Please know this is copyrighted material but wish to share this with all of you from a book I am writing at present...
Yonv (Grizzly Bear)
Few things will inspire the human spirit in the way seeing a Bear in the wild does. Strong yet gentle, beautiful and rugged, graceful and clumsy, serious and comical. They symbolize freedom of spirit and oneness with all that is; things greatly lacking in the human spirit of today.
Yonv is generally known as the Grizzly, whereas Yona is the Black Bear. There are vast differences with their personalities, but their medicines are more similar than not.
Yona is pretty much at the top of their food chain save for human intervention in killing them. Wolves have been known to take them down if their numbers are high enough, but here we will discuss what they teach us about our self and their real value to the cycle of life on this planet we all share.
Yona males are solitary in their ways, except for breeding times. Once this is done they usually go off on their own. Sounds like a lot of men in this country as well. Females will often keep their cubs around for about two years or so to teach them the ways of survival and hibernation.
During the spring, summer, and fall, they will eat as much as they can in order to survive their sleep time. As they roam and eat, they do not destroy everything around them as humans do. They make their homes in caves, under logs, or by digging dens in various places. That they are so adaptable, is a good lesson for us in that we too have the ability to adjust to varied living conditions as the need arises. There are those people who would see having to change their comfort zone as a major disruption to life, but as does Yona, we too can get down to it and make the changes we need in order to survive the cold times that come our way whether these times are literal or emotional. What value is there in whining about something we cannot control? We have the option of making the best of what we have at the time. Some would spend so much time complaining that they suffer their own demise in this area. Whining is actually a form of procrastination because we are putting off the ‘acceptance’ of the matter. After all, complaining is so much easier than actually doing something about the situation.
Bear mothers are good teachers for human parents. Yona mothers will breed, but the egg will not attach itself unless she has taken in enough nutrients to sustain her and her cub/cubs through the winter. While in her sleep time, she will awaken to take care of her cubs with nursing and keeping them warm. Parents would be well to instill in their children that there is much preparation to be done before having a child and as Yona makes sure she has the necessary things for her offspring; young adults would be wise to do the same. Here, parents can be specific in outlining these needs. Unlike Yona whose cub’s part ways in about two years, human parenting lasts a lifetime.
“I accidentally got pregnant.” Uh-huh.
Yona will teach her new cubs how to hunt for food, make a den, and defend themselves. Human parents have this same obligation with their children. Make time to teach them shopping skills, home making skills, and self defense skills when they are old enough. This applies to young boys as well as girls. Young male bears learn the same things as young female bears.
At the nearing of two years of age, Yona pushes her cubs off on their own so she can mate once again. From this time on, the cubs are responsible for their own livelihood and making do with what they have. If human parents have done their work properly, their children should be able to make their own way without being a burden to others when they leave home. Young bears learn by doing rather than just by watching and parents have this same opportunity to allow their children to try different things in a safe manner. What happened to the days when children could get dirty and eat a worm or two before adulthood? Trying to live in a sterile environment enhances getting sick.
Humans and bears have the same common threat to their existence…other humans. Few bears in hunted areas live long enough to die from natural causes. Why is it that people hunt these Bears? How many really ‘need’ them for survival foods? How many actually eat the Bear meat? Is not the real truth found in the human ego? Black Bears are not known to be hostile toward humans even with cubs in their company. It is proven that when those who study the Black Bear have taken cubs from mothers for tagging, the mothers often run and leave the cubs. Yonv…the Grizzly, on the other hand, is well documented in attacking humans who interfere with them and their cubs. Last I checked…these situations account for about 70% of human deaths by Grizzlies. To date, this record for Black Bears and cubs is at zero.
This brings to mind the lesson human parents can take from these examples. How protective are we of our children? Do we let them wander away from us to be picked up by another person? Would we fight for our children if need be to secure their safety? Are we ‘overly’ protective of our children to the point that they are not given time to be out and touch the earth, play with bugs, and learn of and from the natural things? Bears take responsibility for their offspring and do not place their newborns in dumpsters.
That Bears go into a den of some sort and stay until spring is a reminder to us that we can only hide from life events for a time, and then we also must come out of our ‘den’ of hiding and face the situation. By surviving off what she ate during spring, summer, and fall, Yona is able to survive the harshest of winters. She instinctively draws from within, teaching us that we can be introspective; to look within our self and find many solutions to the things that confront us on a regular basis. Yona, then, is often seen as having the ‘Looks Within’ medicine. Many times we have the answers we seek already inside of us, but how often do we seek another’s ‘opinion’ to confirm our thoughts or talk us out of it. Actually, if we get ‘advice’ from others, they are then opened up to us blaming ‘them’ for what happened. But, in truth, no one ‘made’ us make the decision we decided on….we made that final choice on our own.
If we use Yona medicine, and really look within our self, we may be surprised at what we see. Do we run and climb a tree so to speak every time an uncomfortable situation arises? Will we abandon our children to the television, computer, or video games rather than teach them the essentials of life in modern times?
Yona will mark their territories with scents, scratching, and rubbing trees as well. This lets other Bears know many things about them and that this is their territory or that they are in this territory. As we go about life, what do our actions show about us? And as for ‘our’ territory….do we have boundaries or barriers? Or both? Boundaries are flexible, barriers are not. As we learn things about another person, we tend to flex our boundaries and allow them closer, or we may push them further away. A barrier is something we don’t let anyone cross and how these are formed and used is totally up to our self. Only we can define these things within our self. Yona medicine; look within and see just where you have placed your boundaries and barriers. How much pain or abuse are you willing to take before you remove yourself from a situation? Have you allowed yourself to become so fragile that you cannot speak your inner feelings to someone else? Do you keep people at a distance so you won’t get hurt? Pain lets you know you are still alive…get over it. Dig yourself a hole of depression and you may get so far down you will not see sunlight. If someone lends you a hand, take it and get out of the self pity hole. Unless there is a real medical problem, self pity is a choice. Yona does not feel sorry for her/his self. Remember that pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.
Yona is not well known for her patience. How about you? Are you willing to wait and do the work needed to get the things you want? Or like Yona and a downed tree, do you rip and tear at what is in front of you in pursuit of your desires?
As Yona sleeps she reminds us of our own sleep times. This is when we often dream and these dreams may have meaning for us. Dreams remembered may be more than just a dream. Messages in these dreams may be different from what you think. A dream of a Bear coming after you could be a strong message to look within yourself for an answer you seek; the more aggressive the Bear in this dream, the stronger the message. Powerful spirit things may happen as we sleep. Pay attention to those dreams you remember. Many are not remembered, but some are. Think about them and consider what the message may be about.
Always remember that we are related to all things - Bears included. They serve a positive purpose for our environment, and most importantly, they were here first and have as much right to live as you or any other life form. Treat them with respect…give them their space, and you will learn many things about yourself and life. Learn well from Yona, and perhaps when your peers see you approaching, their own spirit will be stirred in a positive way.
May each of us walk softly through the forests of life…as Yona walks through the forests she calls her home.
Aisv Nv Wadohiyado Yona Gohusdi Anadadvni…Sidanelai (walk in peace Bear cousin…we are family).