Bear – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Bear symbolism has been and still is one of the most important ones in the spiritual world.

Bear has been worshipped by our ancestors and considered as one of the strongest and most powerful animals alive. Bears inhabit most parts of our planet and there are several species of bears.

From the polar bears that live among ice to grizzly bears that live deep inside forests these amazing animals keep mesmerizing us with their strength and resilience.

In the world of symbolic meaning, every animal has a special place no matter how small or weak it might seem to us. We are all in a way similar to animals, the only difference is we are conscious of our actions. Bears represented something different to each culture, but being so strong and big made him the universal sign of strength and power.

Popular culture slowly influenced the way we see bears and we no longer fear them or avoid their presence. Even though we can see bears in ZOOs and up close, this doesn’t mean they are tamed or safe to be around.

These animals are wild at heart and can still prove us how dangerous they can get. People will forever fear bears and consider them much stronger opponents. Therefore, the bear symbolism will preserve its original form and continue to be our guide when it comes to bear as a spiritual animal.

Spirit Animal and Totem

Differences between spirit animals and totems are slight, but they main difference is that we call upon totems unlike spirit animals. Totems offer us protection and ancient tribes used ritual dances to call upon a spirit of a certain animal in order to gain some of the strengths of this animal or its characteristics.

Spirit animals teach us how to behave in life and how to follow our basic instincts. Even though humans can’t behave completely like animals do, we can learn a lot from our friends from the nature. Staying true to your deepest desires is something we should all do.

Not hiding your personality and pretending that you are something you are not. Spirit animals and totems give us strengths we never knew we had. They can be our guiding forces and our protectors in difficult moments in life. Every person has its own spirit animal and totem.

You can even see a part of yourself in a certain animal or its behavior. You should take out the best from these characteristics and control the ones that are negative in order to reach a higher level of self-growth. Only this way you will be able to feel fully in control of your feelings and character.

  • Spirit animal

As a spirit animal, bear is best described with these words:

  • Power,
  • Strength,
  • Humor,
  • Family,
  • Protection,
  • Aggression,
  • Bravery,
  • Playfulness

Every word adds up to the unique symbolism of a bear and forms a unique personality in a person guided by this spirit animal. People guided by a bear spirit animal are strong both mentally and physically. This is something they are born with and something they need in order to protect their family and themselves. When you need comfort or support, this is the person you will go to. Even the presence of this person gives strength to the people around them and makes them more optimistic and powerful. People guided by the bear spirit animal know that life can be hard and that they need to survive bad things in order to get to the good ones. This is the only way they can push forward and achieve things in life, just like all of us.

People guided by the bear spirit animal are also powerful people. There is something about their presence that gives other people the chills and makes them respect this person no matter what. It seems as though people guided by this spirit animal know how to stand their ground and make others listen to them carefully. They rarely show emotions which makes them even more intimidating. Behind all of this sturdiness there is a warm heart just waiting to be loved, but many can’t melt away the snow that is around it. It is hard for them to find true love and open up about their feelings, because they constantly feel like they need to be strong for others and keep on this mask.

When your spirit animal is a bear, you are a brave person. Nothing in life intimidates you and you can fight against anything to reach your goal. You go through life with your head high not thinking about what might happen. Because of this attitude you tend to fall into problems and dangerous positions, but you continue to be true to yourself and your desires no matter what happens. Obstacles on your way are only temporary and you are perfectly aware of that fact.

People guided by this spirit animal are also family oriented. Once they form a family with their partner, they will do anything to create an idyllic environment for everyone. You love spending time with your loved ones and family definitely comes first in your life. Nothing in life is more important than sitting down with your loved ones and exchanging stories about adventures you went through together. Finding a partner to form a relationship with could be hard for you, because you might seem like a closed up person, but once you do find the perfect partner you become completely in love.

Besides being family oriented, people guided by this spirit animal are also very protective. They are prepared to jump into fire for someone they love and care about. This attitude is something that is deeply planted in their hearts and they can’t fight against it. Besides being protective of their loved ones, they don’t like when people get too close to the paradise they created. Material things are not too important to you, but you will protect everything you have created from every danger.

It might seem like you are a very serious person who doesn’t like smiling, but that is not true at all. You are a very humorous person and you love making other people smile. Cracking up jokes and telling a funny story is something you enjoy doing more than anything, especially if you are in presence of people who are dear to you.

As a negative characteristic, some might say you can be a bit aggressive at times. You express your emotions in a loud manner so others might see you as more violent than you actually are. This is something buried in your nature and something you must learn how to control.

  • Totem

Bear totem is represented by characteristics such as humor, self-assurance and powerful presence. Every person born under the bear totem is born to be a leader and the one who makes decisions. People look up to you and ask for advice, because they see you as a very wise and straight-forward person. Being in the presence of a person born under the bear totem is something you will remember.

People born under the bear totem might find their peace in medicine or other holistic callings. They are always ones who come to the rescue and nothing is hard for them if it means helping other people. Taking care of themselves, however, is a little bit harder to do since they always forget about themselves. Other people are simply more important and a priority to take care of.

Symbolism and Meaning

Bear has been and still remains to be one of the most powerful symbols in the spiritual world. In Celtic culture goddess Artio was represented in the form of a bear. The goddess would take on this form when she was among people and turn back to human form in the spiritual world.

Goddess would bring spring and summer, while during winter and fall time she would be asleep just like a bear. Goddess Artio was also a representation of emotions, feminine nature and renewal.

Bear’s hibernation cycles were linked to the lunar cycles. Because of this, many cultures associated bears with the moon and its powers.

The Native American culture holds great respect for the bear as a symbol and as an animal. To the Native Americans, bear was a symbol of power, strength and great wisdom. Wearing jewelry that resembled bear paws and bears in general was worn by the tribe leaders. This made them seem more influential, powerful and wiser. Native American tribes sensed a deep connection with nature, and this connection was best described through bear’s natural desire to protect his territory and his young.

In Chinese culture, bear was represented by the Dou constellation. This constellation was the symbol of strength, courage and great energy. Taoist believe that bear was a representation of light and dark and that this powerful animal had extreme healing abilities. The Han Dynasty in China highly respected bears and even took them as a totem that was supposed to protect the entire dynasty from negativity.

Tezcatlipoca was one of the gods in Aztec culture that was linked to the Ursa Major constellation. To the Aztecs, bear was a symbol of strength and power. The god Tezcatlipoca protected warriors and represented an important crossroad that leaded up to consequences for those who are being a part of the challenge.

Vikings would often wear bear skins in order to intimidate their opponents and make them fear them. To the Shamans, bears were symbols of wisdom and knowledge that educated people for centuries.

In popular culture, bear tattoos are a way to express gratitude toward this magnificent animal. They are representations of protection and power, but also family and deep connections. Bears are still important symbols in the spiritual world and their importance will never fade away. No matter what you think about this animal, the power and strength it has is undeniable.

Dreams about bears

Dreams about bears can have both positive and negative meanings. Sometimes bears in our dreams are symbols of good luck and fortune, while other times they are warning us about possible dangers. Dreams in general can be hard to interpret, especially if we don’t pay attention to the small symbols in our dreams. Sometimes these small symbols can affect the entire meaning of a dream and give it a completely different interpretation.

If you saw a bear in your dream, this means you are about to be a part of some kind of rivalry. This rivalry is going to start between you and someone close to you, and the reason is probably going to be power. If you let this mutual desire split you two, then you can lose someone from your life who has been a good friend or partner.

Instead of chasing something that is not that important after all, try to find an alternative and avid hurting someone you love.

If you killed a bear in your dream, this means you will be able to defeat your enemy. This dream symbolizes victory and someone who has been behind your back waiting for you to fail, is going to fail miserably at his attempt.

When you were hunting for a bear in your dream, you can expect the person you like to notice you. Perhaps you have been investing a lot of time into seducing someone and now your desires are about to come true. The person you really like is going to give you attention you have been craving and you two might even get a shot at something magical.

If you managed to escape from a bear in your dream, this means you are about to meet someone exciting and perfect for you. This dream is definitely announcing a romance that is going to blow your mind. The perfect partner you have been waiting for a long time is just around the corner waiting for you.

When you were fighting against a bear in your dream, this means you will encounter some sort of injustice. Someone is going to be unfair to you and make you feel like things have been taken from you. This injustice is something you can correct and fight against, but all you have to do is to be persistent.

When the bear in your dream was wounded or dying then you are about to encounter some hardships in life. The problems won’t be very serious, but as soon as you take care of them, the sooner they will disappear.


Bear symbolism belongs to one of the strongest symbolisms in the world. Almost every culture has its own unique vision about the bear symbolism and we all have our own personal vision about the bear as an animal. Even though today we don’t worship animals the way our ancestors did, we still show them respect and admiration by using their symbolism day by day.

Even bear tattoos are a form of admiration for this animal, since the symbolic meaning of a bear tattoo is going to be with us until the end. Bears won over our hearts, even though we didn’t always have the best relationship. It is certain that the bear symbolism is going to persevere all of the time barriers and be with us for centuries to come.