Pârâul Rece,Carpathian Mountains, Romania
We started the day by singing for the Bear in Romanian.
Nu plânge micutule
Nu plânge micutule
Ursul danseze pentru tine
Ursul danseze pentru tine
"I am out in the forest, high in the mountains. I feel a great wind blowing on me. It is strange but good. It lifts my spirit. I see a rider dressed in furs. His horse is covered in furs as well. I have the impression he is a part of myself. A huge bear comes from the mountain, standing on two legs. He wants me to follow him."
"I heard a little girl calling, 'I'm here! I'm here!' I looked for her and found her inside a cage, with a little bear cub. I was so sad because I recognized her. She was part of me that I lost in childhood. Then a great mother bear came and stood behind me, giving me the strength to free her from the cage. I took her and the bear cub into my arms and felt them come into my heart."
"I saw a little ballerina, turning pirouettes. A bear came and she clapped her hands with joy and soon they were dancing together. I was happy because I know the little ballerina is part of myself and that now the bear is here she feels safe with me and is coming home."
We did not merely talk about such dreams and visions. We turned them into theater, we danced them, we journeyed with the help of shamanic drumming through the portals they provided. The vision of the fur clad rider and the standing bear gave us the gateway for an extraordinary group adventure.
As I drummed, we felt that strange wind rising. With my second sight, and then with all my inner senses, I found myself in front of a giant bear. This was not one of the forms of the Bear I know well, and have worked with in many places and in many ways. It was a Carpathian brown mountain bear, and we were making our first acquaintance.
The mountain bear gripped my shoulders and leaned its great head over me. I felt an edge of fear, because it could easily break my neck. Though part of me was inclined to step back and take my distance, I willed myself forward. I pressed my second body into the heart of the bear. It opened like a door. I entered a mountain cave, which led into many other caves. They were full of children and bear cubs. I understood that this was a place of Lost Boys and Lost Girls, waiting to be restored to those who have suffered soul loss, and also a place to restore full connection with the animal spirits.
I was grateful for that moment of fear. It was one of those moments that removes any doubt that what is happening in nonordinary reality is altogether real. It gave necessary edge to the day, and prepared me to help others who were experiencing fear or doubt on the edge of claiming the power that was waiting for them.
"There was a bear at the door of my house. I was trying to keep it out, to keep the door shut. Then I heard it up on the roof, trying to get in through a window up there. People who were in my place would not help. The bear came down through the roof window. I ran through my apartment, trying to get away. Nobody seemed to understand what was happening. the bear caught me and held me and licked the side of my face like a dog. Ugh. It was disgusting."
We laughed when we heard her response when the bear revealed that it was her friend. I noted that her voice, in that moment, was the voice of a child self. She laughed when one of our dream players pretended to lick her face.
After sunset, I drove with friends through the fir woods to a hostelry in Poiana Brasov called Coliba Haiducilor; the name is a Romanian equivalent of Robin Hood and His Merry Men. We were greeted at the door with cups of warm palinka, and ushered through rooms that were a vision of abbondanza, with great jars of home-made pickles, dried fruits and vegetables, alembics of distilled spirits, sides of smoked meat, bottles of Romanian wine, some dusty from many decades in the cellars.
We dined heroically on traditional Romanian fare and survived strolling players with an accordion. Towards the end of our feast, the lights went down for a moment and shouts carried across the high-beamed hall.
"The bear! The bear! The bear is extraordinary!"
The voice was that of the head waiter, encouraging guests who had just arrived to try bear steaks from the game section of the menu. It was definitely time to leave. Though I love Bear, I don't eat bear - precisely for that reason.
I sat out on my balcony at the mountain villa where we have gathered, under a night full of stars. I thanked the bear of these mountains for opening its heart to the heart of soul healing. A white bat flew by, between me and the fir trees. Hey, this is Romania.
photos (c) Robert Moss