In Greek, arctos, the word for “bear,” takes the feminine article. It is the animal of the mother goddess Artemis in Greek mythology, and according to medieval writers is also the animal of the Virgin Mary. In a matriarchal situation naturally it would be an aspect of the animus and, in general, have a more positive aspect. The bear knows why he acts as he does; there is no trembling or panic of uncertainty. If one knows that this time one’s aggression is in the right place, one does not need to shout; the element of rage has been transformed, there is calm, and the rage has been integrated.
~ Marie-Louise von Franz, The Feminine in Fairy Tales, p 68.
[Art: Nathan Miller]