Spirit Animals: POLAR BEAR

Polar bear spirit animal’s world is frozen, with landmarks often hard to find. To make matters more challenging, the wind constantly moves the drifts and the floes carrying his plans and thoughts asunder. He does not have a preference for one way, the way, but rather relies on the wisdom of the ages and the abundance of the underworld to carry him through. He’s been doing this for a long time you see. He was the one who knew who we were before we did.

Polar Bear Spirit Animal’s Coat

When we see a polar bear’s coat we assume that the individual hairs are white, but they are actually clear. The translucent hairs scatter sunlight with no preference for any particular color ray and, thus, they appear white. This brings to the fore an incredible truth as the color “white” is often associated with goodness and purity, but “white light” is interpreted differently. White light is synonymous with Source, God, and divinity.

Polar bears, like the stark, snow-covered landscape they live in, reflect divine light. If a polar bear has walked into your imagination, dreams, or ordinary world , now is the time to pay homage to the blinding beauty that is the Creator. The immense size and presence of these apex predators gives additional gravity to the message.

Polar Bear as a Channel for Grace

The longer guard hairs of a polar bear’s coat are hollow as well as transparent. The hollow hairs were originally thought to conduct the sun’s warmth down to the  bear’s black skin, but this theory has proven false. Most of the heat from the sun doesn’t make it past the polar bear’s incredibly dense coat. Through the qualities of his hollow fur, polar bear spirit animal demonstrates how being a hollow reed can reflect divinity out in to the world. It is so clever that scientists used to think the hollow hair conducted the energy of the sun to the bear’s skin to warm him, and now we know this is not true.

In your own life, examine your beliefs about why you have decided to be a channel for grace. Do you believe allowing joy to move through you will bring you more joy? Are you afraid to allow the light to move through you for fear you’ll be overheated or overwhelmed? Do you spend all of your time trying to clear yourself so that you can be a channel for healing? The polar bear spirit animal has come to guide you through this process, and before we barely get below the surface we see the first set of lessons about appearances and beliefs concerning channeling divine energy. Being perfect or pure or good is not the goal, radiating the divine is.

 

Find your spirit animal workshop. Painting of red-tailed hawk.

 

Connection to Snow Symbolism

There is a compelling parallel between the polar bear’s fur and snow. The multi-faceted ice crystals of snow flakes cause all color rays to bounce around, not absorbing or reflecting any color with any consistency, which causes us to see the snow as white in the same way we do the polar bear’s fur.

Many dream interpretation guidebooks define snowflakes and snow as “frozen emotions,” but I particularly am interested in the less common idea of these representing “spiritual truths”. The spiritual aspect coming from the white light they reflect and the truth coming from the concrete form of an ice crystal. Also, like any spiritual truth, snowflakes are temporal and infinite in nature. We all know that no two snowflakes are alike. Being of the land of snow, polar bears bring an innate ability to connect with the nature of spiritual truths.

Contrast of Scarcity and Abundance

There is intense contrast in the realm of the polar bear. He lives in a white, seemingly barren landscape, but just below the surface he has easy access to a dark, fertile underworld. The ocean that he navigates as effortlessly as the top world is teaming with life.

His own physique mirrors his outer world as his hollow, transparent fur hides a black skin covering a thick layer of blubber over 4 inches thick. He has a hard time staying cool in one of the coldest environments on earth. This shows that although you may appear to have a stark life on the surface, you hold vast resources below/within. How can you begin to see your life inside-out so you may honor this abundance more fully? Is the contrast jarring you at this time? Polar bear spirit animal has come to help you walk and swim the duality with grace.

Polar Bears in Folklore and Art

In the mythology  of the Inuit, polar bear spirit animal is known “Nanook”. Many northern tribes say polar bear is the one that taught man how to hunt and survive. In Greenland he is known as “Tornassuk” the master of helping spirits and the main agent of initiation for shamans. The Inuit too saw him as the primary guide for shamans. In many traditions, he is rumored to take a human shape, being a human while inside the igloo, which he also taught humans to build, and a bear while out on the ice.

I’d like to highlight one artist has dedicated her life’s work to depicting the white bear. I’ve known since childhood and always adored Barbara Stone. In the 35 years she’s been captivated by the polar bear’s presence, she’s traveled to the north to observe them dozens of times. Her whimsical artwork shows the bears taking baths, sitting down to tea, and out tending the garden, and readily demonstrates how these massive creatures can easily assume our form. She has tapped in to an archetypal, subconscious knowing of how we are linked with these animals.

The Polar Ice

Ice plays a critical role in the life of polar bears. Their migration follows the flow of the polar ice pack. Polar bears need the ice to ambush their surfacing prey from. When ice is less prevalent polar bears will swim hundreds of miles to new ice floes in search of hunting opportunities.

This speaks of the usefulness of having a solid, but fluctuating boundary between our outer and inner worlds, to trusting that what we need will come from the unknown of the dark depths below, and to knowing when to put in concerted effort to seek out new nourishment.

Ice being more permanent than snow, it represents frozen spiritual truths, and polar bear can show us the need to freeze some of our beliefs into the ground we walk on for a time. When the seasons change and the time comes, those beliefs will naturally break up or move on and new floes of ice will form to support us. Polar bears will fast for a time when the ice floes are absent. This is a reminder that it is okay not to have beliefs to stand on for a time, and that you have the reserves built up to last you until you are supported in freezing up a new belief system.

Association with Seals

The diet of polar bears consists mainly of seals. Seals are linked with creativity and the imagination. Thus, we see here the need to harvest the fruits of our creative endeavors rather than solely allow them to surface for breath on occasion. Time to haul that beautiful gift of yours up onto the ice and allow it to provide the sustenance you need to take you into the next length of time between projects.

Mother Polar Bear

Mother bears typically have twins which again highlights the dual nature of these white beasts. The number two is significant here and it may be worth your time to look into mythology surrounding twins. Have you given birth to two ideas at once? How will these creations co-exist? Mother polar bear may be able to help you with these questions. Just know that she does not wean her young for 2 and a half years, so this process of raising two dreams at once may take some time. As always with the polar bear spirit animal as our teacher, patience is a virtue not to be forgotten.

Spiritual Masters

It turns out these great beasts have a great amount to teach us. It is even worth looking in to what spiritual masters and mentors have made a difference in your life. Which of these teachers radiated the divine without preference for a given color, way, or understanding? Who was willing to offer guidance without attachment to the outcome, purely for the bliss of sharing? Who gave support and knowledge to you without asking anything in return? These are the polar bear spirit animals that have wandered into your life in human form. Watch carefully what they do for they will teach you how to survive in an otherwise inhospitable environment.

 

Find your spirit animal workshop. Painting of red-tailed hawk.

 

 

Stacey Couch

About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch

Stacey Couch is a Spiritual Advisor who supports creative seekers learning as they go on the spiritual path. She serves beginner and life-long students of the soul. Her compassionate and collaborative approach honors the humanity and value of each person. Wisdom found in story, mysticism, and nature provide guidance and healing in her work. Through meeting with Stacey, lost souls find refuge. Connection to the Divine is realized. Belonging comes. She is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. Learn More about working with Stacey
15 replies
  1. Steve
    Steve says:

    I haven’t finished this article, but I plan on it! So far – beautiful! 😀 I have had several encounters with polar bears in dreams and this past year she has shown up in a couple meditations 🙂 From just reading the first half of this article, it brings more depth to why it appeared! You are a wonderful wordsmith 😀 Looking forward to looking around the site more!

    Bless you!

    Steve

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Thank you for your kind comments Steve. Polar bear has enough magic to fill a lifetime doesn’t she?! What an amazing beast. I hope you enjoy the exploration. And blessings to you as well.

      Reply
  2. Pat Timmermans...Purveyor of "Endless Possibilities!"
    Pat Timmermans...Purveyor of "Endless Possibilities!" says:

    ‘Early morning December 30, 2014, in DreamSpace, in a bright Light Space was there with others in a jovial mood bantering & interacting playfully with One Another. A landline telephone rang & a massive Polar Bear appeared & went to answer the phone. Powerful, Purposed & Peaceful. We All just smiled…
    L.A.A.F.
    Pat Timmermans…”Purveyor of “Endless Possibilities!’

    Reply
  3. billy ross iii
    billy ross iii says:

    My totem is the polar bear. I recently started having visions of my totem. The thing that really stood out the polar bear in being protective. like the polar bear, I’m protective and a great financial provider for my family. even when my mom’s rheumatoid arthritis was acting up, I was there helping her out. I’m like the rock of the family too.

    Reply
  4. julie rogers
    julie rogers says:

    I recently read a book called Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. The message I received from reading rocked me to the soles of my feet. I have to get this message out there! There is a way to save the planet! So excited about my new project, I became overwhelmed. Tears of frustration were on my daily menu. Through my soul searching, I found your site on the polar bear! Whew! I’m glad I read about this powerful animal totem! Now I can relax and go within to search for the answers I need instead of going crazy, floundering around in circles and screaming at people to WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS!-Glad I found your article before I completely lost control! Bears have always played an important role in my life, but this is the first time I’ve studied the polar bear. All the answers are there! Now it’s time for me to go within and seek out the best way to be a channel for grace. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      You are most welcome Julie. And you are so right… The work, the change, starts within. Patience is a grace, a power of the soul, be sure to cultivate that as you wait for the Divine to pour into you. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  5. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    I have recently been introduced to a stunning polar bear which funny enough gave me the nanoo? And from reading I can understand why he is with me.. Wow just wow.. Thank you ????

    Reply
  6. Sunny
    Sunny says:

    thank you. i recently received Baby Polar Bear in a meditation for the seven chakras. Baby Polar Bear in my third chakra was highlighted as of great importance. your insights on polar bear were enlightening and caused epiphany!

    Reply

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