I grew up in the northern parts of Sweden in a small town by the name of Örnsköldsvik (which translates as “eagle shield bay”). It’s known as part of the beautiful high coast of Sweden, with steep cliffs descending into the sea. Also for producing talented hockey players like Peter Forsberg, Markus Näslund, the Sedin brothers, and many others. If I take my birthplace and go directly to the west, I end up in Canada or Alaska. If I go to the east I end up somewhere in Russia. People from the northern parts of Sweden are considered laid-back people. They don’t talk if it’s not necessary, and if they say something, they usually mean it. Of course you can find talkative people here as well, but it’s not uncommon that you sit together silently, having a Swedish fika, saying nothing and just sharing the space together, and perhaps looking at the stunning view from a mountaintop or fishing by the lake.
If you do a shamanic journey with a group of people in these parts, you will most certainly meet the Spirit of the Bear. She, as I usually call her, has a strong presence here and you can also see that in people and how they live their lives. Here the name for Bear is Björn, also used as a male first name.
Mama Bear has a connection to all of the worlds by walking on four legs, being able to stand on two, and having the ability to swim and climb trees. It is my belief that Bears are not so different from humans, and if you look at the back foot of a bear, it creates a print not so different from a human footprint. Some of the oldest cave paintings in the world made by humans are around 40,000 years old. They show pictures of Bears, so she has been here for a long time and has gone through many changes and difficult times on the planet.
Finding a Center of Peace in Stressful Times
One of things the Spirit of Bear can teach us is how to retreat, go inside ourselves and later come out with power and strength. Each Fall the bear goes into a hibernating den and in the Springtime she emerges, having given birth to her cubs during the winter’s sleep. We too, can go into deep retreat, find answers about our lives, dream our way into the universe to discover wisdom and a new meaning of life.
We are now in a global situation when many are cut off from social activities. Some even find themselves in a quarantine. If you find it difficult to go into retreat, get restless, or feel cut off from other people or the universe, you can call on the Spirit of Bear and ask her for healing and assistance. The Spirit of Bear has a supportive and calming healing energy. It’s no coincidence that a stuffed animal in the shape of a bear is many children’s favorite friend while sleeping. She’s like a protective blanket helping you through the storm, in whatever shape it may come. Who knows, this collective retreat may bring some unexpected gifts, both on a personal and global level? Perhaps Earth will dream herself into a new being, and we can do the same?
Bear as Nature’s Herbalist
Bears eat anything from leaves, roots, and berries to insects, carrion, fresh meat, and fish, and have digestive systems and teeth adapted to such a diet. In a way Bear is mother nature’s herbalist or pharmacist. It is said that in old times people would watch what bears ate, and if it was good for them, then it probably was good for humans too. I hope the Spirit of Bear can inspire people to use food as medicine. So when they look at the lemons and honey they use in their tea and honor their gifts of health and calm. When you use herbs in making dinner, call upon the spirits of the plants, making the dinner full of good medicine and strength, the kind of strength that helps people and families through chaotic times.
The most common herbs we use for cooking have been used for hundreds of years, not only because they make things taste good, but also because they were the medicine available for people.
Finding Balance in the Medicine Wheel
Medicine wheels can look different depending on where you live and what tradition you belong to. In the Temple of Witchcraft tradition, we have Earth in the North and Air in the South. Water in the West and Fire in the East. (The same directions we have in the Alven Inner Ring Tradition.)
Lately we have had strong imbalances with fires in Australia, Sweden, the Amazon, and many more. Imbalance with water through heavy rain and flooding in many places. Fire and Water are on the east/west axis of (our) the medicine wheel. They are activators and they are intense. You feel the danger as you approach it. The fire burns you and the water drowns you. Imbalances here can start suddenly and stop quite suddenly as well, if you are lucky.
The corona virus is like a ghost. You can’t see it and, although it is not airborne, it feels as through it spreads invisibly like the Air. It effects our bodies, the Earth. Both Earth and Air are on the north/south axis. These element are stabilizers, so when we have an imbalance here, things get very unstable. The wind represents our mind and our thoughts. Imbalance in this element can create fear, resounding in our minds. Information (air) can bring stability, but it can also create thoughts that are hard to change later.
Instability in the earth element is very physical and tangible. You touch it, you feel it. There are physically no people in the streets and places. People are physically ill. Because the earth and air are stabilizers, things are shaky when they are out of balance, and because they have a longer time for processing changes it can take time to get things moving towards normal again after a crisis.
On the other hand, if the earth is going through a big change, creating something better for the future, the change can not only happen with our feelings (water) and what we want (fire), it must also create new mental structures and agreements (air) on how to live on the planet and put that into tangible action (earth). When the elements of air and earth decide to do something they have a tendency to stick to it. So if we want permanent changes in a good direction for the earth, these elements can help us a lot.
Personally, I’m a great believer of working with all the elements for balance, no matter what element is out of balance at the moment. In this same way I believe in creating healing for the whole person on all levels.
An Important Passage
Here are some astrological dates to look out for. The exact date can differ a day or so, depending on what part of the planet you live on. Today, on the 23rd of March, the planet Mars (will, ego, anger) meets up on exactly the same degree as Pluto (transformation, underworld, violence) in the sign of Capricorn (order, structure, government). This can help countries and leaders make decisions to act with strength and firmness. As of when I write this, we have not heard about any public violence because of the coronavirus, and we hope that it stays this way.
On a personal level, domestic violence can increase with this transit and we should all keep an eye open and our hearts ready to assist those in danger in their homes. This is also a transit that creates unpredictable events in traffic, so drive with extra care and caution.
Pluto can create a laser beam of the energy of the planet it meets up with. Pluto/Mercury a mental laser beam. Pluto/Venus a passionate erotic laser beam, and now with Pluto/Mars a laser beam of will and power. As magickal practitioners, this beam can be harness and used for the highest good.
Today on the 23rd, the Sun in Aries exactly squares the south and the north moon nodes. This is a high peak of the energies we have been dealing with lately. Breathe and centre yourself. This day will also pass.
On the 24th we have a new moon in Aries, with both the Sun and the Moon right next to Chiron (healing) and Lilith Black Moon (what we cannot see). This will be very strong in bringing the global healing crisis into focus. It is good to remember that here we also have the ability to tap into powerful healing forces.
The sun continues one degree each day, passing over and past Chiron and Lilith Black Moon until the 1st of April. Here we can expect very intense days, but as magickal people and healers we can use our abilities to do good and serve the world.
During the same time, the asteroid Pallas Athena will move in between Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn and pass by them. Pallas Athena is intelligent, brave, rational, and can help to bring a clear head in these stressful times.
The Spirit of Bear Embodying Many Powers
I really love the Spirit of Bear. She was the first animal that I met on my first shamanic journey many years ago. Since then she has helped me and others through many retreats, healing sessions, and soul retrievals. I specially love how she helps lost soul parts, many times in the energetic form and shape of lost children returning back home to our adult selves. It is in my prayers that in this global crisis the Spirit of the Bear, together with other spirit helpers, will guide people through this process with their souls intact, and perhaps with this “global healing retreat,” help the earth to bring back lost soul parts for her as well. This is how the Spirit of Bear relates to the planets and asteroids to me.
- The Moon – with Bear’s ability to be a good and strong mother.
- Mercury – Bear’s intelligence and her way of adapting to new circumstances when her environment changes.
- Venus – Bear’s strong connection to herbs and herbal healing.
- Mars – her way of protecting her cubs, and the speed she can run with when needed.
- Jupiter – Bear’s ability to expand consciousness.
- Saturn – Bear’s ability to slow down time and go into hibernation.
- Uranus – Bear’s ability to change the fire in her body and change body temperature.
- Neptune – Bear going into sleep and dreamtime for many months and Bear as a totem for many dreamers and people working with dream healing.
- Pluto – Bear’s power to symbolically die and be reborn again, going in and out of hibernation.
- Chiron – Bear being a strong totem for many healers.
- Ceres – Bear as a symbol for the great mother.
- Juno – having strong relationships with other animals and being a key player where she lives. Bear is many times a totem animal for chefs and excellent bakers.
- Vesta – Bear as a protector for witches, midwifes, völvor, priests, and priestesses.
- Pallas Athena – being a protector for great warriors throughout time.
- Lilith Black Moon – learning us to see in the dark and bring wisdom back out into the world
- The Sun – helping us to dream through the gate of the sun, visiting other suns and worlds to return back home with medicine to our people and planet.
Karin Spirit Talker Turtle Red
Karin Ugander (Spirit Talker Turtle Red) is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is a high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program.