Speaker for the Animals

We live in a rapidly changing landscape where people and urban areas are displacing the places for the wild ones to live. Who speaks for the animals? We will.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bear - Great Mother


Awakener of the Power of the Unconscious
The Great Mother Archetype
The Great Sleeper-Dreamer
Raw Power, Primitive Instincts

Historically, Bear has many associations among the cultures of the Earth. One of the most consistent of those associations is the link between Bear and the Moon, which ties her with our emotions, souls and subconscious mind. She was linked with the Goddess Diana, the Huntress, and was a symbol for the nigredo of prime matter in alchemy, as well as man’s primal instincts. She represents tribal consciousness rather than individual consciousness and individuation, and awakens each of us to the power of the Collective Unconscious. Tribal consciousness has little regard for individuality in the interest of the traditions of the tribe; it is a matriarchial archetypal identity which stresses ones roles within and obligations to society, family, or clan instead of the freedom of individual expression.

Bear is a great power of the Unconscious mind who awakens and then protects us on our hero’s or heroine’s journey into the subconscious and Collective Unconscious.

She hibernates for many months during winter, spending months asleep in Her Den. While she sleeps, her little ones are born. It is in dreams therefore that She often comes to us and works with us. She is the Great Sleeper-Dreamer Teacher who protects us, her little one’s, in the dreamscape that we may stay safe in that great Unknown of the 5th Dimension.

The Den is a symbol of the womb and the Collective Unconscious. Bear symbolizes Great Mother, both archetype and personal mother, with all that implies. She therefore carries the positive power and “medicine” of the creative feminine, birth-mother, nurturer, protector and teacher. In her dark aspect, she symbolizes the death mothers who kill or abuse their young by spoiling, overcontrolling or figuratively castrating their young boys, or over-controlling, crushing the spirits of, or humiliating their daughters.

In dream analysis, Bear can symbolize resurrection, rebirth, initiation into a new life passage. Because of its seasonal hibernations, bear can symbolize the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. In alchemy, the bear has a similar meaning, representing the dark night of the soul--the darkness that occurs before spiritual rebirth or a new phase in life. And in some hero myths, the bear can represent the solar, masculine principle.

Bear creates for young males the challenge of separating from the Mother in a positive way in order that they may come into their own power. Failing to separate implies that sons forever seek to return to the womb and seek mothering from their wives and girl friends. In presenting this challenge to males however, Bear strengthens them and gives meaning to their journey through life, for it is only through struggle with opposition that men discover their inner strengths and win their way to freedom. And it is only through finding the positive relationship with women that men find meaning in their existence. For in that relationship, men discover their feminine or “feeling” sides which make them feel alive and gives purpose to their lives. For women, Bear challenges them to pass quickly through the negative aspects of the mother that they may reach the positive archetypal energies of loving protector who fights ferociously to protect their young.

Bear is a great power among the animal teachers of man. Seek Her inside yourselves and be well with this lesson.

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