Magic of the Ages
Other Dacian branches
Another very important totemic/spirit guide animal for the ancient Dacian territory. "Mos Ursu" (Old Man Bear) is said to have been human before, with a wife and children, and thus it still keeps many human-like characteristics and demeanors. The Bear also has celebratory days in the calendar, the most important being the 2nd of February and the 13-14 of November. That is when the Winter bear fights the Summer bear to bring in Summer and Winter, respectively. Ont he 2nd of February, the same as the American groundhog, the Bear forecasts the weather: if it can see it's shadow when it leaves it's hibernation place (so if it is sun) it would go back to hibernation as it means the Winter is not over yet. If the weather is overcast and it doesn't see it's shadow, it will come out and start foraging as that means that Winter is gone.
As spellwork, the same as the wolf, children born weak and sickly will have their name changed to "Ursu" (the Bear). They would also have their name changed for fear of being stolen by the fairies - in this case the mother gives the infant to the midwife over the window, and the midwife would come then to the door, presenting the child as being hers and having the name "Ursu". Upon entering the house, the midwife will ask the new mother if she can foster the child, as the midwife has "long roads to walk and many people to talk to". Children are also smudged with bear hair to grow strong and healthy.
Many Vila also have their shape-shifter form as a bear.
The bear is also an important part of the winter ritual dances of the An-Dar.