Read Part Three Here:
The Bear Kind Part Four: The Domesticated Animal and Closing Thoughts
The energy of the Bear kind is innately wild. When it crosses paths with the human world, unfortunately, things have a tendency to end unpleasantly. Visitors to Yellowstone Park are warned not to feed the Bears for a reason.
We believe the relationship between an animal and the human world serves an important purpose to the totemist. Namely, we live in that human word of carpool lanes and cubicles and school desks — for better or for worse. And many of us (rightfully) feel a part of ourselves just doesn’t belong here, feels misplaced, depressed, anxious, purposeless. We believe this is the innate wildness of our totems rebelling against an unnatural, urban environment. Our totemic tradition holds that the easier time an animal has adapting to life in the human world, the easier time a human who bears that animal as a totem (specifically as their Primary) will have making their life in this domesticated modern world of ours.
Therefore, we must consider how the Bear kind can occupy only a narrow area of overlap with the human world. Some Bears can be trained to accept life in a circus or at a wildlife refuge. Others can become acclimatized to people, given enough time. But a Bear is not a Horse or a Wolf; it has no domesticated cousin to turn toward to teach it how to live in a house and eat from a bowl.
Ironically, the toughest energetic interaction the Bear kind totem will ever face is not against another animal totem, for whom the introverted Bear is actually fairly well equipped. It is against the human energy, the energy of the modern civilized world, that will be the toughest trial for the person carrying Bear kind totem energy.
For Bear, that difficulty with the human world will be most visible on two fronts: first, his wild nature that cannot be domesticated; and second, his exceptionally large size and the power that comes with it.
The Bear kind’s size is its most obvious quality. Bear people have big energy; they fight big, they speak big, they love big. When a Bear totem person hugs you, you know why the hug is named for them. But for the person who bears that totem, it can be a challenge to remember that size can be threatening to other people— whose Primary totems are all but assuredly going to be smaller animals. For a Berserker warrior, this isn’t necessarily a problem. But it sure can be for the student or the office associate who needs to accept smaller animals as equals or even superiors. It is easy for the Bear person to overwhelm someone, or hit too hard, or love too hard. Remembering to be cautious of this fact, and to be aware of the physical and emotional needs of those around him, will be a life-long struggle for the person with the Bear totem.
Those uphill battles for the Bear totem person can be mitigated if they are able to choose a life that complements the instincts of their totem rather than fights against them. This is a person who may well be better off working outdoors, working for themselves, and working with their hands. Now, that is not to say people with Bear totems cannot be programmer analysts or middle school teachers. If someone is at peace with Bear’s faults, such a capable and intelligent totem can lead someone to thrive in nearly any roll.
But what if someone continues to feel isolated, depressed, and out of place in their own life? The Modern Totemist might say they would do well to heed the call of the Bear kind.