Art, Body & Soul

Ants in the Workplace

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ant totem ant symbolism meaning of ant

ant on my computer screen!!!!

Ok, Ok, Ok. Sometimes being an instrument of Spirit is slightly inconvenient.

Or, rather, we think we’re supposed to be doing one thing and Spirit says, “Hey!  You!  Yes, you!  You’re supposed to be doing this other thing right now.  Maybe you forgot, or didn’t get my memos, but switch over now.” It seems highly inconvenient to switch gears, but from both rotten experience (car accident) and miraculously wonderful experience (amazing faith-building synchronicities), I’ve learned to pay attention and act before Spirit has to take drastic action to get me to do so.

For instance, right now, the reason I’m writing this exact post at this exact minute is that an ant walked across my computer screen. I’d noticed some ants around in the last week or so, and figured, ah, I should do a post on ant totems and symbolism.

What does it mean when an ant shows up in your life?

Ants have great symbolism, and I thought I knew what it meant for me, so I wasn’t too concerned.  I figured I’ll get to writing the post when I get to it.  Well, I know a sign when it walks across my screen, and apparently somebody out there needs to hear about ants.  Now.

And to tell you the truth, I just got some guidance that I needed, too.  It’s about a task, a new direction I’d set for myself, that has me feeling both overwhelmed and scared and thrilled and amazed with the wonderful potential of it all.  But I don’t see the big picture of it, and being a recovering control freak, this scares me.  I know Spirit is guiding me.  In general.  And very specifically with this project.  I personally have cogitated on it for a year.  And last week, I took my very first baby steps on it.  And got squashed.  Well, one leg got crushed.  Metaphorically — luckily for me, it was just some bad luck with my beloved but almost antique car.  But I was so nervous about going and doing and how to explain this to people in my life and to the new people I’m trying to connect with and help……  In some ways, the two groups are adamantly opposed to each other.  Maybe like warring ant tribes.  “This is our territory, you must get out!”  All the ants with all their different jobs, from scouts to warriors, to baby makers, lining up, taking a stand, maybe moving the line and taking ground, maybe losing ground, maybe staying put.

But

ants take action, constantly.

Sometimes I’m very in my head.  Maybe too much. 

Even if someone drops a bucket on an ant, if it’s at all able to move, it will.  It will find a way to complete its mission,

or tell its comrades everything it knows and they go on and take over from there.  Somebody will carry him/her back, dead or alive.  Just like the Marines.

Ants move mountains.

ant totem ant symbolism meaning of ant

an ant city being archeologically uncovered

They can carry 6 times their own weight.  They may move the mountain bit by bit, but they sure as heck move it.  They move it using the utmost

of their strength, and the move the mountain by working as a team.

They create complex cities, with different areas, chambers, roadways for different activities.

They have compost rooms, keep herds of other bugs which work for them, use antibiotic and fungicide, moderate the temperature in their cities, vote using pheromones, etc., etc.  They accomplish amazing feats which we can’t see entirely from where we stand, but which work together in miraculous and tangible ways.

Watch this video for some great insight:

I’m amazed at the ingenuity, drive, and collective power of ants.

It makes me sad to watch this video, though; I wish we humans could explore others without being so destructive — perhaps this could have been accomplished with thermography and ultrasound or something, although those are both probably damaging, too, but at least we wouldn’t have destroyed an entire ant Chicago.

Working together as an army of peace, we can accomplish it.  Each person does their dangnammitness, and everyone works in concert with Spirit conducting.

In Animal Speak, Ted Andrews says that ants symbolize “industriousness, order, and discipline,” that the queen ant pulls off her wings and spends her 12 year life producing babies, that the worker ants are sterile females, and that winged males fertilize the queen for life.  Twelve may be an important number for those with ant totems — days, weeks, months, years, a cycle of industriousness and building towards your goals.  The worker ants, which remember, are female, are the skilled architects.

“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 in to a reality.  It will show you that the greatest success occurs with persistence. …  Ant can show you how to harness your own power to design and recreate your life and its circumstances from the ground up, … to work with others for the good of everyone.  Ant teaches us that  regardless of circumstances, if the effort is true, the rewards will follow — in the most beneficial time and manner.  Ant is the promise of success through effort.”

And, I might add, ingenuity.

What’s the point of my personal story?  Even though I can’t see every move I need to make in advance, I have confidence that there is an organized, Spirit-guided architectural plan to this, with room for flexibility, spontaneity, and creativity, and that it’s not only safe for me to keep moving forward, it’s imperative.  Somebody will come along to help me limp forward until I can get my car fixed, and in the meantime, I’m going to work work work right where I am.

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4 Responses to Ants in the Workplace

  1. I’ve had ants appear on my body for the past two days or so and today they’ve led me to your post. I must tell you, I found great comfort in your writing. I don’t know anything about you and yet your post has connected to my present time, not coincidentally, but because somehow I wished for it. See, yesterday I prayed in a little chapel in Austin, TX for any sign to keep me going on the path I’m currently venturing, but struggling with and here it is. Persistence and Order have always been the key, but the reassurance you have provided me with today holds more value this very instant and for that I thank you friend. The spirit is in the synchronicities I believe.

    Cheers to your endeavors.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Thank you very much, you were right when someone needed to read this… even more than years later.
    I was particularly helped by the confirmation of the faith in an architectural plan guided by the Spirit, and that even though I am a control freak, I need to have faith in that I might not know everything in advance, but I must also work with where I am.
    So thank you very very much.
    A thankful reader,
    Sebastian.

  3. alia says:

    yes! i needed to hear this NOW! Even though Now is 2 years after the ant ran across your screen. Thank you so very much! i related to everything you shared- even the name of your blog (paisley has always been my favorite color!) My apologies for gushing, but i am full of gratitude to you and had just completed writing to myself, so i’m on a roll…

    With Love and Light,
    aliYah the griot

  4. Dana C THomas says:

    I was sitting at my desk today. When a large black ant seemed to appear out of nowhere on my desk. In 10 years at my office an insect has never been present not even a fly.

    I am metaphysical and have always known ant to represent patience. But something had me google it. I found your blog entry. I needed to be reminded that not only is it about patience but industiousness and discipline.

    I am not clear what the message is for but the universe has been speaking to me for a few weeks now. I know I am supposed to be paying attention. So now I will be patient and be ready to change gears when the opening reveals itself.

    So thank you

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