Bear’s Journey Through Our Communities
  By Karen J. David Copyright, 2012  All rights reserved It is my understanding that an average size black bear has been, over time, traveling in Ohio through the cities of Streetsboro, Hudson, Twinsburg, Glenwillow, Solon, and was found in a tree somewhere in Bedford Heights, Ohio where firemen were trying to entice it down from the tree without hurting the animal.  I’m told the bear did come down from the tree and ran away, and later, spotted elsewhere.  Whether this was the same bear traveling through all areas or not, I’m not certain. However, the point is these areas do not generally have bear.  That is what is significant.  Bear is moving through areas in Ohio that do not normally have them located in those areas.   What caught my attention and awareness is the importance of the meaning, the symbolism of bear itself, and of this occurrence.  I have been given the privilege of expanding my spiritual learning to include some understanding from the Native American philosophy. Therefore, in addition to my own spiritual beliefs and faith, over the years I have also learned from various teachers and medicine healers along the way who are Native American.  Over time I was also given a natural name according to their way/meaning of having a name.  It was given to me by an Oglala Sioux teacher and author. Based on this understanding I want to share with you the meaning/importance of bear.  This 4 legged relation of ours, (the Native Americans believe we are all related—Mitakuye Oyasin are words that mean this) represents in part, introspection and healing.  According to Jamie Sams, a Native American medicine teacher, Bear lies in the West on the great medicine wheel of life and according to her; many tribes have referred to this space of inner-knowing as the Dream Lodge. So, to accomplish our goals, or a dream we may have in our hearts, requires the necessity of introspection. Every one of us has the capability to learn to be still, quiet the mind, enter silence and have inner knowing through help of our spiritual guides and teachers, our ancestors.   We receive help from Great Spirit, the Creator. Bear is in the West, described by Jamie Sams, as the intuitive side, the right brain. On another level, an Eastern Cherokee Metis friend I’ve known for several years says that Grandmother Medicine Bear of the West Power direction (north, south, east, west)  is related, in part, to death of old ways, giving over, letting go, releasing what is no longer needed or wanted, and then healing and transformation can take place. There is so much more to the explanation, meaning of the bear than I will write here.  However, I thought to myself as this bear journeys across these areas-- what is the Creator, trying to tell us by sending us the message of bear? What are we doing or not doing?  What do we need to look inside ourselves for? Are we or are we not doing that?  Bear also likes honey, which Jamie Sams refers to as the sweetness of truth.  What truth are we to know by going into introspection? To me, this journey of bear across these cities is not just a wild animal(s) roaming and needs to be caught.  There is a very special and spiritual meaning to it all.  If only one can just look beyond the physical reality and touch upon the spiritual message, the meaning behind and beyond what we see just with our physical eyes, we may just gain valuable insight, awareness, and help for ourselves, both on an  individual and collective basis.
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