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I chose to present Ant Medicine for
a very specific reason. It is very easy to overlook these tiny
creature-teachers (and others like them). It is important to
note that all Medicine is of value and
none moreso than another. Many people get caught up in seeing
the power of the animals, the
stronger the better in their eyes. Well, Ant, for its size is
one of the strongest creatures in the
world. Let's take a look at them shall we? I believe you will
come to see that they are very
powerful Medicine indeed.
Ant is tenacious in its focus and a very socialized creature.
Exemplifying team effort and the
need to focus on the concerns of the greater whole. Seldom do
you find them alone and without
the presence of others. Where colonies exist it is easy to see
they are busy creatures on the go.
Self-discipline and group effort are pronounced in this Medicine
for they have the ability to
delegate without giving up.
Patience is a major factor in their makeup and they are not
given to taking the fast, easy solution;
willing to work and get the job done in the best possible way
they prove time and again that
persistence pays. The quiet determination of Ant to reach a
goal and the willingness to work hard
at steadily accomplishing it is a powerful lesson in the Medicine
There is no false pride, and working within the group is a sign
of strength rather than weakness.
Patiently Ant teaches us to take things one step at a time and
to problem solve issues.
Ant is capable of carrying many times his size in weight and
if he can't carry it he will drag it or
get help from another ant. If you put an obstacle in his path,
he will study it and then make a
decision to either go over it, around it, or try to find a way
to take it with him if he wants it. You
cannot stop them from their ultimate goal unless you kill them.
As master builders they teach the construction techniques we
can apply to our own lives. Always
working at something their group efforts produce successful
projects. If their home/colony is
destroyed they immediately go to work to construct a new one.
Tenacious is putting it mildly.
In the British Isles, it is considered unlucky to destroy a
colony of ants. Among country folk,
when clusters of ants are unusually active, bad weather is thought
to be at hand. Among Cornish
peasants there is a belief that, during a certain stage of the
moon, a piece of tin placed in an ant
nest will be turned to silver. In other lands, stepping on ants
is thought to bring rain. Another
curious belief is that ants never sleep and, if you eat their
eggs with honey, it will act as an
antidote for lovesickness. Last, the unexpected appearance of
ants in the house is said to portend
illness for the master, and should ants build a nest near your
door, you can expect security and
Dreaming of Ants:
If, in your dream, you observed the interesting organized activity
of these creatures, a change of
business or position would be beneficial; but if they were in
food or on clothing, as pests, you
will have a spell of frustration and hard work before achieving
From D.J. Conway's Animal Magic
This insect has a slender waist with conspicuous enlargements
of the upper and lower body.
Most are wingless and there are generally 3 classes: queen,
male, and worker. The workers are
further divided into the soldiers and the gatherers. Most nests
contain thousands. Universally, the
ant symbolizes work, thrift, and forethought. The Chinese call
it the "righteous insect" and say it
signifies virtue, orderliness, and submission to authority.
However, they have a god, Wang-ta
Hsien, whom they invoke against the insects and white ants that
destroy rice crops. In the
legends of China, Persia, India, and Greece, huge ants guard
treasures. Ants were also symbols
of the Greek goddess Demeter. As creatures of the goddess Ceres,
ants were used in a kind of
foretelling ritual. In India, they are said to represent pettiness
of all living things. Folklore tells
that if you kill the first Ant you see in the spring you will
triumph over your enemies.
Their magickal attributes: Patience, stamina, planning. Working
with a group. Planning and
building with a plan in your life. Energy and determination
needed to complete work. Building
and storing energy for a later project.
From my notes (sources not noted):
*Ants are universally considered industrious, productive, and
busy. They carry more than their
own weight. Do you need to become more industrious in your life?
*They can also symbolize community work and social cooperation,
sometimes to the detriment
of individuality. Do you feel like you are losing your individuality
for the good of the greater
*The word Ant can also be a homophone for Aunt and would then
perhaps be a reference to your
*Tribes in West Africa see them as messengers of the gods. The
Shamans of Morocco believe
that to dream of ants is to envision the coming of prosperity.
In the cosmology of the Hopi tribe,
the first humans were originally created as ants. Interestingly,
the Nautoway tribe have a fable of
an old man and woman who watched an anthill until they saw the
insects change into white men
and the seeds, which they carried in their mouths, into bales
of merchandise. The book of
Proverbs advises the sluggard to go to the ant, "consider
her ways and be wise." [6:6]. The
ancient Greeks, who worshipped Ceres, goddess of fields and
fruits, viewed ants as sacred, for
they, too, industriously carried grains and seeds to their underground
storage bins. And because
they traveled freely both below the earth and on it, ants were
also used in the art of soothsaying.
There very movements were carefully considered as omens of guidance.
*Muslims honored the ant as the earthly mentor of the great
King Solomon, thereby acclaiming
the insect as an embodiment of wisdom.
*As a totem animal or if the ant comes to you in a dream or
vision, know that the ant may
represent perseverance, industry, strength, and the very essence
of the cooperative spirit. It may
have presented itself to you as a spirit helper because you
have been too aloof from social
concerns. Or you have felt powerless as an individual to make
a difference. Although very small,
the ant is disproportionately strong as an individual, yet chooses
to work as a unit in a larger
community. It may sometimes symbolize the desire to achieve
oneness and wholeness with the
web of life on the Earth Mother, and your spirit ally will help
you to understand clearly your
important role in the plan of the Great Mystery.
*Ant represents super strength, intelligence, psychic abilities,
telepathic communication, sharp
thinking, and planning. The big Black Ant warns of earthquakes.
Red biting Ants are bad powers
and challengers. Other kinds of Ants can be messengers and allies.
Small Ants are a nuisance.
*Business concerns. What is the ant pulling or walking upon?
Tenacity. The ability to overcome
insurmountable odds. Community and solidarity. Being bitten
by an ant: a Victorian symbol of
quarrels or bad feelings that came out as biting words. Divinatory
insight. The ancients believed
because these creatures traverse both worlds (the above and
below) that that were excellent
prognosticators, especially of the weather. Moslem: a teacher
of wisdom. What lesson does the
ant offer you in your dream? Chinese: a symbol of patriotism,
orderliness, and virtue.
Notes from Ted Andrews "Animal-Speak":
Queens have wings and the ability of flight until fertilized.
Once she is fertilized, she pulls off
her own wings, sacrificing her own flight for the birth of newborn.
The queen usually dies after
12 years. Those with ant totems may find that the cycle of industriousness
and building of goals
may increase over a period of 12 years. The cycle of 12--days,
months, years, will be of
significance. For those into numerology, this would be a beneficial
number to study if the ant is
Workers are skilled architects. They build complex homes, galleries,
and even vaulted ceilings.
Their skill and undaunted efforts reflect much about what this
totem can awaken. the ant is the
teacher of how to build, how to become the architect of your
own life. It can show you how to
construct your dreams into a reality. It will show you that
the greatest success occurs with persistence.
If the ant has shown up as a totem, examine your own industriousness.
Are you disciplining
yourself enough to accomplish the tasks at hand? Are you or
those around you looking for the
quick and easy way? Are you neglecting important activities?
Are you laying a good foundation?
Are you adding new structures to your life with each passing
year in some fashion--education,
jobs, hobbies, etc.? Are you being patient with your efforts?
Are you being patient with yourself?
With others? Are you making things greater or more difficult
than they need be? Are you
missing an opportunity to initiate new creations and endeavors?
Ant can teach you how to
harness your own power to design and recreate your life and
its circumstances from the ground
up. Ant can show you how best to work with others for the good
of everyone. Ant teaches us that
regardless of the circumstances, if the effort is true, the
rewards will follow--in the most
beneficial time and manner. Ant is the promise of success through
When I was pregnant with our first, we were living in a cabin
that was prime material for
carpenter ants' nests. As long as they left us alone, we were
fine with their presence.
At one point though, I noticed that there were two colonies
that were approaching each other,
right in front of our front door. It was interesting, since
their markings showed me which colony
was which... they were headed to each other in a straight line
and started to fight. I got
distracted by the phone, went inside, and came back out half
an hour later when I saw someone
pass by our house whom I needed to speak to. I was stopped in
my tracks when I saw that there
was a patch of about a nine square feet, right in front of our
front door, on the porch, that was
*black* with two fighting colonies. Ugh, ugh, ugh!!! This was
*MY* nest, and I became
territorial real fast and furiously too. Sweeping them away
from our deck didn't help, there were
wayyyy too many, and carpenter ants are terribly tenacious.
So I got out the no-no spray, and
went for it. It helped.
Well, that's what I thought anyway. An hour later, I checked
on the porch, and sure enough, the
coast was clear. Being pregnant, I needed to pee, went to the
bathroom, but only to find
*waterfalls* of carpenter ants coming down the walls of our
cedar paneling in the bathroom.
The larvae were already in the windowsill, they had already
started their nest. I was horrified.
So once again, the no-no spray came out, and I told them that
they were NOT to move into MY
nest. I sprayed about a square foot of ants, told them to bugger
off, and if they were there when I
returned, I would use more spray (they don't bring anything
to the queen... no point in putting
things down for that purpose... and for all I knew, if they
had their larvae all sorted out, the
queen would be soon to follow).
I went to the living room, to my meditation corner, and turned
inward. I visualized a path for the
ants away from our bathroom, alongside the house, across the
driveway and the road, into the
shrubbed area across the street. I visualized the ants walking
along that path, and finding a
home there,... and for good measure, I also visualized what
would happen to those who stayed
behind. I gave them an hour.
After an hour, I returned to the bathroom, and apart from the
dead ant patch, there wasn't an ant
in sight. I stepped outside, and went to look from the outside.
Sure enough, they were coming out
of the siding again, and were moving along the path I had visualized.
I went to the road, and saw
them cross. I would communicate to the ants when a car was coming,
and *the ants stopped*
and waited for the car to pass before crossing again. It was
astonishing, and it was amazing
proof to me that communicating with even the smaller creatures
is very much possible.
We've not had issues with ants since then. But then again, carpenter
ants are not common in the
city. I wonder whether we'll meet again when we move away from
What a great story! Thanks for sharing it Mouse. Were you sending
them picture messages or
thoughts or combinations?
Ant is once again back. Different house than the afore-mentioned
cabin, bigger house, multilevel,
more structural issues involved. The last two years I've mentioned
it here at SL a few times
too. This time they swarmed in multiple locations of our house
- and that meant that the space
they've used is now "full" - their survival was to
swarm. We called professionals. There's not just
one nest, but multiple, perhaps as many as 10, but at least
four main nests and several satellites.
We've tried the communication as we did last time. We've tried
smudging, we've tried what we
could but carpenter ant is stubborn. We're grateful that this
particular carpenter ant in our home
is the 'lazy' version of the destructive one that we had in
our previous home - this one doesn't
prefer to burrow into wood, though it won't shy away from it
if necessary. So there's a few areas
that may need replacing but it won't be as many as would be
required would it have been the
This carpenter ant needs a different approach than regular ants,
since they don't bring food to
the queen, and this variety has multiple queens to boot. So
setting bait isn't going to work, and
the only way is to have direct contact with poison or to dissuade
them from entering your nest in
the first place. They were here when we bought the house - so
we bought into Ant medicine
In the end we chose to call in the exterminator. It's either
their nest or ours, and we've chosen it
to be ours. It hurts to think that we'll be contaminating our
space with chemicals though we're
told that the chemical is about as toxic as table salt for us.
Our fish will have to be moved out for
a bit though - since this particular toxin is related to fish
protein and even the tiniest trace in the
water would kill our fish. I'm not happy about residual dust
toxins in the walls. But I am not
willing to compromise the structural integrity of our house.
I've given the ants their marching
orders and the dead-line. Whoever is left will have to die.
I'm sad about the idea of having these
industrious ants, who are only doing what they do best, killed
in massive quantities (if there's
about 10.000 per nest, and a 10 nests in our house - wow).
So Ant once again presents its Medicine to our family since
it seems to be related to all of us, like
a family totem. We're at that stage where the kids are now expected
to cooperate, and to put their
own individual desires on hold sometimes to contribute to the
whole. Now that the kids are both
in school since the start of this year, the "community"
of our family and its dynamics is changing
and combined with the kids getting older and needing to chip
in, we're all working to reestablish
a new foundation for our family, for our cooperative needs,
and so forth.
All of us are on the verge of, or have just started, creating
new endeavors. We're finding new
balance within ourselves and within our respective roles in
the family. While I've been sitting in
various locations around the house, observing where the ants
are taking their food, removing
debris, fanning openings and such, I've been shown in quite
a literal way how everything has its
place in the community. I've been looking at my place in our
family, our individual roles in the
family, cooperation within the family, the needs of self, the
needs of the whole... and that's been
fanning out to our family within the community, our community
within the larger metro area, the
larger metro area within the island, the island within the province,
the province within the
country, the country within the continent, the continent within
the Western culture, the Western
culture within the world, the world within the cosmos/Universe.
The magnifying view this way
has been quite instructional and inspirational.
When we think of Ant, we hardly ever think of ONE single ant.
We mostly think of a mass of ants,
perhaps a mound of ants, or a swarm of them. We tend to think
of them as a swarm of something
annoying or destructive or something that needs to be gotten
We tend to think of one person or one family (mostly ourselves
and our immediate family), but
we don't, in our culture, tend to think about humanity as a
Last night at the dinner table we were talking about the ants
in our house. That this is just not
acceptable for them to be in our house, since it compromises
our needs. But that ants have a very
specific function in nature - and since we were talking about
carpenter ants in particular, we
referred to the function of carpenter ants in nature. They're
super-fast at shaving down and
hollowing out dead trees, so that the tree material can be recycled
back into Nature more
quickly. They're super- fast at providing mulch for a healthy
forest floor. They're awesome for
removing debris, for controlling aphids, for getting fruits
and such before they rot. Houses are
nothing more than dead wood to ants - they don't see it as "someone's
house". They see wood
and they see opportunity to do what they do best. We thank the
ants for being who they are, for
doing what they do, and for teaching us what they teach us.
We will be busy as little ants
ourselves in the next few days while we prepare our house for
the exterminators. This means that
we'll be removing debris that is no longer required, we'll be
protecting our own foods and items
that need protection against the toxins, and after it is done
we'll be cleaning out our house in as
far is necessary. We've met the obstacle, we've observed it,
we've determined whether to walk
around it, over it or take it with us. We also give thanks to
our own home, and acknowledge our
need to care for and tend to this house so that it isn't reclaimed
by Nature while we inhabit it. As
custodians of our home we owe it to our home - and as custodians
to the earth we owe it to take
good care of the earth and to respect what inhabits it. So we've
chosen the least toxic options,
we've researched and made choices based on the information that
is available to us.
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