Dreaming of Crabs: Discover the Spiritual Meaning and Interpretation

Largest crabs - giant mud crab on the beach
© Jocelyn Watts/Shutterstock.com

Written by Sammi Caramela

Updated: November 14, 2023

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Dreaming of crabs often represents the moon, feminine energy, deep emotions, and sensitivity.

Crabs are common crustaceans found worldwide in aquatic habitats like coral reefs, beaches, mangroves, and more. Known for their aggressive nature and sideways walk, crabs are often used to symbolize the beach and ocean. They’re also featured in many films and media as cute yet “crabby” characters. Think: In Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s sidekick was a good-natured crab named Sebastian. 

In addition to their connection to the sea, crabs carry deep spiritual symbolism. In fact, many associate the creature with the moon, our emotions, and feminine energies. There are various takeaways you can get from dreaming about crabs, and each depends on the context of your dream.

This article will cover the various spiritual meanings and interpretations of dreaming of crabs, including their symbolism across various cultures and religions. 

Crab Symbolism

Many cultures and religions have their own symbolisms associated with crabs. Below are some of the most common spiritual meanings of crabs.

Live Australian Giant Mud Crab closeup.

Crabs typically walk or run sideways despite being able to move in all directions.

©Sunnypics-oz/iStock via Getty Images

Native American Culture

Native Americans view crabs as emblems of change, growth, and rebirth. In fact, many believe that crabs act as lunar symbols, meaning they have power and influence over our emotions. When we are in touch with our emotions, we can take our power back from others and create the necessary changes in our lives. The crab reminds us there is strength in vulnerability.


Some people believe crabs represent humility and self-sacrifice in Christianity. Though not commonly referenced in the Bible, many attribute the crab to the need for protection due to the creature’s hard external shell.

Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, crabs represent success and prosperity. In fact, the Chinese word for a crab’s shell translates to “first” or “best,” meaning the crustacean embodies powerful, reigning entities. This often signifies victory.

Japanese Folklore

According to Japanese folklore, crabs actually represent the souls of fallen samurai and their battles/adventures at sea. The Japanese culture often views crabs as symbols of wealth and renewal.

Greek Mythology 

In Greek mythology, crabs signify protection, bravery, and vulnerability. In a story involving Karkinos, a large crustacean sent to help the Hydra in its battle against Hercules, the giant crab was crushed and killed by Hercules but later placed among the stars by Hera as a token of its service.

Spiritual Meaning

Spiritually, crabs represent our emotions and vulnerabilities. In fact, the crab is the symbol of the astrological sign of Cancer. Cancer is a water sign known for its sensitivity, intuition, and nurturing nature. It’s said that those born between June 22 and July 22 are often in tune with their emotions.

Common Crab Dreams

There are various common dreams that involve crabs, from feasting on the creature to being attacked by a group of crabs. Here are ten common dreams of crabs — and their associated meanings and interpretations.

Crab, Ocean Floor, Animal, Animal Wildlife, Animals In The Wild

Crabs actually communicate using their claws.

©iStock.com/Jake Davies

1. Dreaming Of Catching a Crab

If you’ve caught a crab in your dreams, your subconscious mind might be telling you you’re in control and capable of facing your issues. Capturing a crab can signify self-confidence and empowerment, and it might even be a symbol of good luck. Overall, this is a positive dream, so don’t feel bad for catching the critter in your sleeping state.

2. Dreaming of Dead Crabs

While seeing any dead creature might be alarming or saddening, dreaming about a dead crab doesn’t mean someone in your life is going to pass away. Instead, it often conveys a betrayal that might occur in a close relationship or simply embodies the feeling of disappointment. If someone you care about has recently let you down, your dismay might be manifesting through a dream of a dead crab.

3. Dreaming Of Eating Crabs

Eating crabs in your dreams can symbolize positive things coming your way. In fact, crabs are often viewed as a luxurious meal. If you’ve been dreaming about enjoying this delicious seafood, you might be reaping the fruits of your labor. In other words, you could be striking a jackpot very soon.

4. Dreaming of Multiple Crabs

Crabs often reflect our relationships with others, so when you dream about multiple crabs, you might want to reflect on the health of your relationships. Depending on the context of your dream, you might be facing relationship issues in your waking life. Or, perhaps you’re calling in more supportive friends/loved ones.

For example, if the crabs are simply surrounding you without aggression, this can be a positive sign of comfort and love. However, if you’re being chased or attacked by multiple crabs in your dreams, you might want to reconsider the relationships you have in your life right now — including how they are affecting you emotionally. 

5. Dreaming Of Being Chased by a Crab

If you’re running away from a crab or group of crabs in your dreams, this might be a sign that you need to stop running away from your problems and subconscious mind. In other words, there are likely emotions and worries you’re repressing/pushing down that require addressing. You can’t outrun your issues; you must face them head-on in order to remedy them. You’re strong and resilient enough to face the music. It’s time to stop running.


Crabs have ten legs. Eight are for walking, and the two front legs are for pincing, grabbing, and eating.


6. Dreaming Of Being Pinched by a Crab

Often, dreaming about a crab pinching you can be a wake-up call — a nudge to raise your vibration and awareness. If you recently dreamed about being pinched by a crab, get in touch with your intuition and open your mind to spiritual growth. 

7. Dreaming of a Crab Walking by You

Seeing a crab do its signature side-step walk in your dreams might be a sign you need to evaluate a close relationship. It’s important to approach all situations with a clear head and heart, so take time to ground yourself and understand what you want and need from the relationship. For example, if you’re in a committed romantic relationship with someone who isn’t showing up for you in the way you desire, this dream might serve as a reminder to voice your needs in a calm manner.

8. Dreaming of a Crab Crawling on You

If a crab is crawling on you in your dreams, you might be experiencing uncomfortable or overwhelming emotions. Crabs can be aggressive creatures that attack when agitated, and having one crawl on you is not an ideal situation. That being said, this dream can indicate feelings of being trapped, distressed, and afraid. If this is the case, find ways to lower your stress and work through any fears you’re currently facing — even if that means seeking support.

9. Dreaming of a Giant Crab

The size of the crab in your dream can tell you a lot about the actual message your subconscious is trying to convey. Crabs themselves often symbolize our moodiness and vulnerability, so seeing a giant crab might represent the size and impact of your emotions. In other words, the larger the crab, the more overwhelming your emotions might feel. If you’re battling insecurities or other negative sentiments, consider how you might release them and cultivate a more grounded emotional state.

10. Dreaming Of Killing a Crab

As stated above, crabs can often represent our relationships with others. If you’re killing crabs in your dreams, this might signify your unwillingness to commit to someone — especially in a romantic relationship. Additionally, it could also mean you’re attempting to repress your emotions and deny your true feelings. Look out for ways you’re dishonoring and neglecting your heart.

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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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