Animal Spirit and Medicine: Bear Medicine
The Bear is the keeper of the dream time and stores the teachings of dreams until the dreamer wakes up to them. Many tribes have called this space of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge, where the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity. It is in the Dream Lodge that our ancestors sit in Council and advise us regarding alternative pathways that lead to our goals.
If you like bears, you should maybe look into some books on interpreting dreams; especially if you’re a heavy dreamer. If you need a lot of sleep, it may be Bear working. This female receptive energy, for centuries, has allowed visionaries, mystics, and shamans to prophesy.
The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. Bear is not one to make snap decisions, nor one to ramrod or forced into any position. Bear takes in all available information, takes it into his quiet place, studies that information carefully, give it careful thought for a while, and then reaches his own informed decisions based on the facts at hand. Bear is the one who says, “I have to think about this. I’ll be in touch later.” You can rely on opinions coming from a Bear person as being well thought out and thorough, and based on the facts given. To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.
Bear is a fierce warrior, especially when protecting their young. They appear to be lumbering and slow but can have lightning speed when threatened. They love fish when they can get it, but they also eat berries, honey, etc. Bear people like home and shelter, and like to be warm and cozy.
With Bear Medicine, the power of knowing has invited you to enter the silence and become acquainted with the Dream Lodge, so that your goals may become concrete realities. This is the strength of Bear.
Role: To Awaken the Intuition
Lesson: To Integrate the Parts into the Whole
Wind: West The Quest Within
Medicine: To channel the Primordial Forces
AWAKENING THE VOICE WITHIN
The Grizzly Bear is a beautiful example of the Great Spirit`s creative force. She is a creature at the top of the “food chain” in North America, with tremendous strength and boundless courage, yet her heart is tender and loving as she looks after her cubs, protecting them from all harm while simultaneously teaching them the independence necessary to survive in the ever-changing landscape in which they live.
Grizzly Bear possesses an internal clock that alerts him to the changing of seasons long before obvious indications begin to manifest. He will store an extra layer of fat that will assist him through the long months of winter in which food is scarce.
Contrary to popular belief, the Grizzly does not go into “hibernation” though his metabolism and heart rate may reduce by nearly half to help preserve the extra calories stored in his fat layer. This same tendency to go into a state of semi-hibernation translates to the one beside whom Grizzly strides as the need for periodic intervals of solitude and/or introspection, with some human counterparts actually mimicking the Bear’s penchant for longing periods of sleep needed during the winter months. From the inner reaches of his contemplative mind, Grizzly will find the solutions to any problem, issue or lesson that he is faced with and hence is a masterful problem solver.
What is the internal voice that beckons to Grizzly that the time is approaching to store the food which she will contain within herself? An inner voice that alerts her to potential danger to her cubs, long before sight or sound of threat is seen or heard? Some would simply say survival instinct, yet is this the only explanation, or merely the surface answer to a fathomless lake? Whatever the “true” source of this Inner Knowing, Grizzly listens to the call whispered softly on the breeze and heard echoing from the mountain tops as she awakens to the Voice Within.
One with Power Totem Grizzly Bear is an individual whose Role along the Red Road of Physical Life, is to Awaken the Voice Within, and thus, much of her Life will be dedicated to stirring to consciousness, the Voice of the Soul. Yet this is only the first step, as the Grizzly Soul is here to teach others to listen to the gentle stirring of the Inner Voice, to awaken to the Music of the Intuition.
In the heavens, the celestial body which represents Grizzly Bear is Ursa Major (Great Bear) the constellation which is better known by most as the “Big Dipper.” Seven stars comprise this constellation and are said to represent the Seven Rays of Divine Light as follows;
Ray 1: All are One / Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
First Stepping Stone along the Pathway of Peace is Spiritual Faith.
Ray 2: Honor one another/Treat Mother Earth, and all that dwell thereon, with respect.
The Second Stepping Stone is Spiritual Awareness.
Ray 3: Honor the Self/Look after the well-being of mind and body.
The Third Stepping Stone is Spiritual Healing.
Ray 4: Love is Divine Power/Give assistance and kindness wherever needed and remains close to Great Mystery.
The Fourth Stepping Stone along the Pathway of Peace is Spiritual Love.
Ray 5: Surrender personal Will to Divine Will/Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
The Fifth Stepping Stone is Spiritual Charity.
Ray 6: Seek Only the Truth/Do what you know to be right and be truthful and honest at all times.
The Sixth Stepping Stone is that of Spiritual Cleansing.
Ray 7: Live in the Present Moment/Take full responsibility for your actions.
The Seventh Stepping Stone on the Pathway of Peace is Spiritual Insight.
These are Universal Truths that many philosophies, including Earth Medicine, embrace. For all souls who incarnate into flesh, the embracing of all seven rays are a key element to the evolution of the eternal spark, the Soul, yet for Grizzly Totem, in particular, there will be a conscious and concentrated effort upon fully understanding and embracing all rays so that Integration can be achieved.
The challenge for one born with Grizzly as their Power Totem is to come not only to understand the true meaning to each of the Seven Rays, it is crucial that they then fully integrate each of the rays into the soul so that it then becomes a “natural” state of being. Obviously, this is a multi-dimensional task and one which will take more than one lifetime to achieve. With each cycle around the Sacred Hoop, Grizzly soul learns one of the Rays until he/she reaches that lifetime in which all seven rays have been experienced, understood and integrated separately, and are now to be understood, experienced and integrated as a Whole.
As an example, one may be born with a natural resonance to Ray 2 (Honor One Another) as this has been learned in a previous incarnation, yet may come in with a “weak” understanding of Ray 7 (Live in the Present Moment) and so the challenge for the Soul then becomes to fully understand, absorb and integrate Ray 7 so the Whole may merge and become a “natural” state of Being.
Learning this on the Soul level is just the first step along Grizzly Totems Path however, as then the next step, after the individual integration has been achieved, is to then assist others (through both example and instruction) upon the Seven Rays and how one may then go about integrating the Parts into the Whole. Yet with the inherent strength of this Totem, all is Possible.
During the autumn, Grizzly Bear begins foraging for food to store the fat necessary to see her through the long and lean winter months. Her metabolic rate, respiration and heart beat will slow considerably during this vulnerable time, inducing a semi-conscious state that will leave her lethargic and napping for long periods of time.
While in this natural state, nature ensures that Grizzly Bear will survive the winter months when all food sources are scarce. This is where the slowing in the metabolic rate and the extra layer of fat will be utilized to its optimum.
Since Grizzly is an omnivore, once he emerges from his den in the spring, food will be abundant and varied, yet if not for his storage of winter fat to provide him with the sustenance his body needs, Grizzly Bear would surely parish.
As Grizzly Bear must call upon her layer of fat during the lean months of winter in order to survive until the spring, so must one who has Totem Grizzly go Within to digest new lessons, information, and experiences. This is the gift of Introspection and a key component of Grizzly Soul`s ability to learn the Medicine of Channeling Primordial Forces. This also reflects a deeper vulnerability that lies within the Core of the Grizzly Soul, for although these are beings of incredible inner strength, there is equally a deeply rooted aspect of themselves which few will be allowed close enough to see, a beautiful inner child that is spectacular in its tenderness and shining intensity. Only very select and “worthy” souls that the Grizzly individual can trust will be welcomed in here, yet it will be a profound experience that one blessed enough to witness this “inner self” of their loved bear will never forget.
The energy which flows as a never-ending stream through all living things is a Primordial Force that can be tapped into and channeled for the benefit of the Self and Others. However, it is key to understand the power and responsibility that comes with the ability to tune into this Energy, as it needs to be utilized only from Higher Intent/Purpose. One who chooses to channel the Force for negative purposes or selfish ends will ultimately have a heavy debt to repay.
For this reason, the gift is mastered over many lifetimes and reaches full potential only when the soul has reached a significant level of growth and maturation, yet once this level of maturation has been attained, the Soul will burst forth, much as the Life-giving rays of the sun herald a new day, touching all in its golden brilliance. Then, Grizzly Soul may learn/remember the Ancient Knowledge and wield the Light of Eternal Energy to benefit all who dwell above, upon or within the Earth Mother as he/she walks in harmony beside the Ancestors, heeding the whispered Wisdom of the Sky Nation as Grizzly Soul fulfills his/her role along the Red Road of Physical Life.
Among the creatures of the wild, Grizzly Bear is one of the most devoted and nurturing of mothers. There is nothing mother Grizzly will not do to protect the lives and well-being of her cubs up to and including, laying down her own life if necessary to ensure the survival of her offspring.
Bear cubs are born during the long months of winter and are nurtured within the cozy confines of a den or cave. They will emerge in the spring with their mother as she instructs them in the skills they will need in order to survive on their own. Typically, the close bonds will not be broken until the Cubs have reached their second year of life, at which time they will leave the protective watch of their mother to face life on their own.
One who walks with Grizzly Bear as their Power Totem is an individual whose heart is limitless in its capacity to feel and give love. These are devoted parents, children, siblings and friends who sincerely believe that we are here to Love One Another. Because of their ability to love so completely and with sincere devotion, these individuals may face many lessons with discerning healthy boundaries so that others will not endlessly drink from their beautiful waters without then continuing to send the love and energy on. This may be a challenge as Grizzly Soul feels the desire to nurture and protect all they come to know, and yet some souls will simply use the energy to sustain their own life, rather than make the most of it gain their footing and continue forward along their own path. This is where Grizzly must come to recognize the “psychic vampires” for what they are and learn when they are actually impeding the progress of another by allowing the “feed” to continue.
Once the lesson of healthy boundaries has been thoroughly absorbed, Grizzly soul will find him/herself with a partner than is capable of reciprocating the deep and rare love that these souls have to share. The devotion, purity of heart and depth of love that the Grizzly Soul possesses will be a beautiful Gift that will leave an indelible impression on the hearts and minds of one who is blessed enough to be loved by these truly unique and wonderful beings of light.
full of grace and strength, you appear before us,
your face alight with the wisdom of one who has journeyed far
and witnessed much of man`s inhumanity to man.
Your gentle eyes weep for the pain you have borne witness to,
your soul afire with the knowledge that there is
so much more to the Walk around
the Sacred Hoop.
Your mind blazes with the desire to communicate to we,
the two-legged, that all life is infinitely precious,
and to be held sacred and revered.
There comes a gentle stirring from Within, like autumn leaves
blown by a restless wind, it harkens us back to a time,
when All walked as One.
When the force of Great Mystery moved across the face
of the waters in the veil of silver moonlight,
and rode freely upon the Seven Winds.
Wise Sister, who reminds us that Destiny`s Beginning and End,
resides not Without . . . but Within
I thank you for your Selfless Love, and pray
we will all hear your call to Awaken
to the glowing embers of
the Soul`s Memory.