Polar bear symbolism is incredibly rich and varied, so much so that a dream about a polar bear can mean anything from fear to strength, and from despair to hope. How do you figure out which is which, however? As usual, the tone of the dream will have a lot to say about its interpretation as well as its details and some context from your real life.
So, what does a dream about a polar bear mean? Here are 8 likely explanations to stir you in the right direction.
What does a dream about a polar bear mean?
The polar bear is a popular totem animal and spirit guide for a lot of people but it’s also a frequent nightmare for lots of others. Here’s how you can pinpoint the exact interpretation of your particular polar bear dream.
1. You’ve had to be – or might need to be – fiercely independent
One of the first things a polar bear totem represents in most people’s minds is independence. The independence trait is tied to these powerful animals as a mystical aura and rightly so – they thrive in the vast frozen tundras of the Earth all alone and with seeming ease too.
Even if you haven’t actively seen polar bears as your spirit animal, however, this association is so common that dreaming of a polar bear calmly and majestically walking about can still indicate that you’ve been feeling more independent as of late or that you’re feeling a need to be more independent.
2. You feel you have more inner strength than you’ve been displaying so far
Additionally, polar bears are also often admired for their immense strength. And that’s understandable given their bite force of the absurd 1,200+ psi (pound per square inch) – greater than that of Bengal tigers, and African lions, and about 10 times greater than humans.
Polar bears’ paws are no less impressive given their 12-inch diameter and the ability to break the spines of seals and other large animals with a single paw strike.
With well-known facts like these, it’s no surprise that people often dream of polar bear totem animals or even of themselves as polar bears when they feel the need for extra strength to right an injustice or deal with a tough situation. Our subconscious minds often go to great lengths to give us the inspiration we need but a strength-inspiring polar bear dream is a pretty intuitive go-to.
3. You have what it takes to tough it out through an incoming harsh period of time
Persistence and perseverance are also often associated with polar bears as our survival and courage in the face of adversity. A dream about a polar bear can therefore mean that your subconscious mind is anticipating a harsher period ahead or is experiencing one now and is urging you to up your perseverance and persistence.
In that regard, polar bears can be great spirit guardians, and seeing them toughing it through a harsh blizzard or surviving in seemingly impossible conditions can be a sign that your subconscious mind is trying to inspire you.
4. You’ve been feeling abandoned as of late
A dream about a polar bear is often not about the polar bear itself but about the wilderness the animal roams through. Polar bears are solitaire beasts, after all, and the frozen north is a vast – albeit shrinking – space, or at least we see it that way.
So, it’s not uncommon for people to dream of a lone bear slowly walking through the tundra. Unlike the first dream that’s often associated with independence, however, this type of dream will often have a depressive tone to it, signifying that the dreamer is wrestling with abandonment issues.
A variation of this dream sometimes portrays the dreamer as themselves lost in the frozen north only to be attacked surprisingly by a savage polar bear out of the blue. This type of dream denotes a feeling of deceit and betrayal and not just abandonment.
5. Adaptability is something you’ve gotten better at
Dreaming of a polar bear eating a giant piece of meat that it just fished out of the frozen waters of the North Atlantic can be as majestic as it is inspiring.
The same applies to many other polar bear dreams – jumping in and swimming through freezing waters, breaking the ice with their bare paws to catch prey from underneath, and other such dreams are meant to inspire us with the polar bear’s adaptability to its very harsh habitat and living conditions.
Does this mean such dreams are good luck omens? Not necessarily. They can also be warnings from your subconscious that tough times are ahead and you need to try and be more adaptable. It may just be that you’re worried about the coming days and your subconscious fished out the clearest inspirational metaphor for adaptability.
6. You’ve been feeling trapped and left with no options
A new type of polar bear dream that’s been becoming more and more common is that of a sad polar bear in a zoo or trapped on a minuscule piece of ice floating through the ocean. Both of these dreams, while visually different, have the same general interpretation – a feeling of being at a dead end with no way out, lacking options, and so on.
Another variation of this dream is going somewhere with loads of polar bear skins hanging from the walls. You’d think that dreams of this sort would be more common in environmentally-conscious people but they are actually pretty widespread all across the board.
That’s because, even if you don’t pay much mind to climate change and the well-being of Earth’s wildlife, polar bears being pushed out of their habitat by climate change has become such a popular notion that it’s just an incredibly common metaphor for everyone’s subconscious to conjure up.
As for why you’re dreaming such a dream – it’s likely because you’ve been feeling that way yourself too. This is very common for people suffering from anxiety or even depression, as well as for folks who are just in a tough situation at the moment.
7. You’re deathly afraid of something as if it’s an unstoppable force of nature
And then there are the polar bear nightmares – dreaming of a white polar bear chasing you can be a terrifying experience. Depending on how vivid the dream is, the mere image of a polar bear chasing you can be almost as stunningly horrifying as the actual real-life experience would be.
Dreaming of being chased by such a powerful enemy is usually a warning of some major dangers in your waking life, or, at the very least, of your fear of such dangers.
Whether or not there really is something to be afraid of, let alone something matching a polar bear’s ferocity, is up to you to figure out. But, even if there Isn’t, the mere fact that you’re dreaming such a stark nightmare is warning enough that something isn’t quite right in your emotional well-being.
8. You’re feeling adventurous and as if you can do anything
Another drastically different and memorable dream of a polar bear is one of us playing with the bear’s cubs or even with the bear itself. A dream of this sort indicates a free-spirit feeling as if all restrictions and safety precautions around you have been lifted.
In this type of dream, the dreamer is usually aware of how dangerous it is to play with a polar bear cub and they either feel elated or stressed out but still willing to do it. Either of those speaks of the dreamer’s unusually daring outlook on life, just of different stages of it – in the latter case, it’s a new-found thing, while in the former it’s an outlook you’ve had for a while.
Can this dream also mean that you’ve been a bit too frivolous as of late and you need to play it safer going forward? It can, especially if the dream transitions into a polar bear chase and a mauling later on – something that also often happens.
If a polar bear spirit animal is accompanying you in your spiritual journey, this can be a very inspiring thing and a potential good omen for your near future and the well-being of your soul.
A nightmare about being chased by a hungry polar bear or of a stranded polar bear on a small piece of ice or in a zoo can be the exact opposite, however – a depressing sign of your fears, anxieties, and negative feelings.
Hopefully, the 8 interpretations and explanations above will have helped you at least a little on your road to self-reflection. Even with them, however, you might still need some extra time and effort to remember all the right details and context, as well as to put it all together.