The bear, a powerful creature we fear coming across on a peaceful hike but also a symbol of cuteness and security, the Teddy Bear. Bears exhibit some contrasting behaviors: blissfully munching on berries or lounging peacefully in the sun while listening to the song of a flowing river versus being frightfully defensive or angrily attacking anyone that comes near its space or young. This ferocity of the bear made them a symbol of bravery and warriors from Native American cultures to the Celts. Even Viking Berserkers were named after the bearskins they wore to enhance their viciousness in battle.
The bear is also a strong symbol of protectiveness and motherhood. This motherhood-ness and its ability to hibernate through the winter connect the bear to the Moon making it also symbolic of dreams, visions, change, and transformation. Except when raising young, the bear is a solitary creature. This natural tendency along with its deeply meditative hibernation make it a creature of introspection, death and rebirth, resurrection, patience, solitude, and inner peace.
Other symbolic meanings of the Bear:
- Communicator with Spirit
- Guide for Healers and Healing
- Astral Travel
- Confidence and Inner Strength
- Guide for Mystics and Shamans
As many of you have noticed, I have a thing for bears. Yes, my two Alaskan Malamutes are named Bear (Kuruk and Nalle), but it really all began many years ago when I was having recurrent dreams about bears. In these dreams the bears would be wandering around the streets as I was walking home from work. I was also in graduate school at the time, but in the dreams I was always walking home from work. The bears were looking for me, and sometimes they were following me, trying to catch me. I always woke up before they got me, but they were still very frightening dreams.
Why were bears waking around a major city? Why were they looking for me? What were they trying to tell me? These dreams recurred for about a year, until I decided to change course in life, and switch from a possible academic career to a healing profession. It was after this when I came across that bears are guides for healers that I consciously knew what those dreams meant. Luckily, my subconscious picked up on the message and steered me towards a new path.
When animals and spirit guides come to us in dreams, it can be difficult to understand their message. Seeking the assistance of a Shaman, Psychic, or other intuitive or spiritual healer can help, but you can also do a focused meditation on the animal, try to return to the dream, or just go with the initial impression or feeling you had when you first woke up from the dream. You can also ask for confirmation signs during waking hours too, for the messages from the spirit realm are all around us.