Spirit Animal Crab
Gifts: Protection. Approaching problems from a different perspective. Fighting for what you want. Being at home in emotions.
Challenges: Walling yourself off completely. Aggressiveness and defensiveness. Being too emotional, “crabby,” moody.
Crab offers the gift of protecting your vulnerabilities. A crab’s shell protects it from the elements and from predators. Spiritually, we may be taught that we need no protection. Realistically in the physical world, there are times that you need a buffer between yourself and the world. It’s okay to need a bit of protection at times. It’s okay to create an environment in which you can feel safe. Crab models how to take your protection with you so that you don’t stay hidden away in your fortress.
While hermit crabs are not taxonomically true crabs, they fit in with spirit animal Crab to offer the gift of leaving your safety behind. When hermit crabs outgrow their current shell, they must emerge from that shell and look for a new one while completely exposed and vulnerable. If they do not come out of their shell, they will die—even though they also risk death while being exposed.
The lesson for you is that forever hiding your vulnerabilities is like dying—if not physically, certainly spiritually. It is soul-crushing never to emerge from your defenses. Crab teaches that exposing your vulnerabilities is necessary and worth it for growth—your own personal and spiritual growth. Crab teaches finding strength in your vulnerability, the strength that comes from the courage to be raw.
Crab offers the gift of approaching problems sideways. Crab doesn’t approach things head-on; it comes at things from the side. When you are stuck on a problem, call in Crab and come at it from a different angle. Imagine describing a house based solely on how it looks from the front. The house can look completely different from the side or back. Crab teaches you to look from different perspectives. When everyone else is coming head-on, your sideways approach may be the one that makes all the difference.
A challenge for people with spirit animal Crab is getting swept away in emotion. Crab may not be able to master emotion the way Whale or Dolphin can. When Crab is feeling particularly vulnerable—even in its own home in the water—you can feel as if you are drowning in that emotionality. Crab comes with the designation of being emotional and moody—crabby, even—not in control of its feelings.
When you are feeling this way, it’s a good time to focus on your shell of protection. Figure out what you need to feel more grounded, more in control—and do it. Your shell can be made of a meditation practice, calming loved ones, a peaceful environment. It can be made of tools such as planning ahead to avoid the stress of deadlines, eating foods that nourish you both physically and spiritually, and preemptively releasing your fear of vulnerability.