Sunday, August 1, 2010

Animal Speaks

Do you believe in spirit guides? I think I do...

The black bear has always held a significant place in my life, more so as an adult than as a child. It is quite rare to spot a black bear, but I have had the priviledge many times in recent years. I have seen a beautiful young bear swimming across a lake, a gigantic bear lumbering across the road, and a mamma and her cubs crossing a path up ahead. Bears visit me in my dreams, and during guided meditations, I will often see one as I listen to the CD leading me deeper into relaxation.

The funny thing is, I'm terrified of bears. The times that my husband drags me out into the wilderness (and trust me, it is truly wilderness where he likes to camp), I have serious panic attacks while lying in the tent at night. I have visions of a hungry black bear lumbering over to our tent and making mincemeat out of us. And no, it doesn't help when people tell me that bear attacks on humans are rare, because I only remember the stories about the ones that have happened, and I spend much time imagining what it must be like to be pawed to death.

I have been told by a friend of mine who has studied in Aboriginal spirituality for many years that the bear can point to a need for introspection in our lives, or for stregth or courage. This exerpt from a website describes the symbology of the bear:

"Bears hibernate in the winter, which may explain their association with "dreaming the Great Spirit" or retrospection. The symbolism of the Bear's cave reflects returning to the womb of Mother Earth. [A cave is an archetype for the mind, sleep, returning/flying/spiraling to higher consciousness.] This also suggests a strong feminine aspect, one of nurturing and protection. Bear cubs, born in the early spring, can spend as many as seven years with their mother before reaching maturity. People with Bear Medicine are considered by many as self-sufficient, and would rather stand on their own two feet than rely on others. They are sometimes considered dreamers. Many have developed the skill of visualizing new things, but as a result can get caught up in the dreaming, making little progress in waking reality. Bear's medicine includes introspection, healing, solitude, wisdom, change, communication with Spirit, death and rebirth, transformation, astral travel, creature of dreams, shamans and mystics."

And so I make every effort to welcome the bear into my life, and to continually question why I might be feeling fearful. It often points me to underlying issues in my life that need to be dealt with.

This is a song by the Wilderbeats, an east coast duo that sings children's songs (you should definitely check them out, their songs are so catchy and teach children SO much about the outdoors,

Hey there, Big Black Bear
In the hood, please beware
'Cause people round these parts
They don't all have Big Bear hearts

Big Black Bear, I don't find you frightening
'Cause it's so rare to have a black bear sighting
What makes me shiver and shake with worry
Is that you're not at all afraid of me

So confused, misunderstood
Is a Black bear in the hood.

Yes I know, it's a big bad world
Loneliness and hunger swirls
Through your deep, sacred rest
Winter sleep, you awake famished

I never meant to be so inviting
You caught a scent you found so delighting
Cold, wet spring did impede
The food source you naturally eat

So confused, misunderstood
Is a Black bear in the hood.

Big Black Bear, you gotta heed my warning
Run away, 'cause I don't want to be mourning
Another senseless bear deceased
On the fine, fine line between man and beast

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments and emails, as most bloggers do! You can reach me by clicking on my "about me" page and sending me an email, or leave me a note below a post and I'll be sure to get back to you!