This morning I called to inspiration to guide me, seeking intimate familiarity with the Animal Oracle. The face that greeted me was that of the Crane, in the inverted position.
Crane is a card that appears to me as both incredibly beautiful and relatively simple. We see Crane standing, one foot in water, ripples emanating from their leg. Crane appears to be gazing down into the water, perhaps waiting for a fish to catch. In the background an ornately decorated cave opening is reflected in the pool. Overhead an archway of trees frames a full moon surrounded by clouds.
Two major things stand out about this card.
One: Transition between places. The moon showing clearly at early dawn or dusk, the cave entrance bearing markings of the spiral (not sure what the diamond might indicate), the Crane themselves being known to me as a gatekeeper creature keeping one foot in the pool, itself a gateway to the spirit world.
Two: Crane’s legs cross in a distinct pattern. With my short history working with the Elder Futhark I immediately see several overlapping symbols: Sowilo, the sun; Purisaz, the thorn; Jera, the year; Naudiz, need; and Isa, the ice. The two that jumped out at me stronges initially (until I sought to look harder) were Sowilo and Purisaz. These runes together suggest to me a warning to be aware of the passing of time, to better be aware of the time to strike. Particularly paired with the fishing crane I feel this meaning is quite clear.
As for this card inverted… I feel it is suggesting misses on my part to do the right thing at the right time. I zig when I should zag, I confuse the rising sun for the falling moon, I jump at reflections and let the fish dart away. By being still when I am uncertain, patiently observing, knowing when and where I am, and conversing with the spirits, I will find myself fed and one step closer to the next milestone in my journey.