Symbolic Meaning of Ants

Life Lessons and Symbolic Meaning of Ants

Last Updated on September 29, 2020 by Avia

I recently learned some powerful lessons just by observing the deeper symbolism and meaning of ants. These insights got me through a tough time, and I thought I share because I have a feeling I’m not the only one who could use a little lift.

Any of you sweet peeps who have followed me over the years know I’m all about having a positive attitude.

But sometimes poop happens.  It just does, and it blows.

Well folks, these last few years have been replete with messy, sloppy, hip-high poop for me.  I suspect many of you may be in the same quagmire.

David J. Crotty Photography on Etsy

What do we do in those moments where we’ve pulled almost every hair out of our heads, wrung our hands and rendered our garments?  Those times when everything seems so overwhelming and utterly futile?

So what is a human to do?

We look at the secret symbolic life and meaning of ants.

Huh?  Yeah!

In the middle of family crisis, negotiating a complicated relocation of my home/business AND experiencing a devastating blow to one of my websites….I just felt fully crushed.

But in that moment of tears and agony….I looked at the dirt.  What?  Yeah, it’s a good practice.  

When it seems everything is unstable – get in the dirt.  When you’re all topsy-turvy, dig your feet in the dirt.  Press your hands into the Mother Earth.  It’s a very grounding thing.  Very therapeutic. No joke.

You see where I’m going with this?  Yep.  In my effort to find some stability within the dirt – I encountered ants.  Lots of ’em!  I’m talking swarms!  And they weren’t very happy with me.  

They stung the bejeebers out of me!  Ouchie!  

At first I was infuriated.  That pain just added salt to my emotional wounds.  But then I started thinking…..

Yeah, yeah, I can hear the nay-saying….”Avia…how could you possibly find a silver lining in being consumed by a bunch of bitey, brazen fire ants?!?  C’mon!”

Easy.  Those ants were bad-a*s’s! They reminded me they are not to be fooled with.  They said:  “Hey!  This is our turf!  Don’t mess with us!”  

Symbolic Meaning of Ants
Lessons and Symbolic Meaning of Ants

Life-Lessons Observed Thru Symbolic Meaning of Ants

The ants helped me realize my feelings of helplessness are an illusion.  We all have tools to fight back and defend ourselves – even in our weakest moments.  It might be our intellect.  Maybe it’s our faith.  Perhaps we find strength in family or community.  When the going gets tough, take a bite back with what makes you feel strong and confident.

Those cranky ants taught me more than that.  After I tended to my ant bites, I went back to that spot in the dirt.  I’d messed up their home (total accident – sorry babies!).  Within 20 minutes, those ants had already reconstructed their mound!  Impressive.  

That’s a lesson.  It speaks to us about teamwork.  It talks about rebuilding with ferocious determination. That was a big message of which I needed reminding.

What’s more….did you know ants can lift THREE TIMES their own weight?  Yeppers.  Again – very impressive. This smacks of big potential in the most unlikely tiny packages.  When we feel ineffectual or weak – I think we should remember what teeny weeny ants can do.  

Often it’s the ‘dark horse’ that wins the race.  It’s hard to imagine the extraordinary feats of physics ants pull off – but they do – because they ban together, and they never give up.

And speaking of banning together….ants are a remarkable demonstration of teamwork and community.  If you watch them, you get the sense they work as a whole.  And they do.  They can’t build a village with a single member.  Nope.  They communicate and work together to meet their goals.  Big juju in that lesson.  At least for me.

Symbolic Meaning of Ants
Teamwork and communication is a big aspect of the meaning of ants

Keywords for the Meaning of Ants:

  • Work
  • Industry
  • Defense
  • Progress
  • Influence
  • Protection
  • Teamwork
  • Community
  • Opportunity
  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Resourcefulness

Take-Away Points to Symbolic Meaning of Ants

Never underestimate your power. No matter how small, or ineffectual you may feel…let the ant remind you that if they can build empires overnight you have the capacity to produce amazing results and be an incredible influence.

Constructing, creating, community. When the chips are down, sometimes we must turn to our community to re-create ourselves, and re-construct our lives. Follow the example of the ant: Rely on teamwork for support, and re-building. Very often these connections turn out to be win-win. When we come together as team to solve solutions, everybody gains. It’s that old saying: “A rising tide raises all ships.”

Well, those are my ant-insights.  I hope these realizations brought you insight too.  

Hopefully the next time you come across the deceptively small ant – you’ll realize they’re actually quite tremendous in strength, resources, defense and unity.

As always, thanks for indulging me – and thanks for reading!  If you liked this, I’d be delighted if you shared it on your social networks. And, don’t miss the related articles below for more on symbolic topics!

May all your ant antics be inspiring!



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Insect animal totems often to point to a few key characteristics: tenacity, patience, and detachment. There’s a lot to that blanket statement, so take a look around at these different insects to gain perspective. Learn more about symbolic insect meanings. (WYS) is a trusted Etsy affiliate & Amazon Associate. We also promote certain products we've tested and approved. As such, the website features sponsored products for Amazon or Etsy or other afiliates. Should you make a purchase from a link on this website, WYS may receive a small commission. This website also hosts advertisements. Please see our policy page for further information. Thank you for your purchases, as it contributes to keeping this website online and running.