Bear Symbolism & Which means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)

Maybe probably the most highly effective and fearsome mammals on this earth, bears have lengthy been admired for his or her fearlessness and awe-inspiring energy. From historic legends connecting bears to unconquerable warriors to teddy bears which guard and luxury kids by way of the night time, the bear is a beast which evokes braveness. On this article, we’ll take a look at a number of the main themes and symbols related with bears in addition to a number of the many myths and legends which function them. There’s clearly far an excessive amount of to say about bears for us to cowl it multi function article, however hopefully we’ll handle to the touch on the highlights!

Desk of contents

Bear symbolism and that means

The obvious little bit of symbolism connected to bears is energy. It’s estimated that an grownup Grizzly Bear can raise over 1,100 kilos of weight (or about 500 kilograms). A single swipe from a Grizzly Bear’s paw is alleged to have the ability to snap the backbone of a wolf. It’s no surprise that these huge mammals are on the high of the meals chain of their habitats. The chew pressure of sure species of bears is alleged to be highly effective sufficient to crush a bowling ball. (1)(2)

Whereas it doesn’t occur usually, individuals are no match for bears and do fall prey to them sometimes. Bears usually symbolize the important significance of respecting the highly effective forces of nature from a secure distance. Bears are usually not malicious creatures. They’re merely wild and ought to be allowed to be wild with as little human interplay as doable. (3)

On an analogous notice, bears are sometimes related with stewardship of nature typically. Smokey the Bear is the mascot of wildfire prevention. The World Wildlife Fund is represented by the Panda Bear due to the conservation struggles that this species has confronted. Moreover, the local weather disaster is commonly represented by Polar Bears, that are adversely affected by the melting of the polar icecaps. (4)(5)


Teddy bears have been invented as an homage to an occasion throughout which president Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt refused to shoot a captive bear. Roosevelt thought it was too “unsportsmanlike” to shoot the bear, which was tied to a tree. This occasion impressed the primary so-called Teddy bear. These days, Teddy bears are regarded as cuddly nighttime companions which defend sleeping kids from unhealthy desires. Due to this, bears are related to heat, cuddles, childhood, and sleep. (6)

Many bears have interaction in hibernation. It is a follow by which bears preserve vitality in the course of the lengthy winter months by sleeping by way of them. Meals is much less out there in winter, so the bears retailer up physique fats and sleep till spring returns. So, bears might symbolize laziness, vitality storage, sleep, or sluggishness.

Bear Native American symbolism

As a result of bears will proceed to battle for survival, even after sustaining critical wounds, some Native American tribes affiliate the bear with therapeutic and medication. Many tribes additionally look in direction of bears as guardian spirits and symbols of nice energy. (7)

Bears are probably the most frequent clan animals all through a lot of the Americas. A number of tribes have bear clans and these tribes look to the energy and energy of the bear as an emblem of their heritage.


In accordance with Mi’kmaq legend, bears spend the winter months within the spirit world. Throughout their lengthy hibernation, bears enterprise to this world with a purpose to carry medication again to the folks. That’s the reason there’s a feast every spring when the bear returns from its non secular journey. (8)

In accordance with Menominee legends, weak, drained, or chilly hunters might often enter the den of a bear and cuddle with the animal till they gained their energy again. The bear is known as “Brother Bear” and is considered a benevolent presence. (9)

There are various extra bear legends which cowl a spread of subjects, morals, and themes. Many bear legends mythologize the motherly devotion of the feminine bear. Some legends deal with bears as tricksters whereas others see them as sluggish oafs. In most tales, although, the bear is an animal which instructions respect. (10)

Bear Japanese Symbolism

In China, the Panda Bear is commonly carefully related with concepts like persistence and prosperity. Pandas are an emblem of nationwide identification and are probably the most well-known and beloved Chinese language animals.

In accordance with legend, the position of the bear in Chinese language tradition was elevated by the “Yellow Emperor.” The Yellow Emperor, often known as Huangdi is a mythological determine with nice significance in Chinese language tradition. He’s mentioned to have introduced silk to China in addition to many different helpful innovations. The bear is an emblem that was supposedly adopted by Huangdi. (11)(12)


For the native Ainu folks of Japan, the bear is among the most necessary animals round. The Ainu folks imagine the bear to be the “god of the mountains.” The bear god is known as “Kim-un Kamui.” Many Ainu teams relied closely on searching bears for survival. When a bear was hunted it was believed that the bear was really a god in disguise. The gods have been believed to disguise themselves as animals and permit themselves to be hunted with a purpose to present meat and different helpful issues to the Ainu folks. Treating bears respectfully and thanking them for his or her sacrifice is a serious ritualistic facet of Ainu tradition. (13)

Bear Christianity symbolism

Within the Bible, bears seem as symbols of may and ferocity. Most of those situations deal with bears as monstrous being deserving of concern, nevertheless unable to hurt these whom God protects. In a single passage, the bear acts on the orders of God and punishes a gaggle of kids who have been harassing certainly one of his followers.

“However David mentioned to Saul, “Your servant has been retaining his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear got here and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.”‘

— 1 Samuel 17:34-35 (14)


“Hushai replied to Absalom, “The recommendation Ahithophel has given isn’t good this time. You recognize your father and his males; they’re fighters, and as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Apart from, your father is an skilled fighter; he won’t spend the night time with the troops. Even now, he’s hidden in a cave or another place. If he ought to assault your troops first, whoever hears about it’ll say, ‘There was a slaughter among the many troops who comply with Absalom.’”

— 2 Samuel 17:7-9 (15)

“From there Elisha went as much as Bethel. As he was strolling alongside the street, some boys got here out of the city and jeered at him. “Get out of right here, baldy!” they mentioned. “Get out of right here, baldy!” He rotated, checked out them and known as down a curse on them within the identify of the Lord. Then two bears got here out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.  And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.”

— 2 Kings 2:23-25 (16)

Whereas bears are typically portrayed as unfavorable, the Bible does acknowledge the unimaginable energy of the bear. On a couple of event, believers are urged to belief in God to guard them from such fierce creatures. (17)

Bear Celtic symbolism

The bear is strongly related with energy and management in a lot of Celtic symbolism. The legendary King Arthur’s identify comes from the outdated Welsh phrases “arth” that means “bear” and “gwr” that means “man.” Arthur is considered embodying the energy and energy of the mighty bear. (18)


The Celtic bear goddess, Artio, was commemorated by druids as the final word image of the hunt and of the awe-inspiring energy of nature.

Bears are related to warriors, kings, and hunters. They’re the animal that’s most related with nice leaders and clever management. (19)

Bear African symbolism

Whereas bears are usually not present in Africa, there are legends surrounding a bear-like cryptid which is named the “Nandi Bear.” Folks declare that the Nandi Bear roams Kenya and East Africa and menaces individuals who discover themselves alone on the Savannah. The Nandi Bear is normally described as resembling a mix of a Grizzly Bear or Brown Bear and an enormous hyena. (20)


Bear in desires

Dreaming of a bear may be an indication that that you must collect your energy for an upcoming trial. Bears spend the autumn season conserving and storing vitality with a purpose to be able to face the unforgiving chilly of winter. Bears retailer fats after which hibernate to let these lean occasions move them by. Dreaming of a bear could also be a reminder to each get pleasure from and make good use of occasions of loads and be ready for tough occasions which can comply with.


Bear desires might also symbolize a state of affairs the place one feels overpowered or helpless. Bears are just too sturdy for people to face and ought to be given loads of distance. Dreaming of a bear can point out hazard or nervousness. (21)

Desires involving Teddy bears relate to childhood and innocence.

Bear encounters and omens

Encounters with bears are a critical and harmful enterprise. They shouldn’t be sought out or taken frivolously. At secure distances, bears might remind us of the wild fantastic thing about nature, however when they’re too shut, they’re a serious trigger for concern.


Encountering bears may point out curiosity, as bears are very interested by their environment and like to discover and get into hassle.

A bear encounter might also relate to household or motherhood. Mom bears are notoriously protecting and fierce. An encounter with a household of bears may consult with an overprotective mother or father.

Bear mythology and folklore

Bears seem in mythology from around the globe. In accordance with Greek mythology, the Ursa Main constellation was shaped when a gorgeous girl named Callisto was reworked right into a bear. Callisto’s magnificence had attracted the eye of Zeus which made his spouse, Hera, jealous. Hera reworked Callisto right into a bear, separating her from her household. On this kind, Callisto wandered round till she noticed her son searching within the woods at some point. Forgetting that he wouldn’t acknowledge her, Callisto bounded as much as her son who shot the charging bear. Taking pity on poor Callisto, Zeus rescued her and turned each Callisto and her son into bears. To guard them from Hera, Zeus positioned them within the sky as stars. (22)


Beowulf, the Danish hero from the self-titled epic poem, is related with bears. Beowulf’s named means “bee wolf,” which is one other method of claiming “bear.” In accordance with legend, Beowulf was an incredible hero who slew a number of fearsome monsters earlier than dying in his ultimate battle with a dragon. (23)(24)

Bear spirit animal

In case your spirit animal is a bear then you’re seemingly a powerful chief and a level-headed one that isn’t troubled by minor obstacles. The bear spirit animal can endure any state of affairs and isn’t deterred by setbacks.

Folks with the bear as their spirit animal are strong-willed and could also be cussed at occasions. The bear spirit animal isn’t accustomed to backing down. Which means that in battle conditions, folks might discover the bear spirit to be pushy or aggressive. The bear spirit is really protecting and won’t abandon its sense of justice. (25)

Bear totem animal

The bear totem animal is related to vitality, therapeutic, and relaxation. The bar totem is highly effective, however it will not be capable of preserve this energy with out storing up vitality and resting throughout tough occasions. Folks with the bear totem are high-achievers who should heal and recharge with a purpose to preserve their tempo.


The bear totem is an knowledgeable at leisure. Folks with this totem animal like to unwind and luxuriate in a serene atmosphere. They’re introverted and would reasonably be alone in a sizzling bathtub than partying with mates. (26)

Bear energy animal

The ability of the bear is uncooked energy. There are few animals which may even come near matching the bear in the case of pure muscle. Having the bear as an influence animal is a uncommon and distinctive present. Folks with the bear as their energy animal have the psychological fortitude to deal with something that life throws at them.


The bear energy animal is protecting above all else. Folks with the bear energy animal are pushed by the urge to defend the issues that matter to them with their complete life.

Bear tattoo that means

A bear tattoo might symbolize energy, management, consolation, or endurance. For a mother or father, a bear tattoo might symbolize the loving and protecting bond of the “Mama Bear” and her cubs.

A bear tattoo might also symbolize conservation, stewardship, or ecology.

Bear tattoos which might be extra cartoonish or fairytale-oriented might symbolize story-telling, innocence, or childhood.


There are one million bear tales which we weren’t capable of cowl right here. You possibly can dedicate a whole web site to the dialogue of bears in fairytales and people legends. From Goldilocks and the Three Bears to Winnie the Pooh, bears appear to be a fan-favorite animal in the case of storytelling. It isn’t laborious to see why. In reality, legends like Beowulf, remind us that our ancestors have been drawn to those unimaginable beasts for hundreds of years upon centuries.


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