Brolga illustrated by Ravenari


Beautiful dancer. Grace. Indigenous wisdom. Folklore. Stories within the land. Storytelling. Australian magic. Courtship. Relationships. Flirting. New beginnings. Joyfulness. Joy in movement. A good party. Spiritual dancing. Loving partnership.

General Description:

The brolga is a regal, long-legged crane similar in appearance to the sarus crane. They have grey and silver grey plumage, with red sections on their head, and a reddish-black wattle under their neck. It resides in wetlands and feeds on plants, invertebrates, frogs and insects. The brolga makes great whooping and trumpeting calls, and also communicates via croaking. They are best known for their elaborate courtship dances, which involve leaping (up to a metre in height), bows, high steps and trumpeting from both the sexes. Both sexes then incubate and raise the young. During the non-breeding season, they congregate in large, social flocks.

Lessons and Challenges:

The brolga teaches us about the value of getting to know more about the local wisdom and knowledge around you, particularly as it pertains to Australia. Respectfully research the Indigenous Aboriginal peoples who commune with the land where you now live, if you can, learn the local language and stories of the land around you. Brolga teaches the magic of Australia, and can act as a connection between you and further Indigenous wisdom.

Brolga energy is able to evoke the wisdom of storytelling. Many stories, particularly Indigenous living stories, share the wisdom of the land in a simple and straightforward way. Through stories about the creation of the earth and animals, and stories about our ancestors, we can come to understand how to conduct ourselves in this lifetime, we can also learn how to find a more enriching lifestyle through stories and words. Consider telling any personal stories to others, mythologise your own life; alternatively, read up and learn about stories of cultures and peoples that you are interested in. The ‘storyteller’ archetype is highlighted by brolga energy, and you may also find that someone has come into your life who is sharing stories with you that you can learn a lot from.

The brolga is the beautiful dancer. In its own habitat, it dances and leaps joyfully during courtship, to display its love and affection for a mate, and to communicate with others of its kind. We too communicate through dance. Everyone is able to access the spiritual dances we have within ourselves that allow us to communicate with other people, with ourselves and with the great spirit.

Try some spiritual dancing, find a sacred space and let your body move as though the great spirit was guiding you. Recognise your grace, no matter what your appearance or disabilities. The brolga lets us celebrate not only our body, but that bodily connection to the divine. Do not neglect your body, find joy in movement.

When brolga energy has come into your life, it indicates that there is a focus on relationships – particularly romantic or more-than-platonic relationship. It might be time to court your partner again, and remember romance or the joy of finding a person you love. Alternatively it might involve courting someone who you may barely know but are interested in. Consider making romantic gestures to your friends as well, buying a close friend a bouquet, box of chocolates or DVD ‘just because’ is a great way to re-establish the bonds that make that friendship so special in the first place.

Brolga also teaches the value and wisdom of flirting. Sometimes flirting harmlessly with friends and meaningfully with partners allows us to re-experience what it is to have fun with others. Playful banter, conversation and flirting are all ways to experience fun within a friendship or relationship. Sometimes it’s time to just let loose and be joyful, instead of being serious all the time.

Along the theme of experiencing joyfulness, brolga also lets us know that it might be time to draw in ‘party’ energy. This might involve organising a party, attending one with friends, or going out with a group with the intention of just releasing stress and tension and having a good time. Social gatherings are often very healing when we go with no expectations but to treat ourselves and look after our social spirit.

It is time to start something new. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as its something different. It could be a new friendship, a new way of approaching communication in a relationship. It could be a new project or a new way of looking after yourself. The only thing that brolga asks is that this new beginning is a path to bringing more happiness and joy into your life. It doesn’t matter how small it is, as long as you start something new.

Brolga energy is the energy that reinforces the loving partnership. The bond between two people is sacred and profound if we let it be, and brolga energy refreshes and renews old relationships, and sparks new ones. Working with brolga energy can help you see new paths to happiness that you hadn’t considered before.

The Shadow Aspects:

Brolga comes into our lives as a shadow energy to let us know that we have turned our backs on joy and therefore grace. When we voluntarily turn away from the potential for happiness and joy, when we avoid parties and people and the things that make us happy, we give away grace and wisdom and become shadows of our former selves. Brolga dances into our lives to help us confront the reasons we may have for ‘punishing’ ourselves, and helps us to find our way back to happiness and the sacred dance.


Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Brolga energy is, from my own experiences, at times very direct and passionate, willing to talk, converse, dance and encourage you to really ‘experience’ your contact with it. However at other times brolga can be abstract and ethereal, as distant and yet as a part of our lives as the stars. Brolga can of course be contacted through informal, spontaneous dancing, singing and also ‘active’ meditations (such as walking and running meditations). Brolga is a fantastic teacher and energy for children, beginners and also those who wish to re-establish a strong connection to joy, passion and ‘life’ in their lives.