When a bear is part of your dream, be aware that you are dealing with a symbol of power. Although many people associate a bear with aggression and danger, the bear has traditionally been a complex dream symbol, representing both positive and negative elements. These are influenced by the particular associations of the dreamer and his/her culture. The symbolism of a bear in your dream is also impacted by what actually happens in the dream.
For example, if your dream involves being attacked or chased by a bear, you are dealing with overwhelming problems or competition – you believe yourself to be threatened in some way. A dream of a polar bear is associated with a psychological or spiritual reawakening, representing the cycle of life and death. Running from a bear in a dream could signal financial loss in business – a play on the use of the term “bear” to indicate a bad financial market.
For Native Americans, the bear represents a grandfatherly figure who is very wise and knowledgeable about spiritual things. For people outside the Native American culture, however, bears often represent bad temper. For those who live in “bear country,” bears in dreams often indicate their very real concerns about being attacked.
Psychologist Carl Jung believed that all wild animals in dreams represent feelings and emotions. Seeing a bear in your dream may indicate you are experiencing a time of depression or introspection as part of a healing cycle. The dream bear could represent parts of your personality as well. To dream of a bear suggests that you have emotional issues that you would rather keep “sleeping” instead of facing. When children dream of bears, the animals represent their fears.
Dream bears are sometimes associated with possessive mothers, since mother bears have a powerful instinct to protect their cubs. If a mother bear and her cubs appear in a dream, this may indicate a desire to have children or to protect your children from danger.
Bears in dreams are also associated with victory over competitors or rivals in love. They are often about power, an imbalance of power, or the use of power. The dream bear is linked to concepts like grumpiness, over-protectiveness, and hibernation or retreat.