Cranes are most famously associated with Japanese symbolism, where their majestic and statuesque bodies along with their long, red beaks are seen as a symbol of good fortune, strength, and longevity.
But, is the crane associated with any other cultures? And is it symbolic of anything else? If you’ve ever found yourself wondering this, you’ve come to the right place!
Below, we’re going to take a look at everything you need to know about crane symbolism. We’ll also explore their dream meaning, spirit animal symbolism, and much more!
What Does It Mean To See A Crane?
Let’s get started by taking a look at what it means to see a crane in the physical world. Generally speaking, in most cultures seeing a crane is most commonly believed to be a symbol of longevity and good luck.
However, as with all symbolism, there are slight differences in meaning. In Japan, for example, the crane is considered a sacred bird that is believed to live for a thousand years.
Whereas in Chinese culture, cranes are associated with immortality and are often depicted with pine trees, which represent longevity.
In addition to their association with longevity, cranes are also seen as symbols of grace and elegance.
This is likely because they are known for their graceful movements and their ability to fly long distances with ease. Seeing a crane in flight can also be taken as a reminder to stay graceful and focused even in difficult situations.
Finally, as cranes are able to survive in a variety of environments and can adapt to changing conditions, they are also associated with strength and resilience.
As such, seeing a crane may be a sign that you have the strength and resilience to overcome challenges in your life.
Crane Symbolism In Japanese Culture
As we mentioned earlier, Cranes are most commonly found in Japanese culture, and their most common symbolic meaning is good luck and longevity.
But is there anything else the Crane is associated with in Japanese culture?
Well, in addition to their association with longevity and good fortune, cranes are also seen as symbols of grace, elegance, and strength.
The crane’s graceful movements are often compared to those of a dancer, and it is seen as a symbol of inner beauty and self-control.
The crane is also a popular motif in Japanese art and is often depicted in paintings, sculptures, and other forms of artwork.
The crane is sometimes depicted with other symbols, such as pine trees or cherry blossoms, which represent longevity and beauty, respectively.
There is a legend behind Cranes in Japanese symbolism as well, with the story of the “Thousand Cranes”. According to the legend, if a person folds 1000 paper cranes, they will be granted a wish.
This tradition became widely known after Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, folded 1000 cranes in the hopes of recovering from leukemia.
The story of Sadako Sasaki has since become a symbol of peace and hope.
Crane Symbolism In Hinduism
While most famously associated with Japanese culture, Cranes also hold deep symbolism in Hinduism, where it is considered a sacred bird and is often associated with purity, wisdom, and detachment.
The crane, or “bakula”, is a symbol of knowledge, grace, and balance.
In Hindu mythology, the crane is associated with the god Vishnu, who is often depicted with a crown of seven cranes.
The seven cranes represent the seven chakras or energy centers in the body, and are seen as a symbol of enlightenment and spiritual growth.
The crane is also associated with the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts. Saraswati is often depicted riding a crane or holding a vina, a musical instrument made from a crane’s beak.
In addition to its association with knowledge and purity, the crane is also seen as a symbol of detachment and non-attachment.
In Hinduism, detachment is seen as a virtue that can help a person to achieve spiritual growth and enlightenment.
Crane Symbolism In Native American Culture
As is the case with many birds, the Crane also holds a place in the symbolism of Native American culture. Its symbolism also changes from tribe to tribe.
For example, the Apache tribe saw the crane as a symbol of good fortune and used its feathers in healing ceremonies.
Whereas the Cherokee tribe associated the crane with peace and harmony, and believed that cranes would dance and sing during times of peace.
Likewise, the Hopi tribe saw the crane as a messenger between humans and the spirit world, and believed that cranes could bring messages from their ancestors, while the Navajo tribe associated the crane with long life, and believed that cranes could bring good luck and prosperity.
The Sioux tribe also saw the crane as a symbol of strength and nobility, and used its feathers in headdresses and other ceremonial items.
Crane Symbolism In Greek Mythology
Cranes also have a symbolic place in Greek mythology, where it is associated with the goddess Hera, who is often depicted with a peacock or a crane by her side and is a symbol of Hera’s regal nature and beauty.
According to one story from Greek mythology, Hera turned a woman named Gerana into a crane, as punishment for her vanity and pride.
The reason? Gerana had boasted that she was more beautiful than Hera, and so Hera turned her into a crane as a lesson in humility.
In addition to its association with Hera, the crane is also seen as a symbol of vigilance and protection.
In Greek mythology, the crane was believed to be a bird of omen that could sense danger and warn people of impending threats.
Crane Symbolism In Christianity
While you might immediately picture a Dove when thinking of birds associated with Christian symbolism, believe it or not Cranes also hold a symbolic meaning in Christianity.
Most commonly, it is used as a symbol of vigilance and wakefulness, as cranes are known to be birds that are constantly alert and aware of their surroundings.
In addition, the crane is sometimes used as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, as it was believed in medieval times that cranes could revive themselves after death.
This belief was based on the observation that cranes would appear to be dead when they slept, with their necks hanging limp, but would wake up suddenly and stretch their necks when they sensed danger.
The Crane As A Spirit Animal
As a spirit animal, the crane is seen as a symbol of grace, balance, and longevity.
People who identify with the crane as their spirit animal are often described as being calm, patient, and poised, with a strong sense of inner peace.
The crane is also seen as a symbol of perseverance and resilience. Just as cranes are able to endure long migrations and harsh conditions, those who identify with the crane as their spirit animal are thought to have the strength and determination to overcome obstacles and challenges in their lives.
The crane is also seen as a symbol of creativity and inspiration. In many cultures, the crane is associated with the arts, music, and poetry, and those who identify with the crane as their spirit animal are thought to have a deep appreciation for beauty and a strong creative spirit.
The Crane As A Power Animal
In shamanism, cranes are often regarded as a powerful and sacred animal spirit guide.
These spirit guides are known as a “power animal”. As a power animal, the crane is believed to bring wisdom, focus, and grace to those who connect with it.
However, there are also some other characteristics and lessons that can be associated with Cranes as a power animal.
The first of these is focus, and this is because the crane is known for its ability to focus intently on its prey or task, which can serve as a reminder to stay focused and avoid distractions.
As a power animal, Cranes are also symbolic of wisdom. In many different cultures, Cranes are believed to be wise and knowledgeable animals, with the ability to see things from a higher perspective.
So, as a power animal, the crane can offer guidance and insight into complex situations.
The crane’s movements are also often described as graceful and elegant, which can inspire us to move through life with more poise and grace. Likewise,in some cultures, the crane is associated with transformation and rebirth.
As a power animal, the crane can help us navigate times of change and transition.
Finally, cranes are also known for their longevity, with some species living for decades.
As a power animal, the crane can remind us to focus on our long-term goals and take steps to ensure our own longevity and well-being.
Crane Dream Symbolism
As with all symbolism, dreaming of a Crane can mean something different to each individual as is often based on personal experiences and emotions.
For instance, seeing a Crane in a dream can be a symbol of longevity and prosperity, suggesting that good fortune and success are on the horizon.
However, it may also be symbolic of grace and elegance, as Cranes are known for their graceful movements and elegant appearance.
In this instance, dreaming of a Crane may suggest that the dreamer is feeling poised and self-assured, or that they desire to embody these qualities.
Likewise, as Cranes are social birds that communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations and body language, seeing a crane in a dream may be a symbol of communication and connection, suggesting that the dreamer is seeking to connect with others or to better understand their own emotions and desires.
Finally, as Cranes are known for their patience and persistence, along with their ability of being able to stand still for long periods of time and endure difficult conditions during migration, seeing a crane in a dream may be a symbol of patience and persistence.
This could also suggest that the dreamer is facing a challenging situation that requires these qualities to overcome.
Generally speaking, the Crane is most commonly associated with good fortune and longevity.
However, as with all areas of symbolism, its symbolic meaning can change depending on culture, circumstances, and personal belief. Regardless of how you choose to interpret seeing a Crane, whether in the physical world, the spiritual plane, or in a dream, however, one thing is for certain – good things are coming your way!
Cranes are always associated with being a good omen, so be sure to keep focusing forward and letting the Crane guide you where you need to go.