was younger, I was drawn to the turtle as a symbol that best represented me. Initially it was because of the turtle's physical characteristics: hard exterior, protective shell, soft inside, and bringing its home everywhere it went. If you ever saw me pack for a weekend away you would know what I mean by this. Quickly I began to research turtles on a deeper level, curious about their symbolism and meaning in various cultures. I learned that the turtle is an ancient symbol. Across many cultures it represents order, endurance, strength, stability, and longevity. The turtle is also known to offer protection and good fortune. Finally, it is one of four Chinese sacred animals, along with the dragon, phoenix, and unicorn. The mythical turtle is a creature of two elements - land and sea - and as such it reflects an ability to adapt and flourish in any environment.

Another favorite symbol of mine is the tree of life. Growing up, one of my favorite books was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien. The tree of life symbol and the tree in the story represent different qualities and virtues, such as wisdom, strength, protection, beauty, and bounty. It is also considered to be the symbol of 'Creator'. The tree is associated with creation because it provides protection, supports abundant fruit-such as the apples in the story-and thereby, regeneration. This analogy can also be used to describe the life of humans. We as humans develop "roots" of our beliefs, and "branch out" by means of wisdom. The "trunk" (mind and body) keeps our roots and branches connected-something that is very important to me. Without connection, I feel that we as humans fail to thrive.

Finally, there is the goddess. The particular one I am drawn to in my adult life is the Pagan symbol - the Lunar Goddess. The ancient Lunar Goddess is one of the most familiar - and beloved. She represents the light within darkness and enlightenment from ignorance, and she gives us the ability to regenerate ourselves and continuously transform. When I applied to social work school quite a long time ago, I opened my personal statement with a line from a James Taylor song about shedding light. I described a desire to walk beside clients and to illuminate an often-dark path on their journey of healing.