The bear is my totem. My friend Karen brought me back some handmade soap from Finland. I open it today for a special treat and see there is a whole statement on the bear.
"Many folk call Bear by other names, for Bear is too sacred to be said aloud. Honeypaw is one of them. Tuvans in Southern Siberia say Mother Bear has seven sons which she sent around the Earth to gather food, shelter, clothing, and water. Each time they set out and each time they fought all over Earth for they could never agree on who was to get what, how much or one didn't bring enough and the other brought too much. Mother Bear saw this earth was suffering from their fighting and finally put an end to their tearing up Earth (how we got our valleys, seas, mountains etc.) by setting them in the Heavens: far enough from one another so as not to fight. That is how the Great Bear - Big Dipper was born. She, herself, became the Northern Star. As many stories go, Bear is our ancestor. Black Beast eats lots of berries, honey, mushrooms, forages in the grain fields, eats fish, the occasional raw steak and digs up an ant nest or two during summer months all for getting ready for the cold winter sleeping months. From the King of the Forest comes this soap."
Now, that's the way to bathe, cleansed in stories and myth.