In a Dreaming from Northern Australia[1], Crab was a cannibal and her tribe buried her alive as punishment.  A spirit Crow stood over the hole, awaiting her emergence to mete out the death she deserved.  Crab prepared herself for Crow’s attack and through her magic grew a hard shell.  When she came out, Crow attacked her eyes and blinded her.  So Crab used powerful magic to kill the Spirit Crow and escape. Crab here is the archetypal shape-shifter, able to transform and adjust to whatever situations are encountered.

Another Dreaming[2] attributes Crab’s ability of running backwards to a man who loved to hear possum-man playing the didgeridoo. Finally, the possum man stated he had to leave, to share his music with other people.  Crab begs him to play one last time, so he could dance wildly, saying he would dance so long and so hard he would die of it. While dancing, he heads towards the ocean, his back to it so he could still hear the music. Finally, the water rushes over him and he decides to turn into a crab. Take notice of the expression “one last…” or “one more…” (kiss, dance, drink, coffee, round, game….) in your life!

Crabs are often a symbol of renewal, linked in many cultures to the Moon, and astrologically to the sign of Cancer.  Some tribal people believe crabs never die, that they bury themselves in the sand and grow new shells like the Moon, which also follows this process of death and rebirth.

Crab can be a symbol of regeneration in your life; perhaps something which seems old and jaded will be more exciting due to Crab’s clever energies – what issue could this be for you?  Or like the shape shifter Dreaming, Crab can indicate you may need to prepare yourself in some way for something – who or what is taking the form of Crow (justice) in your life?

Crab served up as a delicious meal (as a previous cannibal in the Dreaming, is this karma in operation?) can highlight the nourishing potential of our emotions. Crabs are archetypally related to the element of water and the emotions, and to be presented as a meal they are often first placed in boiling water – things could be heating up soon in some way! Gourmet diner may relate to passions here; whereas the zealous vegetarian would see issues reaching boiling point!

Crab running free, on the other hand, can point to emotional expression also running free! Dealing with anger may be an issue – are you being a bit too crabby lately? What is underneath this; is there a need not being fulfilled?  And is there another way to release this energy?

[1]               Allen, Louis A.  “ Time Before Morning.”

[2]               Bozic, Sreten.  “Aboriginal Myths.”