Monday, November 07, 2005
My totem animal, the one that stays through thick and thin, who is always with me, is the Bear. I haven't seen him in the wild for some time; but he appears to me in other ways...we might rent a movie about a bear, or I read something on bears, or I have a dream about him.
When I was a baby, I had a wonderful stuffed bear that I lost when we immigrated. He was my confidant and my comfort. I was very young when he stayed behind (he was a very big bear, and would have required more stamina than my family had to carry him onto the ship and across Canada) but I never forgot that bear.
Grandfather Bear hasn't appeared to me in the flesh for awhile. I used to live in the country, and there were few summers when I didn't catch a glimpse of him...when the salmon were running in the creek, he was a fairly reliable presence. But I live in the middle of town now, and it would be very unusual if he were to turn up in my backyard! So now I have to work a little harder to have a conversation with him.
For a time, every gift for Christmas or my birthday was bear orientated. I have plaques, dishes, sweaters and pyjamas, charms and pictures of Grandfather Bear. Totem animals are representations of yourself, and bear fits me very well. Bear's medicine gives me the power of introspection...helps me to quiet my mind, enter the stillness within, and gives me the ability to find inner answers. Bear encourages me to discover my natural healing gifts, and gives me the courage to walk a different road.
I am a quiet, thoughtful, meditative person. Sometimes, after a busy day, I can easily see why Bear hibernates in the winter. I seek the cosiness of my warm bed, where I can rejuvenate, just as bear seeks his cave. I try and find the answers to my questions by going deep within, and I feel comfort when I know Bear walks by my side. He is big and wise, warm and soft...and can be very ferocious. Exactly who I need when I venture on a journey...with Bear as my totem animal, there are few beings who will easily threaten me. Even though he is near-sighted, just as I am, Bear is extremely aware, highly sensitive to his surroundings, and I hope that ability is something Grandfather Bear can teach me.
Grandfather Bear is my life totem. I have many other animals that I can call on for wisdom and teachings, and which will change through the course of my life, but Bear is stable and continuous. He represents my basic self, my personality, my spirit. I trust him to bring me safely back from the Inner Worlds. I trust his strength and his awareness, his gifts of being able to survive in severe conditions.
Grandfather Bear is as constant to me as the sunrise depicted in the photo above. He has much to teach, and he shows me a new day and a different way of being. Even when I lose my way in life, I have only to call on him, and he will show me the way.