Bear Spirit Animal Meaning – Totem, Symbolism And More

by Alan Young
bear spirit animal

Is the Bear Your Spirit Animal?

Spirit animals come to us as guides throughout our journeys to inform us of the way in which we are all connected as species.

You may feel connected to one in some way, or the universe has brought you together in a powerful fashion. Your spirit animal is there to bear witness to your journey and guide you through the moments that can feel uncertain.

Regardless of how your spirit animal enters your life, trust your gut when it comes to the symbolism and know that there is a divine connection.

The energy of the bear is all about awakening from spiritual slumber.

This animal is calling you to the dawn of your spiritual self and the beginnings that inevitably follow. When the bear appears, you are protected by this animal’s energy. As the bear has no predators in their natural habitat, they are the ultimate being within the wilderness, so treat yourself as such in your own life.

You might be starting a new direction in your life, or have the birth of a new career, relationship, or mindset.

The experience is much like waking up from a long, deep sleep; we’re groggy, slow to move and sleepily open our eyes and take in our surroundings before taking a step forward.

This is much like the bear awakening from hibernation into the spring and the promises of the new season; it is up to you, much like the bear, how you choose to engage with the world before you.

Bear Spirit Animal Traits And Characteristics

bear spirit animal traits

The bear has many characteristics that reveal a beautifully dynamic spirit. When the bear is your spirit animal, it shows someone who has the capacity for the strength of mind, the evolution of our inner voice, and the spirit within that is ready and yearning to flourish.

To put it simply, use the processes of meditation, introspection and illumination to your advantage.

Bears are often seen as a source of strength, ferocity, and protection; much like the ever-powerful mother bear.

The bear might be gifting you their courage and strength. A note of warning, this could also speak to those who are coloring their fear with deceptive overconfidence.

This is simply a caution to channel the fearlessness and confidence of the bear into your introspection when faced with the trials between your head and your heart. So, while bears hold many healing qualities, there is this supreme need to understand the concept of our duality as living beings.

Given their hot temperament, bears can be easily antagonized.

We get angry, it happens, but this might be calling you to balance your ferocity with self-reflection and love. This helps us embody a more spiritual understanding of the words strength and enables us to channel it to more of a foundation for leadership.

In a world where everything moves with such intensity, let’s use a new definition for ferociousness: being fiercely committed to your healing journey, regardless of the way in which life can meander.

You do not need to choose one side of yourself over the other, but the bridging of soft and fierce is pivotal to your survival.

It calls us to step into our power and to lead with intention.

You are the Great Spirit of your own universe, and this itself is the greatest power we can learn.

The Bear Totem

The bear totem itself is used to provide its owner with more of a connection to the divine and their spiritual self.

It brings the enlightenment of the bear spirit and connects you with the replenishing energy from nature itself. You are called to wear this totem as a token of being a loving guardian of the universe.

Symbolism Of The Bear Cave

Bears are rarely seen and tend to themselves, giving them beautiful mystical energy. Mythological bears typically cover the bear cave, which is symbolic of protection.

The bear cave itself is representative of our own caves and the mysteries of inner power. We typically travel our lives with baggage that we never asked for; we’ve carried it for too long and now it is time to look into our own eyes, see the content of our minds and let go of what was never truly ours to carry.

Life comes with the seasons of the earth, when the bear appears it is time to shed what has been and turn to face the new light that shines on what could be.

The past is washed away with the fading darkness of winter. This is the sort of rebirth that those connected to the bear experience continuously throughout their lives and learn to master the art of renewal.

The spiritual journey begins the moment you decide to enter your cave. You are awoken from your spiritual slumber and guided deep within your caves to the mirrors of the self.

Related Article: 13 Astonishing Signs That You’re Having A Spiritual Awakening

Seeing Bears And Symbolism Of Hibernation

seeing bears and hibernation

If the bear totem or symbolism is continuously appearing to you, this is a divine message to take note of.

It’s important to look at the context in which you see the bear. Notice their demeanor and the environment, this will give you further insight into the specific message you are receiving.

Known throughout many cultures as the Great Healer, their medicine has the power to restore harmony and balance. Bears go into hibernation each fall and re-emerge in the spring as a sort of re-awakening or rebirth, a spring cleaning in a way.

They embrace the dominant lifestyle of the spring and nourish themselves with what they need, but then submit to the quiet of the winter when the time has come.

When we are on a spiritual journey, it can feel intense and raw at the best of times.

Sometimes we even fear ourselves; we fear our power and can feel out of control when our egos are at play. Healing can be messy, regardless of how strong you are.

The bear teaches us to lie in solitude with that which scares us, to enter your cave and get comfortable with setting boundaries with others, but also your own mind.

When we know this power is wholeheartedly within us and we honor it, we hold true to our purest selves and thus honor our own worth.

The Meaning Of Bears In Native Cultures

Throughout North American indigenous groups, the bear is celebrated and greatly worshipped as the creator of the universe, the ultimate protector of all, and the almighty source of life.

They believe that when the Great Spirit, the universal higher power, needs to connect with the physical world it will take on the body of the bear and roam the earth with us.

They typically refer to it as a mother, brother, or some other relative to demonstrate a deeply felt love, something within their blood.

Indigenous cultures have a significant call to celebrate the cycles and rhythms of all life forms, we are all a part of the earth and there is so much beauty in the way in which we are all connected.

What greater reason are we all on this earth other than the connection of all beings?

The symbolism of the bear claw

The claw of the bear is highly praised and worn around the neck as a symbol of protection.

This bestows the recipient with the powers of the bear. This was widely used among warriors for the purpose of battle. But, when it comes to hunting, bears are never killed without showing deep respect for the animal.

Indigenous groups across North America request permission before hunting a bear and perform a special ceremony once the bear has been killed.

The respect for each other as a species in life and death is something that we can take into our own lives.

Honoring our cycles and rhythms

They also greatly honor the bear’s hibernation as a pivotal process and a reminder to honor the cycles and rhythms of the earth’s seasons.

This spirit animal is calling you to honor your own seasons, to trust in the changing of the winds, and listen to the direction your intuition is guiding you. It’s important to know how you can nourish yourself in each season as we cannot be everything at once.

You are being called to truly examine your surroundings and how you engage with your life.

Knowing what fills you up and keeps you balanced. Look at whether you are emerging from winter into your spring months; or, are you being called for rest.

The bear honors themselves, regardless of their greatest and worst qualities.

The Meaning Of Bears In Dreams

meaning of bears in dreams

Seeing bears in dreams is generally regarded as a good omen by many indigenous cultures. It can mean that you will receive an abundance of good luck and can be representative of independence, strength, death, and renewal.

Do not be scared off by the use of the word “death” though. This is typically something within ourselves, or a situation needs to be shed in order to experience a rebirth or renewal.

The bear holds profound shamanic powers, showing you a vision quest, or the healing that needs to occur on your journey.

This dream might be calling you to bare your soul, to listen to your truest voice within, and begin to share that. You are being asked to open yourself up and see your honest reflection.

From here we can engage with life in a more fulfilling way.

Types of bears and their messages

The dream’s meaning can be dependent on the type of bear that appears to you. If you see a polar bear, your subconscious is guiding you to be more flexible and adaptable to the situation at hand.

Consider the environment around the Polar bear, this will help identify the other factors influencing this need for flexibility. If you are in the presence of a mother bear, this is guiding you to understand how to protect yourself, especially if the bear appears standing up on its hind legs.

See this as a representation of your inner child, it could be an encouragement to stand up for yourself. If the bear is chasing you, this is representative of you running from your fears.

The dream is telling you it’s time to face that which follows you. Alternatively, the bear might be attacking you. If this occurs, look at the ways in which you might be attacking yourself in real life.

Ultimately, when the bear appears in your dream it’s a sign to move with a bit of caution, to give yourself the space to avoid aggression. Consider why this mystical creature is gracing your path. The bear can be symbolic of the ego-self here, and ego is generally high, mighty, and aggressive.

Ask the bear why it has come to you and trust your intuition with this. This is your dance with the bear, how will you tackle your ego-self so that you can walk hand in hand out of the cave?

The Ultimate Lessons From The Bear

bear spirit animal lesson

In the moments where you feel lost, this animal is showing up to guide you to the much deeper depths of your own caves.

To examine the walls, the nooks, and corners that you never dared to truly look at. Take on the shedding of all that you didn’t know while you may have previously slumbered through life, blissfully unaware of your shadows.

There is no shame in how long it took you to get here.

Here you are, and the call is upon you to embrace your bear-like qualities, to see your own mystic beauty. Know that the bear has honored you with their presence and there is a higher spiritual connection within you.

Feel your connection to the earth beneath you.

Bask in the radiance of being so connected to the magic of the divine. In the silence between you and nature is where the truth lies. You have arrived here and are ready to listen to the growing whispers of your soul’s journey.

If you feel like you need someone to help you along the way, trust that your spirit animal is here to guide you forwards.

On the other side you will meet a new and beloved friend, and that friend will be your integrated self.

Thanks, I hope you enjoyed this post! If you want to know more about spirit animals check out the in-depth guide on Spirit Animals here.

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