"The bear is associated with Goddess energy as well, viewed as an embodiment of the Mother archetype, nurturing and protective on one hand, and bringing death through the hunt on the other. Most important, the bear cave is the womb of the Earth goddess, symbolizing going within for a period of regeneration - a death and resurrection experience. The cave is also associated with the center of the brain, finding balance in hibernation and reclusiveness. Bear medicine asks us to quiet the mind, come to stillness, balance, and to listen to the unconscious. […] Bear is associated with Athena and the huntress Artemis/Diana. Artemis’s lover Callisto, and her son Arcas are transformed into constellations, with Callisto forming Ursa Major, the Great Bear. Odin of Teutonic religion held Bear sacred, particularly to his warrior berserks. Odin exemplifies both the wisdom and potential danger of Bear. Bear tells us that everyone must leave the cave at some point. Bear teaches us to find the honey of life, and some priestesses of Artemis were associated with bears, others, with bees. Bear mothers give birth to their children in winter caves, and nurture their playful spirits, reminding us about being joyful, taking care of ourselves and family. Finally, bears are known as great tree climbers. Trees are a sign of wisdom, and climbing them gives on a greater view, connecting to higher, divine consciousness."
- Christopher Penczak
Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe
Image Credit: Joshua Coffry