~ Gift of Dreamtime ~
“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”~ Akira Kurosawa, considered one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema
In the quiet Autumn forest, Great Mother Bear drinks deeply and intently from the cool, running stream. She slowly lumbers over to her hallowed den, where she will dwell in sacred hibernation, the magickal state of Dreamtime.
Mother Bear will dream from October through April, avoiding the harsh deprivations of winter. Preparation for over-wintering begins in summer when she gorges on carbohydrate-rich foods to gain weight, and before tucking into her long winter’s nap she gains 40 pounds of fat to see her through the great sleep. In early autumn, she gathers nesting materials into a cave, burrow, rock crevice, or hollow tree, creating her winter hibernation bed. She typically builds her den just large enough to squeeze through with her cubs, about 2 ½-5ft. wide by 2-3ft. high.
Once comfortably ensconced in her hideaway, Mother Bear rolls into a tight ball with her head between her forepaws, keeping warm by using her great bulk, inches-deep layer of fat, and fur which has more than doubled its insulating qualities during the fall. During slumber, her metabolic rate drops by half. Her heart rate drops from 55 beats per minute to 8, and body temperature from 100°F to 88°F.
While she may drowsily awake after 100 days to eat, drink, release body waste, or exercise, she retreats once again to her sacred Bear Bed, to connect with Spirit through the Gift of Dreamtime. It is here where Great Mother Bear touches the eternal, gaining the wisdom of the ages.
~ BEAR SPIRIT POWER MESSAGE ~
I am Great Mother Bear,
In the place of Sacred Dreamtime.
I call on you to rest your mind and body…
To go into the silence of your inner Dream Lodge,
Where the fruits of the soul ripen,
And send forth into awakening.
I hold this space for you in Dreamtime –
It is your link to the Eternal.
Now, go… and reflect…open the inner doors.
And I will guide you to the birth of Yourself.
~ BEAR ELEMENTS AND SYMBOLOGY ~
Through the physical and spiritual realms of the Five Kingdoms in Nature:
Celestial, Elemental, Fauna, Flora, and Mineral
Ursa Major – the Big Dipper constellation, visible throughout the year in most of the northern hemisphere. Ursa Major means “Great Bear” in Latin. The seven brightest stars of Ursa Major form the famous Big Dipper asterism – a pattern of stars recognized in Earth’s night sky. The square star pattern on one end of Ursa Major forms Bear’s body, and the chain of connecting stars leads to the North Star, or Polaris. Polaris dwells at the tip of the tail of Great Bear, pointing to the North Celestial Pole. As such, the entire northern sky revolves around Polaris, and has held great mythological significance and guidance for countless world cultures throughout time. As we raise our thoughts to Great Bear in the eternal cosmos, we understand why this star cluster holds such a profound meaning. Bear, sleeping in her heavenly bed, dreams amidst infinity – an integral part of the great mythic mystery leading us through our own journey to inner truth. In her deep hibernation of cosmic introspection, she holds the key to creative life resting within us. “The Dreamtime indicates a psychic state in which, or during which, contact is made with the ancestral spirits, or the Law, or that special period of the beginning,” perceives Mudrooroo, known as the father of Aboriginal literature. In our totem Bear Bed, personal strength can come from this universal meditative place of inner knowing, where we can receive intuitive guidance from the abundant blessings of Spirit through the ages. This takes place in the Divine Den of Truth, where the full power of Great Bear leads the way in Sacred Dreamtime.
Earth Den – Bear’s nest of hibernation. Hibernation is a symbolic feminine aspect of the inner unconsciousness – going into the deep, dark well of the unknown to seek knowledge. Earth Den represents the womb of Mother Earth as the inner space of nurturing ourselves within the solitude of introspection, gaining healing and wisdom. In global mystical, tribal, and shamanic cultures, Bear Medicine represents communication with Spirit. Bear’s hibernation is the holy act of going within to gain the personal strength of our truth. It is here, dwelling within our Earth Den, where we can connect with Spirit, Ancestors, and Guides, who share with us the secrets of the ages hidden within the realm of meditative reflection, or sacred Dreamtime. It is here, where we can go and allow our old self to die, like hibernating Bear, to be reborn anew upon the awakening of the self in higher consciousness. Author David B. Lentz, in “For the Beauty of the Earth: A Novel”, shares, “Maybe, life is a kind of waking dream…Doesn’t the existence of dreams and higher consciousness during the years of blackouts of a lifetime, whether longer or shorter, give us a valid premise to hope that another highly spiritual state may await our passing?” From one perspective, this can symbolize the dreaming state as a gateway toward spiritual awakening, and one that can be reached while still living upon Earth. Hence, our dreaming introspection can guide us toward true existence in an awakened state – one that we may surely touch upon during sacred Dreamtime, hibernating within our Bear Bed. Our interior Earth Den is where we digest life experience. And as we quiet the outer mind, we can enter into the Dream Lodge of sacred silence and know that the death of illusive physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity. This is where we sit in Council with Spirit, and be advised of our pathway in life. Strength comes from looking within. This is the power of Bear Bed.
Bear – (Animalia Ursidae) a large, stocky mammal inhabiting a wide range of global environments. In robust stature on her forceful, hefty hind legs, Great Mother Bear stands 8’ tall, weighing a solid 800 pounds. She is the epitome of power and self-reliance, with a soundness of mind and purpose. These are her gifts to us, through the healing inner strength that comes from instinctive self-knowledge and confidence. Totems are sacred, indigenous symbols that can help us become closer to our true divine nature, and Bear is a revered totem of many spiritual cultures. Great hibernating Bear teaches us to listen to our inner intuition through introspection, visualization, and dreams. With these inherently divine tools, standing tall within, we can rise to our true stature – our beautiful Infinite Self. Paracelsus, a notable Renaissance alchemist, scientist, physician, and spiritualist, wrote in “The Dream Game”, “That which the dream shows is the shadow of such wisdom as exists in man, even if during his waking state he may know nothing about it….We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourself.” As wise Mother Bear retreats to her bed, she brings her young cubs into the silence of Bear Bed. They are her dreams of the future, incubating in hibernation. In Bear’s bold stance, she powerfully tells us not to cast our dreams aside, but to pay attention to them. They lead to the door of our inner self. The answers to all questions we seek, about life and who we really are, dwell within the depths of Sacred Dreamtime.
Oriental Poppy – (Paparer Orientale) a brilliant orange-scarlet flower native to the Caucasus, Turkey, and Iran. The beloved Oriental Poppy, common in many gardens, grows up the 3’ tall, with flowers up to 8” wide – a very dramatic display! In appearance it explodes with bold color, but its petals are very delicate, almost papery. This essence of a strong, yet subtle nature resonates with Great Mother Bear, as her mighty spirit curls in deep sleep during hibernation. Oriental Poppy is a sacred flower of indigenous Shamans, powerful healers and spiritual teachers throughout the world, and through the use of its essence, these wise elders and honored medicine doctors travel to the upper and lower worlds during Dreamtime. It is here where they can retrieve the lost aspects of Self. Through this journey into the mysterious, hidden dimensions of the natural world, they offer their tribal communities the great gift of harmony with the self and all life. Great Mother Bear is a totem of the Poppy Shaman, offering her wise guidance to and through Dreamtime, where the body and soul meet as One. Bear offers us this divine groundwork, leading us to an awakened state. After long periods of deep meditative dreaming, she emerges victorious, and able to sustain life with a rebirth of vital, inner energy. “Nobody stops dreaming”, discerned Guboo Ted Thomas, a respected and prominent Aboriginal elder. The soul is eternally calling us within, to meet our True Self, in unity with life. Bear Bed invites us to this inner transformation from the sacred refuge of Dreamtime, where the renewal of true spiritual communion offers a healing harvest – the fruition of inner strength, and the insight of self-knowledge.
Scolecite – a shimmering white gemstone whose finest specimens are found in India. Appearing transparent to translucent, with a white silky luster, Scolecite promotes inner peace and deep relaxation, and is used as an excellent aid to meditation. Scolecite is known as a “dream stone”, enhancing the dream state, promoting dream recall, and lucid dreaming. As a mineral related to the 3rd Eye Chakra, it can awaken our vision to subtle, energetic messages from our powerful inner self, and higher sources. Within Dreamtime, Great Mother Bear stores the teachings of our dreams until we awaken from the inner knowing of the Dream Lodge. For centuries, this feminine receptive energy of Bear Medicine has aided in opening the portals of prophesy for visionaries, mystics, and shamans. Honored literary, Haruki Murakami, succinctly stated, “I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.” As we invite dreaming introspection into our life through the hibernating Bear Bed, we can receive the deep peace, balance, and harmony that we seek. From the silence, the power of knowing resides. Journey with Great Mother Bear, where you can dream your dreams and own them.
~ CELEBRATION THROUGH SACRED CEREMONY ~
Moving through the spiritual energy of our own inner totem Bear Bed, we can be blessed with the precious Gift of Dreamtime in unity with all life. Here, within the realm of inner knowledge, our True Self eternally dwells.
A personal ceremony can be performed to enhance the manifestation and integration with Bear’s all-embracing gift. This can be a private celebration between yourself and Bear Spirit, or you can invite others to join. It can be as ritualized as you desire, or naturally free-flowing, and include anything you want to say or any object(s) that intuitively feels in harmony with the act of thanksgiving for Bear Bed’s blessing.
A powerful place to hold the celebration would be in a natural area around Mother Bear’s presence, but physical location is not of prime importance. If you do not have access to this environment, any contact outside facing Bear’s auric essence would be helpful. Even if this area is hidden or at a great distance, emanations from Bear’s spiritual source are not obscured, as they flow freely throughout the Universe. If the celebration is held indoors, being in room with a window is encouraged to enhance the presence of natural elements, but if this is not possible, symbolically facing Bear Bed would be beneficial.
As a sample list, any of the following ideas below could be included in your celebration, and verbalized during a Blessings of Intention for Dreamtime affirmation ceremony (see below). Also, any of these offerings may be created and integrated into your ritual either physically and/or symbolically in Spirit.
- Begin with a personal intention of Dreamtime to enhance any general or specific aspect of your life.
- Light an earth-colored candle to symbolize the powerful essence of the Great Bear, Ursa Major, whose gift is the discovery of the self through deep personal introspection.
- Feel the sweet solitude of Earth Den, representing the strength of inner reflection and growth.
- Honor great, robust Bear, whose shows us our true power within.
- Place a drop of Oriental Poppy flower essence on your tongue to open an inner vision of your True Self, at one with all life.
- Envision, or hold, the lustrous gemstone Scolecite, or any other stone resonating the great gift of healing relaxation and meditation. Other related stones include Agate, Malachite, Danburite, and Dioptase.
- Proclaim intentional blessings for the Gift of Dreamtime. A simple statement in the form of a heart-felt declaration can attract and summon the heights of magick and power through the fundamental, positive act of intention. By the sincere act of a clear and pure desire, a personalized blessing can call upon the spiritual forces of unity within life – the source of your Infinite Self. You can use any of the following Blessings of Intention affirmations as a guideline to be included into your own personal declaration towards inner harmony and integration with the energies of Heaven and Earth. Written as non-denominational statements, these intentional blessings can be practiced by any single person, or unstructured or organized group, as their own personal form of prayer, charm, chant, invocation, or medicine, etc.
- A devotional affirmation of praise, honor, and thanksgiving, as suggested in Dream Song to Bear Bed (see below). This act of appreciation is enhanced with the powerful personal statement “I Am”, and especially when said aloud, can invoke the creative energies of manifestation radiating throughout the Universe, calling upon Bear’s Great Spirit to be infused into your life. All or part of the Dream Song passages can be included in this holy prayer of purpose and gratitude. Their power summon and embrace a wide range of natural spiritual influences, ancient mythology, and alchemical life-force energies from Indigenous, Native American, Deity, Celtic, Shaman, Pagan, and Wiccan cultures.
~ BLESSINGS OF INTENTION FOR DREAMTIME ~
- With this sparkling candle, blessed by Bear Spirit, I embrace the heavenly aura of the Ursa Major North Star, guiding me to the inner knowledge of universal truth shining brightly in my heart and soul.
- With my warm inner Earth Den, blessed by Bear Spirit, I feel the nurturing power of the Divine show me my life path leading to my heart and soul.
- With great, powerful Bear totem, blessed by Bear Spirit, I stand tall, and gain strength from the sacred inherent gifts rising within my heart and soul.
- With the power of inner dreaming from Oriental Poppy, blessed by Bear Spirit, I see my Shaman’s path of self-discovery guiding me to my heart and soul.
- With shimmering Scolecite, (or other resonating gemstone) blessed by Bear Spirit, I feel the power of inner peace, balance, and harmony alighting my heart and soul.
~ DREAM SONG TO BEAR BED ~
O Sacred Bear Bed, I rest in you.
I feel your warmth cover me
With the softness of dreams.
It is here where my soul opens,
And receive blessings of Dreamtime.
It is here where I hear the voices
Of life’s Spirits, calling me home.
My heart rests in you, O Bear Bed.
Softly, you call me into the slumber of Truth,
Hidden, but now springing forth.
I hear you, O Power Bear,
Rising up within…calling me to myself…
Thank You, O Bear Bed, for your Gift of Dreamtime.
~ From Heaven Sweet Nature Springs ~
Power of Flowers, by Isha Lerner
Medicine Cards (Santa Fe: Bear and Company) by Jamie Sams and David