What is Bear Meaning and Symbolism?
February 27, 2024 10 min read

What is Bear Meaning and Symbolism?

By Lady Saoirse

Bears are powerful creatures many people have an unbreakable spiritual bond with. They symbolize many important things, they teach us profound lessons as spirit animals, and when we have dreams about bears, they convey important messages. Join Spiritual Blossom to learn all about the spiritual symbolism of bears and find out how their lessons can strengthen your spirituality.

What’s a Bear?

What’s a Bear?

Bears are mostly meat-eating animals that are found in Eurasia, in South America, and in North America. They tend to have big bodies and very strong legs, long noses, round small ears, and shaggy fur. They tend to be solitary animals unless they are mating or raising young, and depending on the species of bear, they may be active at night or during the day. They have shelters known as dens and some of them hibernate in the winter for up to 100 days. They are fast runners, good climbers, and great swimmers. They have strong senses of smell, and they can catch the scent of food that is miles away. While most bears prefer meat, they seize on opportunities to eat whatever they prefer. They will eat branches, leaves, berries, roots, insects, and even roadkill. To read about another powerful creature, the eagle, see here: What Does Seeing an Eagle Mean Spiritually?

There are 8 species of bears, with the smallest being the sun bear that weighs a little over 100 pounds, and the largest being the polar bear which can weigh up to 1,750 lbs. They have very high IQ's and while they typically walk and run on all fours, they can stand up and walk on their hind legs. In the wild, bears can live between 15 and 30 years, but they can live longer in captivity without the risk of predators or injuries in nature. Some people think that bears are clumsy, but they are so agile they can move quickly through dense trees and shrubbery. While in movies and TV horror shows, they're known for roaring in nature and terrifying people they're typically quieter in real life. Modern bears evolved in Eurasia about 5 million years ago and their early ancestors appeared about 40 million years ago, so bears have been around for a long time. To read about another creature that has been around for a long time, the black cat, see here: The Magic and Superstitions of Black Cats

What Does Bear Symbolism Mean?

Fossil records show that cave bears were hunted as early as 25,000 years ago, and by 8000 BCE, they were already fertility symbols. For thousands of years, bears have been important to human beings spiritually and they represent many things. They represent power, protection, motherhood, and restful rejuvenation.



To Pre-Christian Norse pagans, bears were associated with their father god, Odin. Bears were considered so sacred, to kill or harm a bear without cause was seen as an affront to the gods. Their strength and ferocity were so revered, some Germanic tribes sent young men out to kill a bear before they could be considered a man. The strength of bears was called upon and emulated ritually by special warriors who worshiped Odin, called the berserkers. They would dress in the skins of wolves, bears, or possibly boars and they were said to be so fearsome, they were invincible in battle. They were believed to actually become bears in battle. Multiple pieces of literature survive that attest to the respect people had for the berserkers, but nobody knows just how they were believed to transform into bears. To read about another powerful animal, the snake, see here: Dreaming of Snakes- Meaning and Symbolism


A Japanese myth told the story of the young woman who took her baby with her to the mountains to gather food. She was washing things at a stream when she saw a bear. She ran away in fear, forgetting her baby, but she had nothing to be afraid of. The bear stayed with the baby, never leaving its side. Soon some villagers heard about it and fearing for the child's safety approached the bear in a mob, but the bear left peacefully and the villagers discovered that the bear had taken care of the baby, keeping it safe. Because of this, some people considered the bear to be a divine spirit worthy of worship and a symbol of protection. One sign that is fiercely protective other people they love Scorpio and you can read about them here: Scorpio Traits and Love Compatibility 



Artio, Celtic goddess of protection and wildlife is a mother goddess associated with abundance, and protection of all. The goddess Artemis is associated with bears, and she is a matron goddess of children, fertility, and birth and another name for her is Diana. They protect young women up until they are married, and they help with childbirth. The Greeks believed that if they harmed or killed a bear, Artemis would make all of their future attempts at hunting fail. One sign that takes motherhood very seriously is Cancer and you can read about them here: Cancer Zodiac Traits and Love Compatibility

Restful Rejuvenation

Some species of bears hibernate for up to eight months. Many hibernating animals have to wake up every so often during hibernation to eat and to do waste elimination, but not bears. Bears exit their dens strong after a long rest and with no loss of muscle strength. Bears may even give birth to their young and care for them during hibernation. Before hibernation, bears can eat up to 20,000 calories a day and gain pounds every day. They also dig cozy dens in preparation to have a warm place to rest. During hibernation, they only get up to change position of their bodies every few days, and hibernation occurs so that their bodies can stay warm during the months when it's cold and food is scarce. It is a time of self-preservation where they conserve their strength for times when the weather and resources are better for survival. Because of this, bears represent rest and rejuvenation. One sign that knows how to emotionally recharge their batteries as Pisces and you can read about them here: Pisces Zodiac Traits and Love Compatibility

The Meaning of Bear Dreams

Dreams about bears can be about any of the things that they symbolize. Pay extra close attention to the details about the bears in your dream, because the kind of bear can indicate what the dream is about. The sky is the limit to different kinds of dreams you can have about bears, but today we will talk about dreams of polar bears, grizzly bears, black bears, giant pandas, bear cubs, hibernating bears, and a ghost bear.

Dreams About a Polar Bear

Dreams About a Polar Bear

Polar bears represent ancient deities of creation. Some people believe that all life came out of the oceans, and polar bears maneuver the seas as well as the land successfully, and have thus represented creator gods and goddesses to some people. When you dream about a polar bear, you are being called on by the creator to make things for yourself. If you dream about a polar bear catching prey on land you are meant to create something on the mundane level, but if you dream about a polar bear in the water, you are supposed to dive deep into your soul and create something that you're passionate about. One sign that's passionate about creativity is Aquarius and you can read about them here: Aquarius Zodiac Traits and Love Compatibility

Dreams About a Grizzly Bear

Grizzly bears represent ferocity. Perhaps no other creature is this terrifying as a mother grizzly bear who feels that her cubs are threatened. If you dream that you are being chased by a grizzly bear, it represents fears. If you dream that a grizzly bear is defending you, chances are the grizzly bear is your spirit animal and it is protecting you. If you dream that you are a grizzly bear, you are being called to be protective of those who depend upon you. To read about dream interpretations see here: Your Guide to Dreams and Interpretation of Them

Dreams About a Black Bear

The spiritual meaning of a black bear in dreams is all about pride. The black bear represents integrity and nobility of character in natural born leaders. Any time you dream of a black bear, you are called to do the right thing even when nobody is watching. You may be called to speak up about an injustice, and work hard towards something nobody else wants to help you with. To read more about dream interpretations see here: Your Guide to Dream Meanings 

Dreams About a Giant Panda Bear

Dreams About a Giant Panda Bear

Giant pandas symbolize peace, friendship, and goodwill. They are also believed to ward off evil and natural catastrophes. Because almost all of their diet consists of bamboo, they're considered an animal of justice and peace that causes no harm. Dreams of pandas are calls for peace. When you dream of pandas during times of chaos and strife, you are being told to harmonize and mediate as opposed to fighting. Create truces, forge agreements, and To read even more about dream interpretations see here: Your Dream Bible and Dream Analysis Guide

Dreams About Bear Cubs

Dreams about bear cubs symbolize playfulness, or the unlimited potential in new experiences. If you are going through a stressful time, and you dream about bear cubs, you are being told to relax and find ways to enjoy yourself instead of over focusing on your problems. If you are experiencing a new beginning, and you dream about bear cubs, you are being told that wonderful things are about to happen and not to be afraid of the future. To read dreams about black feathers in the spiritual realm see here: "Mystical Wings: Exploring the Symbolic Interpretation of Black Feathers in the Spiritual Realm" 

Dreams About a Hibernating Bear

Dreams about a hibernating bear, or a family of hibernating bears are instructing you to rest. There is a time to work hard, and a time to conserve your energy. Our body restores itself when we rest, and if we don't rest enough, it will destroy us. Bears hibernate for long periods of time, so your rest might take a little bit longer than you expect. Be patient, rest, and have faith that the time to be active will come at the time that it is right. To read about dreams of flying see here: Soaring to new heights: Unveiling the Spiritual Significance of Flying in Dreams

Dreams About a Ghost Bear

Anytime you dream of any kind of a ghost, it has to do with the spirit realm and the dead. When the ghost of a bear appears to you in your dreams, chances are it is a spirit animal, but it could also be an ancestral spirit. If you dream that a ghost bear wants you to follow at some place, you're being told to open yourself to messages that are coming your way from your ancestors. When you are awake, give an offering to your ancestors like a cup of coffee on your personal altar, lighting a white candle for them, or even burning a stick of incense in their honor. They will make their messages clear to you soon after. To read about dreams of spiders see here: Dreams About Spiders- Meaning and Symbolism

What Does it Mean When the Bear is Your Spirit Animal?

When the bear is your spirit animal, it will teach you all of its strengths and spiritual gifts. Bears will teach you when to preserve your strength and when to assert your power. They will teach you how to protect yourself and to be fiercely defensive of those who you watch over. They will teach you love and to care for and nurture children, and people who you mentor. They will also teach you how to use the strengths of your body to your advantage even if you have flaws. They will visit you in dreams, and you will get psychic messages from them in nature. With all of the help that you get from bears, they can use your help too.

Of the eight bear species in the world, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists 6 species of them as endangered. Only black bears and brown bears are not listed as endangered. One species of bear in great danger is the polar bear. Climate change has caused Global Warming and it is melting the colder regions of the planet where the polar bears live. Their habitat is disappearing, and it is becoming more difficult for them to find food. If you really want to help bears, try to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that you create by walking more places instead of driving and by carpooling instead of driving yourself everywhere you go alone. You can contribute to organizations that rescue bears also. If you want to give funds to a bear rescue, you can contribute to The Appalachian Bear Rescue in North America here: home - Appalachian Bear Rescue

When the mighty bear speaks to you, it brings profound messages. Bears symbolize power, motherhood, rest and rejuvenation, and protection. When you dream about bears, they deliver spiritual messages, and show you deep hidden truths. When the bear is your spirit animal, they will teach you great lessons in life and help you to bring out the best parts of yourself. May the spirit of the bear touch your soul with its wisdom, strength, and love. So Be It.

Would you like to know more about the messages the bear brings to you? Get a reading with a Spiritual Blossom psychic started to find out today. Make sure to sign up for our horoscopes and you can get them delivered right into your e-mail’s inbox.

About the Author: Lady Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she is a High Priestess for The Temple of the Goddess, she is a psychic advisor and spiritual counselor, she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Spiritual Blossom. She has written for Mysticsense and PaganPagesOrg emag.