Frog Dreaming

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Every year in September the sun crosses the Equator and day and night fall into balance in an event called the autumn equinox. It marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  The crossing happens only one other time, at the start of spring, when it is called the vernal equinox. Around the world, day and night are roughly the same length during an equinox. 

The closet weekend to the Vernal (spring) equinox is the one I choose to bring my flowers out of the winter quarters and place them on my deck. There they fill my view with a glorious pageant of color a flowering and fragrance until the closet weekend to autumn equinox.

My deck is very large and is used throughout the warmest months of the year  as our dining and livingroom. This year as I harvested the herbs and vegetables planted together in huge containers with their flower companions I decided to see how long I could allow the plants to remain on the deck before the first frost.

Last weekend, on the day after Halloween, I decided that the time have come to retire the hanging fuschia baskets, and the begonias to the lower floor, where they are kept in a well lit but unheated room wherein the temperatures never fall as low as freezing point. I decided to leave the geraniums a little longer as they are more hardy, and as I checked each plant in their containers the tree frog that has serenaded me all summer and frequented my dreams began to sing.

pacific tree frog

pacific tree frog

Frog symbolism

When I was done I paused to sit awhile and enjoy the remaining sunlight just prior to dusk. The tree frog still sang and I began to reflect on my own  First Nations teachings on the symbolism. In those teachings  the frog is a symbol of transformation and cleansing, and a frog dream is believed to represent impending major and unlimited transformation.  Comparing a person to a frog is an indication of  them hopping from one thing to the next ie. failing to commit. In the context of shamanic journey the frog symbolizes rebirth and renewal, and is an indication that you have been  expecting somebody to change according to your needs, rather than accepting them for who they are.

I began to wonder what the frog symbolizes in other cultures all over the world so when my contemplations were done I went inside and went online. There I was rewarded with search results  that lead me to many sites like this one:  Animal Symbolism of the Frog.

In many cultures frogs are a good luck symbol of fertility and abundance, partly due to the very large number of eggs it lays at one time. And,  also as a symbol of rainfall as this is a time when frogs are abundant.

In Rome, the frog was considered to be a good luck mascot.  The Greek Goddess Aphrodite also worshiped by the Romans  was linked to the frog, and the  Egyptians associated the frog with the goddess Heket, believed to be  shape shifter who often took the form of a frog.

In  China the frog is symbolic of the moon and believed to bring about prosperity and healing. In Ireland the frog is considered a close relative of the leprechaun and capable of playing tricks on you when least expected.

Frog dreaming

In the Frog Prince story a young woman is visited in her bed by a frog who is initially horrified and pushes the frog away.  However, on the third night,  she relents, and in the ensuing embrace the frog is transformed into a handsome prince.

Ernest Jones, a follower and biographer of Freud, says this is a story of a virgin overcoming her sexual fear. For Joseph Campbell, an authority on mythology and a Jungian, the frog in the story symbolizes the unconscious, which at first sight is frightening but, when assimilated by the conscious ego, reveals itself for what it is – the total psyche, beautiful and true.

One might add that in both these interpretations what brings about the psyches transformation is a sexual embrace, but in the second interpretation it is an inner embrace, an intermingling and mutual penetration of the masculine and feminine sides of the psyche.

Jung tells us that there are at least two interpretations to every dream. Both the interpretations, Jones and Campbell, could very well be applicable to the dream. One is a need to overcome an outward personal fear, and at the same time a need to delve into the unconscious and overcome the frightening aspects that unconsciously controls one’s life.

Reference: Eric Ackroyd

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Discussion questions

Do frogs frequent your dreams?

Do you ever hear frog song in your dreams?