Bear Bones

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

To the ancients, the bear symbolized resurrection. The creature goes to sleep for a long time, its heartbeat decreases to almost nothing. The male often impregnates the female right before hibernation, but miraculously, the egg and sperm do not unite right away. They float separately in her uterine broth until much later. Near the end of hibernation, the egg and sperm unite and cell division begins, so that the cubs will be born in the spring when the mother is awakening, just in time to care for and teach her new offspring. Not only by reason of awakening from hibernation as though from death, but much more so because the she-bear awakens with new young, this creature is a profound metaphor for our lives, for return and increase coming from something that seemed deadened.
Women Who Run With the Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes


  1. There's something lovely about that. I love the line about the "uterine broth"! I know, I panned the book or at least said I didn't get it. But I like that metaphor for resurrection. I really do.

  2. Isn't it great! I love it too, the bear away in the dark, hidden, to all intents and purposes dead to the outside.

    And what goes on in her womb, the separation of sperm and egg until the right time - genius


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