Crane Symbolism & Meaning
Having trouble finding time for spiritual pursuits? Is it often difficult to concentrate on what’s important to you? Crane as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal can help! Crane teaches how to identify and balance priorities, all while showing you how to maintain focus even amid chaos. Delve deeply into Crane symbolism and meaning to find out how this Spirit Animal Guide can educate, illuminate, and enlighten you!
Crane Table of Contents
- Crane Symbolism & Meaning
- Spirit Animal
- Totem Animal
- Power Animal
- Native American Symbolism
- Celtic Crane Symbolism
- Crane Dreams
- Far Eastern Symbolism
- Back to all Birds
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Crane Symbolism & Meaning
The Crane Spirit overflows with affirmative symbolism including keen-mindedness, luck, joy, motherly love, happy marriages, integrity, and balance. Because Cranes walk, swim, and fly in nature, they also have associations with the Earth, Water, and Air Elements. As a prehistoric creature and the oldest living bird on the planet, Crane has had a long time to build these wonderful energetic signatures.
Cranes have iconic imagery as standing on one leg in shallow water. It’s as if they are about to dance with the poise of a seasoned ballerina. The ancients did not overlook such grace and beauty. In Rome, the Crane was a symbol of the Mother Goddess, Demeter, for example. Romans regarded Crane as a symbol of endurance and renewal. People used found Crane wings as a talisman, aiding weary travelers when the road became long and difficult.
Folklore claims Mercury created the alphabet after watching Cranes in flight. Mercury was the Roman God of commerce, messages, divination, travel, and good luck. Crane crests appear on Roman battle helmets and shields, invoking deadly accuracy and victory.
Greek stories depict a lawful side of Crane. They tell of a thief followed relentlessly by Crane. Upon catching the thief, he attacked him until he confessed his crime. So, Greeks see Crane as an omen of warning, particularly about our ethics and behavior.
A 12th-century Bestiary portrays Crane as a sentinel, watching over people and protecting them from evil. Christianity depicts Crane as an enemy of Satan, and a powerful force for good. And then there is Aesop’s fables describing Crane as a wise teacher and problem-solver.
In looking to Cranes in nature we find a bird with several very large varieties in the family tree, some up to six feet tall. They have long legs and a long neck giving them a good view of the landscape. They fly with an outstretched neck reaching up to 45 miles an hour; in this, Crane embodies not only perspective but swift movement when necessary.
Cranes have a distinct means of communication. Each species of Crane has distinct tones and volumes. They add body language into this system for greater specificity. Crane Medicine means learning how to use your voice effectively, particularly in speaking within your circle or tribe.
Crane Spirit is also the Master of Sacred Dance and fidelity. Throughout Crane communities, young and old alike have elaborate dances, some of which happen just for the fun of it. Some dances help little colts in their social skills while advancing their physical aptitude. Once a few Cranes prance, everyone joins in. Certain sambas have a role in mating rituals where the Crane seeks out a partner with whom they remain bonded for a lifetime. Both parents go on to rear their young together.
There are a wide variety of Cranes in the world, each one of which we can consider for slight variations in Crane Spirit meanings. The White Crane, for example, represent purity and faithfulness. The Blue Crane illustrates peace and mindfulness. Grey-Crowned Cranes in Uganda hold the position of bearing quintessential elegance and a Red-Crowned Crane exudes love, energy, and passion.
Crane Spirit Animal
When the Crane Spirit Animal enters your life, it offers you a time for reflection. Crane asks, how can you use your life experience as a support for current circumstance? Additionally, Crane Spirit Animal warns against revealing too much of yourself or your plans right now. It is time to trust in your own inner guidance.
Crane Spirit Animal often arrives bearing good news. Success is on the horizon, along with well-earned respect. Why does the Crane arrive now? As a reminder to use your blessings with wisdom and finesse.
A common message from Crane Spirit Animal focuses on balance and clarity. How much time do you devote to your spiritual life, your home, work, family? These things can sometimes feel overwhelming all on one platter, but if you approach them with Crane’s perspective, understanding grows. You have a way of managing; this will be an “Ah-Ha!” moment.
If you are moving into a teaching or mentoring situation, Crane comes as a support system. Crane Spirit Animal reminds us of our inherent knowledge. You can pass those treasures on to others, facilitating their progress and empowering their dreams. Crane energy also provides ways of communicating information in a clear manner (i.e. the recipient actively hears what you say and integrates it).
Crane Totem Animal
Those people born with a Crane Totem Animal are the epitome of patience and concentration. It doesn’t matter if you ask them to stand on one leg, rub their belly, and pat their head; they never lose focus. Crane people don’t rush, and they don’t get flustered, seeming to soar over every obstacle. It’s amazing.
If you have a Crane Birth Totem, you are very fair-minded. You have the capacity for figuratively walking in someone else’s shoes and get a sense of how they think or feel; this aptitude gives you time for detail gathering and observation. You want to understand a person or situation fully before you make a choice or come to any conclusions. When you offer advice, it’s without ulterior motives, and typically spot-on.
Routine is very important to you as a Crane. You love patterns, routines, and rituals: it ensures the dependable order of your day. You travel the same way to work, use the same coffee cup, and clean the house in a specific progression. People will think you’re being obsessive when in fact you are doing exactly what you need for personal peace. When these little procedures and systems get off track, for whatever reason, it throws off your whole day.
You may find movement energizes you. Be it walking, exercise, martial arts or dance, there is something in flowing gestures, in gracefulness that’s comforting. These maneuvers play a vital role in your overall poise, confidence, health, and wellbeing. Create a space and place for them regularly.
The Crane Totem animal has a secretive side in private matters. Those near and dear to can always count on your discretion. By extension, you have no patience for busybodies; this is Crane’s territorial nature coming through.
Crane Power Animal
Look to your inner Crane Power Animal when your life gets out of balance or seems like it’s spinning out of control. Crane helps you redirect your focus and measure how you allocate your energy. Crane says: “Prioritize.” Ask yourself what needs your attention the most, even in the short term?
Building on this, you can access your Crane Power Animal for clear-minded deliberation. Now is not the time to act too quickly. Think things through with Crane as a guide; this Animal Helper is a great navigator.
When change is on the horizon, Crane Power Animal will happily offer suggestions for coping. Transformation is a natural part of life’s rhythms; this is just another ritual. Dance it with the Crane.
If you have trouble with public speaking, or with people not understanding you clearly, the Crane Power Animal provides courage and creativity: You can do it!
Native American Crane Symbolic Meanings
Many Native American tribes feel Crane brings good luck, particularly when fishing. Some Native stories about the Crane also portray this creature as a peacemaker, a powerful speaker, and leader. In an odd dichotomy, other tales claim Crane is vain. Tribes with Crane Clans include Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo, and Chippewa. The Creeks include a Crane Dance in some tribal rituals and celebrations.
Won the Race-Lost a Wife (Cherokee): A Cherokee folktale begins with the Crane and Hummingbird both being in love with the same beautiful woman. She preferred Hummingbird’s beauty to the Crane’s awkwardness. Crane, however, was a very persistent fellow.
Finally, she creates a challenge between them. Whoever wins the race would marry her. She knew the Hummingbirds’ wings were swift as the winds. He was sure to win. What she did not know is Crane can fly all night long.
The two competitors agree to her conditions. They began at the woman’s house, flew around the world, and returned. Hummingbird flew off like a well-directed arrow, out of sight. Hummingbird flew all day, then finally stopped to rest while feeling well ahead of the game.
Crane flew all night long, passing Hummingbird. He paused momentarily, eating at a creek. Hummingbird woke and flew on, but realized he was behind when he saw the Crane already there eating casually. Seeing this, Hummingbird flew on again leaving Crane at the water.
After a hearty breakfast Crane flew on, passing the Hummingbird again by night. By the sixth day, Crane was a whole night ahead of Hummingbird and close to his goal. He stopped to preens himself and arrives at the woman’s home. Hummingbird arrives afterward, losing the race. Sadly, for Crane, she did not want such an unattractive husband, so she remained single for all her days.
Crane & the Otter (Assiniboine): Crane’s eggs hatch last in the season. A young Crane was too weak to fly with the ducks and geese toward warm weather. With winter fast approaching, Mother Crane asks Otter to safeguard her child until spring. Otter agrees and set about placing the child in a warm hole.
Then trouble arrives. Osni’ (Cold) moves into the camp and kills the Otter. Osni’ then takes the young Crane to his camp and forces the child into servitude. The little Crane stirs the fire for Osni’ and rarely gets fed. The flames burnt him, leaving his skin reddish-brown.
Come Spring, the young Crane anxiously awaits his mother, moving out to the sunshine and calling to her with all his might. Osni’ yells at him for the noise, but the little one yells all the louder. Osni’ chases after him and almost catches up when lightning strikes him and ends winter’s cold.
Mother Crane arrives asking about the winter. Her child tells her of Otter’s kindness and Osni’s abuse. The Mother looks for another Otter to honor the one who cared for her child. She promises the cold would never kill Otter, which is why he can now live in the water during winter and survive the freezing temperatures; this story reflects a myth explaining seasonal changes and the value of a promise well-kept.
Celtic Crane Symbolic Meanings
Among the Celts, Crane had connections to the King of the Underworld, Annwn. It is in this realm the secrets of regeneration and eternal life lie. Some say the Crane is a soul reincarnated and doing penance for previous wrongdoing.
As a bird sacred to the Triple Goddess, Crane has associations with eloquence, magic, astral travel, mysteries, and great truth. In this region, it is a lunar animal capable of shapeshifting.
Local legends have it that Ogma, an Irish/Scottish God and mythic member of the Tuatha De Danann, created the Ogham after watching the Crane’s various stances. There were patterns and ancient powers which became the Runic Language. He honored the secrets of the crane by omitting them from the Bird Ogham. Druid lore includes what they call “Crane knowledge.” It was Ogma who taught Lugh to use Crane-like positions for invoking warrior energy.
A Crane arriving in your dreams is an omen. Someone you care about is coming for a visit; this surprise has greater importance in fixing some past wrong.
If numerous Cranes surround you in your dream, it is a sign of spiritual awakening. You will soon uncover truths and have ideas evoking a higher perspective in your life, particularly your soul’s duty.
Dreams of a Crane with a child in tow portends maternal-style affection and nurturing; this could be from someone to you, or from you to another. In either case, all gestures are well-intended and bring great happiness.
If the Crane in your dream is flying, prosperity comes on its wings. Conversely, if the Crane flies North, there may be financial troubles in business. Flying in pairs is a positive sign for relationships and forthcoming events. If you are flying on the Crane, your career is about to take off like a rocket. Cranes flying in circles around you speak of devotion from a partner in which you can trust.
When Crane appears to be watching you patiently in the dreamscape, it’s time for developing more flexibility in your life.
Dancing cranes portend an engagement or commitment of some kind and sometimes pregnancy.
Far Eastern Crane Symbolic Meanings
People in both China and Japan see Crane as an emblem of a long life and prosperity. Crane is a common feature on wedding kimonos for good luck and marital bliss. If you fold one thousand origami Cranes, you may make a wish and have it granted, which is why these paper Cranes figure into wedding rituals for a thousand years of happiness.
In China, Crane is the Prince of the birds. Legends claim they live a thousand years and carry the souls of the dead into heaven. Crane can also fly with the Gods and Immortals. The dance of the Crane became martial art moves in Kung Fu. Some consider the symbol of the Crane as holy or magical in nature.
Crane Symbolic Meanings Key
- Long Life
- Omens & Signs
- Spiritual Change