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The Spiritual Meaning of Ants — Very interesting, indeed!

The Spiritual Meaning of Ants — Very interesting, indeed!

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Have you ever seen a dainty-looking ant walking along carrying a huge insect carcass on its back?

Whether they have a scrunched-up spider or a long, rigid centipede on their backs, ants are the world’s most adept weightlifters. 

Even though they have tiny, thin legs, slim waists, and disjointed, node-like torsos, ants can carry over twenty times their own body weight. 

Their superior individual strength aside, the real reason ants have succeeded in colonizing every continent on Earth, bar Antarctica, is because of their teamwork. 

Ants live in colonies, which are so coordinated that they are superorganisms. These colonies are built on complex systems of labor, communication, and self-defense. 


What is the spiritual meaning of “ants”?

The spiritual meaning of “ants” is hard work, cooperation, and perseverance. Ants symbolize loyalty and being practically minded. They are also believed to be messengers of change: Being bitten by an ant is thought to be a sign to open oneself up to new things. 


The symbolism of ants

Ants are a symbol of willpower, stamina, honesty, sacrifice, and loyalty. 

The immense physical strength an ant possesses and the long and difficult hours of work they put in to serve their community, are seen as a reminder that rewards come to those who work hard. 

Ants do not only work for themselves but for their communities. As such, they are often seen as symbols of cooperation and trustworthiness.

Ants have keen sensitivity to ground vibrations, which also makes the ant symbol one of hypervigilance and attention to detail. 

Their ability to defend themselves by stinging what threatens them, however, is used as a symbol of a different power, namely a refusal to back down. Ant stings are widely viewed as a sign that positive change is underway.


Ants in holy texts and rituals

Ants feature in many spiritual traditions. 

In the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, ants are referenced as an important symbol of hard work and cooperation from which humans could learn. 

In the Quran, Sulayman hears an ant warning his peers to leave the area Sulayman and his troops are about to march through to save themselves from being stomped to death. 

In several African spiritual traditions, ants are said to deliver messages from the deities.

In some Native American mythologies, such as Hopi mythology, ants are considered the very first animals brought into existence. Ant People are also considered the protectors of the Hopi people.

In several Indigenous Amazon cultures, ants are used during initiation ceremonies to bite the person being initiated. This is considered to be part of an endurance test. 

Bullet Ant venom is also administered as a hallucinogenic by some Amazon tribes. It is vaporized and inhaled by those undergoing a ritual ceremony.

This is seen as a way to trigger a change in a person’s thinking and the ant is the messenger of that change. 


Ants in Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables is a collection of short stories about anthropomorphized animal characters that convey a moral.

Aesop was a slave in ancient Greece, and his fables were originally passed down through oral tradition. 

Aesop’s fable number 373 is called “The Grasshopper and the Ant.”

In the story, a grasshopper begs an ant to give him food. The ant refuses to feed the grasshopper even though winter is closing in. 

In the story, the grasshopper has spent the year’s warm months singing in the sun.

The ant, meanwhile, has been laboriously preparing for winter by working to collect food. 

The moral of the story is widely considered to be “work today to eat tomorrow” or “an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” 

In this fable, the ant’s practicality, forward-looking nature, and willingness to work hard are rewarded. The grasshopper is punished for his frivolity and “stay hungry, stay foolish” attitude.


How to use ants in symbolic language

Ants readily lend themselves to use in symbolic language. 

There is no specific expression, such as “strong as an ox,” “busy as a bee,” or “has the heart of a lion,” associated with ants. However, there are plenty of ways to use ants in metaphors and similes to create rich and expressive sentences. 


Uma is as industrious as an ant and never stops until the job is done, even when encountering obstacles. She just accepts that it is how it is, puts her head down, and gets to work.


Like an ant, Gerald is single-minded in his pursuit of his goals.


Ramona: What do you think of Jennifer?
Constance: She is like an ant, I swear. She’s always scurrying around to help other people. 


Oliver: Don’t you think you’ll find it hard to live in a shared house after living in your own apartment for all these years? 
Stanley: No, honestly, I’m such an ant, I love communal living. 


She is ant-like when it comes to self-defense. She’s all lovely and cooperative when you first meet her, but if you threaten her territory, she’ll sting you where it hurts.


Jonathan is like an ant: He appears so willing help everyone out, but secretly he is full of toxic venom. 


Aisling: Don’t cross Alison, I’m telling you. 

Annie: Why? She seems like such a reliable teammate. 

Aisling: She is! But if you get on her bad side, it’ll be like you’ve stepped in an anthill.


Now that you know everything about the spiritual meaning of ants, why not have a look at our article the spiritual meaning stars

This makes for another interesting read, I promise!