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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Animal Signs: The Toad

A few days ago, while walking on a familar stretch of trail, I came across a toad sitting right in the middle of the trail.  He didn't move as I approached, he didn't move after I left.  I stopped to admire him for a few minutes.  He was quite magnificant. He seemed perfectly formed and colored and really very handsome.  I told him so, and kept on walking.  A few mintues later, another toad was sitting right in the middle of the trail again.  He/she, could have been a twin of the first one, and like the first, didn't move as I approached.  I talked to her too and carried on.  It was kind of a strange walk. It seemed like wildlife was everywhere, yet at the same time, everything was very hushed and quiet, almost like an approaching storm, but none was predicted and nothing came. I have walked this path thousands of times before in all kinds of weather and seasons, and have never before seen a toad. On the way back I retraced my steps and sure enough there were the two toads still sitting in the same places on the way back! 

Not believing in "coincidences", I came home and got out Daniel Mapel's, Into the Wild Book, my usual source for animal interpretations.  There isn't a listing for toad, so I considered the information on frogs, and I went back and read an earlier post I did on the peepers.  Some of the information about appreciating the miraculousness of nature and transformation seemed appropriate, and I wondered if the toad was signifing a transformation from summer to fall. But some of the information just didn't seem to really fit and I felt sort of let down, as though I was missing something.

Then by "conincidence" the other day, I came across some information on the toad as a totem creature.  It appears I shouldn't have considered frogs and toads as one in the same!  Sorry about that guys!

It seems the messages the toad brings include enchanment, inner strength, and luck.  The toad is considered a symbol of both the earth, and the moon and a bridge between altered states.

Toads survive in two worlds. They begin their journey in the water and their food sources are primarily found there, but they can breathe both under water and on land. They are equally comfortable in both environments. This type of adapability and metamorphosis, is perhaps why they are considered messengers of a change about to take place. Seeing a toad may mean it's time to leap into a new life path.

I considered the role toads have placed in folklore and story books. I kept thinking about that saying you see on t-shirts, posters, and mugs sometimes, "In order to meet your prince, you have to kiss a lot of toads". I think that might be a mistake- maybe that's supposed to be the frog, not the toad. In any case, I'm not in need of a prince and I'm a strong believer in changing old plot lines  There was no way, the toads I saw were waiting for a kiss. They were much too refined and wise for that kind of foolishness.  They weren't waiting to be transformed.  They were suggesting, I transform myself.  So back to those fairy tales, I figure instead of trapping and kissing the toad, the princess should have followed the toad to discover what she could have become independently, strong and trusting of her inner strength.

It might be a little daunting to consider following the toad.  Change often doesn't come without some questioning and a bit of concern. Three Bach flower essences that might help encourage the leap include Wild Oat, Larch, and Cerato.

Wild Oat is an essence that supports you as you decide on, and follow, your true path. If that toad is taking you in all sorts of directions so that you feel a bit unsettled, perhaps unsure you are following any direction at all, you might consider taking Wild Oat.

There is some fear around the concept of change for sure.  It would seem we are more comfortable about accepting change in others than in ourselves.  The princess is always happier to take the chance that the toad will magically become a prince than she is to consider the concequences of her transforming into a toad. Maybe if princesses took Larch, they wouldn't need to be kissing toads. Larch is the Bach Flower essence that helps provide confidence. It is recommended for people that are afraid of trying due to the possibility of failure.

Toads symbolize inner strength. The challenge is to bring that strength out so that it becomes part of what and how we do things.  Cerato is the Bach Flower essence that helps you trust that source of knowing. Cerato might have helped the princess follow the toad rather than listen to all those handmaidens that told her to kiss him instead.

I was thinking about the toad symbol yesterday as I was buying gas. It occured to me that the post the day before had ended up focused a bit on "luck" as well and the number 13, and before I knew it I was buying a lottery ticket. Surprisingly, I didn't win a single thing! I realize today, buying that lottery ticket was a bit like kissing a toad.  In the case of the ticket, I was hoping it would magically transform itself into boundless money.  That type of transformation happens a lot more in fairy tales than in real life. In real life, I would be better off following my inner knowing to create my own fortune.

All this sounds pretty good, but the toads I saw didn't move. There was really no chance to follow them.  Maybe the lesson in that is to wait, allow, and watch the transformation unfold secure in my inner knowing, the magnificance of nature, the possibility of altered states, and the luck that surrounds me.  For that, I go take multiple drops of Impatiens!!!!

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