Bear it in mind. . .

I’m not a person who typically has prophetic, meaningful or even memorable dreams.  I can pretty much count on one hand the number of times this happens in a year.   Generally, my dreams are psychic patchwork, stitched together from tatters of the day’s events with a rough internal framework holding them together.   A few nights ago, however, I experienced a dream that demanded more than just a casual review.

I was sitting naked at a campfire in a circular clearing.  Suddenly, Grandfather Bear entered the clearing and leapt on top of me, pinning me to the ground.  As I lay there with my face pressed into the rocky earth, he began to nip at my right hand.  I struggled futilely to free myself.

Sensing absolutely no malice in his attack, I realized immediately that this was an initiation of some sort.

I knew instinctively that even though I couldn’t possibly throw him off, I needed only to wait for the right moment, and I could escape.  No sooner had I reached this conclusion, then he released his grip and I slipped free.

As the scene shifted I found myself walking down a gravel path.  I was dressed in gray deerskin and moccasins; simple yet durable clothing well-suited to the rigors of the journey that lay ahead of me.  Behind me, I felt the presence of Grandfather and Grandmother Bear.  They smiled, and I knew that they would always be there to protect and advise me as the situation required.

The message here is obvious.  This work is not something that can be forced, or pummeled into shape.  Grandfather’s nipping of my right hand, the hand of strength and masculinity, reflects this.  This also seems to be indicated by my being clothed in gray deerskin at the end of the dream.  Among its many symbolic meanings, Deer stands for gentility.  This is the reason why we receive the Grandfather Stones from the fire with White Tail deer antlers before placing them into the pit at the center of the sweat lodge; we wish to offer them some measure of gentleness after their ordeal in the sacred fire.

Gray is the color of neutrality, a mixing of white and black  – Masculine and Feminine – into a new color blending the sacred energies of both.  The presence of the male and female aspects of Bear walking behind me on the path away from the clearing at the end of the dream speaks of my need to commit to balancing these energies within myself.

The spiritual path is not for the faint of heart.  To walk it truthfully, one must constantly be aware not only of one’s actions, but of their implications and the inspiration from which they spring.  We struggle with the apparently contradictory task of abandoning ourselves completely, that we might be hollow bones through which the love and healing energy of the Creator can flow unimpeded, while strengthening ourselves to withstand the rigors of faith, and the work this journey requires.    It is through the bringing together of these two seemingly opposing viewpoints, like striking flint and steel, that a divine spark is produced, illuminating the pathway of our lives. . .

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4 Responses to “Bear it in mind. . .”

  1. This is a very important dream. Thank you for sharing what is a critical time of initiation into the harmony of the divine masculine/divine feminine. It also struck me that in the Celtic tradition it was believed that mother bears literally licked cubs into shape. The ‘nip’ might also be seen as a lick into shape – and what a marvelous shape it will become!

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  2. Thank you, Bee.

    I hadn’t thought about the idea of bears licking their cubs into shape. I read something about that not too long ago – the belief that Naturalists once had that cubs are born as a shapeless mass of fur, and that the Mother Bear licks them into shape during hibernation in the den.

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  3. I most resonated with your last paragraph. The words resonated because they were true. Glad I stopped. Use my drum in my healing work sometimes, and the blog title pulled me in. MitakuyeOyasin

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  4. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your taking the time to give it a read…

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