When it comes to majestic-looking animals, there are few as majestic as the crane. This tall bird with a large, heavy bill is golden-orange to white in color and holds its head up regally.
This is one of the oldest species of birds on the planet. They have long lives, mate for life, and are extremely protective of their young.
This is a bird that can fly but seldom bothers unless threatened.
One thing that can be said about these birds is that they hold great significance in many cultures and religions.
Today we are going to take a look at crane symbolism, as well as many other interesting tidbits about cranes.
Let’s get started.
One of the first things we think of when seeing a crane is how beautiful and graceful it is. So, it is not surprising that the crane symbolizes beauty and grace.
Often, the crane is symbolic of positive change. In fact, many cultures associate this bird with the new year for this very reason.
You will find the crane in mythology all over the world.
The crane can be found in myths and legends, poetry, and artwork and has been mentioned throughout history.
Crane’s symbolism teaches us that we must strive for a balance to live in peace with one another. We must give respect to earn respect.
The crane is often called “The King of Birds” for very good reasons.
Let’s take a look at the symbolism of cranes and what this bird means in various cultures.
1. Crane Spiritual Symbolism
A beautiful white bird is the first thing that usually comes to mind when thinking about a crane.
While cranes can be found in other colors, white is the most common.
White is the color of divinity and purity.
So, it only stands to reason that the crane would be very symbolic in the spiritual sense.
In some cultures, the crane also represents loyalty, purity, longevity, and good fortune. But, they can also represent something darker, such as death and evil.
In most cases, it is the positive thing people think of when seeing a crane. It is often seen to represent positive changes.
2. Cranes are Symbols of Elegance
Seeing how elegant and graceful cranes are, it’s no wonder that they are often seen as symbols of elegance.
Cranes are naturally graceful and elegant and never have to work at it.
This is something that most humans strive for but don’t always seem to be able to reach.
A crane is a happy being itself, doing what it wants to do and what is in its nature to do, and they do it all elegantly. This is something that we should all work towards in our own lives.
3. Cranes are a Symbol of Loyalty
As mentioned in the introduction, cranes are monogamous and mate for life. They are unusually loyal, and they are faithful until the very end.
The crane will stand by its partner for life. When a crane’s partner dies, they go into a period of terrible mourning.
It is often thought that when a crane loses its mate, it is so tormented that it wishes to die itself.
Maybe there is something to this. After all, humans can’t be the only creatures to enjoy an afterlife.
The crane is as loyal to its partner in life as it is to die. This is something that all humans should strive for.
4. Cranes Symbolize Focus and Balance
It is an amazing thing to watch a crane. How can something balance on one leg for several hours at a time without seeming to move at all and not end up falling over?
The crane is a very focused bird and can wait all day to catch a fish to eat. This bird knows that any little movement will cause him to lose his supper.
Therefore, the crane has plenty of patience and can stay focused on one thing for very long periods of time.
Regarding patience, we could all learn a lesson from the crane.
5. Japanese Crane Symbolism
The crane holds a very special place in Japanese culture.
It is thought that if a person folds 1,000 origami cranes (more on this later), a crane will grant them one wish.
In Japan, the crane symbolizes immortality, good fortune, and longevity. Seeing a crane is supposed to be a very good omen.
It is not uncommon for Japanese people to gift each other items that contain crane motifs and paper cranes. These gifts offer good wishes and blessings to the recipients.
6. Islam Crane Symbolism
The symbolism of the crane is sacred in Islam. In ancient times, it was thought that there were three main goddesses of Mecca. These goddesses were Manat, Uzza, and Allat.
So, what does this have to do with cranes? These three goddesses were often called the “three exalted cranes.”
The goddesses were believed to be the daughters of Allah. They are referred to as exalted cranes because they were believed to bring about spiritual transformation and immortality to their worshippers.
The Crane Totem
When you need to be more sophisticated, you may find the crane coming into your life. Maybe you need to be more elegant to be noticed.
Crane totems can help you to achieve this goal, and you can learn much from the crane.
You will find the crane totem entering your life when you are experiencing heartbreak. It will also appear when you repeatedly go back to the wrong person.
It could be that your ability to judge someone’s character has failed you, and you may be running out of patience. So, you see, the crane reminds you to stay on track.
The crane totem is a message that you must hold your love in reserve for those who truly deserve it. Love is sacred, and it is not meant to be given and not returned.
The crane totem will teach you how to have more patience and encourage you to be willing to wait for good things to come into your life.
The Symbolic Meaning of Various Crane Species
We have talked much about the symbolism of white cranes. But, there are many different species of cranes, and each has its own symbolism.
In fact, some of this symbolism is very unique to certain cultures. Let’s take a look at the symbolism of various crane species.
1. Blue Crane Symbolism
The blue crane also called the Stanley crane or paradise crane, is a vulnerable species in South Africa. In fact, it is the national bird of South Africa.
This beautiful bird symbolizes deep inner thought, tenderness, and self-sufficiency.
As a spirit guide, the blue crane teaches us to be good to others and not to covet what we do not have.
The feathers are used for personal decoration, signifying strength and courage, particularly in battle.
Even a ceremony honors people with crane feathers, the Ukundzabela.
Blue crane feathers are also used in headdresses for warriors and the King in the Nguni tribe of Zulu peoples.
#2. Grey-Crowned Crane Symbolism
This crane comes from eastern and southern Africa. It is known by several names, including golden-crested crane, African crowned crane, and South African crane.
The grey-crowned crane is also the national bird of Uganda. It is known to be symbolic of prosperity and elegance.
Sadly, this bird has been declared as an endangered species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The population is on a steady decline.
#3. Sarus Crane Symbolism
You can find the Sarus crane in Australia, India, and Southeast Asia.
It is the tallest of all the flying birds and is very significant in Indian culture. Unfortunately, it is also a very vulnerable bird, with numbers dwindling yearly.
The Indian group Gondi considers the sarus crane to be sacred. To eat the meat from this bird is considered a sin.
Because these birds mate for life, it is not unusual for newlyweds to be taken to see Sarus crane pares. This is one of the marriage customs.
The poet Valmiki created the legend of the Ramayana. The poet was inspired to write this after cursing a hunter that killed one of these cranes.
An interesting side note, the Sarus crane inspired the name of the first Indian civilian propeller aircraft, the NAL Saras.
#4. Red-Crowned Crane Symbolism
Among the rarest crane species is the red-crowned crane, also known as the Manchurian and Japanese crane.
These birds are found in East Asia, and the IUCN has declared the species to be endangered.
Called “Tanchozuru” in Japan, the red-crowned crane symbolizes strength and loyalty.
In fact, the image of this crane is used as the Japan Airlines international logo.
One Japanese myth states that this type of crane can live to be more than a thousand years old!
In Korea, the red-crowned crane is known as Hak or Durumi. This bird is the symbol of Incheon city and can be found on the South Korean 500 won coin.
Ancient Korean scholars loved these birds because they were a constant.
The Story of Sadako Sasaki
Origami is an ancient art where people create beautiful animals and other objects by folding paper. Often, people created origami birds, in particular, cranes.
In fact, cranes are one of the main creatures captured in this manner. An ancient tradition of folding 1,000 cranes dates back to Confucius.
It was believed that the crane could live up to 1,000 years. If one were to fold 1,000 paper cranes, one could then ask the crane for a favor.
In 1955, Sadako Sasaki, a young schoolgirl who had survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb, was diagnosed with leukemia. While in the hospital, a classmate visited her and gifted her with origami paper.
The friend told Sadako about the crane and how it represents good luck. The little girl had a will to live and decided to fold 1,000 cranes herself.
She thought that if she could fold these cranes, she would ask the crane to heal her body.
Unfortunately, she could only create 644 cranes before succumbing to cancer in October 1955.
Word of Sadako and her paper cranes spread. It wasn’t long before schoolchildren from all over Japan and other parts of the world donated money in Sadako’s memory.
The money was used to build a monument in her memory at the Hiroshima Peace Park.
Today, children from all over the world continue to send paper cranes to be placed around Sadako’s statue as a symbol of peace and hope.
The Crane as a Spirit Animal
You can tell if someone has a crane as their spirit animal by the way they walk and talk. These people are the epitome of grace and elegance.
Those who associate with the crane tend to be sophisticated and refined. They have plenty of self-confidence, and they tend to be cultured and have great taste.
The funny thing is, most people who identify with the crane don’t even realize just how much charisma they possess!
Crane people are very smart and work hard for all they have. But, this doesn’t mean that they are all work and no play.
Family members and friends are crane people’s most important aspects of life. These people love to be with their loved ones and have many circles of friends.
The only problem is that they have a tendency to love too much and do more than necessary to make other people happy. They are people, pleasers, to the nth degree.
One thing you never want to do is hurt someone who is loved by a person who identifies with the crane. This person will go to extreme lengths to protect their loved ones, particularly children.
Cranes don’t do Casual Dating
As previously mentioned, cranes mate for life. Such is the case with anyone who chooses the crane as their spirit animal.
These are people who are happy and enjoy full lives. They don’t believe in random hook-ups, and they are romantics at heart.
They will wait as long as necessary to find true love and won’t be interested in anything less than this.
Take Time to Reflect
If the crane spirit animal comes into your life, it is a sign that you need to make time to reflect on your life. Think about how you can use past experiences to help you right now.
The crane spirit animal is often a warning that you shouldn’t let too many people in on your personal life or any plans you may have.
You need to trust your own intuition when it comes to letting others in on your plans.
Good News is on the Way
When the crane spirit animal enters your life, it could mean that good news will come your way very soon. You will find success as well as respect.
The crane is appearing now because you are being asked to count your blessings and use them with wisdom and grace.
Enjoy Better Focus and Clarity
Another message from the crane spirit animal is that it is time to focus on clarity and balance. We all must balance family, work, home, and spirituality well. The crane is a reminder of this.
Sometimes, these things tend to pile up on us, and we feel quite overwhelmed. But, if you can think like a crane, you will learn to balance everything in your life.
Cranes Represent Knowledge
The crane is a great spirit animal to have for anyone who is a teacher or a mentor. This animal reminds us that we have plenty of knowledge to share with others.
You can help to make the learning process easier for others and help them to achieve their goals and dreams.
The crane’s energy gives ways to clearly communicate so that people will actually understand what we are trying to tell them.
Crane Tattoo Meaning
With the crane having this much significance in so many cultures, it isn’t surprising that many people choose to have crane tattoos.
A crane tattoo is just as symbolic as the crane itself and can contain a very important message. Here are a few of the meanings of crane tattoos.
#1. Good Luck
In some parts of Asia, the crane symbolizes good fortune and long life. For many people, a crane tattoo is a good luck charm.
The tattoo can be placed on any part of the body. The artwork can range from a simple line drawing to something that is full of detail and color.
#2. A Symbol of Faith
We have talked about how Christians associate the crane with grace and purity. In the Bible, the snake is the devil.
Cranes hunt snakes, so in Christianity, these birds are seen as being very positive. Anyone who can relate to the crane’s grace, purity, and elegance might want to consider having a crane tattoo.
#3. A Symbol of Eternal Youth
People from many cultures believe that cranes live for over a thousand years. Thus, they are symbols of eternal youth.
If you are fascinated by the concept of eternal youth or are young at heart, a crane tattoo might be just the tattoo for you.
#4. Hope for the Future
In Japan, the crane is associated with paper cranes and the story of Sadako Sasaki. The bird is symbolic of those who became victims of war.
For many, a crane tattoo is a reminder of the pain and suffering war victims face and have faced. It is also a symbol of hope for a brighter future.
#5. A Symbol of Strength and Courage
In South Africa, cranes are symbolic of courage and strength. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see people with crane tattoos.
If you feel a kinship with these birds because of their courage and strength and want to emulate these attributes, a crane tattoo could be ideal for you.
#6. A Symbol of Love and Loyalty
As we have mentioned, the crane is a bird that mates for life. So, it is seen as a symbol of love and loyalty.
It is not uncommon for couples to have crane tattoos. These tattoos represent the love and loyalty they have for one another.
Because it is such a beautiful, graceful, and elegant bird, it’s no wonder that the crane is a symbol of these attributes and then some. The crane is symbolic in many cultures around the globe.
The crane can be found in totems and is often considered to be a spirit animal for many.
When someone sees a crane in life or even in a dream, they can expect good fortune and happiness to come their way.
The next time you see a crane, take a moment to see this bird for all it is.
Enjoy watching its graceful movements. One can learn much from the wisdom and patience of the crane.
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Alan is the founder of Subconscious Servant. He has a passion for learning about topics such as spirituality and the metaphysical world. The thing he loves to explore most though is manifesting with the law of attraction ✨.