I bought this spirit bear in Tucson on Samhain (Halloween) 2017. I bought it because Spirit nudged me to buy it as a home for my best friend’s power animal, who had been visiting me every night between 3:00 – 4:00 AM since he died in a tragic accident on August 20th that year. It may have had something to do with the black onyx spirit bear fetish that I had gifted to him once and then buried with my friend (a whole ‘nother story), but maybe it was just that he was trying to reach out. I would abruptly awaken at that time every night and see the spirit bear, black as the shadows, standing near the bedroom door. As soon as I brought this horsehair pottery bear home, the nightly visits ceased and I was able to get an undisturbed night’s sleep at last.
It wasn’t until today that it struck me: this bear is white, in juxtaposition to the black onyx bear that I buried with him. Curiouser and curiouser. (Things are sometimes shifted into their opposites between the worlds; left and right, for instance, or night and day. It occurred to me that black and white should be no different.)
Yesterday, on Samhain Eve, two years to the day after I bought it, the bear was broken beyond repair. I was changing the curtain rods in my new office and the curtain swept some books off my desk, taking the bear with them. Needless to say, I was devastated. I cried as a picked up the pieces of his back legs off the floor. I got the desire, the nudge to smash the rest of the broken bear up today and return him to the land.
I was thinking about the back legs and what they might symbolize. Bears often stand on their hind legs, looking very human-esque in the undertaking, especially to mark or defend territory. Perhaps this signified a foundational energy. It is definitely a big shift of some kind. I discussed it with my buddy Karl, who is very Jungian in his approach to things. We agreed it was foundational (standing on the foundation of the earth), and he said my inclination to return the bear pieces to the earth as well was probably spot-on.
This morning, I awakened with the knowing that my dear old friend has probably moved on. When this came to me, I whispered to him (somewhere in the Otherworld), “So you will no longer be my guardian angel, like you have been for most of my life?” Again, tears pricked my eyes as I felt the truth of it.
I was reminded of the most recent dream I had of him, where he was found living another life in a place far away, and when I asked him if he had had amnesia, he said no and told me we would discuss it later.
Perhaps this was that discussion.
And perhaps the most fascinating part of this story is the fact that a friend in southern Arizona had recently gifted me with a beautiful horsehair pottery horse that she had made herself. Of course, southern Arizona is where the bear came from. That seems no mere coincidence, because the horse is (of course) MY power animal. A cycle has ended; we have come full circle.
I really miss my friend, who was very dear to me. He was someone I relied on for advice and support quite frequently. He had a wonderful sense of humor and the uncanny ability to pull me out of any anger or despair that might grip me on occasion. You know, sometimes in our grief we may hold the subconscious belief that moving on with life will cause dishonor to our loved ones. And perhaps because of that erroneous belief, we hold on to our memories a bit too tightly and try to maintain a holding pattern in our lives, balking against a life that seems to be careening forward at breakneck speed without the loved one we miss so much. Somewhere deep inside, perhaps I have been reluctant to move forward for fear of abandoning my best friend’s memory. This will never happen, of course, and my intellect knows that the concept is irrational, but my heart does not. All my heart knows is that it was broken, like the bear — suddenly, without warning. All my heart knows is that if my friend could die like that, then anything can happen, and it may be best to hold on.
Still, after much consideration, it seems that I have divined the intended message of the broken spirit bear at Samhain (which, by the way, marks the Celtic New Year): it is finally time to stand on my own two back feet, moving boldly into my future. I have been released.
My dear old friend, thank you.
© Samhain 2019 – Cindy L. McGinley. All rights reserved.