Skip to content

Spiritual Meaning of Hermit Crab

What does crab represent spiritually? Hermit crabs are popular pets, but are also studied for their regenerative abilities, and because of their unique relationship with both land and sea life. We have prepared a guide for you that will highlight the Spiritual meaning of hermit crab, and dreaming of a crab spiritual meaning.

Hermit crabs are a lot like us. They’re constantly on the move, trying to find a new home and make a life for themselves. They’re always looking for something better, something more comfortable.

And sometimes they even find it!

But then… they realize that maybe their old shell wasn’t so bad after all. And that’s when they need to ask themselves: Do I want to stay here? Or should I move on?

Hermit crabs are crustaceans that reside in hermit crab shells, left behind by a variety of different animals. These shells provide the crabs with protection as they grow, and allow them to change their appearance throughout their lives.

Want a pet? I guess a hermit crab could fit the bill – not a traditional pet choice, but an interesting one nonetheless. The meaning of hermit crab is unique, as well as fascinating. You may have always wondered why people do not want to get along or are called selfish or self-absorbed. It’s best to know the meaning behind names of animals, plants and creatures.

What Does Crab Represent Spiritually

The spiritual meaning of hermit crabs is that we need to find our own way in life, and not follow others. We are here to make our own choices, and take responsibility for them.

The hermit crab is a creature that lives in the sea, but it has to leave its shell when it grows. It finds a new shell and then keeps moving around until it finds one that fits perfectly.

We should be like hermit crabs when we grow up. When we are children we have a lot of freedom because our parents protect us and make sure that nothing bad happens to us. But as we get older we start making our own choices and decisions, which can sometimes lead us into trouble or cause other problems for ourselves or others around us!

The hermit crab is a symbol of the human heart.

The crab itself is an ancient symbol of wisdom, strength and longevity. The crab’s shell represents our bodies, which protect us from the world around us. The hermit crab’s tendency to move from one shell to another as it grows is symbolic of our need to continuously find new meaning in life.

The hermit crab is also a symbol of personal growth and change. As the crab grows, it sheds its old shell and must find a new one that fits it better. This can be seen as a metaphor for the process of shedding old ideas, beliefs and habits so that we can grow into new ones that are more appropriate for our current situation.

Spiritual Meaning of Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab Meaning and Symbolism: You know that saying, “big things come in little packages”? That seems to be the motto for hermit crab meaning and messages.

I know, because I’ve been the proud mamma of a colony. I cared for eleven hermit crabs in a palatial ‘crabitat’ (hermit crab community) in my studio office. That’s Obe Wan Kenobi in the picture above (yes, “The Force” was with him).

We lived with each other in happy harmony for a long time, and their shared wisdom has been monumental in my continued evolution. I thought I’d share a bit of their insights with you.

Hermit crabs got their moniker for the obvious action of tucking in their shells at the sign of threat. Their ability to retreat in their shells is a good lesson. It implies a period of withdrawal before taking action. It’s also an encouragement to internalize before attacking. Let me tell you – hermit crabs pack a vicious pinch. Nobody can call them cowards. Curling up in their shells is a choice.

They seem to pick their battles. They know when to hole up in their homes, and they know when to whip out the pinchy-pinch crunch. This certainly helped me on a symbolic level. This ability to know when to pull back, or when to stand firm is a major life lesson from which we all can benefit.

hermit crab meaning
Hermit crab meaning

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

~Leonardo da Vinci

There’s more symbolic hermit crab meaning to explore. But before I go further, let me offer you a quick list of symbolic hermit crab highlights:

Quick List of Hermit Crab Meaning and Symbolism

  • Patience
  • Community
  • Adaptation
  • Exploration
  • Resourcefulness
  • Social Structure
  • Sensory Perception

It may seem paradoxical to reference ‘social’ and ‘community’ in the same symbolic list with hermit crabs. After all…aren’t they hermits? No, not really.

In truth, hermit crabs crave social connection. In their native habitats, they form colonies of 100 or more. I’ve had the utter pleasure of observing their social interaction. They communicate in a myriad of ways, and to my astonished delight, they even help each other out (like climbing on top of each other to get to a coveted high spot in their crabitat).

But they aren’t all social sweetness. They also recognize their need for seclusion and times of social rest. A big lesson for many of us. These crabby babies remind me that community is vital, but equally vital is a time of introspective seclusion.

hermit crab meaning
Hermit crab meaning

“The best protection we have from harm is awareness of ourselves, others and our environment.

The second-best protection is to know how to navigate all three of these.”


Their social etiquette seems largely based on perceptual communication. Rarely audible (except for the slightest of chirps when they’re really ticked off), they communicate mostly by sensory methods like with: Antennae, visual perception and touch/body language.

This reminds me of humankind’s methods of communication. All too often we exchange data verbally, paying little heed to subtle expressions. A look, a touch, an intuitive impulse can convey a million times more than a word. There is great crab-wisdom in that. We would all do well to do as the crab does: Make efforts to communicate with our extra-sensory ‘antennae’ rather than conventional methods.

I’ve watched them and thought how our own lives can be enhanced by a healthy (even childlike) sense of wonder and exploration. How much more vibrant our lives could be if we tackle each day with pure curiosity!? Instead of a new task/event representing a hassle (having to learn something new, or the challenge of tackling a new project), hermit crabs remind us to approach new stuff with an attitude that says: “Oh joy! A new bauble to explore!”

Hermit crab meaning and symbolism is married to the moon. Lady Luna gets hermit crabs on the jazz in a big way. A lot of this has to do with the moons gravitational pull and her influence on tidewaters. I remember visiting Galveston beach in Texas and seeing a whole mess of crabs come up to shore with the tide. It seemed they were bursting with glee. Scurrying and jump-jiving…these babies know how to dance and play in the pale moonlight. This is a two-fold lesson. Hermit crabs encourage us to follow the rhythm of nature and the universe. They remind us to pay attention to the miracle that is our Earth and our solar system.

The second symbolic lesson is this: PLAY! Dance, skitter, jitter and tango your way into a better state of being. The hermit crab (whose lifespan is a scant 2-5 years) will tell you life is short. Dance to the joy that beats in your heart. Grab your gusto and dosie-do while you can. Indeed, hermit crab meaning asks us to “squeeze the day!” and have fun while you’re squeezing.

hermit crab meaning
Hermit crab meaning

Symbolic hermit crab meaning is also connected to water. Although they don’t live in the water, they require it for their well being. Water is highly symbolic. It’s message is one of healing, purification, emotion and intuition. Whoa. That’s pretty powerful. Consider diving into meaningful water essence when connecting with hermit crab wisdom. These creatures, combined with water energy, pack a whallop of deeper understanding. Add the moon to all that…and you’ve got a trio of good juju.

See…I told you big things come in small packages!  It’s often the most overlooked and underestimated creatures that give us a much-needed ‘KAPOWIE!’ of psychic goodness.

dreaming of a crab spiritual meaning

Dreaming of a crab can be a sign that you’re feeling trapped in your current situation. You may feel like you’re being pulled down by heavy responsibilities, or feel like you can’t move forward with any of your plans.

It’s also possible that dreaming about a crab points to your feelings about religion, or how you relate to the idea of spirituality.

Crabs are known for their tenacity and persistence—they’ll climb over anything to get what they want! If this is how you feel about something in your life right now, it could be an indication that it’s time for some serious soul-searching and reevaluation.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *