Throughout Asia, the crane is a symbol of happiness, good fortune, and longevity. In some parts of the world, cranes are depicted with sprigs of the fig in their beaks as a sign of wisdom, longevity, and immortality. In other cultures they are seen as spirit animals bridging the veil between the living and the dead, a creature of liminal spaces. Not of air, water or land but of all places. Often they are associated with death although not in the modern western sense as an ‘ending.’ But when the crane is a symbol of death it is taken in a divinatory way, it simply means a transition and not an ending.
Within the Celtic tradition, birds are soul carriers between the worlds, and cranes particularly symbolise this. Like the trees, the Celts believed that birds like cranes were present in the Other World as well as this one which is why they were viewed as Divine Messengers from the gods and guides of souls to Annwn, the celtic underworld.
To Crane I ask, guide me safely to Anwnn, so I can meet with kin again.
A3, A4, A5 Altar Card, A6 Mediation Card