Bears are both adorable and tough. They are intelligent and intuitive. But while we have different perceptions about bears across the globe, one thing is for sure, they exude a strong presence in their environment.
In the spiritual realm, bears are revered as important spirit guides and totems. They symbolize strength, protection, open-mindedness, nobility, ferocity, courage, patience, and more.
Likewise, bears are also found in different folklores and mythology, depicting their roles as guides, especially at the brink of evolution.
If you find yourself in the presence of bears around you – whether it is an actual bear or images representing the animal – there might be a special message waiting for you to uncover.
Learn more about the spiritual meaning of bears as your read on.
What Do Bears Symbolize? The Spiritual Meaning of Bears
Bears symbolize strength, protection, courage, open-mindedness, patience, ferocity, and nobility. Collectively, these traits become even more necessary when dealing with change in life.
If you have seen how bears act in the wild, you would understand how these symbols are associated with them.
For example, despite their huge size, bears are incredibly agile and can fight off other predators, especially those that bring harm to their cubs. In addition, they are strong enough to move logs when foraging food proving their clear link with inherent strength.
On the other hand, bears also have impeccable instincts. For instance, brown bears hunt fish, especially salmon, in coastal areas. Moreover, their fishing technique is superb in that they can easily find food. But it is their patience that plays a big part in their success.
Moreover, bears are also very protective of their young ones. They will stand against anyone who poses threats showing raw ferocity and courage in the height of losing what’s important to them.
Bears in Christianity
Bears are depicted as both positive and negative representations in the bible.
In the old testament, it carries the judgment of God. It is used as a metaphor for what God can do to the wicked. In the book of Kings II, when a gang mocked one of God’s prophets, God sent a couple of she-bears to attack them.
In the same way, bears are used to represent cruelty and insensitivity that triggers God’s wrath.
On the other hand, bears are also compared to wolves in that they attack the flock of sheep. In this sense, the flock of sheep is a metaphor for God’s people. And with that understanding, bears are labeled as evil.
Bears in Different Cultures
If you look closer into various cultural literature, you’ll find the consistent presence of bears. Expectedly, they bring the same representations but in more profound meanings.
Bears in Celtic Cultures
In Celtic mythology, the goddess of wildlife, abundance, and transformation is depicted as bears. In fact, you can see some of her statues in the body of a bear. This gives more meaning to the nobility of bears bringing their ferocious leadership.
Bears in Anglo Saxon Cultures
Lots of stories and folklores among the Anglo Saxon involve bears. There is even a story suggesting that kings descended from bears. This is perhaps because people believed that bears were the kings of animals.
One example is the story of the hero Beowulf. His name is roughly translated to “bee wolf,” or the bear that goes after the bees to get their honey.
Bears in Native American Culture
Native Americans have high reverence when it comes to bears. They consider the animals to have healing powers. This is attributed to their ability to continue fighting and living despite getting wounded.
It’s that stamina that many tribes wish to emulate. That’s why it is not uncommon to see Native American warriors wearing a bear claw or having one in their healing garments.
A common belief in the Inuit tribe is that bears are wise spiritual guides. Therefore, if a bear kills a hunter, it is believed that he would be reborn into a shaman.
Bear behavior was also used as a reference for the season change. For example, the Ute Native Americans performed a bear dance to mark the end of the bear’s hibernation. This also signifies the start of spring.
Bears in Chinese Culture
The Chinese culture considers bears as a representation of protection and masculine energy. This is why you could find bear statues at the entrance of houses similar to the lion statues.
Bears are generally considered creatures close to the divine in ancient Chinese culture. This is apparent with how they named one mountain Bear mountain. This mountain has many caves where the bears can stay. It is said that the gods and spirits come into the mountain and play with the bears.
Bears in Dreams
There are many ways you can interpret a dream that has bears in it. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all interpretation because the dream’s true meaning can be subjective.
Nevertheless, what’s certain is that the presence of a bear is a clear reminder that you have to brave through any transformation or change that is happening in your life.
Whether you’re happy or disappointed about these changes depends on how the bear appears in your dream and your feeling towards it.
If the bear was cuddly and you feel safe, then there’s something desirable that comes with the change. But if the bear is frightening and threatening, then you better prepare yourself for some challenges.
Bears As Spirit Guides
If a bear appears to you as a spirit guide, then you are in for some luck.
Bears are considered as one of the wisest spirit guides. They lead people to a better transformation that brings them to greatness.
If you listen carefully and recognize the signs laid down by your spirit guide, you will have all the faculties you need to unleash your full potential as a human being.
Strength is one of the many gifts of the bear spirit guide. Although the bear will not give you strength per se, the spirit animal will help you uncover and use your true strength.
Bears As Totem
Having a bear as your totem could mean you embody the myriad of traits that bears have.
But what’s interesting about bears being totems is that the qualities they represent are not just about strength and aggression. Instead, you may see yourself as a bold and courageous individual, but you also have a soft spot, especially for love and cuddles.
What Does It Mean When a Bear Visits You?
When a bear visits you in your dream or in real life, either in its true or art form, it bears the message of transformation and nurturing.
It could be a sign that you need to start nourishing specific aspects of your life in order for you to grow. This means giving up certain things like bad habits and focusing on productive elements that come your way.
Bears carry the message of strength brought about by change. Also, they represent protection, patience, and open-mindedness.
But more than recognizing these symbols, it is important to truly understand the reason why bears appear in your life.
By reading your emotions and the timing wherein the bears show up, you could decipher the message and live your life according to the bear’s guidance.