Represents: Introspection, healing, leadership

Bears hibernate for the winter, seeking out dens or caves where they will sleep until spring. This means that for half of the year they are turned inward, and for the other half they are turned outward.

The power of the Bear totem is the power of introspection. Just as bear hibernates, people with the Bear totem learn to turn their gazes within to study their own feelings and motivations in order to gain fresh insight and healing.

A Bear totem teaches us that the answers to all our questions lie within us. Each of us has the capacity to quiet our minds, enter the silence and be still. Sitting with this silence allows us to grasp the wisdom within.

Just as the bear hibernates during the winter, people with a Bear totem will be quieter during the winter months. This is their time for doing inner work and meditation. They may withdraw from social activities during the darkness of the winter, but they will awaken in the spring to seek whatever opportunities await them. They are able to greet each spring with a fresh perspective gained from the soul-searching of the darker part of the year.

Bears spend the summer months foraging among the herbs, plants and berries. Because of this, Native Americans saw Bears as the natural healers of the animal tribe, because they knew where all the healing plants grew.  A Bear totem encourages you to exercise your abilities as a natural healer.

Because of their great strength and fearlessness, Bears make natural leaders. When you have a Bear totem, you are being guided towards a leadership role. If Bear has called you to lead, or to heal, you must be fearless in defending your beliefs and in putting them into practice.

Bears are associated with trees, and especially with the World Tree, linking the heavens and the earth. This means that Bears are capable of standing between the worlds or of visiting all three worlds of Earth, Sky, and Middle Earth., linking the conscious and the unconscious mind.

Bear is associated with the Greek Goddess Artemis and with the Celtic Goddess Artio. Bear is also a symbol of King Arthur (“Arthur” means “Bear”).

Explore the significance of some common spirit animals by clicking a link below.