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~Life Paths~

Animal Totems & Earth Medicine


Spirit of Black Bear


Wolfs Moon

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Role: ~Opportunist~

Lesson: Discernment

Element: Earth

Wind: Nor h ~Wisdom, Land of the Elders~

Medicine: Intuition

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Opportunist        Leadership            Discerning

Guardianship        Powerful


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In the wild, Black Bear is an omnivore, meaning that his/her diet will vary widely from succulent berries and insect larvae, to carrion and food carelessly left out by humans who are not savvy to the habits of these large creatures.  This ability to obtain food from a large range of possibilities gives this species a high survival rate as they are capable of foraging for (and locating) food in nearly any environment or season.

***The two-legged beside whom Black Bear walks will be one who possesses the ability to immediately assess a situation and ~size-up~ others.  In business, this makes for a formidable business executive, attorney or strategist, as all available options and opportunities will not only be seen by the Black Bear individual, they will be sifted, sorted and categorized.  Decisions will be based upon what course of action will reap the greatest benefit and reward, either for the ~Self~ or for the ~Whole,~ and be attained with the least amount of fuss and worry.

Black Bear individuals are often leaders in the financial world, legal profession, and are likewise often made leaders in military professions for their ability to strategize and seize opportunities as they arise.  Moreover, when real options do not necessarily exist, the soul with Black Bear as a predominant Totem will make opportunities appear seemingly out of the air.

Although Black Bear souls are ever aware of opportunities, this is not to suggest that one beside whom Black Bear walks is automatically ruthless or will stop at nothing to attain a desired objective, for these can be some of the most benevolent and forgiving of individuals when operating from Higher Intent and a point of Conscious Awareness.

Certainly, when a two-legged with this powerful Animal Totem is operating from ~Contrary Medicine~ or ~Shadow Self,~ that individual may be quite harsh and ruthless indeed.  When the motive behind the Black Bear individual is one of ruthless domination and cut-throat behaviors, this will become a Life Lesson needing to be resolved.  Such unresolved issues may often manifest themselves on a karmic plane, via losses of either a financial or emotional nature, for it will be these very things and areas that Black Bear holds most dear, where they will receive a ~karmic balance.~  In this way, the soul then has the opportunity to embrace the Lesson of seizing opportunity free of the chains of ruthlessness or domineering tactics.

If such lessons are not sufficiently absorbed, successive lifetimes will be needed in order for the Soul to align itself with the wisdom and medicine of this magnificent Animal Spirit.  Yet once the lesson has been truly learned and absorbed, that soul may then utilize his/her awesome assessment skills to be of benefit to the Whole via fair play and benevolent industry.  When these individuals have truly aligned themselves with the Soul`s Unique Purpose, they make up some of the finest philanthropists, advisors and counselors, transmuting their ability from strategizing for personal gain, to benefiting the All.***


One of the fundamental precepts of Native American spirituality teaches us that the Earth is our Mother, and that all life which exists on this grand planet, from we of the two-legged to the birds and animals, to the clear mountain streams and the air we breath, are all interconnected, creating a beautiful and vastly intricate ~Web of Life.~  As children of our Mother Earth, it is a part of our lineage that we are to care for ~Her,~ to keep her life`s blood (water sources) clean and pure, to ensure that ~Her~ air which She provides to sustain all life, is kept fresh, and to respect and treasure ALL life, regardless of what form that life takes.

In reading the quote below, we come to understand that we are entrusted with the Role of Guardianship of this beautiful planet, and it is incumbent of each of us to tread softly upon our Mother, and treat all of her children with love and respect.

"What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone,
man would die from a great loneliness of spirit.  For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.

You must teach the children that the ground beneath their feet
is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land,
tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin.
Teach your children what we have taught our children . . .
that the earth is our Mother.

Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
This we know, the earth does not belong to man,
man belongs to the earth.
~Chief Seattle~

***Black Bear Spirit will walk beside one who has an inherent awareness and appreciation for all life, one who understands both the complexity and need to preserve the delicate balance of ~Nature.~  For some who possess this Totem, this heightened awareness will lead them into environmental causes where they will utilize their ability to strategize toward establishing laws and legislation that will protect and preserve natural habitats, species and scenic wonders for generations to come.  Yet even if Black Bear Soul is not actively involved in environmental organizations, he/she will be ~backyard environmentalists~ doing their best to maintain a balance in their own private domain.

It is when the soul whom this mighty Bear walks beside is tapping into the understanding of the intricacy and beauty of Life, that their soul resonates the strongest, and time spent out in nature on hikes, enjoying mountain climbing, fishing, or even puttering in their own gardens, is as vital to restoring their sense of equilibrium and balance as is the food they eat, water they drink, and air that they breathe.  When they are too long away from the beauty and serenity of the Earth Mother, all other avenues of their lives may suffer imbalance as a result, requiring that they take that time to be nurtured by the Mother, and give back via helping to preserve ~Her~ balance and beauty for Others to enjoy.***


In ~Nature,~ the Black Bear not only survives, but thrives via his/her ability to continually assess their environment.  This takes place in a multitude of ways and tasks, from the assessment of the season and the preparations and requirements needed to ensure survival through long winter months, to maintaining an ever-vigilant awareness of encroaching threats and monitoring changing food supplies.

***For the two-legged beside whom Black Bear strides, there will exist an innate attention to detail that is equaled by few.  They will analyze and edit, examine and question nearly every situation they encounter along the Red Road of Physical Life, be this interactions with ~Others,~ or via situations in their work environment.

When used from its highest vibration, this afford the Black Bear soul the ability to catch mistakes that other less observant individuals might miss, thus saving either themselves or (if it is a professional situation), their business from potential loss due to negligence.  On a more personal note, these souls make for excellent personal advisors so long as they are operating from a place of non judgment.

Yet when operating from ~Contrary Medicine~ (Shadow), the Black Bear individual may be prone to excessive nit-picking that serves no genuine purpose other than to point out the flaws in the system, while offering no viable alternative.  Understandably, the Shadow manifestation of Black Bear in inter-personal relationships, can be quite alienating as the two-legged operating from ~Contrary Medicine~ becomes a harsh critic of everything their mate, friend or loved one does.

Much as the Black Bear in the wild will attain its food by foraging around beneath fallen logs and stones, sifting and picking through forest debris, that will provide the sustenance to maintain their life, the two-legged with this Bear as their Totem will approach life in much the same way, often only choosing to believe what they see with their own physical eyes, despite a keen intuition that is present from birth.

When the Black Bear soul eventually realizes that  not everything can be
understood with the ~physical senses~ alone, and the Individual Soul of
another (as the Soul is dynamic and ever changing with each individuals` evolution) can never be neatly or completely labeled or categorized, then the two-legged beside whom Black Bear walks awakens in the light of awareness that life is ever-changing and beautiful for its ebb and flow.  Then, he/she may embrace and understand the process not just with their physical senses alone, but learn to open themselves to the cosmic wonder of their powerful intuition, the highest form of Discernment.***


Black Bear`s ability to survive in the ever changing climates and conditions of the environment in which they dwell, necessitates that they are able to discover food sources and shelter under often precarious circumstances.

Much attention is paid to the subtlest of shifts and changes in their environment, and Black Bear will follow these ~shifts~ to begin the preparation for the long winter months ahead.  With the decreasing temperatures, falling leaves and ever shortening days, these wise creatures will forage for food that will create an extra layer of fat to see them safely through the lean winter months, when they will then retreat inside of a cozy den or cave to wait out the blustery months of winter.

***Just as the Black Bear will pay heed to the shifting currents and subtle nuances of nature in order to survive the leanest of times, one beside whom this mighty creature walks will likewise possess an uncanny intuition.  Such intuition may be inherited as a significant and natural ~Gift,~ or it may be developed by the Black Bear individual throughout their Earthwalk, beginning initially as a quiet inner knowing, yet as they mature and learn to pay more attention to this ~still, small voice,~ it may become ever more powerful accurate.

When operating from full Conscious Awareness, this overpowering sense of ~Intuition,~ will guide the Black Bear soul along their Life Path to avoid harmful encounters and dangerous situations, it may also be employed to assist Others through a particularly difficult time where clear vision and intuition may be of benefit.  This is the Higher Manifestation of the gift of Intuition.

Yet when one is choosing to operate from either subversive energies, or unconsciously acting out via unresolved issues (Shadow or Contrary Medicine), this same strong inner ~knowing~ may be used for devious ends, to control and/or manipulate others, or as a means of justifying their own intolerant behavior.   Only once Black Bear soul can acknowledge those times when he/she is operating from the lower vibration of this Gift and identify the reasons/purpose behind why they are acting out, may they step from the Shadow Self to embrace the full light and beauty of their remarkable intuition.

The energies that are sent along the ~etheric plane~ (plane of pure energy), are ultimately felt and manifested on our ~physical plane~ as subtle movements felt on a soul-level and exhibited often as a physical manifestation such as a sudden tingling sensation at the top of the head, or "chills" that run up ones` spine.  This flow of energy is ever-present and, much like the unseen currents of wind that stir to life the wind chimes` melodious resonation, these energies are felt by the All.  Some will consciously feel these shifts and changes, others will experience them on an unconscious level.  There are yet other individuals who will possess an exaggerated awareness of these nuances, and Black Bear individuals are one such ~Group.~  For some, this will be experienced via the afore-mentioned ~energy hits,~ for others it will be expressed more as a pre-cognitive sense of things yet to come, for others still, it will be experienced as though an inner radar is sounding, alerting them as to when they are being told an Untruth.

Yet however this keen intuition ultimately manifests itself, it is wise for the Black Bear Soul to remember that their intuition will only be as clear and reliable as they are in their daily interactions and dealings with Others.  It is incumbent upon the Black Bear individual to wield this great inner knowing softly, with love and higher intent to be to the benefit of the ALL as a part of the unfolding of their Soul`s Unique Purpose for taking up the Robe of Physical Life.

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This page last updated January 25, 2001   Copyright © 1999 - 2002
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