Because of their habit of hibernation during winter months, bears can stand for resurrection. It was the emblem for the kingdoms of Persia and Russia.
Despite their fearsome appearance, bears are often associated with maternity, willing to defend their cubs to the very end.
For the Celts, the bear's strength and size made the bear a symbol of the warrior.
We encounter the fable of the she-bear who gives birth to shapeless offspring and must lick them to give them form. Similarly, we are ignorant creatures who find our way only through spiritual knowledge.
In Jungian psychology, the bear represents danger caused by the uncontrollable contents of the unconscious, and with this is often associated as an attribute of the man who is cruel and crude. The word 'berserk' most likely means 'bear-coat' and refers to a Norse warrior who morphs into a furious bear.