Category Archives: Insect Totems

Ants, Agony and Answers (Symbolic Lessons from Ants)

SymbolicMeaningOfAnts

Symbolic Lessons and Meaning of Ants


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 six months have been replete with messy, sloppy hip-high poop for me.  I suspect many of you may be in the same quagmire.

So what’s a human to do?  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?

We look at the secret symbolic life 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.

Actually, I felt like that little blonde girl in pigtails in the movie E.T.  You remember the scene.  She’s up to her eyeballs in frogs, and she’s clearly lost her mind with the madness of the frog stampede Elliot let loose in science lab.  Aaaarrrgh!

But in that moment of tears, wailing and agony….I looked at the dirt.  Whoa?  Yeah, it’s a good practice.  If 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 bejeezus out of me!  Ouchie!  :o

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, bitchy 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!”  That 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 lesson 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.

Well, that’s my ant-insight.  I hope it 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!

May all your ant antics be inspiring!

Avia

More Articles of Interest:

Symbolic Meaning of Ants in Dreams

Symbolic Meaning of Insects

Poof! You’re a Toad (the dangers of totem-assignment)

Personal Investment is Key to Totem Identification

Don’t let the title of this blog post fool you.  I’m not waving my rowan-wood wand, turning folks into toads (yet, lol).

Rather, this post is about the tricky business of assigning animal totems to folks wanting to know.

Not a day passes when someone doesn’t send in an email with a question like: “Avia, can you tell me what my animal totem is?”

On the one hand, I’m thrilled with these inquiries.  It suggests a desire to re-connect to animal kin.  It’s a sign that folks are becoming more attuned to the wild and wonderful realms of the Mother [Nature] – and that is uber-awesome.

On the other hand, I’m often distressed by the lack of personal investment in re-connecting with our animal brothers and sisters.  Connections to our animal kin is a deeply personal act.

What’s even more irking is the idea that a virtual stranger can arbitrarily assign a totem to another person.  To explain, I’ve been known to listen in on certain radio show discussions about totems and neo-shamanism.  I’m not naming names, but I’m suspect when these totem-experts get callers on their show with the inevitable question: “Can you tell me my animal totem?” and I’m floored when the totem-practitioner pops off a critter to the caller – essentially assigning a totem to him or her in the span of two seconds.

How can that cosmic connection be gleaned from a distant second party?  It feels like “slot-machine logic” – an answer spit out at random.  I could be wrong. These totem experts could be mightily connected to their spiritual council, and so they are fed this totem information to present to the caller.  Still, I have doubts.

On my most connected days, in which unification with my own Spirit Council is super-tight, I am fed information in terms of “seeing” woodland creatures or other critters scampering around my client’s energy.  These visions give me a good idea about the inquirer’s totem affiliations.  Nevertheless, in the midst of these visions come strong admonishments from the Council.  Admonishments like: “These are the animal energies communing with the human – but he/she must establish the connection.”

Historically, shamans could succinctly identify totems to the members of their tribe/village.  There’s a reason for that.  Shamans, elders, seers, and wise-women of a tribe typically hold their positions in the group over long spans of time. They live, learn, love together in a tight-knit community, intrinsically linked to the clan members. They often oversee the birthing of new members, and are participants of that member’s life from day one.  This gives them special knowing, they see the patterns between a tribal-member’s aura, energy, personality that link to the like-energy of their totem.  Simply put, tribal shamans have had a long-standing connection with their people, and are therefore in a better position to identify the individual totems of their tribesmen and women.

So what if we don’t live in a native setting in which an Elder knows us and can help us retrieve our animal totem identities?

The onus is on us.  We must be the ones to invest the time to re-connect with our animal guides and guardians.

Asking others to identify our totems isn’t a bad thing, but I’d be leery of pat answers from virtual strangers.  Those who ask me what their totems are often get frustrated with my round-about answers.  I offer information that my Council feeds me, but not without belting out a few paragraphs about the importance of personal meditation, research and investigation into the matter.

Let’s face it.  Most of us wouldn’t ask a stranger “Who is my life-partner?” and then marry the first person named Joe or Suzie just because we’ve been given a pat answer to this question.

In my opinion, re-partnering with our animal totems is no less serious.  Our animal totems are profound partnerships – indeed, a marriage.  They deserve our time and attention to get to know them.  We deserve the investment to familiarize ourselves with our connection to them.  So, be wary of the “poof! you’re a toad” syndrome.  Pat answers to complex questions like these are to be approached with caution.

Animal Messages: The Good News

Animal Messages - It's All Good

In one capacity or another, I’ve been dipping into animal consciousness and interpreting symbolic messages they contribute to the greater/global consciousness.

An email I got from a reader of my main website (whats-your-sign), asked a great question:

Hi Avia, I love your work and reading your animal insights have really helped me on my life’s journey.  A few years ago I was having a terrible spell of bad circumstances.  The Owl kept visiting me, and I was convinced it was a bad omen.  Do you remember me emailing you about this several years back?  You responded with a link to an article you wrote about symbolic Owl meanings, and it helped.  It also made me explore more of your animal interpretations, and I noticed something.  All your interpretations are positive.  It seems there is nothing but good news coming from our birds, fish and mammals from your perspective.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism, but even your ideals about Snakes and Spiders (critters who aren’t my favorites, lol) are positive and uplifting.  Can you tell me why is it all good news?  Don’t animal messages sometimes include negativity, or at least a warning of bad things to come?  Thanks for your work.
Love,
Beth

Beth makes a good point.

I look at animal consciousness as an extension of the Unified consciousness (call it the God, the Goddess, Christ consciousness – by any name,  it’s that omnipresent, pervasive, supportive intelligence unifying all energy).  I mention on many occasions that the creatures of our planet are (mostly) clarified energy – they don’t have the weirdies of mentality like humans often exhibit.  Because our creatures are clarified, they’re a pure channel for Unified consciousness.

So, when I dive in for data about animal messages, animal meanings, etc., it just makes sense the information retrieved will be a bright reflection of the Unified field – supportive, buoying, brilliant.  In short, the Natural Realm lives closer to, and indeed, is one with God.  Naturally, their communications will reflect that relationship.


If you dig this post, you might also like:

Getting Messages from Nature

Nature Symbols

Animal Totems & Animal Symbolism

Tips to Knowing Your Animal Totems

Silly Bands and Animal Totems


Silly Bands and Animal Totems
Silly Bands and Animal Totems

I got the low-down on silly bands from my niece, who gave me this one – a Dragon, who happens to be my predominant animal totem.

Now, I’m not big on extraneous consumerism.  I prefer to keep my personal adornments and purchases as pure and simple as possible.  However, I can see some pretty practical uses for silly bands in relation to our animal totems.

To explain…

Life is replete with distractions.  There’s so much going on in our modern lives.  Busy-busy, push-pull, tag-your-it. 

If your days are potentially crammed with complexity like mine are, then perhaps you’ll agree it’s good (indeed, even necessary) to keep reminders close by.  Reminders that ground us, and redirect our consciousness back to the pure vitals of life like: Compassion, Dynamism, Expansiveness, Balance, and such.

I have tattoos that serve as permanent reminders of these things and more.  Photographs plaster my office-studio walls serving the same purpose.

Imagine my surprise and delight when this tiny silicon silly band fulfilled the same function. 

Every time my eyes catch sight of this little guy, I return to my core – a place in which my Dragon’s crave for me to stay rooted.  Why? Because being rooted in the realms of our animal totems manifests superior benefit for them, ourselves and our society.

Just thoughts…an idea for triggering awareness back to your ideal, totemic core.

That said, a special thanks to my niece for this wicked-keen gift! ;)

Other pages of interest…

Tips to Knowing and Re-Connecting with Your Animal Totems

EcoIntuition: What is it?

Animal Totems (a whole heap of ’em)

Symbolic Meaning of Beetles

Symbolic Meaning of Beetles
Symbolic Meaning of Beetles

I received an inquiry about the symbolic meaning of beetles.

Realizing I haven’t written much on beetles, I thought I’d share my insights here.

Suggested symbolic meaning of beetles (at-a-glance):

  • Progress
  • Simplicity
  • Persistence
  • Stability
  • Methodical
  • Contemplative
  • Practical
  • Grounded
  • Potential
  • Security
  • Introverted
  • Protection
  • Solidarity

Beetles speak to us of groundedness. They move with bellies always close to the earth, and so their wisdom is sacred and deep.  They are connected to the core of earth, and so they are rooted in their knowledge about the way of life and nature.

Beetles also talk to us about steady, gradual progress.  Observing them, they do nothing without pragmatic, methodical movement.

Beetles impart messages such as:

  • “Get to the root of your desire”
  • “Be practical in your expectations of progress”
  • “Find stability in simplicity”
  • “Anchor yourself in honest, true, natural ways”

Beetles also remind us of the simple things in life, and point our attention to the magic in the small.  A friend of mine, Kim Gould at www.loveyourdesign.com says this: “allow yourself to be tamed by the small and gentle.”  Beetles can tame us because of their simple, unassuming presence.

The symbolic meaning of beetles also offers protection.  Their own hard shells do more than just convey glimmery beauty.  They protect.   And so, the beetle (in countless cultures, particularly Asian) is considered a symbol of protection too.

The colors of your beetles will also offer meaningful messages.

For example, greens talk to me about the heart chakra which is the center for healing, love and compassion.  Blue hearkens to the throat chakra which encourages creative expression and vocalizing our real truth…our genuine truth…I’m not talking about speaking a false-truth like “I am sick” I’m talking about the real truth that recognizes inherent health & well-being indwelling the body/soul at all times.

Beetles also reminded me of the Egyptian scarabs which are all about building our best, most incredible opportunities from the poop around us.  :)

Other areas of interest:

Insect Totems and Insect Symbolism

Symbolism in Nature

More Symbolic Meaning of Beetles (on Whats-Your-Sign.com)