Tag Archive: bear woman


Ungnyeo (Bear Woman)

“Bear with Me” by Raventalker

“Ungnyeo’s themes are change, peace, devotion, inspiration and patience. Her symbols are bears, wormwood and garlic. Korean myth recounts the tale of two friends, a bear and a tiger, who wished to be human. To receive this transformation, the two had to stay in a cave eating wormwood and garlic for one hundred days. Unfortunately, the tiger lacked patience, found this too difficult, and left. The bear, however, stayed determined. After one hundred days, she transformed into a beautiful human woman and then bore a son who founded Korea, naming it ‘the land of the morning calm’. This quiet peacefulness and devotion is what Ungnyeo inspires, especially for personal transformation.

In Korean tradition, today is Gaecheonjeol (National Foundation Day), the time when Ungnyeo’s son founded the country.  To commemorate this and strengthen your connection with Ungnyeo, include garlic in your diet today (or, if you’re a really devoted garlic fan, add it to one meal a day for one hundred days)!

Should you need improved tranquillity, try visualizing yourself in a deep cave (this is Bear Woman’s womb). Stay here as long as you wish in your meditations until the quiet solitude saturates your inner self.

Finally, for any personal transformation you need to undertake, carry any image of a bear with you. This will inspire Ungnyeo’s tenacity for success.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ungnyeo in the Cave” by Charles Alexander Moffat

Ungnyeo was a bear that became a woman. She was featured prominently in the creation myth of the Korean nation.

In the tale, a tiger and a bear (Ungnyeo) lived together in a cave and prayed to the divine king Hwanung to be made human. Hwanung heard their prayers and gave them 20 cloves of garlic, a bundle of mugwort and ordered them to stay out of the sunlight and eat only this food for 100 days. Due to hunger, the tiger left the cave after roughly 20 days, but the bear remained inside. After 21 days, she was transformed into a woman.

Ungnyeo was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. Her lack of a husband drove her to depression, and she began to pray beneath a sacred betula tree to be blessed with a child. Hwanung heard her prayers and was deeply moved. He took Ungnyeo as his wife and soon after, she gave birth to a son, Dangun, who would go on to found the nation of Korea.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Ungnyeo“.

 

Suggested Links:

English.visitkorea.or.kr, “The Legend of Dangun“.

Mythologydictionary.com,Korean Lore, Gods, Demigods, Heroes, Symbols, and Other Famous Mythological Characters“.

Rendezvous-inmyblog.blogspot.com, “The day the heavens opened – Korea’s founding myth“.

Wikipedia, “Hwanung“.

Bear Woman

“Bear Woman” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Bear Woman’s themes are health, psychic abilities, fertility, unity, love, kinship, instinct, nature, rebirth and energy. Her symbol is the bear. Among the Native Americans, Bear Woman’s power is intimately intertwined with the earth, protecting its creatures and helping humans in hunting. Because of the way bears interact with cubs, Bear Woman refocuses our attention on the importance of family unity, warmth and love (especially in extended families like that of the tribe).

The Bear Dance was once held in February as bears emerged from their caves to commemorate the Utes‘s common ancestry with bears. Continuing the tradition ensures the tribe’s health as well as ensuring ongoing communication with Spirit on important matters through Bear Woman. To adapt this custom, dress up in a furry coat or fuzzy clothing and imitate a bear. This acts as a form of sympathetic magic that draws Bear Woman’s energy to you and helps you commune with it for positive personal transformation.

Also, stop at a nature of science shop that carries stone carvings and get one today.  Carry it to connect with Bear Woman’s strength, endurance, and other positive attributes that you need in your life.

Dreaming of bears today reveals a bear totem or spirit guide in your life offering guidance, or a special message of help from Bear Woman.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

 

“Bear Woman and the Dream Child” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Stephanie Anderson Ladd tells us that “the Native American Bear Woman is protector of Mother Earth and the tribes and clans that walk upon Her. Bear Woman is in Her cycle of power during spring and summer. She has moved out of Her cave with Her cubs underfoot, and is foraging for food and water. She is a shapeshifter who moves through the forest with agility and strength, helping us awaken to our potential and reminding us to not let our creative energies lie dormant. Look for what feeds your soul and chow down!

Bears care for their cubs for a couple of years until they are old enough to go out on their own, and in this way, they are akin to human mothers whose task is to prepare their children to find their own way and learn their own strength. Bear Woman tends to the unity of the family of man and animals, ensuring their safety and protection.

The Bear Goddess is symbolic of the circle of life, death and rebirth. She reminds us to go within when it is time. The Mama Bear guides and protects us on the journey into the Underworld of the Unconscious, where we ponder our lessons and gather our creative energy until it is time to emerge into our cycle of power once again.” [1]

 

 

I thought I’d share this video of the Bear Dance Ceremony from the Cree Nation of Eastmain, February 2010.

 

 

I also really liked this video.  The song is called “The Bear Dance” and pays tribute to the proud Ute people.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Ladd, Stephanie Anderson. Owl & Crow, “The Bear Goddess“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Rosenn, Eva. Shamanic Healing with Eva Rosenn, “Bear Medicine“.

Support Native American Art, “Native American Animal Symbols – The Bear“.

Venefica, Avia. whats-your-sign.com, “Native American Bear Meaning“.

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