Embracing My Inner Bear

Humans have long looked to Bears as a spiritual power. Most bears go into mother earth at the first heavy snow fall and emerge in the spring often with new life, that is cubs in tow. So bears have been seen both in the old and new worlds as symbols of renewal and transformation. Bears also resemble humans to some degree as they can stand on two legs to look about. and their paws are similar in bone structure to human hands. Probably the earliest evidence for the recognition of the spirtual power of bears comes form Chauvet Cave in France.  This paleolithic cave has rock drawings of cave bears and an “alter “with a cave bear skull on it. What I like best about this cave is that there are areas with bear scratching on the wall that the ancient humans could have interpreted as the bear’s attempts to make rock art.

Because of their power both in the physical and spirit realm Bears where often not directly referred to by name in many old world and new world cultures. One circumlocution used was “wandering one” and from that the Blue-eyed Bear takes her lead in search for a metaphorical home both in the physical and spiritual realm. But as we all know the journey, the quest, the pilgrimage is what is real while a home may never be.

Why a Blue-eyed Bear? Well over many years I’ve had many dreams about bears. Often they where trying to break into my house or I needed to pass though an area that they patrolled. Eventually I decided to get to know those bears. I did research and bears came into my life in many ways. At one point in my exploration a friend gave me  a  Zuni fetish of a bear and it had blue or turquoise eyes. Those eyes seem to bring that little carved bear to life.   As I was experimenting with drawing bears  I found too that blue eyes seemed to bring my drawing to life.  Thus the Blue-eyed Bear was created or always was I’m just giving her my expression.

The Blue-eyed bear is female, though sometimes its difficult not to call her he. I take the lead in calling the BE Bear she from Terry Tempest Williams’ essay “Undressing the Bear” in her book “An Unspoken Hunger”. Williams acknowledges the connection of the feminine both in Native American lore and in the old world connection of the bear to Artemis an earth goddess, goddess of the hunt, protectress of the axis mundi or pole star. Williams’ says ” to embrace the feminine is to embrace paradox. Paradox preserves mystery and mystery inspires belief. I believe in the power of the bear.”

Who am I? Eloise Frances Gadus and it is my privilege to give expression to the spirit of the Blue-eyed Bear. Both my Mother’s and Father’s first names mean bright which is one of the many circumlocutions for bear. So I’m a child of bear parents. What more does one need to know. Thanks for following my wanderings.


  1. Yeah for the Blue-eyed Bear!!

  2. Oh yeah! Hello Blue-eyed bear. Thanks for inviting me to your caveblog.

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