Bear as Spirit animal, symbolism, meaning and Powers

Before the 12th century, the bear was revered as the king of animals in Europe. In many traditions, the bear embodies a powerful and often shamanic totem. The bear has warrior energy. Standing on its hind legs, it becomes fierce in the face of adversity. Drawing its strength from primitive and savage instincts, it is better to avoid its anger.

Conversely, the four-legged “teddy bear” is quiet, almost phlegmatic. We want to come and snuggle up in his big protective arms to find the assurance we need. Oscillating between ferocity and gentleness, he is both feared and respected. The bear is, above all, a loner who spends a lot of time in observation and introspection. He likes to learn from himself and life. He is curious by nature. Moreover, he draws his healing from this deep inner work, from this sincere quest at the physical, emotional, psychic, energetic and spiritual levels.

Animal Totem Bear

Tasting the honey of life, he becomes a wise man who knows how to take the time to heal from his bestiality, opening the passage from the animal kingdom to the human realm. Isn’t this the ultimate healing of Man? Cure yourself of your primitive animal instinct and overcome it. From this introspective quest, the bear will become a healer capable of transmuting darkness into light. From his healing, he will accompany others to heal themselves while transmitting his teaching. Gifted with leadership, he guides those who dare to fight for their achievements.

Is the Bear your totem animal?

In the Totem animal kingdom, the Bear is the emblem of the anchoring force. This animal has been revered as a powerful totem throughout time, inspiring those in need with the courage to stand up against adversity. Its connection to the Earth and the cycles of Nature makes it a helpful spirit animal in promoting physical and emotional healing.

Bear totem animal meaning!

  • The primary meaning of the bear totem animal is strength, confidence, and wisdom.
  • Facing adversity around you, taking action, and leading.
  • The spirit of the Bear indicates that it is time to heal or use its healing abilities to help yourself or others. Don’t forget the symbolic strength of your favorite animal in moments of vulnerability.
  • Native American people emphasize the importance of solitude, calm, and rest for those with the Bear as their totem animal.
  • The bear spirit provides strong grounding forces.
  • The Bear, a powerful animal symbolizing strength and courage.
  • The bear spirit is a vital source of support!

It symbolizes courage ingrained in your subconscious to face difficult times. It brings courage and a stable base to face challenges; your personality is strengthened thanks to it! If the Bear appears in your life as a spirit guide, it might be time to stand up for your beliefs. This powerful animal will bring you support and strength.

The Bear is also a guide that allows you to take the initiative in your life or others; listen to your instincts! Bears are feared and admired because of their strength. His presence inspires respect. His strength and robust stature will inspire you to take a leadership role in your life and act without fear.

Native American wisdom has taught us that when you invoke the power of the bear totem, consider the qualities of inner strength, fearlessness, and self-confidence and how you can project them into your world.

 The Bear is an animal totem or of great power for the Inuit. In some indigenous beliefs, it is said that if an Inuit hunter agrees to be eaten by a bear, he can reincarnate as a shaman and carry the spirit of this animal. The polar bear is considered the “wise teacher” because it shows how to survive in harsh conditions.

What is an Animal Totem, and how to recognize it?

An Animal Totem is a protective animal. Coming from shamanic traditions, the Animal Totem represents both a symbol of protection and personality traits. To know your Animal Totem, the most effective is to do a session with a shaman. There are also specific meditations to invite your totem animal to introduce yourself. On the other hand, it can also manifest itself regularly in dreams or in daily life.

When your Animal Totem presents itself, it also brings you a spiritual message. This one is meant to move you forward in life. Indeed, totems are guides that we invoke to find answers or be protected.

Know that your Animal Totem can change during your life. As you move forward and evolve in your quest, your protective animal can change to push you to go even further in this introspective and emotional journey.

Animal Totem Bear: Strength and connection with Nature

The Bear is a carnivorous mammal found in America, Europe, and Asia. There are different species of bears, the best known of which are the Brown Bear, the Polar Bear, the giant panda, and the black bear. From Siberia to tropical forests, passing through the Arctic Pole, the forests of the Rocky Mountains, and the European mountains, the Bear, seeks its place in increasingly urbanized and humanized environments. Solitary, the Bear evolves alone in its environment, except when the female feeds and raises her cubs born during wintering. Omnivorous, the Bear feeds on plants and wild animals. It is at the top of the food chain.

Living in deep connection with natural cycles

The Bear embodies the deep connection with Nature. Whether in the forest, on the plains, or on the ice, the bear hunts, raises its young, and moves according to Nature. Connected to natural cycles, it is dependent on the balance of ecosystems.

For example, its diet changes according to the season and the resources at its disposal. When winter comes, the Bear isolates itself in a cave or cavern and enters wintering, a long period of sleep during which it does not put its nose outside, except in an emergency.

It should also be noted that the female can control her pregnancy according to the resources available to meet the needs of her young once the winter has passed.

The Bear, the quiet strength

At the top of the food chain and often seen as a threat to humans, the Bear is also the embodiment of strength. Even if popular beliefs speak of it as a ferocious being that eats humans, the reality is quite different. The Bear is frightened mainly by human presence, but its strength allows it to fight against adversity to support itself and its cubs. In other words, force here is a source of courage and is used wisely.

If we go further, the meaning of the Bear is related to action, to leadership. Bears are masters of their lives. Their inner strength pushes them to appreciate their solitary life.

The figure of the healer and other traditional representations

The Bear is also the emblem of healing, rest, of a return to calm. Every year, when winter comes, he retires to his cave. Its wintering can be represented by the faculty of introspection of human beings. Symbolically, hibernation reminds us of hermitage and meditation. It is a fact of withdrawing from the world for a few moments or some time to understand one’s role, to take stock of what is happening in the heart and the head. In short, retire to your cellar to meditate and find out what you want and who you are before opening up to the world in spring renewal.

The Bear has always been linked to man. Of the fear of its predation, sometimes by the admiration that certain civilizations have dedicated to it, the legends surrounding the figure of the Bear and the Ursa in many traditions are multiple. Here are some examples:

It is said that the Vikings, in their warrior universe, wore bearskin to benefit from the strength and wisdom of the wild animal. His spirit was also invoked in battles. Symbolically, we can see the opportunity to face difficult situations thanks to the Bear.

In Ancient Greece, Artemis, goddess of wilderness, war, and chastity, was accompanied by a bear, a symbol of virginity, in the guise of the Nymph Callisto at her side.

For the Celts, the brown Bear represents the sun because it was considered the king of animals (before being dethroned by the Lion through the Church). It was a potent symbol of strength, courage, and power.

In Native American traditions, the Bear is omnipresent. It is found on the Medicine Wheel, the gate of the setting sun, which symbolizes the Amerindian people, the sacred feminine, and the sacred waters. ” The Clan of the Bears ” is a traditional group in which leaders and healers are born.

Also, it is the sixth spirit of the Wheel of Life. In strong connection with the Earth, it represents the end of summer and the sign of Virgo.

We also see in these representations how important the yin (feminine) energy is. As one might think, the Bear is not a predator with warlike instincts that uses its strength to fight, dominate, and manipulate. He is not one of the enemies of Man, even if he is afraid of him.

On the contrary, it is an archetype that pushes for balance and pragmatism, introspection, and care for oneself and others.

Bear Spirit and Healing

As the Bear is often associated with shamans in many traditions, this spirit animal embodies healing abilities and the role of the healer. If the Bear appears in your life, it may also be time to take care of your own healing needs, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Do not disregard your intuitions. It could be helpful to you!

Pay attention to your situation and think about the areas where you would need the most attention. You can call on the bear spirit’s guidance to direct your energy more conservatively or focused.

The Bear is an animal that leads a solitary life.

Native American culture tells us that having a bear as a totem animal can mean that you find balance and comfort in solitude. Don’t be afraid to look around; your protective animal will always be there to help you!

Things to know:

  • Bears have favorite trees and walk for miles to scratch their backs.
  • The Bear is an ancient spirit animal revered in many traditions.
  • As a spirit animal or totem, the Bear is one of the oldest revered animals. Bear remains have been found at many archaeological sites in Europe, including locations where bear bones and skulls have been found along with Neanderthal human bones.
  • It is said that the Vikings wore bearskins in times of war to scare their enemies. They seemed as powerful as those wild animals. Bears symbolize the warrior spirit and the courage to fight. The Nature of the Bear would be invoked to aid warriors in battle.
  • Bears were considered totem animals in ancient Greece and Rome, where they were associated with Artemis and Diana, goddesses of fertility. On the other hand, the Bear represented the sun for the Celts.

If your totem animal is the Bear, do not act impulsively and for your interest. You would then be in the harmful energies of the totem, in the savagery, while the Bear embodies mastery and self-sacrifice. Through the introspection it suggests, the Bear pushes you to heal your wounds so that you can help others.

The hermitage, the solitary retreat necessary for the balance of a person guided by the Bear, allows you to understand your limits better, find love for the other, and get rid of the Ego.

This retreat in the shade allows you to find the light that animates you and will allow you to reveal yourself.

The Bear yields to a wild and untamed instinct in its negative aspect. He seeks to possess, dominate, fight “against,” and no longer “for.” Wintering is then characterized by a withdrawal into oneself, a violent split from the rest of the world, and another savagery. In this case, the person is no longer attentive to the world around him, Nature, and others. She is focused on herself, her Ego dominates her, and she seeks to dominate the other in a vain quest for power. If you recognize yourself in this, it is time to reverse the polarities and rediscover the Bear’s altruistic essence, return closer to Mother Earth, and imbue yourself with her healing energy.

Solitude does not mean disdain and withdrawal. Strength does not mean domination. The Bear is in perfect control of his instincts. The person he guides must therefore learn to find himself, to be in contact with Nature, but also with his true Nature, to show himself to the world and be helpful to him positively.

The Bear and the sign of Virgo

The figure of the Bear is directly linked to the astrological sign of Virgo. We have seen it through Native American representations and their equivalents in Western astrology, but also in the balance that the Animal Totem embodies.

Virgo, like the Bear, is organized and systematic. Rather shy by Nature, Virgo likes to protect themselves from the outside. This sign is also directly related to medicine and health. The Virgin, like the Bear, finds herself in a balance between pragmatism and abnegation. Aware of daily necessities, he does everything to ensure the vital needs of his family and provide them with the protection they need.

The Positive Energy of the Bear

The Positive Energy of the Bear is that of healing and introspection. Healing is the path of the bear.

There are many stories and myths regarding the bear. It would seem that since the dawn of time, Man has honoured her all over the earth and up to the sky with these two constellations: the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. It should be noted that these two constellations are named in a feminine way.

The essential is here! The Big Dipper initiates her cubs and cubs to become healers. The woman is the initiator of the man for the simple reason that she is Venus when the man is Mars. She is Love, and this is the fulfillment of the human kingdom: Being Love. To be in Unconditional Love is the healing of our dualities and overcoming our primitive animal instincts.

In Greek mythology, Artemis is powerfully linked to the bear. She is a goddess of wilderness and hunting. She is a virgin. Its role is precisely to hunt our wild animal nature to protect its virginity and to accomplish the human kingdom. Interestingly, in Siberia, a vital melting pot of shamanism, the name of the shaman and the bear are the same: Böö! In the Native American tradition, the Bear Clan was influential and considered because it often produced leaders and Medicine Men or Women.

In the Native American Medicine Wheel, the bear is the guardian of the West Gate dedicated to the setting sun. It is extraordinary energy, the sacred feminine, and the sacred waters. Therefore, the bear is directly a guardian of the holy waters and the sacred feminine. This, moreover, is thanks to this feminine, receptive energy that, since the dawn of time, bears men and women to feel and intuitively perceive what has been, what is, and what will be. This allows them to feed their dream of life and that of others!

The big bear, visible from all over the world, teaches her children the art of healing themselves from their yin/yang dualities: earth/sky and feminine/masculine. The bear spends 60% of its time resting, 20% moving, and 6% eating. Rest is the time needed for introspection and meditation. The bear is more solitary, which makes it an excellent hermit! The hermitage perfectly characterizes bear medicine. It is said that during its hibernation, the bear strips itself of all that is useless to it.

It is the symbolic death of the ego (all of our wounds). Creating a void in him, the Earth-Mother teaches him the healing art of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdom (totemic) to access the human realm. In the spring, it is the resurrection. The bear is reborn in the Father Sun. It symbolizes the Standing Man, aligned Earth/Sky. He is guided by his instincts to find his sacred food. Nature offers him what he can eat: small rations when he comes out of hibernation and then more and more abundant as his quest for truth progresses.

By following the sacred waters, he goes back to the “source” where life offers him the Grail: the salmon! These are powerful spiritual symbols. From introspection to his resurrection and then to his path of truth, the bear opens up to the human kingdom characterized by the heart, none other than Venus. It is the culmination of the mortal realm, Venusian reign, and feminine par excellence! If Unconditional Love fills our hearts, then obviously, no more duality, no more diseases, no more wars. The healing of our bestial instincts will give way to health, unity, and peace. Here is the full realization of the human species!

We understand that following the bear’s path is not easy as our resistance and wounds are deep. Our deepest fear and, therefore, resistance is precisely loved! What a paradox when we realize that this is our permanent quest. When it is unconscious, this quest goes through the verb “To have”: to have Love (to consume) instead of being Love.

It is adrift from the universal meaning of Love. It demonstrates the reversed sense of Man clinging to his fears and primitive instincts. To face your ” inner monsters, you have to be a valiant warrior of light to face your “inner monsters.” A monster being, in fact, only a sufferer, we need a lot of compassion for ourselves. The anagram of the warrior is “heal” and remains “re,” i.e., a true warrior can confront and transcend all that is not “re” the creator and thereby: Love.

This is the path of the sacred masculine; coming from Mars, the somewhat animal warrior walks to free his sacred feminine: free his heart and, therefore, his self-esteem. A love that he defiled. Consequently, his quest is a deliverance, repentance to his feral instincts of domination, submission, and cunning.

What a sacred march is that of the bear! The bear must be brave, courageous, persevering, devoted, and humble to carry out its healing. He will have to accept important moments of solitude, not run away and get lost in others. In this, he is a loner who does not like to be bothered. He searches for his freedom his autonomy and does not like people to walk on his toes.

From the “nothing,” he draws the “everything,” his power. From his long introspective meditations and retreats, he accepts to let unity enter him so that it transcends his duality. Nothing to do, to be. To die to the Self-Spirit-Mind, to be reborn to the Self-Soul-Heart. His walk is strenuous and strewn with pitfalls because of the spiritual path demands. His hike will be all the more demanding as life awaits him on the summit of the “healers,” where he will be able to accompany the children of the earth to become “humans.”

The aggressive wild animal bear becomes the peaceful and wise four-legged bear from his healing. He transformed his vices and his great anger into wisdom, devotion, and the art of healing all that is not love in others. Thus the cured and healing bear will quickly become powerful, shaking, and disturbing companions of those who dare fight on their healing path and self-realization. Beyond his role as healer or shaman, the leading bear will often be strong and courageous enough to carry out more significant work than his interest—a collective and valuable work for humanity.

The Negative Energy of the Bear

The Negative Energy of the Bear is that of its bestiality. A negative mother bear would not take care of her children and let them die, forgetting her necessary devotion. Negative Papa Bear would eat his cubs. He would constantly fight against another male to possess a female. The negative bear is quite simple to understand given what it symbolizes: it is the representation of animal instinct and, therefore, domination (fight), submission (flight), and manipulation (cunning).

It is these bestial instincts that he must heal to open up to the human kingdom. Negative bear energy is the dark side of unfulfilled humanity. Power, hatred, and perversion are the food of chaos. The dominant male will become the submissive of his female, who has become a castrator. The submissive feminine will become the chief of the masculine who has become weak. He will therefore have to reverse his polarities through healing. A complete cycle of reversal awaits him: death and resurrection. If he does not accept his transmutation, the one who possesses the bear totem will lose himself in the worst bestial ignominies.

Nourished by power and hatred, he will never cease to fight “against” like a dominant or to flee the fight by submission. He will then use cunning and, thereby, manipulation to achieve his ends. The bear will use its own instead of serving its own. He has the power, so he will not hesitate to use it with impunity. Letting himself be guided by his bestial primitive instincts, he will seek to possess love, making himself had in turn. Cut from the source, he will not hesitate to feed on the energy of others, especially in deprived sexuality, then narcotics (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc.).

So firmly anchored to the earth, the bear will become dehydrated, eaten and possessed by its inner psychopaths. These will divert him from the path of healing and self-sacrifice. He will no longer be able to accept, forgive, and love himself from his disgrace. He will feel guilty and give up on his healing out of helplessness. He will forget his vocation to “heal himself” to accompany others to do the same. Thus, it was evident that he would no longer be able to accept, forgive and love the world, becoming a badly licked bear! He will become violent and may go so far as to kill or rape without impunity. He will feel all-powerful and will not hesitate to crush his own, to eat them. Like an evil king of beasts, he would become a sneaky dictator.

We find many stories where it is said that the bear kidnaps young girls to feast on them! The negative bear steals the virginity of young girls perverting them forever. In the wild, the bear rutting season lasts from April to June. Papa and mama bear stay together for a few weeks. Once breeding is done, each returns to its solitary life. This is to say the freedom that both grant each other. The negative bear would leave no liberty to the other. On the contrary, he would like to possess it instead of raising it. The violent, rapist bear would not hesitate to kill anyone who gets in the way of his little business.

If there is the dominant bear, there could also be the submissive and weak bear. The apathetic and lymphatic bear. The latter would make himself very small, never taking his place and fulfilling his vocation. The Big Dipper would then be able to call him to order and bluntly the need to follow the bear’s path: healing and devotion. In the same vein, bear medicine thrives on isolation.

Also, the bear could quickly have the annoying tendency to withdraw into itself, withdrawing from the world while becoming intolerant. The grumpy bear is locked in his cave! An uncured bear could quickly become a mentally ill person under psychiatry. Receiving powerful energies from incredibly healing transpersonal planets such as Pluto (higher octave of the sacred masculine) and Neptune (higher octave of the holy feminine), he will have to open up to the path of the heart and spirituality without which a world of chaos awaits him.

Fleeing in passionate activism, the negative bear could quickly become a reactionary, an extremist who carries the crowds in the destruction of humanity, leaving the animal instinct master of the world. He could easily be a master of war. Sooner or later, the fall awaits him asking him to cure his excesses.

The bear must have control of its mind. Otherwise, its power could become extremely dangerous. A negative bear would quickly become a Saruman or a Voldemort! Fortunately, if he accepts his quest with devotion, courage, and humility, he might as well become a Gandalf or a Dumbledore! Power is exhilarating and enjoyable. It is easy to use for its purpose.

The bear was born to be a healer. To do so, he must agree to go through a long healing path. Accepting this path means taking to become “nothing” to be “everything,” getting to renounce “me” to be devoted to “Self.” Faced with this shamanic quest, it’s a safe bet that the first reflex of the one who has the bear as a totem will flee his way!

A path of hermitage, solitude, abstinence, acceptance, devotion, and profound transmutation, this path is that of the loss of one’s identity. Everything will be good not to follow his path. Thus, most healers and shamans flee their vocations before being overtaken by Life with loss and a crash! This is how we recognize them! Running the human requirement of this vocation, they will undoubtedly lead a chaotic life before returning to the ranks! The chaos will, of course, be proportional to their resistance to “Being.”

The Bear Test

The Ordeal of the Bear is that of healing and self-sacrifice. Its great passage is to pass from animality to the human kingdom. He will have to heal his dominant masculine, his submissive feminine, and the perverse manipulation that can exist between these two polarities. Many will be his healing trials to open up to his peace and become a teddy bear! Long periods of solitary introspection will be necessary for him. The Big Dipper guides the bear-man or woman. Follow the leader!

As seen previously, there is a good chance that the chosen bear will flee his way. First chaos and first falls. He will have to learn to recover. Back on the right path, he will have to take the time for deep healing. Solitude and meditation will often be his great friends. He will have to learn to master his power and, as a shaman, to become a master of chaos: the disorder that creates order! He will have to feed on his art: the art of healing.

He will have to open up to the knowledge of the medicine of the different kingdoms, of a holistic understanding of the human being (physical, emotional, psychic, energetic, and spiritual) thanks to horizontal (master to disciple) and vertical teaching, directly from the spirit world. Each step towards his healing will lead him to heal his fellow men. From his recovery, he will regain his religious identity: individuation. It is the alignment of the seven chakras and, therefore, the seven personal planets.

If he arrives at this stage, life will ask him the unacceptable: to lose his identity and abandon himself for unity. This necessary surrender is the natural “gift of self.” The realized bear donates his person to the cause of humanity. He is elected for this! After years of trying to belong, life asks him not to belong anymore—the paradoxes of the universe. He opens up to his sacred child on the long path of renunciation and acceptance, to whom everything is given to accomplish his Great Work. If it wasn’t already, it opens up to Uranus, another transpersonal planet.

This planet of inner revolution, peaceful communication, genius, and ultimately divine expression is the equivalent of Jesus or Buddha in its finest achievement. The “cured” healer radiates and heals by his mere presence. It becomes a beacon. Finally, he also knows how to heal the other when the universe asks him to, like a coast guard capable of rescuing shipwrecked people in distress.

When he is big enough, wise, and peaceful, when he goes beyond his identity and, therefore, personal interest, the Big Dipper will entrust his son or daughter with a collective and Great human Work granting him a demanding place of leadership. The bear trials are, therefore, long. The spiritual mountains are high. This is the hard school of learning Universal Medicine.

Bear Medicine

Bear Medicine is heart medicine. She is, therefore, both very feminine: gentle, hyper-sensitive, passive, and very masculine: strength, bold and active. The combination of its two extreme polarities sometimes brings immeasurable power. Whoever has the bear as a totem will have to heal his sacred feminine and masculine.

Guided by the Great Bear, he powerfully embodies the sacred feminine of which he is the protective guardian: healing love. Also, it will become power and sweetness at the same time. The bear is a brave, imposing warrior feared and respected for his strength. From this protective force, he allows his sacred feminine total abandonment. This feminine opens up to its extreme sensitivity and fragility. The bear is both a fierce warrior and a cuddly “teddy bear” with a big heart.

Whoever has the bear as a totem possesses both characteristics with surprising amplitude. His healing art allows him to find the balance between his two poles, yin, and yang. By seeing this balance, he helps to heal his fellow men. Realizing himself in the human kingdom, the bear opens and shows the way he quickly becomes a leader capable of healing the animal in us and learning about the human that lies dormant.

The art of the healing bear and sometimes shaman is to awaken his own to greater consciousness. His medicine can be both gentle and violent, reassuring and disturbing of a warlike nature. In any case, bear medicine requires significant dedication, not to say sacrifice. The keys to its magic lie in meditation, voluntary isolation, introspection, autonomy, freedom, pacification, and a quest for the truth of universal laws.

If you have a bear cub in your bed, often our first cuddly toy and therefore an object of power, rest assured, the Big Dipper is watching over you! However, your life may be turned upside down!


To conclude, the Animal Totem Bear is one of the most important figures of shamanism. Indomitable but benevolent, the Bear thinks about his well-being and that of his loved ones and is ready to do anything to ensure it. From the fearsome Brown Bear to the teddy bear, there is only a change of energy.

If the Bear manifests to you, perhaps it is time to refocus your priorities, come back to yourself in a chosen isolation, and state your strengths and ambitions. Your energy is meant to be directed towards others, towards your clan, but this cannot be done if you do not know who you are first and foremost.