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Bear

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.

If the bear is felt as aggressive and dangerous, ask yourself what in your own inner feelings do you feel is aggressive and you don’t want to let it get out into what you express. In other words. what is it that you habitually repress from being expressed –  your anger?

It is best to let the angry bear be expressed in you imagination. You can do this by being the angry bear and let  it loose – see - Being the Person or Thing

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.

Tame or loving bear: Many people have no fear of animals in their dreams but are like the examples below. Fear is caused because we mix  up our dream life with our outer life.

Example:  In my dream I was actually happy to see bears lying down at the entrance of my parent’s old house. They were all lying down there as it waiting for me. When they felt my presence they woke up. They were happy and groaning amicably when they saw me approaching them. And there were babies too! I never felt fear or any threat but happiness to see them … and I knew it was mutual.

Example: My dream was not frightful. My Bear dream and I were walking, he put his nose in my hand and nuzzled, we walked home, I went up to my door and Bear went next door and rolled around in the neighbors driveway and rested.

But as people are educated in the modern paradigm, many of us are totally out of touch with the animal that we are, and have never been able to raise it to love and protect us, and instead are often frightened of it when it appears on their dreams. As a child we are often told not to do things – such as do not get angry, or told to be nice to everyone, but the intuitive animal side of us feels and act on its superior insight – that would allow them to mature with our animal self intact so we grow up repressing it, and often miss the natural curiosity of our inner mammal.

So if you have a loving animal dream you have a very good and healthy relationship with your inner animal. See Levels of the Brain and Summing Up

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?

See Stand in RoleProcessing DreamsSumming Up

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Comments

-Yvonne H 2015-12-19 15:28:26

I really need to know. I have been having the same recurring dream for over 20 years. Sometime I can go a few years not having it, but I just had another. I am in the process of studying the conscious/ unconscious for a thesis and wonder if I am bringing forth what’s embedded deep inside. My dream is seeing loved ones being attacked and killed by bears. Sometimes my children, mom and my pets. I am always watching it happen, but from afar. The other night, my mom & dog were killed. While looking out windows of a house, I watched 2 dirty wet polar bears walk past me. They looked right at me, but just kept walking as I listened to a grizzly bear attack my dog. I ran into the house but noticed all the windows in the house were gone leaving the house wide open for the bears to get in. I wake up very frightened and it affects me for days. What do I need to recognize from these terrible dreams? Thank you so much for any insite.

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-Kells 2016-01-04 4:47:24

My dream 2 nights ago has been on my mind and I want to know what it might mean….the part/end of my dream is of me and my mom’s ex husband who I still consider my stepdad. I am holding his hand navigating down a dry creek bed in a mountainous green lush area…looks like the foothills of the Chugach Mountians in Anchorage, Alaska in July. We are hoping from rock to rock and keeping a watch out for bears. We see many bears along the way down the creek, but I’m able to guide him behind me and pause and hide behind tall pompous grass. We get to a place where the creek bed opens up and looks more like a dry river bed…there’s many bears around but I know they can’t see me. My instincts tell me there are tigers in the area too. I know if they see me for even a second they’ll run up on me and pounce. It’s not like the bears where if I just stop moving and freeze that we can go unnoticed. So I see a tiger and I let go of my stepdads hand and leave him where it’s safe and jump from where I leave him to a rock to the right and duck behind it. Although I know at that moment there was a tiger I didn’t see that watched me and saw me duck behind the rock. It leaps over to the side of me and I curl up into a ball and breath out a long slow breath…the tiger bows it’s head and comes close to my head with its face…curious and I only can assume it will bite me or attack me. With my breath I let go of all the fear and I say a prayer simple yet asking for help and for there to be no pain. I feel numb within the long breath out and in the moment of prayer. I wake up from my dream before the tiger makes a move and after my short prayer for help. What could this mean?

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-Shannon 2016-01-06 4:52:48

I dreamed of a mother bear and her cub… They could speak or somehow we communicated. In the beginning of the dream we seemed to be friends, but for a reason I cannot remember, I had to kill the mother bear. Knowing I had to kill her hurt, it made me sad and angry and guilty. Then, I accidentally killed her cub somehow. That absolutely devastated me which is why I was driven to look into the meaning behind this dream. After the mother bear found what I had done, she charged me and fell on top of me, plunging my knife deep into her heart. As she died I cried to her “I’m so sorry I’m so sorry” and woke up very upset. What is the relevance of the bears??”

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-Robyn Walker 2016-02-16 7:55:21

I really enjoyed ur site. I was having troubles for years of me dreaming of one of my phobia (bears) i have always dreamt of the bear following me or chasing me horrifically. It scared me so. Just the other day i had another dream of the bear actually opening my car door. I looked at ur site tonight to realize its nothing too crazy. Thanks for saving me alot of time for looking for my answers.

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-Kaitlynn 2016-04-18 15:44:42

I had a strange dream… It started out with a child wanting to know more about his dad but no one would say anything, only that he was dead. It almost a cult feeling to it, all these men, me, and my dad were there. Its like I knew somthing about the boys father but I didnt know what. Thats when the large brown bear busted in and attacked one of the men. It wasnt a normal bear, its fur was uneven and dirty. My dad grabbed me and we ran to the truck. We got in the truck and started to drive away, it was in our rearview mirror. There were houses everywere but we were driving through a field? We slowed when driving throught to nod at a man as if giving him the secret nod or somthing. He imitiatly went to go to his shed and we kept driving. We made it to my house and ran in but instead of goin in the front door we went through my parents window. We waited and it never came. He grabed a shot gun and 2 knives and said get to the truck in the front yard. I was walking to the front door when dad fired the gun saying where are you son of a b****! ” i peeked out the door and there it stood and tried to force its way in. I was bearly holding the door closed when dad handed me the knife and said “open the door and stab it” i opened the door and we hurt it and it ran into my room. We got in the truck that I have never seem before and dad said “it was suppose to follow us at 4:30″ and I just knew it was 4:30 but it was too dark outside. Thats when a crowd of people showed up to have a bbq and my sister tried to go in the house. I screamed for her to stop , she told me she needed to change shirts because it was dirty, almost as if she didnt know what was going on, she also said my 2 other brothers were in the house. I ran in to get them and they were on the couch watching tv. I got them out and it occoured to me. Only me and dad could see it and I never saw its eyes. I woke up terrified!

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-04-21 9:28:57

    Dear Kaitlynn – What I see in your dream is that you are remembering the difficult relationship of your parents when you were a child and how it must have influenced your perception of men in general.
    In general we can say that the man/men in your dream represent your mental and social power, your ability to act creatively in ‘the world’. It also holds in it an expression of your complex of feelings about men, gained as experience mostly from your relationship with – or lack of relationship with – your father. The inner male or animus is also a synthesis of all your male contacts. So the whole realm of your experience of the male can be represented by the man/men in your dream, and is accessible through the image.
    The cult feeling in your dream and “no one would say anything, only that he was dead” suggests that you do not know yet “who” your inner male is and that you do not express much of this aspect/potential of yourself.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-father/
    Yet, you do remember “something”; “It’s like I knew something about the boy’s father but I didn’t know what.”
    I feel that what you know or remember are the fights between the bear and the boy’s father and it reflects how you have perceived the relationship of your parents as a child and these experiences have become a part of your inner world.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/mother-mum-ma/#InnerMother
    Your sister who wants to change shirts is aware of the need to face what attitudes, habits, beliefs etc. you still “wear” from your childhood so that you can “clean them”; heal yourself and grow beyond your fears so that you can express more of your potential.
    Exploring what you still carry within you from your parents and the way they relate (d) to each other is also expressed in; “We made it to my house and ran in but instead of going in the front door we went through my parent’s window.”
    Uncovering your ‘past’ that is still with you here in the ‘present’ takes real work and needs dedication over a fairly long period of time.
    The way most used to deal with your past negative heritage is to go to a professional who is trained in helping you to access and release these packets of high emotion and energy, thereby experiencing them, understanding them and integrating them into your life of today.
    Perhaps the simplest and gentlest way of finding transformation and growth is through exploring your dreams; http://dreamhawk.com/forums/index.php
    This should not be simply talking about your dreams, but actually exploring them and being ready to feel the emotions and past impressions involved in them.
    A first step could be to use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson for every symbol (your dream figure, the boy, the dad, the bear etc.) in your dream.
    Please also read http://dreamhawk.com/health-and-healing/inner-baby-and-child/
    Anna :-)

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-Michal 2016-04-28 15:42:37

Some months ago I dreamed of a bear entering my home. In the dream, my oldest son was afraid and wanted to save me. But the bear was friendly and handed me a freshly eaten fish, just the bones remained. This dream happened 2 times. Last night I dreamed of a couple who were fishing with a trot line. As they took each fish off the line, they kissed it in a show of thankfulness.
By the way, my oldest son and his wife have chosen to estranged themselves from my husband and me.

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-Lauren 2016-05-06 20:12:38

I dreamed I was watching this bear with my sister from a distance. Then my brother showed up with Nathan (the father of my kids) and they were sitting with the bear on this jungle gym thing. The bear was sitting on it like a child. My brother and Nathan started petting the bear who was being friendly. They were petting the bear in a fast aggressive motion, instead of being gentle and slow. I knew this could possibly startle the bear. I was thinking to myself that the bear goes for the head when it attacks. So I was worried for them but I couldn’t yell out to them to stop. She was a protective bear and liked their playfulness. My phone wouldn’t record what I was witnessing with my sister, so I went to get my camera. I had to be sneaky, as to not alert the bear. When I came back I felt something dig into me with claws around my stomach. It knocked me to the ground. I knew it was the female bear and she was only protecting my brother and Nathan. She thought I was a theat. So I put my arms above my head but in a relaxed mannerism. To protect my head and I didn’t move at all. I knew she could tear into my flesh with her claw. Or toss me like a rag doll and slam me against the tree if she wanted. For some reason I didn’t care what she did as long as she didn’t go for my head. I thought I could possibly survive the other inflictions. I felt at complete peace and serenity while the bear had her head at mine. I was lying completely flat on the ground, looking up at the clouds and sky. Knowing her arms were around me and her head was sniffing mine. My whole body relaxed as I was ready for whatever pain was to come. I surrendered completely to her to let her know I’m not a threat at all. I even opened my hand and gently pet her fur when she aloud me. She knew then that I wasn’t a threat but still stayed by myside. I knew I would be with her for a very long time until she trusted me enough and became my friend. I felt kindness towards her. I’m not sure what this dream meaning is but I know all my dreams come true in some form in the near future. They all have deep rooted meanings. I’ve even predicted the death of my grandfather and other predictions. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your article (alot of wisdom) and hope to hear something back.

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-Rachel 2016-05-09 2:19:31

This is the second time I’ve had the same dream. It starts out with me hugging someone i don’t even know but he seems to be my true love or something. We talk for sometime but then the whole place starts filling up with water. We reach outside and there are boats which we hop into. But then from behing not just single bear, but hundreds for bears start chasing us down very complicated roads and the water disappears. While sprinting very hard, we get separated from each other and i keep running until I’ve lost the bears behind me

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-05-10 11:24:53

    Dear Rachel – In your dream you are exploring your feelings about getting closer – physical and emotional – to a man.
    In a way this is about getting closer to your inner male; your animus.
    In general we can say the man in your dream represents your mental and social power, your ability to act creatively in ‘the world’. It also holds in it an expression of your complex of feelings about men, gained as experience mostly from your relationship with – or lack of relationship with – your father.
    How would you describe your relationship with your father throughout your life?
    Unfortunately you do not mention how old you are; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/teenage-girl%E2%80%99s-love-dreams/
    When you hug and communicate you become aware of feelings arising; you can be flooded by any energy, sense impressions, by sexual feelings etc.
    This experience gives you the courage to reach out – leave your comfort zone – and explore feelings of commitment; you “hop into the boat with what you perceive as your true love”.
    Because of the fact that once in the water it is difficult to leave the boat, the situation is often one that has certain bonds or commitments which may not be easy to leave or break away from – such as occurs in a close relationship or a work situation.
    It is from this point that unresolved issues from your past seem to catch up with you; “But then from behind not just a single bear, but hundreds of bears start chasing us down very complicated roads and the water – feelings of togetherness and unity – disappears.”
    Anything moving toward you in a dream usually signifies that you are becoming more aware of it, feeling it more intensely. So being chased in a dream usually denotes that you are feeling something you fear more intensely and are trying to avoid confronting it. This is not usually a good policy, as you can never get away from yourself.
    In order to not separate yourself from your inner male – “While sprinting very hard, we get separated from each other” – you may feel like exploring a different approach; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/
    So why not turn around in the boat, hug your true love, communicate your fears with him and face the bears together?
    Anna :-)

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-Tim 2016-05-15 11:34:39

Hi, I had a very strange dream last night. There was a bear that was going around eating puppies. I asked a person why it was happening and they spoke about it like it was normal and happened often. I grabbed the last puppy and hid it in a house with a wire fence to keep it safe and went to do something. While I was doing what I was doing (I can’t remember what it was) I noticed the bear again and I saw that it could see the puppy in the house. I ran to the house to protect the puppy, I went and grabbed a gun and went to go outside to shoot the bear. As I got to the doorway the bear was there, I went to shoot it. I woke up before that happened. I have no idea what any of this could mean.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-05-19 10:18:49

    Dear Tim – Your dream may reflect an inner conflict between a part of you that perceives eating puppies as normal and a part of you that feels the need to protect this more vulnerable aspect.
    With that in mind you could explore what you think might have triggered this dream or links with it in some way.
    Does a part of you feel/believe that new ideas and enthusiasm has to “fit in” a larger concept?
    Do vulnerable parts of you feel threatened by anything or anybody?
    This may be about a situation in your waking life, but it could also reflect a situation that is playing out in your inner world only.
    To explore the different aspects of what your inner world reflects you can use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    So you think about the bear and wait what thoughts, feelings, images, bodily sensations etc. arise out of your unconscious mind.
    When you sense/feel you are done you move over to the next symbol; the puppies.
    The person or people you ask why it was happening may reflect a passive aspect of you that has allowed something with which you do not feel okay and also how you are unconsciously programmed to let it happen; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/habits/
    Exploring this person you ask by “Being this person” may give you information about this part of you and its habits.
    You may also want to ask this aspect of you some more questions; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/dialogue-with-a-dream-character-or-object/
    Exploring your own dream figure ready to shoot the bear gives you insights in how you can respond as well.
    Killing the bear might not be the answer as you may need to express the positive qualities of this inner animal; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/animals-as-dream-figures/
    It also looks somewhat like the “all or nothing” approach, so why not explore a middle way where bear (strength) and puppies (vulnerability) can learn to live together?
    See https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/carrying-the-dream-forward/
    Anna :-)

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-AshleighDenise 2016-05-19 15:20:49

I have had different variations of the same dreams for about 3 or 4 years now. I have it often, at least once a week. Normally, I’m inside of a house (that’s where the dreams differ, usually I’m in a cabin but sometimes I’m in my own home) and there is a large bear lurking around the house trying to get in. The bear is NEVER friendly in nature and I always have the feeling it just wants to kill me for fun. I look around and I can see his shadow through the windows and he always comes to the front door and stops as if he’s figured out how to get in. I can hear his heavy breathing and then I wake up. But last nights dream was much different because instead of him being outside of the house unable to get in, he was standing on my front porch about to swipe at me. I ran into the house and pressed my body against the door and I could feel him ramming the door over and over again. Every time he did I could see his nose coming through the crack of the door and I could hear his breathing very vividly and feel him scratching the door. I felt like I was losing my strength and he was just about to get inside and then I woke up. I woke up pouring sweat, heart beating out of my chest and unable to fall back asleep. I really would love to know what this means and how to stop it because it is literally scaring me to death every other night.

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-05-24 10:52:38

    Dear AshleighDenise – In general dreams recur because there are ways you habitually respond to your internal or external world. Because your attitude or response is unchanging, the dream that reflects it remains the same.
    It is noticeable in those who explore their dreams using such techniques as described under http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-understanding-your-dreams/ and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/processing-dreams/ that recurring themes disappear or change because the attitudes or habitual anxieties that gave rise to them have been met or transformed.
    In our inner world there is a natural desire for wholeness and no part wants to be excluded or shut outside the house (the mind).
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/whole-2/
    So your dream bear may reflect a shadow part of you that you perceive as frightening to accept and to let in, maybe because it threatens the image you have of yourself.
    Please also read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-archetype-of-the-shadow/
    Because your dream figure perceives the bear as NEVER friendly in nature, the bear may reflect your opposite side. Are you ALWAYS friendly in nature?
    Being in a cabin may reflect those parts of your being that have arisen with little or no interference; not moulded by conscious ambitions, desires.
    It may be that in this more natural state of mind you are able to become aware of a part of your nature that does not always want to friendly.
    It will be interesting to explore what your dream figures means with; “I always have the feeling it just wants to kill me for fun.”
    A way to explore your own dream figure and the bear is to “Be your own dream figure” and “Be the bear”; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    The bear may also reflect a relationship in which you feel or have felt threatened in some way.
    If you can relate to that it may also be helpful to use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/
    Your dreams are a unique area of self-expression. They are a safe area to experiment and experience things in any way you wish. Often we introvert, or take into our dream life, rules and fears that have no place there. For example, while dreaming, you may fall into the sea and be terrified you will drown. But that is impossible because you are only experiencing images of your feelings and thoughts. All you can do is to feel fear. You can easily breathe under water in a dream, or fly, or die and be re-born. So remove such limitations from your inner life by visualising such changes into your dreams when awake. Imagine yourself being what you can in your dreams. Even passive people who couldn’t stand up for themselves can change as they do this. So why not open the door and let the bear in?
    And last but not least you can use http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/ to transform your recurring dreams and your inner world.
    Good Luck!!
    Anna :-)

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-shawna mccabe 2016-05-25 16:09:15

I have had two dreams about a mom and baby bear. In my dreams the bears are very real, very wild. The first dream…i saw the mama and baby bear coming out of the wood, towards me and I felt scared. As they got closer, I realized they were not angry or mean. I slowly walked them to my house where I was having a BBQ. The mama bear turned into a beautiful native woman and the cub turned into a beautiful little native girl. We had the BBQ together as if we had long since been friends and at the end of the night they turned back into bears and went back into the woods.

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