We careen, cartwheel, sidle,
sashay, tap and jig across the shores
Thousands of us worldwide
Living oft unnoticed
amid the humble sands
creative fertile mud
Exploring amongst the algae
foraging about the fungi,
shy or bold by turns as intuition dictates
Evolving in periods of solitude
our internalized deliberations
Transforming to survive
Bringing messages of protection, cycles, of home
Heralding ancestral history, prosperity, or success
through deep meanings and shallow observations
since the Jurassic began.
Red, blue, and calico
stone or snow,
fiddler or spider
lady and king
Calcium carbonate armor
sheltering our tender wisdom.
Though oft regarded as a churl
a moody grouch
crouched between helmet and shield;
a cast of curmudgeons
We're sensitive souls
craving the safety of domestic harmony
where we can find comfort and safe harbor
from all predators
as well as the brewing storms
of our own emotions, worries, doubts.
We sing of the wisdom
of Trust, Community, Charity
Handsome is as handsome does.
Our paths seldom seems direct
arms akimbo as we traverse obstacles
Yet, We'll guide you true
how to be sensitive to every vibration
to thriftily calculate your risks
move with poise
and environmental health
Even from our modest place among the stars
embodying the second labor of Herculean fame
we can set you straight
Enduring emblem of status
High society hermit
Should you catch sight
of my skittering carapace
Protection and Trust
are the catches of the day.
For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Congrats to Jan and Sharonlee for naming this Teacher. Can you guess who is singing today?
Between oceans, fresh water and land, there are over 6000 species of crab separated into two categories. They can be found under the Antarctic, near under-sea volcanic vents, and one dominantly land species might even be found climb trees. True crabs, or brachyurans, which have a very short abdomen and use four pairs of long legs for walking. True crabs include blue crabs, spider crabs, and ghost crabs.
Second are false crabs, or anomurans, which have a longer abdominal section and fewer walking legs. False crabs include hermit crabs, king crabs, and squat lobsters. Crabs, lobsters, prawn, shrimp, and crayfish are all decapods, crustaceans with ten limbs. They have compound eyes on stalks that can move in any direction needed.
Crabs are invertebrates. Their shell is their skeleton which they molt as they outgrow. Most have flat bodies which allow them to squeeze into tight crevices. All crabs have two pincer claws and four pairs of walking legs. Their pincers can be used as a vise, scissors, or like chopsticks. Should they lose a limb in a narrow escape, they will eventually regrow it. Japanese Spider crabs are the largest species in the world measuring up to 13 feet across, and up to a 100 years in age! The smallest species, the Pea Crab, grows to the size of its namesake.
Females can only mate when they molt, therefore when she is ready to shed her old shell she will excrete a pheromone attractive to males. Once the female chooses a mate from her fighting suitors, she typically attaches herself to his back where she remains until he has given her his sperm sac and her new shell has hardened. Most species molt up to 7 times their first year before settling into an annual or bi-annual routine.
Crabs lay thousands of eggs at one time. Typically females carry them beneath their abdomens for a period of days or weeks before hatching pin-head sized crab larvae. In some species the male is the egg carrier. Crabs communicate by moving or drumming their pincers, and a group of these crustaceans is known as a cast.
True crabs can walk slowly in any direction, but their fastest pace is at a slant. As long as they can keep their gills moist they have few problems traveling on land. This Crab lesson reminds us of the advice that not all of our goals can be reached by a direct path, so attempt a different angle or perspective. to obtain that goal or solve your problem. No carbs or sugars and low calorie, so also a free food for diabetics; crab is an excellent source of protein. A tasty delicacy, crab meat is so high in vitamin b-12 that just 2-3 ounces will supply an adult with their daily requirement.
Some species will use tools, like carrying stinging sea anemones for additional protection, or attaching them to their shells to camouflage their appearance. They may even work together to catch food or protect families. Community is a key Crab lesson with Co-operative effort and Conservation being important tools.
Omnivorous, they are part of the Ocean's clean up crew eating detritus, dead plants and animals, algae, worms, insects smaller fish/amphibians/crustaceans. Predators included otters, octopuses, seagulls, osprey, larger fish with powerful jaws, turtles, seals, and humans. Crab not only relies on its environment, it is a willing partner and encourages us to become knowledgeable active Caretakers too.
Crab reminds us that most often, the old and dead need to be cleared away to make room for the growth of new Life. Crab asks us to be mindful of what needs cleared away or recycled in our own lives so that our next cycle of learning/healing/transformation can begin.
Perhaps the easiest Crab lesson to spot is that of being mindful of our Emotions. This Teacher encourages us to explore and form understanding of all our emotions from joy to despair. Crabs are often used to depict anger, sensitivity, pugnaciousness, cynicism, grouchiness, sulkiness and stubbornness. Behaving like a "grouchy crab" is a sure sign that something is bothering us. This Teacher wants us to get in touch with that and address it with Awareness rather than take it out on those around us.
Feeling touchy? Taking things too seriously, over-reacting, or seeing insults where there are none are also warning signs. Bottling things up becomes a ticking time bomb, nor should we be carrying around a bunch of petty grievances in our emotional pocket book. Crab asks us to look after our emotions, responses, and general emotional well being diligently, honestly. Take time to examine your goals, reactions, choices, actions regularly. This Teacher excels at showing us how to protect our soft sensitive sides while taking action.
Target areas for improvement, recycle what does and get rid of whatever no longer works for you. If you think you have no room for improvement this Teacher will show you the error of your ways. Pride and Humility must be balanced to produce the best effect. Creating effective personal shields, armor, and when to use them are also key lessons for those studying Crab. A wonderful Singer for strongly empathetic people having difficulty in crowds. Crab says, "Trust in the Universe to provide for all your needs, yet work always to be worthy of that trust."
Keywords: Trust, Protection/Vulnerability, Cycles/Transformation, Emotion, Regeneration/Recycling/Renewal, Community, Conservation, Status, Pride/Humility
Associated with: water, oceans, rivers, sea and water creatures like Crios/Carcinus, mermaids and naiads. Deities of water and fishes like Mannon, Vedenemo, Vellamo, Poseidon/Neptune, Venus/Aphrodite, and Phorcys. The Cancer sign in Greek zodiac
Potential Balancing Energies: Other crustaceans like shrimp or crayfish. Animals like fish, turtles, seals, seagulls, osprey, octopuses, otters, whales, jellyfish, frogs and other amphibians, algae, plants and fungi. Water/Ocean, the stars in the Cancer constellation.