Among all animals the bear is probably the one with the richest symbolism across time and cultures. In ancient Greece the goddess Artemis was incarnated in the great Bear and has even given its name to one of the most famous constellations of the whole sky: the Big Dipper.
In the Old Testament the bear was a symbol of cruelty and evil influence, it has in fact been used to represent the king of Persia that brought death and destruction to his people.
Over time, however, Christians have adopted the bear with positive meanings to symbolize reform and regeneration. For the Native American tribes the bear was seen as a supernatural being, because they can walk upright like man. Moreover it was a symbol of battle, hunting and healing. Its natural hibernation in isolation also evokes the need to use silence to listen to your inner voice.