Cat’s Bits for June 18-24: The Toad as an Animal Guide
June 21; Summer Solstice and Sun enters Cancer at 12:24 am EST
June 23: New Moon at 10:31 pm EST
The Toad as an Animal Guide
As the weather warms up and we receive our first rainfall life in the desert starts to stir. Mother Nature has been a little stingy so far with the moisture and things are a little behind. This is particularly true regarding the emergence of our resident garden toads. We have plenty of toads in all sizes and they live in the garden, the flowerbeds and even in the garage. They even live at the neighbor's house next door much to her absolute horror. Up until the other day I had only seen one of our toads, it's been pretty dry, so we were a bit concerned. I was sitting on our swing enjoying the early evening when I hear the sounds of rustling leaves and moving rocks behind me. I look back and see the leaves of the Wine Cup by the steps sawing back and forth. Then two stubby feet pop out followed by a large grey-brown blob. This toad is fair sized, about 4 inches long and it has been living in that plant for quite a while. In the wild toads can live up to 3-5 years. Anyway, as I sat and watched it patrol the flowerbed and annoy the cat I started wondering about how I viewed its symbolism as an animal guide.
First of all frogs and toads are not the same thing. While they are in the same "family" their characteristics and symbolism are completely different. Now I know what you're thinking " Geez Cat no kidding! Duh!" . Normally I wouldn't point this out but after seeing several online publications that had them lumped into one category I thought I'd just put it out there. So............... back to the toads......
Let's start with a little lore, shall we? The toad has long been associated with witchcraft. Witches purportedly used toads to make flying or invisibility brews and potions. Toads were also used as familiars. Remember Neville Longbottom and his toad Trevor? South American shamans believe that toads have magickal skin and have used them to promote visions and healing. Toads are considered good luck and a popular symbol for a Feng Shui money area. The Jin Chan/ Chan Chu, the money toad is a chinese charm for prosperity.
First let me say that I have read numerous correspondences for animal guides, some of which are laughable. For example when someone says "this animal's message says you should exercise or eat healthy whole foods", it's a facedesk moment. For what it's worth, these are my personal observances. So here we go, let's take a look at the symbolism of Toad. As an amphibian toad lives in two elemental worlds, water and earth. They have access to ancient truths and knowledge and represent coming changes and personal metamorphosis. They are solitary creatures and perfectly okay with their own company. In my opinion this makes them the perfect totem for an introvert. Toad teaches us that we can be solitary and still get out and about. This creature is also a good animal helper for those who have trouble maintaining personal boundaries. Toads are more than capable of defending their chosen territory and maintaining the boundaries. The toad would also be a good helper for people who need to learn to hold their ground and that's it okay stand up for themselves. They are masters of self defense. When threatened their first reaction is to puff themselves up and hope to be ignored and quite often this enough to cause a retreat. Since toads are introverts their reaction to being hassled can quickly go to extremes and when faced with a persistent "attacker" the toad secretes a poison that quite literally leaves a very foul taste. Author Steven Farmer says that toad can also offer help in the following areas: Clearing blockages, Life changes, Removing clutter, Boosting confidence. Contemplation, Learning from past errors, Following your instincts, Reconciling your past, Resourcefulness.
All creatures have a message for us, observe them for yourself and see how what they "tell" you applies to your own life. After All, you never know when you will receive that spiritual nudge that makes you say " AHA! I get it now!
Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!
Laura (Cat) Bolotin has been following an eclectic pagan/spiritual path for over 25 years. She currently lives in Western Colorado where she enjoys communing with nature, desert crawling, belly dancing, nature photography, jewelry crafting and writing stuff she hopes will help others along their path. She is married and owned by 5 cats.
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