Sun Bear Medicine Wheel is NOT the Medicine Wheel of any Native Nation (Tribe), but comes from a Vision given to Sun Bear by Grandfather.

Third Gift from Spirit Keeper of the West


The Ant represents, and assists with teaching humans, Strength, very ably. The average species can carry 4 times its own weight back to their homes and some species of Ant can carry up to 50 times their own weight unbelievable distances. Biologically and socially, Ant is among the most complicated of beings, and has existed as Ant for millions of years longer than human beings.
The antennae of Ants are typically jointed in the middle. The jaws of worker ants are used for many tasks, including defense, nest building, and caring for larvae. Physically, Ants have four stages of development, egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Reproduction is by the winged Queen and the male Ants who develop from unfertilized eggs. Fertilized eggs develop into females, most of which are workers. The largest workers are usually soldiers, medium-sized workers forage for food, and the smallest workers are nurse ants that tend the young.
Ants highly organized social life is tied to their biology. Chemical signals, including pheromones, are an integral part of this sociobiology. They all live in groups, some species only a few individuals, and some in colonies of half a million or more members. Ants communicate mainly through touch and chemical means, although there are some species where vibratory and even auditory processes have been observed. It is also interesting that some species navigate through the use of the direction and plane of polarized light - which I do not understand, but am sure the Ants do!

Ants are important to the environment, contributing to population control of their prey, recycling of plant material, seed dispersal, and turning of soil. The Strength of Ants comes from forethought, persistence, courage, organization, and the ability to survive many Earth cleansings. Working with Ant Spirit will teach you about using your Strength for the good of all, and being in balance with all that is around you. Some information from Encarta® 98 Desk Encyclopedia, some from Dancing With The Wheel by Sun Bear and Wabun Wind, & some from miscellaneous sources.

The Plant family member for Strength is the Nettle. :o)

Nettle photo from Montara Mountain
Nettle plant © Montara Mountain

Have not seen much Nettle here in the Southeast where I now live. But as a child in the Western Mountains I ran into it fairly often. I can assure you - Nettle is indeed Strong! The stems and leaves have hollow hairs filled with a stinging liquid. These gland-tipped hairs break easily, and the liquid, when it enters the skin, tingles and burns. Encarta® 98 Desk Encyclopedia says the "sting of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) lasts only a few minutes." My memory says it was pretty painful and a lot longer than a few minutes! The word 'urticaria' is even a synonym for 'rash'.
Montara Mountain has a lot of information on stinging Nettle: as a plant, its far-ranging uses, and its ability to cleanse water supplies. Click on the picture or link above. That page will open in a new window. Close it and you will still have this one.

Even though a pain if not handled properly, Nettle is one of the healthiest plants you can use. It is an excellent and overlooked food source when cooked, full of vitamins and minerals; especially rich in iron and Vitamin C. Use it in soups, cooked salads, and like spinach. Tea made from dried Nettle is pleasant to taste and helps you gain Strength, physically as well as spiritually. I use it when my system needs a boost, in lieu of black tea or coffee, asking Spirit of Nettle to help me have Strength in other ways as well. Next time you are facing a situation that requires Stength of any kind, try drinking a cup of Nettle tea two or three times a day.

Amber with Fly -
Amber with Spider -
Amber -

The "mineral" for this position, Amber, has had 12 to 35 MILLION years to develop Strength. It is the fossilized resin of now extinct trees. This organic gemstone often has flies, dragonflies, mosquitos, spiders and other insects embedded that also inhabited those ancient pine trees. If you click on the images of Amber with the embedded fly or spider, above, you can see enlarged pictures of the embedded insects, and read more detailed descriptions.

Polished and shaped pieces are prized as unique jewelry. Amber has been found in European burial sites as far back as 8000 BC. The German word for Amber is bernstein which means "stone of the bear." Some Native people believe the deposits where Amber is found to be the resting places of Spirits. Amber contains the Strength of maturity, the Great Bear, and of Mudjekeewis. This Stone will help you to Strengthen your body, emotions, mind, and spirit, as you carry it, study it, talk with the Spirits and Energies within it.

The color for the Stone honoring Strength is Golden Yellow. This is the color of Amber resin that has aged for many thousands of years. Using this color around you not only gives you personal strength, but allows you to learn how to teach others to build strength within themselves. Golden Yellow helps you learn endurance, courage, stamina, strength, faith, and discipline.

NOTE: The description of the positions and totems and their meanings given on these pages is meant only as an introduction, and not a complete explanation. Meditate and study further for a more complete understanding.

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