It’s an internal hibernation time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Many animals have migrated to warmer climates, some have tucked themselves into warm dens, and others are frolicking in the snow and foraging for food to keep themselves occupied. As people, we tend to follow the same approaches. We fly south to soak up some sun, we curl up in blankets in front of the fireplace, we go skiing and skating on the snow and ice, and we gather in pubs and restaurants to eat hearty foods. We’ve always naturally taken our lead from the land and animals. Although we’ve tried to separate ourselves in buildings and intellectually tried to prove our superiority, we really are just being pulled into the same patterns of behavior as our animal kin aligned with the seasons.
We can learn a lot from the animals with which we choose a conscious connection. Most indigenous cultures speak of the meaning and medicine they gain from connection to animals that show up on their path, in their dreams, or thru journeying. According to Jamie Sams, they believe these interactions improve their connection to the Great Mystery and to all life.
Life has the meaning we choose to assign to it. It can speak to us thru the land and the animals. It can give us signs, symbols, numbers, synchronicities, and patterns, delivering a whole host of messages to help guide us in a way that is congruent to our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. You could choose to blindly go thru life ignoring all that guidance, but why make life harder than it needs to be? Would you try to build a puzzle without ever looking at what the picture is supposed to be once finished? Would you ignore the flat edges that are clues to the outer boarder pieces, or ignore the color or patterns on the individual pieces that could help you sort out which ones go together on the board? Of course not, so why do this in your life?
For me right now, I am feeling the deep internal energy of hibernation and what the brown and black bears do during the winter months here in western Canada. My pulse has slowed, my blood pressure lower, and my mind is plunging into the depths of my Being. Female bears actually have their babies in their hibernation den and nurse them there until spring arrives. For me, like many right now, I have been birthing the next expression of my soul’s purpose, my baby cub. This winter time feels like the perfect place to allow it to come to life, to nurse it into a healthy existence.
So if you are feeling that bear energy right now too, I ask you to consider this question, “what are you incubating this season?” If you’re feeling more like the wily fox diving thru the snow or perhaps the snowy owl darting thru the extended dark night skies, I encourage you to take a deeper look at what message this might carry for you. All life is speaking to us, if we’d only just stop to listen.
There are many resources that help decipher animal meanings if you need some further guidance. I love Medicine Cards divination cards and book by Jamie Sams & David Carson for an American indigenous traditions perspective.
Written by Robin Harris, a transformational coach and workshop leader