KEYWORDS: The gifts that bear offers to those with this totem are strength, introspection and knowledge. black bear brown bear kodiak bear polar bear totems bear medicine bears animal guide spirit guide animal guardianship
There are several types of bear including the Grizzly, Brown, Black, Kodiak and Polar. Unlike other animals who are active during a specific time of day, the bear is active both day and night. This symbolizes its connection with solar energy, that of strength and power, and lunar energy, that of intuition. It enhances and teaches those with this totem how to develop both within themselves. Bear has played a prominent role in many Native cultures. They are considered to be a highly desired ally and spirit helper because of its fearless power. It is believed that the power of Great spirit lives through this animal. Because of this a constellation was named for it, Ursus Major, The Great Bear. Some tribes prayed for medicine dreams that would show bear to be their guide. Others felt the bear was too powerful a medicine and would only hunt them if it meant not starving.
In some traditions bear is the spirit keeper of the West. The place of maturity and good harvest. The gifts that bear offers to those with this totem are strength, introspection and knowledge.
Bear can sometimes be too quick to anger and too sure of it own power. While they have little to fear they can forget caution, which is an important trait to have. If bear is your totem be careful that you don’t throw your caution to the wind. Being unaware of your limits in certain settings can be disastrous.
Many years ago while hiking in the woods I was surprised to meet a black bear face to face. As it stood before me the power that the bear held intimidated me. Fears surfaced and I was sure I was going to die. I rose my arms high over my head appearing larger than I was. Because I created an illusion of size and strength my life was spared. The bear watched, dropped down onto all four legs and slowly moved away. Bear taught me the importance of appearance by gathering my inner strength and presenting it outwardly.
During the winter bears spend several months sleeping in dens without eating, a condition that resembles hibernation. The more fat their bodies have stored up the deeper the sleep. Bears live on this fat throughout the winter. It teaches us how to go within and find the resources necessary for our personal survival.
The bear holds the teachings of introspection. When it shows up in your life pay attention to how you think, act and interact. Use discernment in all that you do and discriminate with care. Bear teaches you how to make choices from a position of power.