Dreams About Bears
Teddy Bear Dreams
To see teddy Bears in your dreams is a sign that you will have reemerging memories from childhood. When you were young the Teddy Bear was a constant companion, so it is a symbol of innocence, livelihood, playtime, fun, and lasting friendship. To dream of this Bear might signal the entry of an old friend in your waking life, or the making of new friends and companions.
Fictional Bear Dreams
How can we ever forget our encounters with fictional Bears when we were kids, right? From earliest memory, there’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Bobo the Bear, “Baloo” from The Jungle Book, and Stan and Jan’s Berenstain Bears. Or what about the more recent introduction to the foul-mouthed, but still quite adorable Bear, “Ted” from the film of the same name? Of course, there were umpteen Care Bears in the 80s, spouting joy and rainbows everywhere! These Bears were created with the intent of making us smile, laugh, experience joy, and learn. They are the epitome of childhood innocence so when they appear in dreams, they convey the message of purity, joy, happiness, and simpler times, all things to strive for in your waking hours.
Of course, there were fictional Bears to serve as a teacher or guide. Remember Smokey the Bear? Of course, because he taught us all about forest fire prevention. When he appears to you in a dream narrative, he may be there to warn you about a smoldering situation that has the potential for burning out of control lest you take preventative measures. At minimum, Smokey the Bear is a message to take caution and to remain alert. Then there are Bears that are popular enough to create an impression on many generations … remember Yogi the Bear? Even if you don’t know who Yogi is, his popularity makes one of his catchphrases a common comparative phrase still in use today … “I’m smarter than just your average Bear.” If your dream points to the latter phrase, you might hold more wisdom about something then you believe, or you might demonstrate greater cunning or wit in a situation.
Of course, when it comes to fictional Bears, we most certainly cannot pass up an analysis of what Winnie the Pooh might mean in your dreams … the answer is not as simple as you might think …
Winnie the Pooh Bear Dreams
The meaning behind the appearance of Winnie the Pooh and any of his animated friends in your dream might seem obvious. Yes, it can symbolize innocence, purity, and a love of the sweet things in life (remember Pooh Bear and his honey pot), but there are other connotations associated with the Bear that might even shock you! In 2000, in an article appearing in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, a group of researchers note some interesting similarities between the characters in the Winnie the Pooh tales, all of which seem to have attributes associated with untreated mental disorders.
First consider Winnie the Pooh, who loves his honey and will do anything to get it. This might convey a dream message warning against excessive consumption of sugars or sweets, or it might suggest we need to enjoy life more depending on dream context. Or, per some scholars, Winnie’s continuously hungry behaviors might be a symbol of an eating disorder!
Wait … what?
Let’s indulge this thought for just a moment. Per Canadian scholars, Tigger’s behavior is suggestive of ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder); Piglet’s attributes point to Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Owl has memory loss and Dyslexia, Eeyore is suffering from depression; Rabbit’s attributes align with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), and so on, with Christopher Robin having schizophrenia; Thus, he hallucinates all of the characters just described!
So, though this might seem extreme, by interpreting this Bear dream through the lens of mental health, you might come to understand Winnie the Pooh as a symbol signifying a need to closely assess one’s mental status and/or eating habits. Are you consuming healthy foods, or do you need some serious dietary changes? And if Pooh shows up in a dream with other characters from the Hundred Acres Wood – what does this mean as far as messages from the subconscious, higher self, or the Universe? Your dream might be telling you it is time to give your overworked mind a rest or you are taking on more than you can handle mentally. It could also mean you will soon deal with someone experiencing a mental issue or problem. Ask yourself, are you really seeing things as they really are?
Cultural Interpretations of Dreams About Bears
The term Bear does more than reference a fierce, wild, and majestic beast. In fact, the word Bear is slang in gay culture and it is used to refer to a male who is big, hairy, and who conveys a rugged, tough, and brawny masculine persona or image. Less often, members of the LGBT community use the term to refer to a female with masculine tendencies. In a similar vein, the term baby Bear doesn’t always refer to the adorable, playful cubs you see out in the wild.
Other than being used by some as a term of endearment, then the phrase is sometimes used as a reference for a rookie police officer. With the use of the word Bear in different ways, it points to the importance of considering dream context for clarification. For instance, if you see a baby Bear in your dream, but you are not in a relationship, this could mean you will meet someone soon, but it can also mean you better watch the speed limit so you aren’t pulled over by a rookie police office during your waking hours! Consider the tone and emotion of the dream for greater clarity.
Dreams about Bears are powerful omens. Bear dreams can symbolize messages from the animal kingdom or represent human messages, too. In fact, dreams about Bears often symbolize a person, or something innately human-like, since a Bear standing on its hind legs can walk and do many tasks just as a human might. In Chinese cultural dream analysis, Bears almost always symbolize mankind or a certain person. Therefore, since you never know what will happen when a Bear is provoked, the people who Bears symbolize in your dreams should be handled with care and respect.
In contrast, when it comes to the Native American understandings of Bear symbolism, these creatures were indicative of wisdom, diplomacy, and healing. You might wonder about the diplomacy connotation, but if you consider that most Bears do what they can to avoid interaction with humans or any kind of conflict, this is where the idea of diplomacy stems. Any of these connotations might be passed to you through your dreamtime narrative: First, you might relate the Bear to someone you know during your waking life. Or, you might find yourself in a situation where diplomacy is necessary, especially if you are going to contribute to healing the situation and any emotions surrounding it.
Meanings & Symbolism for Different Types of Bears in Dreams:
Just as the dream setting and context are important to understanding dream meaning, so is the Bear you meet. We already covered the meaning of teddy Bears and fictional Bears and discovered some interesting things about the story of Winnie the Pooh. Now let’s look at other types of Bears and the messages they so freely share.
Bear Cub Dreams
To see a baby bear in your dream might signify meeting with a rookie cop, but it also comes to represent innocence, something in need of protection, or something one loves or cares for deeply. This might be a calling to your childhood memories as well.
If you see a mother Bear with her Bear cubs, you immediately realize the danger of such a situation. Why? Because quite frankly, there is nothing more ferocious than an angry mother Bear who feels her cubs are in danger. This dream translates to experiences in your waking life, where you or someone you know might kick into protective mode. Or, your dream might be telling you that you need to protect that which is most dear to you. The mother Bear is also a subtle hint of connections with the Divine Feminine. Otherwise, this dream might signify a deep connection with your mother, grandmother, or family matriarch.
Black Bear & Asiatic Black Bear
If you encounter a Black Bear, the color black aligns with darkness, fears, phobias, but also incredible strength in the face of adversity. In your waking life, you will face a situation head on with terrific strength. The Bear’s intense power is a source of inner strength, one you may be tapping into for the first time; with this Bear energy aiding you in your waking hours, it is a good time to clear the air and to deal directly with those who might otherwise oppose you. When it comes to confrontational situations, Black Bears don’t run, nor should you … this is the insight to take into your waking hours. Likewise, the Asiatic Black Bear is equally fierce, but it also has a deeper connotation connected to the Divine Feminine; the Bear has a moon shape appearing on its chest and it is sometimes called the “Moon Bear of Tibet.” When you see this Bear in your dreams, it is a hint that you should pay extra attention to the cycles of the moon and upcoming events.
Grizzly or Brown Bear
When this Bear comes to you in dreams, you will be fearless in the face of adversity in your waking hours. The temperament of the Grizzly is nothing short of brutal once aroused; the Bear is highly protective of its innocent young, and this is the message to take away from seeing this Bear – keep safe that which you value, but be sagacious with your aggressive reactions.
Ah… you must love the tender, gentle, and very sleepy Koala Bear! The Koala is a peaceful little marsupial that loves being in trees and eating Eucalyptus (you may benefit from the herbal properties of this plant). Keep in mind this critter will sleep 3/4 of the day, and its appearance in your dreams is to let you know you should honor your natural rhythms. Try to get the sleep you need to recuperate and remain healthy.
When entering your dreamscape, the Panda is an omen of luck and great prosperity. It is also the teacher of boundaries. The colors black and white do not intermingle. The colors define specific areas on the panda’s body, like the arms, legs, ears, and eyes to create unique patterns on the creature. This Bear is playful and, although wild, gentle, despite its massive size. The lesson here is to take Panda’s positive energies moving forward in your life and use the positivity to overcome the challenges you face.
Pay attention to any of the body parts emphasized on the Panda Bear too, as they may hold meaning. For example, a focus on the Panda’s white belly might suggest a need for purifying your digestive system, while a focus on the black circles around the Panda’s eyes might point for a need to view things through a different lens or perspective.
The patterning on the Panda is a striking contrast to the pure white polar Bear, but this carries the symbolism of purity, light, simplicity, and openness, all of which are excellent concepts and energies to carry forward into one’s waking life. The white coat of the Bear also signifies success, clarity, awakening, and the ability to make it through darker, harsher times.
Sun or Honey Bear
The Sun Bear is the opposite of the Asiatic Black Bear with its moon symbol; instead, the Sun Bear features a crescent shape that is a reddish orange color indicative of solar, masculine energies. The Sun Bear, when it comes to you in dreams, hints at the blessings to come and the sweeter things in life.
This Bear is native to South America and the Andean Mountains, hence the Bear’s name: It has what looks like spectacles as a feature around its eyes. To see this Bear in a dream should have you call to question what it is you need to focus on in your waking hours. Ask yourself, “What am I not seeing?” “What do I need to have a closer look at right now?”
The sloth is part of the Bear family and it is a super slow-moving creature living in treetops all while eating and sleeping the day away. The sloth sleeps as much as the Koala and therefore suggests that you make sure you too, are meeting the sleep guidelines recommended for you. The word “sloth” is also one of the seven deadly sins and suggests being lazy or lackadaisical; This begs the question, what are you putting off? The slow-moving sloth also suggests you might need to slow down a bit and to make sure you don’t rush through anything. This is likened to the action of other, larger Bears too; Bears are naturally curious and will take breaks to enjoy the berries along the path. In Bear dreams, a Bear sidling slowly along symbolizes you might need to slacken your steps and mimic the slower and deliberate pace of the Bear.
Dead Bear/Bear Skin Rug
When a Bear is dead, and its fur made into a rug, it symbolizes the loss of the humanizing element. According to dream meanings, the Bear’s essence (wisdom, strength, healing) are gone, and he symbolizes the same in your world: Something once important or significant to you has gone flat and lost meaning.
Bear Behavior in Dreams
The actions of the Bear in your dreamtime narrative are quite telling, and no information on Bears and dream messages would be complete if we didn’t cover transitioning and hibernation. First transitioning is the two to three-week timeframe, hyperphagia is just before actual hibernation – it involves a period of excessive drinking and eating, not for satiating hunger, but for building up body fat to last through the hibernation period. Now the Bear consumes five times the daily calories needed for energy. Now mind you, this doesn’t mean go all out, hop on a fat Christmas turkey, and suck it down like the apocalypse has been announced! Rather, it does mean a time where you should increase your nutritional intake for the purposes of getting more vitamins and minerals or consuming more food while you are recuperating so you can heal more effectively.
Dreams about hibernating Bears and their caves symbolize that it is time to stop and pull back into yourself. Seek safety and solid shelter out of the coming storm. A Bear dream might symbolize that it is time to store up for the next season in your life or just time to take care of preparing yourself for what is coming next. Bears hibernating also symbolize the process of returning to the Earth (in caves) and re-emerging in the next season or step of life. Also, since caves are closely associated with the womb of the Divine Feminine, your dream may be telling you it is time to focus on your spiritual path and reconnecting with The Powers that Be.
Bear Dreams Wrap Up
Now that you know the important dream messages that Bears bring to you, the next time a Bear comes stomping through a dream you’ll have a good sense of the lesson it brings. Just remember to consider the type of Bear, its coloring, habitat, behaviors, and the context and tone of the dream so you can derive all the rich, unique, and personalized meaning your nighttime visions can convey. Want to know more about other dream messages and the animals that share them? Please feel free to use all of the resources I offer at What Is My Spirit Animal? The interpretations are available to help you explore the unique and wonderful symbolism animals convey in your nighttime dream narratives.