Crane Symbolism & Meaning (+ Spirit, Totem & Omens)

Are you interested in the Crane Spirit Animal? Then this guide is for you!

When the crane spirit animal guide calls on you, it wants you to change the rougher elements of your personality.

You see; in the animal world, the crane stands for grace, peace, beauty, and balance.

Some cultures from across the globe associate this bird with the transition one has to make moving into the New Year.

Crane symbolism calls on you to live in harmony with yourself, and peacefully with your neighbors.

This means you should learn self-respect, and respect for your family, friends, and acquaintances.

What’s the Crane Meaning and Symbolism?


Symbol of Change and Growth

Most crane species live in bogs and marshes. Although they are born and spend most of their early life in wetlands, they eventually migrate, flying at high altitudes to travel thousands of miles away.

The crane spirit guide teaches you that you were not born to stay in the same stage of life. You need to change, grow, and realize your full potential.

This is an important piece of advice, especially if your circumstances are not as good as you’d like them to be.

Symbol of Vigilance and Balance

The sight of the crane bird standing on one leg for hours on end is something to behold. The crane stands still in this manner waiting for fish to appear.

This creates a picture of a vigilant sentinel who knows that by patiently waiting for opportunities, something good will happen, eventually.

Of course, you can only achieve this kind of discipline if you create the right balance in your life.

Symbol of Elegance and Gracefulness

Whether they are flying or standing, cranes seem undisturbed by what’s happening in their environment.

This is not to say, however, that cranes are unaware of what’s going on around them. It seems that they choose to be graceful and elegant despite the challenges around them.

Imagine if this were you, going about your daily chores peacefully and gracefully despite the many hurdles you encounter on the way!

Symbol of Loyalty and Love

Cranes stick to the same mating partner for life. This is one of the most unique displays of loyalty and love in nature.

The crane spirit animal makes its way into your life to teach you the power of faithfulness. Once you have identified the right partner, be loyal and honest with them.

Symbolic Meaning of Crane Spirit Animal in Various Cultures

Crane Symbolism and Meaning in Christian Culture

The crane has been featured in Christian art for centuries. It is used as a symbol of beauty, grace, and peace.

It also denotes order in monastic life, loyalty, vigilance, discipline, and patience. These qualities come from what we see in the crane’s behavior and conduct in nature.

Christian myth has it that Cranes gather around their king each night to report, consult, and seek support.

This myth is meant to tell Christians to remain true to their leaders, who bring them ever so closer to the kind of life God wants them to lead.

Cranes eat animals associated with Satan – animals that live in the mud such as snails, frogs, and snakes.

In Christianity, this teaches the faithful to fight evil and remain clean not to be tainted by the curse of Satan.

Crane Symbolism in African Culture

Since time immemorial, the crane has been held in high regard by the African tribes. A common southern African narrative has it that one day, a king got lost while out hunting.

As he wandered around in the wilderness, he grew weaker and dehydrated by the hour. He appealed to the animals he encountered to show him the way back to the palace.

But, remembering how the king and his subjects had hunted them, the animals refused and turned away.

Eventually, he encountered a flock of flying cranes, who agreed to show him the way home.

From that day, the Crane became an honored bird, and started to dominate the headgear of chiefs and kings.

The Blue Crowned Crane is used as the national bird of South Africa to show its hallowed status in the community.

The Grey Crowned Crane is the national emblem of the East African country of Uganda, and occupies a prime position on this country’s national flag.

Crane Symbolism in Native American Culture

Many Native American tribes consider the crane a sacred bird, and it features prominently in important religious and spiritual functions.

This bird was worshipped and invoked as a symbol of long life, immortality, knowledge, peace, and wisdom.

As the Native Americans struggled to deal with the white man’s invasion of their lands, the crane became an important symbol of independence.

Indeed, today, federal law allows Native Americans to use crane features (as with eagle feathers) in their rituals and ceremonies.

To many tribes, seeing a crane was taken to mean good luck and fortune.

It is said that some tribes developed secret codes from the trumpeting calls made by these birds – which became nicknamed the “Speakers of the Clan “.

The crane has been immortalized in important physical features and clan names, such as:

  • Watula Creek – named after a Sandhill crane
  • Ziltahjini Peak in Navajo Arizona – named after standing cranes
  • The Zuni clan have the crane name Kalokta-Kwe
  • The Menominee and the Hopi clans with the crane name Atokngyam
  • The Chippewa clan with the crane clan name Basweenazhi or Ajijaak

Crane Symbolism in Celtic Culture

A study of Celtic artifacts shows that cranes were used as an important military and economic symbols. Crane symbols have been found on coins, shields, helmets, weapons, and urns.

Alongside ravens and swans, cranes were seen as messengers from the spirit world. It was believed that cranes could shuttle with ease between the physical world and the spiritual realm.

For this reason, these birds were seen as divine messengers, and were treated with respect.

Artifacts with crane motifs from as early as 1200BC show that these birds were used for spiritual rituals and ceremonies.

The Celts held in awe birds that could live in the three elements of earth, air, and water. Because the cranes fitted nicely in this category, they were perceived to be magical.

Crane Symbolism in Eastern Culture

The story of Sadako Sasaki features prominently to explain how the Japanese hold the crane in high regard.

Sadako was a small girl when the atomic bomb was dropped on their city in World War II. When she was ten years, she developed complications from the bomb radiation.

Later she was confined to a hospital when her Leukemia condition became severe.

It is at this point she remembered the Japanese belief that if one could fold 1,000 crane origami, one would have their wish granted.

Determined to ask for her healing and the recovery of fellow victims, she embarked on making the origami.

By the time she died at the age of 12, Sadako Sasaki had made well over 1300 crane origami.

Today, her statue stands tall in Hiroshima as a monument to peace near where the bomb was dropped.

The death of Sadako triggered a world peace movement where children would send each other crane origami as a symbol of peace, healing, and reconciliation.

Sadako’s actions were inspired by the belief in Japanese society that the crane is a sacred bird that lives for well over 1000 years.

Among the Chinese, the crane is seen as a divine messenger that brings good health, prosperity, and abundance.

Many Chinese welcome it as a sign of longevity, peace, and good health.

When the Crane is Your Spirit Animal

People guided by the crane spirit are gentle, graceful, and well organized. They are keen to work in harmony with the people they encounter in life’s journey.

When the crane spirit guide flies into your life, it asks you to be self-assured, polished, and cultured. This bird brings into your consciousness your hidden charisma and sophistication.

The crane spirit animal guides you to create the right balance in your life. Perhaps, you have been working too hard for your own good.

Although it is a good thing to be hard working, you should always remember that life is not all about making money.

You need to pay more attention to your family and friends. Go out more often, and interact with the people that will help you grow your hobbies and interests.

The crane spirit animal encourages you to love your family. People with this spirit guide are willing to go to any lengths for the sake of their loved ones.

They are as loving as they are protective.

Also, the crane spirit guide warns you against spending all your time at parties. Because you are a lively person, you must remember to do everything in moderation.

The Crane Power Animal

The crane power animal can motivate you to project the best qualities of yourself to the world. This bird comes in handy when you want to unleash your full potential.

It helps you to transform your perceived weaknesses into strengths.

Call on the crane power animal when you need support in your romantic life or any other partnership.

The crane power animal helps you make positive changes that bring you closer to your goals and objectives.

This bird will locate you when you desire to venture into new territories – be they spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical.

Call on the crane power animal when you desire to exude more grace and elegance.

The Crane Totem Animal

Have you been living a simple life and you desire to be more sophisticated? The crane totem animal will locate you in response to this need.

The crane totem animal pushes you to be better at your job and social engagements. You will have the grace and elegance you need to get recognized.

This totem guide will also find you if your heart yearns for true love. Perhaps, you have been heartbroken too many times, and you are afraid of committing to someone else.

The crane totem guides you to have the right character judgment. It also reminds you that in such circumstances, patience pays.

People with the crane totem animal know the value of love, and they treat their partners right.

They are quick to discern dishonesty in a potential partner, and will not waste their time and energy on such a person.

Crane Mythology and Folklore

The crane features in the mythology and folklore of many cultures from across the globe. For example, the Australian Aborigines use these birds as symbols of their spiritual beliefs.

The crane is featured in intricate spiritual dances of the Aborigines. To these people, this bird stands for endings and beginnings depicted by the movement of the sun.

The Koreans too have a crane dance. To them, the crane stands for peace, harmony, and longevity.

The DMZ between South and North Korea serves as a safe haven for the red crowned crane.

Both sides of Korea hold this bird in high regard, and it gives them hope that the two countries will find lasting peace one day.

In India, the Indian Crane (saras) is taken as the physical embodiment of the goddess of deceit.

This bird is featured prominently in traditional narratives that cover the theme of deception or trickery.

Crane encounters and Omens

Seeing a crane has many connotations depending on your circumstances and what you are going through.

Generally, it is taken that seeing a crane before an important journey indicates good luck. If this journey involves sea travel, the presence of the crane predicts good weather.

Seeing a crane flying calls on you to create a closer link with your divine guides. This encounter asks you to tend to your soul’s needs.

In Japan, people ordinarily exchange crane origami as a sign of blessings, goodwill, and best wishes. Encountering a crane in the morning is taken to be a sign of a good day in Japan.

In India, the crane was in the past associated with deceit and dishonesty. Seeing this bird was a sign that someone close to you is being economical with the truth.

The Chinese see an encounter with a crane as a special message from the divine. It was an assurance that they’d live for long.

This bird holds the promise of wealth and progress in their lives.

Crane Tattoo Meaning

Crane tattoos can express a wide range of themes depending on what the bearer wants to communicate.

For example, this tattoo is quite appropriate for the theme of love and loyalty. It is quite common for lovers to bear the tattoo of a pair of cranes to show faithfulness.

A Christian may opt for a crane tattoo because this bird stands for purity, grace, and elegance. It also indicates one’s devotion to God.

The Japanese believe that the crane lives for more than 1,000 years. A crane tattoo in this culture is a symbol of longevity, immortality, or eternal youth.

Among some African tribes, the crane was seen to be the bird of the kings. It symbolizes courage, strength, and bravery.

If you believe in these qualities, you may want to have the crane inked on your skin.

Across the world, the crane tattoo has come to be associated with strength, togetherness, and peace. This is closely associated with the story of Sadako Sasaki, the Japanese girl victim of the A-bomb.

What’s the Meaning of Crane Dreams?

The crane may pay you a visit in your sleep to display its elegance and beauty. Its presence in your dreams brings an important message.

Seeing a flying crane in your dream means good times ahead. The plans you have been working on will bring prosperity and abundance.

To dream of crane feathers without seeing the crane itself asks you to be courageous in the face of challenges.

You have what it takes to handle the problems in your life.

Dreaming of a crane falling from the sky is a warning of the hard times ahead. This dream gives you the heads-up to handle the changing circumstances courageously.

Seeing a crane standing on one leg in the water calls on you to be patient. Keep working hard with your goals and objectives firmly on your mind.

Everything will happen at the right time.

Final Thoughts…

Without even trying, cranes come across as elegant and graceful. This tells us that we must aspire to project a composed, calm, and peaceful personality wherever we go.

The Crane spirit guide comes into your life to teach you the importance of adopting a gentle attitude.

It encourages you to embrace an unaggressive nature and to focus on your ability to create peace and harmony in your environment.

With this kind of a positive attitude, you can achieve great things in this life.

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