Sometimes said to represent a possessive mother, and the feelings this has aroused. But in many cases the bear will represent a meeting with dangerous emotions such as fear, anger or being easily aroused. There might also be associations with independence, or strength. See: Dreams are Like a Computer Game; Animal.
Through television and the many ‘nature’ films which are now a part of our wider education, we can see that the bear is largely a solitary creature, capable of living alone and surviving. This, and its human way of standing and holding its arms out in a hugging posture, may be the major factors from which a ‘bear’ dream arises. In many dreams the bear is not at all harmful, and can be treated as a friend.
Through these we can also see the bear as a wonderful mother and protector.
We may therefore associate the bear with feelings about living alone or surviving by our own strength; it can refer to the confrontation with feelings we have about independence, or the meeting with strength and independence in someone else. It can confront us with massive or dangerous rage, such as ‘the bear with a sore head’. The bear can also depict your massive or dangerous rage, such as ‘the bear with a sore head’. In this case it might represent your relationship with someone who is touchy or grouchy, powerful, possessiveness or smothering, as a parent or lover might be.
In this case it might represent your relationship with someone who is touchy or grouchy; powerful, possessiveness or a smothering relationship, as or by a parent or lover; it could suggest a desire to withdraw or hibernate; the ‘animal’ side of our relationship with our parents; a play on words, such as ‘bare’, bare facts, bearing with something or someone, ‘bearing’ ones soul, bearing in mind, a ‘bearer’ of tidings, come to bear, overbearing, getting ones bearings, bear fruit or bear-hug.
But the bear can also be like the Beauty and the Beast, in which the dangerous beast is tame with the influence of kindness. So the bear relate to person who can be tamed by kindness, but could also be a dangerous when roused.
It could suggest a desire to withdraw or hibernate. Because of traditional cultural associations, and its ability to hibernate, the bear can represent the ability to die and be reborn.
In some dreams it is powerful, possessiveness or represents a smothering relationship, as or by a parent or lover. So it could suggest a desire to withdraw or hibernate. As such it is often a mother figure, and can be the ‘animal’ side of our relationship with our parents.
There can be a play on words, such as ‘bare’, bare facts, bearing with something or someone, ‘bearing’ ones soul, bearing in mind, a ‘bearer’ of tidings, come to bear, overbearing, getting ones bearings, bear fruit or bear-hug. Because of traditional cultural associations, and its ability to hibernate, the bear can represent the ability to die and be reborn.
Bear attacking: It could mean that you are feeling or dealing with anger in yourself or another.
But many people dream of being chased by a bear and maybe run in fear or terror from the bear. Not only in your own dreams, but other people’s, it is obvious that we take into our sleep and dreams all the fears, terrors we carry within us. The huge bear, tiger or frightening person they are terrified of is actually fears either inherited or are frightening experiences from the past. They are purely mental things that you haven’t faced, and are therefore the victims of – victims of your own fears. But in dreams in you cannot die – or drown, or burn or any other threatening thing. We make the mistake of taking our very real values from our outer life into our inner life of dreams. If a bear or critter is chasing you, it is only a dream image and so what are you running from? If you drop the image if the bear/critter what you have is a feeling or emotion such as fear. And why are you running like crazy from an emotion? Remember that nothing can hurt you in your dreams, but you can feel fear. See The animal in my dream
And do not think, “That monster is bigger and stronger than I am, and it is frightening!!” It is our thoughts and fears that create the monsters inside us. So of course you are stronger unless you cower in fear.
But that only refers to outer bears, not dream bears. In some northern towns a bear or polar bear can be a real danger, so in your dreams it may be about a threat you need to keep watch for – although it is a bear in your dream, it could be any threat.
It can also, like the following dream, show a fight against disease.
Example: I dreamt that I was my older brother. As him, and yet at the same time myself, I was trying to fight off an attacking bear. I was doing all I could to defeat it but there was no let up.
Two days later my brother suddenly died from a vicious virus he had contracted while doing his job as a taxi driver. I feel as if I were fighting the disease with him in the dream, but we both lost the battle.
Baby or toy bear: Often represents a child or a young dreamer.
Three bears as with father bear, mother bear etc.: Family situation or parental relationship.
If hint of money in the dream: might refer to ‘bear market’.
Useful Questions and Hints:
What were your feelings and interactions with the bear? (For instance were you avoiding, running from cooperating with, watching from a distance – and where does ‘avoiding’, ‘running from’, ‘cooperating’, or ‘observing’ enter your life at the moment?)
If you imagine yourself as the bear in your dream, what do you feel and experience?