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Lets Talk Toads...

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posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:14 PM

Let's Talk Toads...

In The Complete Dictionary of Symbols, author Jack Tresidder describes frogs and toads thusly: “a loathsome familiar of witches, suggestive of death and the torments of the damned—a demonic symbolism … based perhaps on the toad’s noxious secretions.” more

But I don't think this is true really. The last few days I have seen some that were pretty laid back..just doing their toad thing and they did not look as though they were demonic at all. And so..because I've been noticing them coming around lately..I thought I would look into their shady, sordid past. And as it turns out...they are actually very beautiful and interesting creatures..This little guy has had so much history with us..I do believe it will take a few subsequent posts to share it in some detail..and so, I am going to try and take you through as much as I can..and let you decide if the toad is evil, good, or just a balanced Anuran....

The Witch Trials

Their dark history, from what I can gather, partly comes from the days of the Salem Witch trials. In Scotland and England toads were thought to be a sign that someone was a witch. Sometimes, the very fact that a toad was found within a person's house would be enough to condemn them. There are several documented cases where part of the evidence presented was just the fact that toads were seen around the accused. One of these is the trials of George Burrows, also known as the Black Minister.

Within some of the court documentations he, himself, mentions that his house in Casco Bay was not haunted, although it was surrounded by toads. At that time, toads were associated with the devil and believed to be a witches helper. They were known to be diabolical in nature. Mentioned in the Book of Revelations as coming from the mouth of The Apocalyptic Beast, as well as inhabiting Reverend Paris' pastures where it was rumored that witches Sabbaths took place. The mere presence of toads coupled with the other "damning evidence" caused George Burrows to be one of the first men killed for being a witch in Salem.

Having already been associated with the devil through the religions of the times, many were quick to jump to the conclusion that toads were demons or the devil himself. In the works of John Milton's epic Paradise Lost, he references that Satan, having taken the form of a toad, whispers poison into Eve's ear:

So saying, on he led his radiant Files,
Daz’ling the Moon; these to the Bower direct
In search of whom they sought: him there they found
Squat like a Toad, close at the eare of EVE;
Assaying by his Devilish art to reach
The Organs of her Fancie, and with them forge
Illusions as he list, Phantasms and Dreams,
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
Th’ animal Spirits that from pure blood arise
Like gentle breaths from Rivers pure, thence raise
At least distemperd, discontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aimes, inordinate desires
Blown up with high conceits ingendring pride. more(Book V, pg. 80, excerpts 800-810 )

So, unbeknownst to the toad..he had already gained this huge reputation for being evil. Which is really quite a shame, because before all the witch trials, he was doing pretty well. The toad was actually used as a gateway to the "divine" realm by the Mayan priests and Shamans of the past. One toad in particular was used to take them to the altered state of reality they needed in order to speak with the Gods... the Bufo toad.

A Spiritual Amphibian

Mayan shamans used the Bufo toad venom to increase the potency of drink in order to put them in a trance like state. There is some writings that point to them actually licking the backs of a Cane toads in order to achieve the same state. (by writings..I mean articles I read..have not found any original sources)

Reports by 16th-century historians say that the Maya added tobacco and the dried skins of a common toad in the Bufo genus to their alcoholic beverages to make the drinks more potent, Carod-Artalwrote. "The K'iche' group of the Maya still uses the skin of this amphibian as an ingredient in their balché," he wrote.

The Olmec (12,000 BCE to 400 BCE) lived in Central America and are largely viewed by many as the mother culture of Aztecs and Maya. The Olmecs left no written works on their belief structures, so many interpretations on Olmec beliefs are largely based on interpretations of murals and artifacts. Archaeologists state three reasons for believing that the Olmecs used entheogens:
1. Burials of Bufo Toads with priests
2. The use of entheogens in later Olmec-inspired cultures
3. Sculptures of shamans and other figures have strong Therianthropic imagery.

Alchemy used the toad as a symbol of death and well as an ingredient for some of its elixirs. Alchemists would use toads in much the same manner as witches and the Mayan priests did. Mixing their poisons with other ingredients to induce a hallucinogenic state or to heal the sick. No part of the toad went unused. Powdered dried toad, bile, dried toad, feces, and blood where all used in some way, shape, or form. Sir George Ripley (15th century alchemist) wrote a vision in poetic form which is one of the first known references of a toad in alchemy:

By tryall then this venome to expell I did desire,
For which I did committ his carkase to a gentle fire:
Which done, a wonder to the fight, but more to be rehear'st,
The Toade with Colours rare through every side was pear'st,
And VVhite appeared when all the sundry hewes were past,
Which after being tincted Rudde, for evermore did last.
Then of the venome handled thus a medicine I did make...more

Michael Scot, a 13th century alchemist wrote in his Libre Luminus Luminum (No original source found) :

Five toads are shut up in a vessel and made to drink the juices of various herbs with vinegar the first step in the preparation of a marvelous powder for the purposes of transformation.

So, it is pretty obvious that the toad has had some rough run ins with humans...and that the medicinal effects of this little animal was known way before modern medicine decided to take a look at them. This is a good place to look if you want to know some of the science behind the toads toxic poisons..

edit on 4-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:25 PM

The Rest.. favorite part..the toad has some great things going for it today. Some very beautiful and unique myths and legends surrounding it. First, what the toad means:

The appearance of a Toad heralds a successful time of drawing upon
and using our inner resources.
Toads are associated with money and luck –
especially changing your luck from bad to good.
People with a Toad totem can see things and people more clearly.
A Toad heralds the need for self-examination.
A Toad totem is a representation of the Moon, and represents both Life and Death.
In alchemy, the Toad signifies the dark side of Nature.
In the ancient cultures of Mexico, the Toad symbolized the Earth. Link

So, it is a very balanced animal. One of the meanings I read was that it was thought that the toad shedding and eating its own skin was similar to the death and rebirth of a person. The way we shed our old lives and began new ones. It is associated with water and is said to signify rain. Is thought to be a sign of wealth coming to you . In Japan, any species of frog that is found inside/outside your house is thought to bring you good fortune. This holds true within the Chinese culture as well.

Interesting Info:

The toadstone is a particular form of gemstone that grows in the brains of toads, most often after various toads jumped on the head of the king of the toads. Two kinds of stones exist, one is white, the other black - they differ significantly in their magic properties.
The stone must be recovered by putting the toad on a red blanket or by exposing the animal to heat - it will then regurgitate the stone, now you must quickly take it or otherwise the animal will swallow it again. Ants can also skeletonise a dead toad and expose the stone.more

to the positive male "yang." The moon was the ultimate symbol of yin, and so
many Chinese tales refer to the toad whose face is visible at the full moon.
Interestingly, this moon-toad was thought to occasionally swallow the moon, causing

Toads were viewed in medieval Europe as a symbol of romantic jealousy, the embodiment of
an ugly and poisonous feeling. Spenser, in The Faerie Queene, describes a character
eaten up by jealousy:

"Nor ever is he wont on ought to feed But toads and frogs, his pasture poysonous Which
his cold complexion do breed a filthy bloud, or humour rancorous, matter of doubt and
dread suspitious, that doth with cureless care consume the hart, corrupts the stomacke
with gall vitious, croscuts the liver with internall smart, and doth transfixe the soule
with deathes' eternall dart." more

Turns out that the ancient Romans thought house frogs were lucky too, and kept live frogs as mascots. Many cultures consider it a sign that money is coming to you if a frog enters the house. Finding a frog outside is lucky too, and if frogs live in your garden, good fortune will come to the house and all its occupants. In Scotland today, frogs have been considered lucky since Celtic times and there are often stone frogs kept in the garden.

Also, frogs and toads were considered spirits of rain, and were used in many
rituals intended to bring the rains. The Aymara tribe of Peru and Bolivia made small
frog images, which they placed on hilltops, to call down the rain. Indeed, if the rains
failed, some tribes blamed the toads for withholding the rain, and would lash them in

Stories and Myths:

The warty frog and the prize goldfish met one summer afternoon in the temple pool. "Don't you realize how beautiful I am?" bubbled the goldfish flashing her wispy tail. The frog made no reply. "I can understand your silence," gloated the goldfish. "I am not only graceful in my movements but I also enhance the golden rays of the sun." Again, neither answer or movements from the frog. "Say something," demanded the goldfish just as a waiting crane speared the sparkling fish and flew into the sky. "Bye bye," croaked the frog

A wise Zen frog was explaining to the younger frogs the balance of nature: "Do you see how that fly eats a gnat? And now (with a bite) I eat the fly. It is all part of the great scheme of things." "Isn't it bad to kill in order to live?" asked the thoughtful frog. "It depends . . ." answered the wise frog just as a snake swallowed the Zen frog in one chomp before the frog finished his sentence. "Depends on what?" shouted the students. "Depends on whether you're looking at things from the inside or outside," came the muffled response from inside the snake. More

There was a Little Frog who lived at the bottom of a deep, dark well. Now let us go down there and see what kind of world he had.

It was a very old well filled with shallow water at the bottom. The walls of the well were all covered with wet moss. When the Little Frog was thirsty, he drank a little bit of the well water, and when he was hungry, he ate some insects. When he was tired, he lay on a little rock at the bottom of the well and looked up at the sky above him. Sometimes he saw passing clouds. He was very happy and satisfied.

Now, the Little Frog had been living at the bottom of this old well since he was born. He had never been to the outside world. Whenever a bird or birds flew by and stopped at the edge of the well, the Little Frog always looked up and bragged, "Hello! why don't you come down here and play with me. It's so pleasant down here. Look, I have cool water to drink and countless insects to eat. Come down! At night I can watch the twinkling stars, and sometimes I can see the beautiful moon, too."

Sometimes the birds would tell the Little Frog, "Hi, Little Frog! You see, the outside world is much bigger and nicer. It's many times more beautiful than your little well at the bottom. " But the Little Frog would not believe them. "Don't lie to me, I don't believe there is any place that could be better than here. " more

During an eclipse, the toad was opening his mouth to swallow the moon and so they would bang drums and noisemakers and make noise to run it off. And so they told him "Why would you want to do something like that?" And he said "well, look at me!" he said, "I have all these worts and sores on me. A long time ago my skin was smooth." more

Toad Info

Toad InfoToo

As always...thanks for reading!

edit on 4-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:33 PM
a reply to: blend57

I have not read all of this yet but star and flag for saying what others may not.

This is why I come to ATS

Talk about toads? why not...

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:39 PM

Well..toads and other things

Thanks for taking the time to read it.


posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:45 PM
a reply to: blend57
Ribbit. Ribbit ribbit ribbit! Ribbit ribbit, ribbit. I think I'm gonna croak.

Sorry. I couldn't help myself. That was very interesting though.

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 07:05 PM
a reply to: blend57

How delightful...I have a small grayish green toad living in my little patio garden. He appeared the same night I moved in here. I made him a little house out of a small clay pot turned on its side, with fresh soil and flat rocks for him to sleep on, and that's where he has lived ever since. There have always been toads that appear around my various dwellings...this is just the first one who decided to set up permanent housing. I named him Kermit, and he keeps the bugs off of my tomatoes in return for his nice little garden chalet.

I also have many cat visitors, and wild ducks. Blessed are the Witches...we have many friends in nature.

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 08:11 PM
a reply to: blend57

photo credit:Emily Kloosterman

When I was a child I used to catch tadpoles in waxed cardboard milk cartons. When their tails shrank and legs began to show, I transferred the toadlings to a wheel barrow with water and rocks to climb on.

I fed them red harvester ants, the kind big enough to pick up between thumb and forefinger. Sometimes I'd pour a bit of silica sand down the barrel of a BB gun, used as a shotgun to stun flies, which I'd also feed to the toads.

I would keep the toads for a couple of weeks then take them back to the pond from which I caught the tadpoles.

What was really cool was the Bullfrog tadpole. Those can be kept in an aquarium for two whole years before they change. I had one named Big Fellow, who lived with a guppy named Little Fellow.

edit on 4-8-2016 by pthena because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 08:15 PM
This is a cool thread. I love all the froggies and many live on my property. I have one that comes up on the patio at night, and if I'm outside I scratch his back and give him a little massage.

Lots of interesting info here!


posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 08:30 PM
I knew a trucker that was the most tough person I ever met, he was rough, his house was full of bodybuilding gear he made out of rebar and concrete.

The man was very superstitious and always had crazy tales of witches and creatures over his trips.

He could grab a rat with his bare hands with no problem, but a toad? Nop not even close, evil creatures he said, something to do with witches.

He was also always looking for bundles of hair stuck to holes on the walls, witchcraft...

He was an interesting man
edit on 4-8-2016 by Indigent because: Its depressing to forget words

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 08:48 PM
a reply to: blend57

Ode to A Toad

I called a toad a frog today,
He corrected me post haste!
A frog he said is a stupid thing,
It is a total waste.

A Toad, he said, is a wise old man.
Wiser than the Moon above.
A frog is a trifling, an afterthought.
It can never sing songs of love.

Humbly I said I'm sorry,
Offered to apologize.
Nonsense he regally said,
Repayment is done with flies.


posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 08:51 PM
Excellent thread!

I've always liked toads and frogs. We have lots of them in the gardens. We also have several tree frogs living on our porch. About a year ago one of them made his way inside to the bathroom. He just hung out above the shower for a few weeks then disappeared. I assumed he had exited the house the same way he entered. Then, one evening I noticed the cat was after something in house plants on a shelf in the study. When I looked to see what she was about, there was that little frog--yeah, he was named Kermit---living among the houseplants and sitting on the fountain from time to time. Sometimes he hides for weeks and I think he's gone but then up he pops. My Japanese and Chinese friends say he is good luck for the household. I like him because he eats the bugs.
However, I will admit that he does make me jump halfway out of my skin when the house is completely quiet except for the sound of the fountain, I'm sitting at the computer and suddenly he begins calling to his friends outdoors!

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 08:53 PM
a reply to: DBCowboy


posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:05 PM
a reply to: DBCowboy

... and having read your informative poem, I realize I don't know the difference!
(I guess I need to go catch some flies as a peace offering)

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:08 PM
a reply to: ladyinwaiting

I realize I don't know the difference!

According to the literature there is no difference. It's convention:

Longer legs, wetter skin = frog
Fatter, dryer-warty skin = toad

A distinction between frogs and toads is not made in scientific taxonomy, but is common in popular culture (folk taxonomy), in which toads are associated with drier skin and more terrestrial habitats than animals commonly called frogs.

edit on 4-8-2016 by pthena because: (no reason given)

Too bad Polliwog is a racist slang word these days. That's the word I always used for tadpole. What the dickens? tadpole could turn into a racial slur too!
edit on 4-8-2016 by pthena because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:14 PM
a reply to: ladyinwaiting


Many people don’t know the difference between frogs and toads. They are quite different animals, although they belong to the same animal group.

Need to live near water
Have smooth, moist skin that makes them look “slimy”.
Have a narrow body
Have higher, rounder, bulgier eyes
Have longer hind legs
Take long high jumps
Have many predators

Do not need to live near water to survive
Have rough, dry, bumpy skin
Have a wider body
Have lower, football shaped eyes
Have shorter, less powerful hind legs
Will run or take small hops rather than jump
Do not have many predators. Toad’s skin lets out a bitter taste and smell that burns the eyes and nostrils of its predators, much like a skunk does.

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:15 PM
a reply to: pthena

Your literature is wrong, toads and frogs are different families of amphibious, that's like saying there is no difference between iguanas and alligators.

Besides you eat the legs of ones and lick the others

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:18 PM
a reply to: pthena

Thanks! I guess I do have frogs then, because they live down the hill in the back of my property in the backwash from the pool. I can't believe those chemicals haven't turned them white, or made them sick, but it seems it hasn't bothered them. They still hang out down there, make all their noises (that I like) at night, and raise family after family. When they have babies I'm always having to rescue their little butts from the skimmer.

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:27 PM
a reply to: DBCowboy

After those descriptions, I changed my mind. They are toads. And the dogs leave them alone, because of the smell, I think. But the physical description of the toad fits them better. I have tree frogs too! But there are elusive little creatures. No touching. They completely freak-out!

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:29 PM
a reply to: ladyinwaiting

I don't think it really matters except to the toads and frogs.

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:37 PM
a reply to: DBCowboy

There is a religion around licking toads you know...

I don't accept they are the same, clearly in my original timeline they weren't, damn you Mandela and your dimension hopping effect

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