I have always considered myself a shaman-woman: “one who sees”, heals, and communicates with animals and animal spirits. Recently, I’ve been collaborating with a fellow astrologer, shaman, and counselor, Hilary Bond. With her permission, I am posting what she has written about a dream series about bears I had had in the past, correlated with information from my natal astrology chart. Because this will be going into a published book, Hilary changed my name to “Jewel”:
Jewel told me she had a few series or cycles of dreams. I chose the bear series and the narrow road series. Let’s begin with the bear series. Jewel wrote to tell me: “I had three or four bear dreams, all very similar, around 1999. Each time I was walking home from work, which was a job I had at a running store, while I studied in graduate school. It was about a two mile walk over hilly streets. Each time I was within the last half mile of home, where a giant rock sat in the middle of the sidewalk. It was giant, in fact much too big to fit on the sidewalk, maybe 20 feet tall and nearly as wide. It was too big for a city council to move, so they built around it. And in this dream I would sense or see with my mind’s eye, two or three bears looking for me and following me. I actually never saw them or encountered them face to face. The bears were not together. They were on different streets. I would turn to walk a different way, but another bear would be coming that way. There was no way I could avoid the bears. I did not feel they wanted to kill or eat me, but I was frightened because I did not understand why they were following or looking for me.”
Jewel knew exactly what her dreams were telling her. She wrote to me, “My sense was that they were telling me I was on the wrong track or path and they were trying to steer me in a different direction. Not long after these dreams I changed course from Linguistics and Language studies at university and a teaching career path. I then began a new path and went to massage school to become a healer. It was later also that I learned that bears are guides for healers, and I immediately fully understood their message.”
Jewel was right, in Siberia, the word bear linguistically was the same word as a female shaman. Certainly the bear was a totem animal, in ancient Greece and Rome, associated with the Goddess Artemis and Diana, two lunar goddesses. In fact, because the bear is associated with shamanic practitioners in many cultural traditions, this spirit animal can symbolize healing abilities and stepping into the role of the healer. The spirit of the bear is a strong source of support in times of difficulty. It provides courage and a stable foundation to face challenges. When the bear shows up as a spirit guide in your life, it’s perhaps time to stand for your beliefs or your truth. This power animal will provide for support and strength.
And indeed with her South Node in the 6th and her North Node in the 12th; her Moon in Pisces conjunct Jupiter and her Neptune in the 12th and her Mars in Virgo in her 8th house Jewel has a powerful healing chart. I didn’t mention that her exact Chiron trine ascendant, wide trine to North Node gives her powerful healing abilities in the holistic health arena and her Ceres conjunct her Moon-Jupiter – Juno in her 3rd house makes her the epitome of the Great Earth Mother and a powerful writer about health. Her Venus trine Saturn in Cancer makes her very grounded and a good businesswoman which means she will survive in the natural health field.
With Jewel’s Sun trine Neptune and North Node (her destiny in this life) in her 12th house I feel with Mars, Sun, Mercury, Neptune and Chiron in water houses, her ancestors were giving her a powerful push in the right direction. In fact Earth DNA suggests that, “Medicine people have long called on Bear’s energy to access the subconscious and unconscious. The key words for Bear are introspection, intuition and connecting with the inner self.”
Myth-Kenner maintains that, “Shamanic practitioners work with spirit allies, such as bear and the spirits of animals, plants, ancestors, deities and other teachers endow the shaman with spiritual power from their domains in the upper (the world of the divine masters and archangels) or lower worlds (the world of mother earth.) Spirit helpers are like adoptive parents, or godparents, to a shaman. These spirits are compassionate healers who wish to end suffering here in middle world (our human world and the astral world.) Of all the guardian animals, the most frequent one to sponsor shamans is Bear.” Spirit helpers are the over souls of entire species, so for each shaman adopted by Bear, there is a particular sponsoring Bear species. Some people work with Grizzly Bear, others with Black Bear, Panda, Koala or Polar Bear. Bear is like an ancestor because bear was human kind’s first totem animal. Archaeologists have found arrangements of Cave Bear skulls (an extinct species from the Ice Age) made by humans in caves, dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Cave Bear skulls have even been discovered arranged on a cave altar, the skulls stained with red ochre, a pigment used by the Neanderthals to tint the bodies of their dead family members in funeral ritual. No other animal species was worshiped as long ago as Bear.
Bear is found in the West direction. The West correlates to the dusk, autumn, and the element of water. It is in this place that we begin our journey inward to reflect on the expansiveness and extroversion of the East and South. The West is the looking within place, and is a time for looking into the patterns we carry that must be let go of in order to become who we truly are. This is the lesson of the autumn trees that drop their leaves to nourish the Earth once again. Bear and Crow reside in the West, along with all of our ancestors. This is usually a time of great emotion, slowing down, and gathering ourselves for the winter ahead. The West relates to adulthood and middle age and correlates to the archetype of the healer.
Let’s have a look at the transits in 1999 that were occurring when Jewel’s bear dreams occurred. She had Pluto moving through her 12th house and conjuncting her natal Neptune. When Pluto moves into your 12th house you are ready to move into a new world within yourself, to come into a time of understanding the importance of the inner world. This inner world sees all, all across time, all across people and connects you with the true inner environments that are within us all. You are coming to understand the importance of these inner worlds and the opportunity to move this understanding into the outside world. Conjuncting her Neptune her spiritual dimensions are being transformed and blocks are being removed to her real destiny. Transiting Chiron was also moved through her twelfth and also conjuncting her Neptune. Chiron would increase her knowledge, increase her ability to be a healer and increase her ability to access the inner worlds. Transiting Mars conjuncted her Uranus in the 11th marking huge energy shifts and changes in groups. She would move from the school teaching world into the holistic healing world. Transiting Jupiter was conjuncting Jewel’s Chiron in the 4th house triggering a massive movement and philosophical change towards her ancestral healing abilities. Transiting Neptune conjunct her natal Sun in the 8th meant again that her ancestors were manoeuvring her towards her correct and heart-felt path. Jewel already had a natal Moon in Pisces conjunct Ceres-Demeter inconjunct Sun in Leo in 8th, but with Neptune triggering this point the adjustment became seamless and she finally “belonged” which happens when “yods” or inconjunct (quincunxes) are triggered. Finally transiting Saturn the planet of structures and careers squared her Sun in the 8th house of “other’s resources” and forced a big change. A natal Sun in the 8th house is tremendous support from loving, big-hearted ancestors. Wasn’t that fantastic: Jewel ran with her dreams and her ancestral clues.