Crab Animal Symbolism

crab animal symbolism
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Crab Animal Symbolism and Crab Meaning

Symbolic Crab Meaning in the Realm of Animal Symbolism

Animal symbolism of the crab deals primarily with elements of water, moon and carries themes of protection.

Crabs are strong lunar symbols, and we see the crab’s connection with the moon astrologically, esoterically and universally. 

For example, the crab is featured in the Tarot where a crab (or sometimes a lobster or crayfish) is indicated on the Moon card and enhances the overall symbolism this card represents.

The moon symbolically serves as a matronly guardian of the crab, and oversees its well-being amidst its watery world. More about moon and its symbolism can be found here.

Astrologically, the sign of Cancer carries the symbol of the crab. More about this intriguing sign can be found here.

Crabs cast off their shells for new ones, and this is where the rebirth/cycling association plays its part.

The protective animal symbolism is evident in the hard, spiny exo-skeleton found with these creatures.

When the crab crawls into our consciousness we’re reminded of the cyclical nature in our lives and what protection we may need for the path on which we embark.

The Crab signifies prosperity, success and high status in Chinese symbolism because the Chinese word referring to its shell is a pun on the term used for the highest score a candidate can make on the Chinese Imperial Examinations (first, or jia). Two crabs represent the first and second scores of the Examinations.

“The sea offers perilous aid.

‘Beware of me,’ it says,

‘But if you can hold me, I am the key to all.'”


Animal Symbolism of the Crab

  • Cycles
  • Trust
  • Emotion
  • Protection
  • Regeneration
  • Transformation

As an animal totem, the crab’s ambulation is noteworthy. Never taking a direct (forward, or head-on) route, the crab makes its way on land with a sideways tap-dance.

This is a reminder that not all paths are direct and not all ways will be forthcoming in their meaning. When you are moving in a certain direction, and you feel a bit misguided, call upon the travel-savvy crab. She will guide you in an unorthodox way – taking lesser known paths of least resistance and bring you to clarity.

The crab reminds us that we may live within the diversity of this world with the preparedness of a warrior (wearing armor), but we are born with this preparedness – we do not have to guard or defend ourselves on purpose.

In other words, when we relax and move in the waves of wellbeing – moving in the natural flow of things, we have no need for defense. All of our needs are met, and we are divinely cared for.

There’s a reason for the old adage: “happy as a crab.” It’s because the crab is content to move with the natural cadence of the moon, the water, the land, and the perfect rhythm of nature. We would do well to follow her lead.

I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on the animal symbolism of the crab. For more pages of similar interest, click on the in-site links featured at the end of this page. Thanks for reading!

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