It’s not unusual to spot a bear in and around Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. But this fall, in the year of the Pandemic, a family of bears seemed to adopt us at our hilltop perch overlooking Mt. LeConte. A mamma and her three cubs. They were entertaining and winsome, to be sure, but they also constrained our freedom in a year that was already deeply constrained.

So, naturally I pulled out my camera—in this case my iPhone—and took some video, which you can view below. But I also got to contemplating the possible meaning of this highly unusual bear activity during this highly unusual year. I decided to do some research, and found some possible meanings.

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.

Black Bear symbolism is about introspection. In particular, the Bear meaning is letting you know that it is time to go inward and explore the notion of your very existence, like hibernation. Therefore, with this spirit animal, you must delve deep into your heart to find the significance of your path and journey.

The bear is emblematic of grounding forces and strength. This animal has been worshiped throughout time as a powerful totem, inspiring the courage to stand up against adversity. As a spirit animal in touch with the earth and the cycles of nature, it is a powerful guide to support physical and emotional healing.

I hope you enjoy the video, featuring our Smoky Mountain black bear family!

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