Bear Claw Talisman


This post was updated May 28, 2020 because I thought of more to add.

My Bear Claw Talisman Helps Me Speak My Truths

Have you ever told a true story about yourself, only to be met with disbelief or mockery? It can hurt badly if you’re honest and describe your real-life, and someone responds with doubt, an accusation that you’re exaggerating, or the assumption you’re outright lying.

But sometimes I pay a worse price when I choke on my stories instead of telling them.

My original post, which is below, has:

* some personal experiences about sharing my life stories

* other hopefully useful thoughts on the topic

* a bit about making a bear claw pendant

* and how that Bear Spirit talisman relates to speaking the truths about my life.

The original post is followed by an addendum about a second bear claw talisman I made later.

Bur first, let’s talk about Bear Spirit:

What does Bear mean spiritually? What does a bear symbolize?

The first Madonna and Child in recorded history is a bear and its children. Bear symbolizes the Great Mother of All Things, the Magna Mater, She who creates all and was the original God. As such, She holds all powers within Her, so we can turn to Bear Goddess for all our needs.

Bear is a symbol of complete power. This is not power in the sense of dominating anyone but in the sense of having within yourself all the power there is.

Now let’s look at Bear energy. What is the magic of Bear?

Bear magic is good for everything. Since Bear Goddess holds all powers—all energies—you can draw on Her for anything from a protection ritual to a prosperity spell. Two examples:

* Put a picture of something you want next to a picture of a bear on your altar. That simple act is a ritual.

* Pray to Bear Spirit for what you want. Don’t concern yourself with fancy words, special postures to be in, or anything else. Just use your own sincere words. Bear is Mother, so wants to take care of you instead of expecting you to ask Her for help in a formal supposedly proper manner.

What does a bear claw symbolize? What is a bear claw talisman for?

A bear claw embodies Bear Mother Goddess’ protection and ferocity. So wear a bear claw as magical protection and to have the fire to fight for yourself and others. I’ll talk more below about other shamanic powers in a bear claw.

Here’s the original post:


What story do you not share out of fear?

This bear claw was given to me by a Cherokee shaman who adopted me into his family after I helped his uncle pass over.

… Hm, my life reads like a fairytale. … That makes my stories almost unbelievable. I’ve told fortunes with Gypsies and was initiated in the dungeon of a Irish castle. My mother was a Sicilian witch—before the neopagan movement—and an Indian shaman adopted me. And that’s just for starters!

I did not set out to do unusual things simply because they were unusual. I’m not boasting or trying to appear superior when I tell my stories. They’re the only stories I have. If I hide them, they lurk ashamed.

And, if I try to hold silent out of fear of judgement, my breath stifles, choking back stories that are simply my life. So I tell my tales.

I suspect every individual needs to be able to speak the accounts of their life. And if their day to day is odd, so will be those accounts.

Sometimes, a person must speak a truth of their life not so someone else can hear it, but because the recitation allows the reciter to hear it themselves. They are, possibly unintentionally but nonetheless effectively, singing a sacred song of selfhood, spinning the melody as a powerful and unadorned ceremony of beingness, like a wolf howls at the moon.


Sure, I keep some stories private because they’re so personal. But discretion and hiding are not the same.

I did not ever try to be “the weird one.” As a child, I desperately wanted to be “normal.” There was a certain style of blouse. “Mom, all the other kids have one, please?! Please?!”

Thank Gods my mom refused me the shirt, in all her eccentric wisdom.

I feel blessed that I grew up to be a shamanic mentor for free spirits like myself. Their company helps me stay sane and continue to celebrate the wild life I’ve led and still lead.

And, as I help them fulfill their wild dreams, I become more and more able to share more of my stories.

What story do you not share out of fear? Fear can be guidance or a hindrance. Do you need to start telling that story or continue to hold silent? Do you need to share it with just one person, or a few, or many? If the latter, how many is “many”? If, on the other hand, you need to share it with one person or a few, who?

If you’re a craftsperson or anyone else who would like to know a bit of my crafting process making the talisman:

For at least a decade, I’ve worn the bear claw in a setting I’d beaded for it, but I started not liking the beading anymore, so I took it apart.

Making the new bear talisman: I spun green yarn from—if memory serves—fibers of silk, bamboo, and maybe wool. It was not my best spinning, and somehow that seemed right to weave into a wee rectangle for this pendant.

The fabric scrap to which my weaving is attached has rosebuds in one of its lower corners. That’s part of why I choose that scrap.

The hanging beads at the bottom are probably obsidian.

I called the amulet “Great Mother of All Things.” When we tell our own stories, we sing all of life into existence, as the Great Mother did and does. So mote it be.

More update:

Since the original post, I’ve made another Bear claw pendant. It is an oak amulet for ancestral work and is a modern, stylized rendition of a claw.

Along with being a charm for ancestor work, the pendant has all the magic I’ve already mentioned for Bear claw.

And a bear claw talisman has more powers. It:

* Helps connect me with ancestors because the Great Mother Goddess Creator is our original ancestor.

* Invokes power and guidance for a matriarch, whether that’s as the matriarch of a family, or a matriarch in the sense of a creator of books or social change or …

* Creates wholeness. Often, sweetness and love is overlooked in the representation of fierce Goddesses, making these Deities seem one-sided. Or only the side of a Goddess that is gentle is portrayed. But we can be multifaceted, and the amulet helps with that.

I felt Oak and Bear energy would be a good combination. Oak is my favorite tree, and, for me personally, it is similar to Bear in that Oak helps me find in myself—and use—any power.

Oak is also similar to Bear for me because, when I picture the first tree that ever existed, I picture Oak. It is one of my earliest ancestors.

I decided to try fashioning a bear claw of oak. I’m rather proud of myself. To make this claw, I sawed a mini-plank on the diagonal, with a wee, non-electric handsaw. Then I shaped the claw further by whittling and sanding, more than I’d shaped wooden pieces before. I didn’t know if I could cut at an angle with that wee saw, let alone with my disabilities. and didn’t know if my disabilities would allow the whittling and sanding. So I’m really glad with how well this turned out.

On one side, I pyrographed the Ogham letter that corresponds with oak. My pyrography is done ritually to add yet more power.

If you’d like an affirmation for speaking from the heart and letting go of what other people think, check this post out:

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4 Responses to Bear Claw Talisman

  1. Kathy Crabbe says:

    Love hearing your story esp. about how you have to tell your stories as they are and that, they are indeed all true and wildly, truly amazing! Blessings to you Francesca and your wildness…love and hugs, Kathy C.

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