As a symbol, the Bear represents strength, but also cruelty, carnal appetite. The bear also is a symbol for Resurrection as emerging from its winter cave of hibernation, with its new born cup in spring.
In the shamanic tradition, the bear is a symbol for introspection. Bear reminds us that to accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.
Sometimes, the Bear can also be a symbol for Russia, as is the case e.g. in Nostradamus' prophecies.