I mentioned in my return post about how bears had shown up a lot near the end of my sabbatical, beginning with a dream and then culminating with seeing two in person while in Sequoia National Park, and one I felt and saw in my vision while listening for any messages in the forest.
I haven’t had a whole lot of visitation from bear spirit in the past, although has come through before as animal spirit guides in sessions I was doing for clients.
The one time I had the most amazing experience with them was in Alaska last year where we went bear viewing – one of my all-time favorite experiences (you can scroll through that post for the amazing photos of the brown bears I captured).
It was there that we had opportunity to see both black and brown bears….the brown bears up very close and personal, walking among many of them and having the chance to experience these awesome beings in their domain going about life. The black bears we saw were farther in the distance, snacking on berries on the tundra we were hiking.
But when bear showed up in succession of several days in a row for me at the end of November, I had thought to reflect more on that.
I always seem to have a theme of one or a few animal spirit guides around and showing up for me to take notice of, as I’m very animal connected. However, I believe they are always around us and showing up at opportune times, but we just likely aren’t paying attention to it and passing it off as “just part of life without significance.”
When they show up for me, this always reflects the energy I’m working with currently and/or need to integrate. And so they appear as reminder of the message and to let me know they are there to assist me, as well as empower the energies and medicine they carry.
Anyway, since I promised writing a bit about bear – black bear in particular – since that is specifically the one I kept experiencing recently, I’ll just share a bit of what I take away from the symbolism of them showing up for me, personally, and some of the collective meanings that are possible with these beings presenting themselves to you.
Like with all things, there is indeed collective symbolism that you can draw from in terms of what the meaning of anything is for you.
And yet, there are many ways to interpret things and so using your intuitive guidance and nudges will help you to discern the meaning better for yourself and how it translates relative to you and your current experiences.
For sake of this share, I’m focusing on animals – bears in particular – and some clues to help you piece things together for yourself when they show up for you in waking life or dream time.
I’ll show you how I walked through my own experiences to draw forth my personal messages from them.
As mentioned, for myself I had dreamed of black bear cubs and their mom…or at least that’s what they felt to be in the dream. There were quite a few of them and they were not babies, but young adolescents. They were in no way ferocious or on the attack and I was completely not in fear. They were simply standing there sporadically around me, as I walked through them. And Dave had blown something magickally that put them into a slumber, as I continued walking among them.
I took away several things from this, given my personal circumstances at the time and currently.
The first thing that came to me was how mother bears are so nurturing and protective of their cubs and how she was at peace with me walking through and they all just continued to go about their things. She didn’t feel threatened or the need to attack to protect her children.
So it felt like I was in a time period of self-nurturing and nurturing, what I’ve been calling – my “babies” – which are the projects I’ve been working on, as well as caring for my rabbits.
There was nothing threatening me in the dream for need of protection, but instead I felt there was something I needed to preserve, which to me was a piece of me.
And since black bears usually hibernate, especially if moms have given birth, this was speaking to me as my need to continue to remain inward, although out of my sabbatical, and to finish out the winter focused on my “babies” and nurturing the things that I need right now.
The fact they were put into a magickal slumber, was speaking to the fact that this was important despite anything else presenting itself or that I might “think” I need to be doing otherwise. Call it divine timing, cosmic alignment, a soul path nudge….something beyond myself would see to it that I maintain this magickal bubble to continue what I’m being inspired and guided to do and that I am able to do so easily, if I don’t fight it.
Some facts about black bears, which are the smallest of the bear species in North America…and thoughts for myself:
They don’t attack or anger unless vehemently provoked ~ I am not easily provoked either, as it takes a lot for me to anger as well, and since the bears were calm in the dream this felt like I will find peace by continuing in the vein of what I’m doing and honoring my nature within. They were also fully focused in their own thing in the dream, and not at all distracted by me, preferring to focus on their task at hand, which seemed to be eating. This speaks to my preferring to focus on my personal endeavors at this time, rather than worrying about anything going on in the outside environment and that I have the capability to dedicate myself deeply to an intent or task until it is achieved because of how entranced I am in my work. It takes a lot to pull me away when I commit. And so commitment is needed to ensure completion.
They tend to sit around, sleep, and walk aimlessly until hungry ~ I tend to naturally like to flow and be in peace, allowing how I feel to guide me, and so I’m not to get caught up in things that can create anxiety, over-stimulation, and sensitivity, which I found myself a few days ago feeling by being overly immersed in other things and losing time for myself and my projects.
They have anywhere from 1 – 6 cubs, although 2 is most common ~ my dream showed quite a few, so it was closer to the 6, which feels like fertile energy and ultra abundance is available right now…this is a richly creative and fertile time for my projects to take advantage of.
They are extremely adaptable, although primarily found in forests with thick ground vegetation with an abundance of fruits, nuts, and vegetation – places like the tundra, where I saw them in Alaska. They forage in fields or meadows, and in general can live in a variation of habitat types. They are also a symbol of living off the land and being resourceful ~ I, too, am very flexible and adaptable, like a chameleon and can be resourceful in many regards. So this speaks to my needing to stay open to the possibilities, knowing when to harness timeliness and what is being presented, as well as may be speaking to how we are about to begin our travels in the RV to many different and varied places. Honing in on my resources available will also support my endeavors and the simple life we’ve chosen, which will be following seasons more for travel and having me/us even more self-sufficient and living with Nature and her cycles.
They mostly are found traveling high in the mountains and symbolize living off the land ~ as mentioned this speaks to my ability to be resourceful, which this lifestyle now is emphasizing, but also speaks to my ideal and most personally nurturing location of living as well, which I have finally understood for myself as being in the high altitudes of the mountains, in forested areas near water like a lake or river – so much like these bears. And that while we are on our RV adventure, will be looking for that ideal place to later settle and that brings together the other aspects of my personal dreams and project focuses.
They tend to be solitary animals and forage alone with exception of mothers with their cubs and foraging in groups if the habitat is very abundant in an area where they then tolerate each other ~ I tend to also be a solitary person and enjoy my time to myself and the much needed away space to recharge, be able to live and create most optimally, and to give in the ways that I do in the areas of service.
They mostly hibernate depending on local weather and food availability during winter, yet will leave dens from time to time during the season. Females usually give birth and stay denned during the winter, however. ~ I’ve become much more attuned to the seasons over time and the natural rhythms of nature, so this wintering or self-hibernation feels especially nurturing and productive to honor at this time. Remaining inward and partially in retreat, venturing out from time to time, as the bears might, feels healthy and nurturing right now for me.
Their being black also, to me, signifies the shadow aspects and the ultra sacred feminine energy for me to deepen into and integrate further. This includes a connection with the Moon, which I/we just so happen to continue aligning with when we make big moves. The ancients understood the connection of the Moon and the bear, due to their hibernation patterns. It also includes introspection and the subconscious, as well as dreaming and sleep. I’ve not only been sleeping deeply and dreaming profusely and clearly, but I’m seeing the continual layers reveal themselves and with willingness to face these pieces they easily integrate and fuel greater strength and possibilities. Not only may I be understanding parts of myself even better now, and releasing and cleansing out more, but am having a stronger, clearer connection to my deepest passions and the compass directing my heart and soul.
In many ways I am identifying much with black bear at this point in my life, in general, and can see how it may be with me for quite some time.
The black bears just kind of doing their own thing and wandering around me in the dream feels to speak to my own experience and journey toward greater and continual peace, patience, and presence. So, it’s important to be mindful of not turning that into a quest, rather than allowing it to just unfold, as a quest for patience can intensify impatience and provide a block to reaching that goal. True patience waits for it.
And so I embrace the journey.
These were the things I took away in terms of black bear showing up in my dream time and waking life, but here are just a few general additions about bear symbolism that I can also draw from and receive in messages, and perhaps if bear has shown up for you, you will as well.
See how any of these things may apply in your own life.
Bears are solitary creatures, capable of living and thriving alone. They can challenge your feelings, beliefs, and conditioned ideas about being independent or may empower them.
They are not threatening as many movies and ideas would otherwise have you believe. So look at the context in which they show up for you in a dream, meditation, or the way you feel if you see them in person. This will speak to something going on in your life and if you feel threatened or they are attacking, then where are you experiencing this, feeling fear, feeling controlled or overpowered, and not being able to stand your own ground?
Phrases like bearing your soul or being over-bearing may come to mind and you can see how those relate to what would be most supportive for you at this time.
Since many tend to hibernate, look at where you may need to withdraw for a while in your own life, or if it’s time for you to take action and harness your own resourcefulness with intents you’re trying to manifest.
Bears carry both yin and yang energy since they have both hibernation and active periods of life. This is symbolic of your own inner feminine and masculine energies and balancing them in your life. There are times for retreat and nurturing, and there is a timely alignment for action.
Bears symbolize strength, personal and raw power, peace, sovereignty, duality, mother energy, nurturing, courage, fearlessness, teaches us about respect and boundaries, vulnerability and honesty – as bear doesn’t hide intentions, being inward to reflect, being comfortable with yourself and being alone, stillness and meditation, protection, dream time, and vision quests.
If bear shows up for you, pay attention to what your dreams are sharing with you, as messages will be revealed there. Also, be aware of your environment when awake and what is calling to your attention. You have the ability to harness both worlds of inner and outer, since bear represents both in balance.
Bear protects you as you walk through the journey called life and is there to help you connect more deeply with your natural rhythms, as connected and in alignment with the rhythms of nature. You’ll understand where you need to go and the travels ahead on the path, as you acquire the resources along the way that you will need to support you. You’ll also learn how to rest, recharge, and retreat when necessary to conserve your resources and energy for optimal use and action, when called for.
And she encourages you to enjoy the sweetness along the way.
Bear may be sharing that now is the time to unleash the essence of your inner power, along with your gifts and greatest strengths. You have the ability, with patience and nurturing, to confidently move forward with authority in your chosen path, knowing you have everything you need and will be protected always.
The bear may be inviting you to discover the calling within your heart and soul, much as she is doing for me.