2023 Autumn Equinox Greeting from Cie

For me, Autumn began early this year. It wasn’t the weather, because the kind of weather we used to have all summer before climate change, only began at the beginning of September here in western Massachusetts. The reason Autumn came early was because an amazing amount of Bear Energy seemed to pop up everywhere beginning at the end of July when black bears begin to eat more in preparation for semi-hibernation. There are more bear sightings at this time.

Bear is the Spirit Keeper of the West, the direction of Autumn. Perhaps you’ve noticed some new rhythms in your life lately. Have you found a way to express these, and follow your intuitive promptings, so that you are living the truth of who you are? If so, you may be called to a position of leadership. In any case, you will live your life with courage and confidence. Bear totem has, and bestows these qualities.

Perhaps you have been trying to get to, or finish a few projects but have been having difficulty making headway. This Autumn is a good time to devote yourself to 2 or 3 projects (like Mama Bear, who may give birth in winter to 2 or 3 cubs). Even if it’s 1 or 2 projects, and even if you can’t do it all at once, giving yourself to it for a short amount of time will make it easier to return to, and continue to get it done.

On July 25th of this year, I was blessed to be able to save a young bear’s life. This is the story of that:

a true story

Cie Simurro

“Awww sweetie, what happened to you? I’m so sorry.”

There he was, curled up in a ball, eyes tightly shut. I sighed. So needless! Who would do this and just leave? I went to my car and got out my shovel to put him over on the grass at the side of the road. As I approached him again, speaking softly to what I thought was his Spirit, suddenly he opened his eyes.

I quickly diverted traffic around the yearling black bear lying in the middle of the road. I had been returning home, driving up Route 112 in Buckland after doing errands all afternoon. Before I got to the Wilder Homestead, a car traveling in the other direction had flashed its lights at me, so I thought there was probably a speed trap up ahead, but when I saw the huge lump of black fur on the yellow lines, I pulled over on the grass.

After he opened his eyes, with much effort, the yearling got up slowly. I could see how fragile he was. Then he pooped all over the road before my nudging him with my voice and presence made him move a little bit more toward the grass before he lay down and closed his eyes again. At this point, another woman pulled up behind us in her SUV. When I saw she had her cell phone with her, I asked her to call 911 and give the phone to me.

The first thing the operator on duty wanted to know was if I was the person who hit the bear with my car. When I said I wasn’t, she wanted to know if I saw who hit him. I told her I just wanted the number of a local animal rescue to come get him, but they insisted there were none locally and they were sending the police. I said I’d wait. I wasn’t planning on going anywhere anyway until I was sure this sweet bear was alright. There was no blood or bodily fluids where he had been lying on the pavement. He must have gotten bumped by a vehicle, while crossing the road from the nearby corn field. I had looked around and listened carefully, to try to ascertain if Mama bear was in the woods behind the bushes, but she had already sent the yearling out on his own at this point in his life.

Young Bear wasn’t even slightly aggressive. He opened his eyes again, and looked at me as though he knew I was trying to help him. It wasn’t the first time a wild animal had trusted me to help save its life. When I lived in North Carolina, a beautiful yellow swallowtail had gotten blown back from passing traffic on the road, and was lying under my mailbox. I picked it up gently, and let it rest on my open hand. Eventually it began moving slowly on my body until it got to the crown of my head where it remained through the afternoon, and while I slept and on into the next morning. The butterfly then began to animate and move more freely, so I put it on a bush in the yard where ultimately, it flew away to resume its wild and free life.

Another time, I was fortunate enough to be able to save the life of a Great Blue heron. I was caretaking an estate in Worthington Massachusetts that had a swamp behind the house where herons lived, and a large pond out front. While taking a walk with my friend, Jewell, her dog, and my dog Thunder around the pond, I saw something that caught my eye in the center of the pond. A two-year old Great Blue sat on the water, not moving, even after it saw the dogs. Looking closer, I saw what at first appeared to be a ruff of blue feathers around the top of its beak. “Jewell,” I queried my friend, “do Great Blue herons have feathers around the top of their beaks?” “Not that I know of,” my friend replied. Suddenly, I sucked my breath in sharply, told Thunder to stay, and walked into the water, fully dressed. I could now see clearly that on the top of its beak was the blue stacking ring from an old Fisher Price toy. Some child must have dropped it in the pond long ago while playing, and the heron had gotten it stuck on its beak while fishing for food. The poor thing couldn’t even open it’s beak at all, and would soon starve if it wasn’t already.

Without hesitation, I strode toward the heron and put my arms around it. He never even flinched, even when I began jockeying the ring back and forth to loosen it, because let me tell you, it was on good and tight. Finally, I got it off. Still the heron never moved away. And then I pushed the heron gently away from me and moved back so it wouldn’t imprint on me. I sat on the edge of the pond for a little while, the heron never moving. After a few minutes I got up and left the area, and eventually the heron I thereafter named Blu did in fact, fly away to return to the swamp. I still have that blue ring, and think about Blu whenever I see it.

But back to my bear story: At this point, Young Bear got up again, pooped some more, and moved closer to the grass before lying down again. This time, I could see that he limped a little on his right rear leg. The police arrived, wanting to know right off the bat, if I was the one who had hit the bear. After I clarified that I wasn’t, but that I stop for animals, and that I work with animals, they still insisted that for safety’s sake they wanted me and the other woman to leave, but I knew the bear wouldn’t move so easily for them or the Environmental police who they said had been called. I crouched down to take a picture so I could print it out and use it to do distance healing work later at home for Young Bear. I spoke softly again to him, and he opened his eyes. This time he looked at me lingeringly, then got up, and ambled into the woods, only limping slightly. My heart was overjoyed.

I told the officer that I wanted to find out what happened to the bear, so he gave me his card and told me to call Dispatch, which I did the next morning. They said they had no record of anything further happening. Later though, an opportune thing happened synchronistically. A man came by from the electric company to arrange for them to cut down a very tall tree on the edge of my property that they felt was leaning over the electric wires on the road. We got to talking and I shared the picture I had taken of Young Bear with him. He asked again where this had happened, and when I told him, he said he’d just seen the Environmental police there before he came up my road. So, I called the Environmental police and right away, they knew what I was talking about. They had a record of the event, and they assured me the bear was doing well, and was living in his natural habitat.

I worked on Young Bear’s leg for two days, and then he didn’t need healing anymore – and for that I am very grateful. I continue to celebrate Young Bear’s life, the lives of all bears, and in fact, all the wild creatures who make our lives on Mother Earth so special and rewarding.

There’s a postscript to this story. After saving Young Bear, bear energy was turning up everywhere. In the weekend paper there was an article about a female bear getting hit by a car on Route 2 in Shelburne. Thankfully, she was rescued and is recovering at Tufts Wildlife clinic in Grafton. In the article, they also mentioned the bear expert at Fish & Wildlife, so I called him and learned something amazing: female bears only have one litter every other year or so. They have delayed implantation. Then, a friend of mine told me he’d almost hit a bear crossing the road, while driving in New Hampshire. Then something really funny happened. I had just finished doing some shopping in Northampton, MA and was putting groceries away in the car, when someone in a funny voice began speaking to me. I stuck my head out of the car and turned to find a life-sized bear puppet being held by Paul Kilmer, a comic/magician, who advertises his puppet as a clairvoyant Bear who can see, even when blindfolded!

I figured with that much bear energy coming into my life, and the fact that Bear is one of my totems, I’d better re-read my own Bear Totems article, which is in my book, Totems for Stewards of the Earth Vol. 1, and which I had written quite a few years ago. Bear is a very smart, strong, powerful Spirit Keeper of the West in Autumn. Bear is our ally and guide in our quest to find our dreams. We need Bear’s strength and self-knowledge to actualize those dreams. Since this is a very intense time on Mother Earth, couldn’t we all could use some of Bear’s healing power and fortitude to help us explore and actualize ever more deeply, our purpose for being on Earth at this time, as we endure the many challenges to the fulfillment of our human destiny? Bear lives life with passion and gusto. Let’s try to emulate that.


The Autumnal Equinox will begin on Saturday, September 23rd
At 2:49 A.M.