Welcome to the website of the Bear Tribe.
Reviving the Paleolithic Bear Cult is a great success in England! For 8 years, worshippers of The Bear have gathered to conduct a mock hunt, a sacred feast and a ritual which sees the ascent of our furry guest back to the heavens.
Repurposing the ancient Bear-Feast provides an opportunity to feel compassion and gratitude to those beings whose lives sustained us through the past year, and to make promises to live well for the coming year. Life and death are intertwined and there is no avoiding death. Rather than choose to see the world in terms of God-given dominion or soul-less biomechanisms we choose to see the person-hood in the beings we eat and give them due respect.
We are inspired by Graham Harvey's writings on Animism as well as bear poetry and traditions from the Finnish, Khanty Mansi, Ainu and Nivkh peoples. We have a full set of ritual songs and even a manual to enable adherents to hold their own Bear Feast (three groups did so this winter).
We recognise that the key elements of religious experience are community and transpersonal contact with the divine. To foster community we cook and eat together around the fire, play games, sing and tell stories for the entertainment of our guest (Bear is both the food and the guest of honour at his feast). As for the divine, the presence of Otso the Bear Spirit is tangible once his skin and skull have been brought back from the hunt, placed upon the altar, and the Opening of the Eyes has been performed.
Living by Gary Snyder's maxim “Performance is currency in the Deep World's gift economy”, we attempt to bring together Deep Ecology, spirituality and performance art. Let there be no meat without song!
For more info, to download the Manual or to listen to the songs, please go to the About page.