Spiritual meaning behind bears
Bears lore for those interested in learning more about bears and getting a bear totem from our shop:
In shamanism bears are totem animals or power animals. This takes us to the very source of 'nature in motion' - the summer solstice - shaminism - the rhythm of drumming - sweat lodges and cleansing - as we meditate, initiate, and activate our DNA to uncover our lost wisdom and soul's purpose.
Messages the Bear Offers Us
Patience and Connection
Hibernating with our ideas or projects until a better time presents itself. Further, bear will speak to you about connecting to both earth-based energy and celestial (sun/moon) forces. Tapping into the bear will also allow you to tap into the wax, wane and flow of life.
Confidence and Authority
By its physical presence, the bear reminds us we can be larger than life if we raise ourselves up to our inherent status. Moreover, no one questions the bear. This kind of authoritative presence will be a lesson the bear can impart.
Nurturing and Protection
We intuit these attributes by the commitment bear mothers make to their offspring. Whether your offspring is in children or ideals, the bear will lend you the determination required for rearing up strong results.
Bears in Mythology and Legend
There is evidence of prehistoric bear worship. Anthropologists such as Joseph Campbell have regarded this as a common feature in most of the fishing and hunting-tribes. The prehistoric Finns, along with most Siberian peoples, considered the bear as the spirit of one's forefathers. This is why the bear (karhu) was a greatly respected animal, with several euphemistic names (such as otso, mesikŠmmen and kontio). The bear is the national animal of Finland.
This kind of attitude is reflected in the traditional Russian fairy tale "Morozko", whose arrogant protagonist Ivan tries to kill a mother bear and her cubs - and is punished and humbled by having his own head turned magically into a bear's head and being subsequently shunned by human society.
"The Brown Bear of Norway" is a Scottish fairy tale telling the adventures of a girl who married a prince magically turned into a bear, and who managed to get him back into a human form by the force of her love and after many trials and difficulties. In the 1970s, this story was adapted into the East German fantasy film The Singing Ringing Tree and broadcast on British television.
Evidence of bear worship has been found in early Chinese and Ainu cultures, as well (see Iomante). Korean people in their mythology identify the bear as their ancestor and symbolic animal. According to the Korean legend, a god imposed a difficult test on a she-bear; when she passed it, the god turned her into a woman and married her.
Legends of saints taming bears are common in the Alpine zone. In the arms of the bishopric of Freising, the bear is the dangerous totem animal tamed by St. Corbinian and made to carry his civilised baggage over the mountains. A bear also features prominently in the legend of St. Romedius, who is also said to have tamed one of these animals and had the same bear carry him from his hermitage in the mountains to the city of Trento.
Similar stories are told of Saint Gall and Saint Columbanus.
This recurrent motif was used by the Church as a symbol of the victory of Christianity over paganism. In the Norse settlements of northern England during the 10th century, a type of "hogback" grave cover of a long narrow block of stone, with a shaped apex like the roof beam of a long house, is carved with a muzzled, thus Christianised, bear clasping each gable end. Though the best collection of these is in the church at Brompton, North Yorkshire, their distribution ranges across northern England and southern Scotland, with a scattered few in the north Midlands and single survivals in Wales, Cornwall, and Ireland; a late group is found in the Orkney Islands.
Bears are a popular feature of many children's stories, including Goldilocks and "The Story of the Three Bears", the Berenstain Bears, and Winnie the Pooh.
With Bear Medicine we find:
The Bear is the keeper of the dreamtime, and stores the teachings of dreams until the dreamer wakes up to them. Many tribes have called this space of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge, where the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity. It is in the Dream Lodge that our ancestors sit in Council and advise us regarding alternative pathways that lead to our goals.
If you like bears, you should maybe look into some books on interpreting dreams; especially if you're a heavy dreamer. If you need a lot of sleep, it may be Bear working. This female receptive energy, for centuries has allowed visionaries, mystics, and shamans to prophesy.
The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. Bear is not one to make snap decisions, nor one to ramrod or force into any position. Bear takes in all available information, takes it into his quiet place, studies that information carefully, gives it careful thought for a while, and then reaches his own informed decisions based on the facts at hand. Bear is the one who says, "I have to think about this. I'll be in touch later." You can rely on opinions coming from a Bear person as being well thought out and thorough, and based on the facts given. To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.
Bear is a fierce warrior, especially when protecting their young. They appear to be lumbering and slow, but can have lightning speed when threatened. They love fish when they can get it, but they also eat berries, honey, etc. Bear people like home and shelter, and like to be warm and cozy.
With Bear Medicine, the power of knowing has invited you to enter the silence and become acquainted with the Dream Lodge, so that your goals may become concrete realities. This is the strength of Bear.
Bear Clan Origin Myth
The Bear Clan is a large clan of the Lower or Earth Moiety, and in contemporary Wisconsin, it is now the largest clan. The Bear Clan had to be consulted on all matters pertaining to the earth (such as land transfers), just as the Waterspirit Clan was in charge of matters pertaining to water, and the Thunderbird Clan to matters aerial