Cycle of Power: Year-round - during daylight
The crane was a powerful symbol to the ancient Chinese. It is a symbol of justice and longevity, and it is one of the many solar symbols. The crane is a bird of the waters, and so is one that will often help teach you how to express your own feminine energies.
The whooping crane, since the early part of this century, has been a symbol of the wildlife conservation movement. At one point, due to over hunting, they almost became extinct. If the crane has shown up in your life as a totem, it could very well reflect that you are about to recover what had almost become extinct within you.
Most photos of cranes only reveal the adult birds. This is partly due to the fact that the young are very scarce and also because the parents are highly secretive in rearing their vulnerable young. This can reflect a new sense of protectiveness, or even a need for secrecy in regard to something new you have give birth to or are about to give birth to.
Although the crane lays two eggs but usually only raises one, it will also reflect the importance of not dividing your attention - especially in rearing your children, be they your actual children or symbolic children, as in the case of special projects. Women who have cranes as totems do better to stay at home with the children rather than to divide their time between work and motherhood. If this is impossible, as is often the case in today's world, the crane can teach you how best to accomplish both.
The crane can also provide possible clues to past life experiences. In China it is "The Patriarch of the Feathered Tribe" and in Japan it is "Honorable Lord Crane." It is usually depicted with the sun and pine tree in oriental art. In direct contrast, in Celtic mythology, it is sacred to the king of the underworld and heralds war and death.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this bird is its loud whooping sound. It's haunting tone is reminiscent of a primal celebration over birth. The crane can teach you how to celebrate your creative resources and keep them alive, regardless of the conditions in which they are manifest, both by simply having the proper focus in your life.