Crab – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Crab is another fascinating sea creature that has significant symbolical and spiritual importance to humans.

This strange looking animal has been inspiration to people since ancient times to modern day.

Crabs are species belonging to cancer family, a group of animals sharing same or similar symbolical meanings.

Crab has special importance to people living by the sea, but to others, as well. It is mentioned in mythologies and folktales around the world and the crab motif is featured in both old and contemporary design solutions.

This animals is particularly important to Chinese, it is present in Greek mythology etc.

Crab cultural and mythological depictions

Crab is another one of positive and fortunate animals in Chinese tradition. Chinese people believe this sea creature brings good life, harmony, peace and wealth.

It is particularly important to Chinese men; they would wear crab talismans in order not only to attract luck and progress, but also to improve their masculine powers and sexual potential.

Sea animals are often associated with sexuality and sexual potency in Far East cultures . This is not strange at all, since crabs are generally considered fertile animals. I

In symbolical sense, people associate them with progeny, family and longevity.

In Chinese language, terms for ‘crab’ and ‘harmony’ sound the same. They are both pronounced as ‘xie’, only the letter is different. Chinese believe this slow and steady creature brings peace and harmony and they admire it for these powers;

Crabs move in a strange manner; they look as they only tap in one place, rather than moving around. Their strange way of slowly moving sideways actually appears as staggering, rather than walking.

Chinese interpret this crabs’ characteristic as a reminder that all things in life come with patience and embracing the rhythm of the life itself. True progress never comes for a night, you have to be steady, patient and to work towards it.

For Chinese, crab motion is completely in harmony with the flow of natural energy and the circle of life.

In addition to strong crab symbolism in Chinese tradition, we will just mention the monster Carcinus, a giant crab from Greek mythology.

Carcinus appears in the legend of fight between Heracles and Lernaen Hydra. Both monsters were killed by the hero. In recognition of their efforts, Hera draw their outlines on the night sky.

Thus, today we have constellations of Cancer and Hydra.


Crab symbolism and spiritual meaning

Crab symbolism is remarkable and strong. These animals are probably the most powerful symbols for transformation, persistence, defense and steadiness. Crab symbolism had been developed over centuries and crab motifs are often featured in traditional and contemporary art.

As symbolical and spiritual creatures, crabs remind us of the importance of following our destiny and keeping pace with life changes.

Patience and harmony – Crab represent peace, harmony, steadiness and balance. As we have mentioned above, these are traits Chinese people have seen in these amazing creatures and for which they admire crabs so much.

In symbolical sense, crabs remind us to slow down and dedicate to our goals in life.

Success never comes overnight.

Crab suggests not all the paths are beaten, but we have to find our own way, slowly, steadily, with patience and reason.

Success and progress – Crabs symbolize success and progress, an interpretation also originating from Chinese understanding of crab symbolism. Crab represents financial success; it is believed it is a lucky charm for attracting wealth, money and social recognition.

In China, crabs also have a strong symbolical connection to (imperial) power.

There is a special ‘imperial’ test for Chinese government officers. A word for term ‘the first’ is the same as the term describing crabs’ shell, so the significance of the title a candidate could get is pretty clear.

Success is accomplished with the aid of crab spirit, of course;

Protection and transformation – Crabs symbolize protection, transformation, change and regeneration. Did you know these animals are able to change their shells for about ten times in a single year?

This animal constantly transforms and regenerative itself, a behavior that is associated with health, longevity and vitality, as well. Crabs are protected by their strong armor in a form of a shell.

That is why they stand for a powerful symbol of protection.

In spiritual sense, their shell symbolizes not only physical protection, but also emotional and psychological balance and protection.

Crabs remind us we should nurture our feelings and feed our positive energy within ourselves.

Crab as totem and spirit animal

Crabs are associated with lunar and Jin energy, which are both considered gentle and positive. Crab totem feeds your natural intuition, teaches you how to protect yourself, how to embrace your destiny and move towards your goals in a steady, systematic, harmonious manner.

Crab people are calm and content, caring and gentle individuals from the inside, but tough and endurable outside.

  • Sensitive and emotional
  • Intuitive and self-sufficient
  • Persistent and patient
  • Shy and introvert

Crab people may appear tough and strong and they indeed are, but their souls are of a gentle nature. These people are usually shy, introvert, and have only few friends.

Once they open up and let you into their life, you will discover how warm and caring they are. Crab people often put walls around and are not so easy to approach.

This is their way of protecting themselves, but it sometimes could turn bad for crab people.

They could throw away good opportunities and unintentionally miss out to meet wonderful people.

Crab people have very good intuition, but their natural reflex of self-defense could block it out. It is of a vital importance to let your inner crab voice guide you, because it is a positive and progressive guidance that might help you succeed in aspects of life you find the most important.

Crab individuals are protective both about themselves, but they would also defend people they love without asking what the cost is. They are caring, loving and nurturing individuals.

Crab people possess some of the qualities generally rare in most people. They value patience and harmony above all.

They are good planners, but they never get disappointed when things do not go strictly according to the plan. They are able to accept natural flow of things, transformation and change.

Crab people are aware life is just as water; it flows and changes, constantly, and there is not much we can do about it.

The thing we could do is to find our own place in the flow and do the best we can, in order to be happy, content and in peace with the world.