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Frogs are fascinating creatures both in the waking world as well as in the world of dreams. They start out as eggs, spend some time swimming like fish, then emerge as animals capable of living on dry land, in the water, or even deep underground.
Dream frogs similarly mirror their waking life counterparts’ symbolism and often stand in as symbols.
Frogs as Positive Symbols
- Resurrection or rebirth
However, frogs also have negative connotations in mythology and folklore, and it would be a mistake not to look into their negative aspects as well.
Frogs as Negative Symbols
- Inability to speak
So bearing that in mind, let’s look at frogs in dreams as well as in mythology and folklore because mythology and folklore both contribute to a symbol’s meaning within the confines of the collective unconscious.
Let’s get hopping!
Frogs as Transformation and Regeneration
One common theme in fairy tales is that of the hero or heroine traveling under a curse. One of the most famous of those is the tale of the prince trapped in the frog’s body transformed by a kiss.
For me, the most surprising discovery about Frog Prince tale is that in the original version, the frog didn’t receive a kiss but was, rather, dashed against a wall! Death released him from his curse.
Whether he’s kissed or killed, the Frog Prince is an exceptional allegory of self-integration. Only when we face up to the which we project outward can we ultimately experience inner transformation and the regeneration of what we were before we began traveling under the curses we’ve allowed to define our lives.
If you are dreaming of frogs, looking into information on the concepts of self-integration, in particular, reading up on the shadow and anima/animus archetypes can be extremely helpful in learning how facing up to the loathsome parts of ourselves ultimately lead to restoration.
Frogs in Mythology and Folklore
When we think of frog stories, we typically imagine the good frog, the cursed frog trapped in his toady form until a kiss releases him, revealing his pre-fall face. The “good” frog is the standard in most mythologies.
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However, all symbols have a shadow and the frog is not excepted. Here are a few representations of toads and frogs—good, bad, and ugly—from mythologies and folklore around the world.
Frogs in Myths
Llamhigyn Y Dwr
Chimerical creature with a frog’s head, bat’s wings, and a stinging lizard tail. A swamp dweller, it eats livestock and fishermen.
Controls rain with a basket of water which she either pours out onto the earth in times of plenty or holds back in times of famine.
Ninja shapeshifter who magically transforms himself into a giant toad.
Four foot tall humanoid frogman standing upright, with webbed feet and hands, reportedly seen in Loveland, Ohio in 1955.
Indian and Chinese
Frog who carries the earth on its back–its movements are the source of earthquakes.
Eclipses were believed to occur when a giant sky frog attempted to swallow the moon.
Frogs as Communication Symbols
A frog’s croak is its signature. Many superstitions involving frogs have to do with the frog’s song. Frogs in dream can therefore, symbolize communication.
In its positive aspect, frogs as communication symbols can mean the dreamer is able to communicate freely, without reservation, both alone and in the company of others.
To get to the frog’s negative aspect as a communication symbol, think of the phrase “having a frog in your throat.” Whenever we are hoarse or momentarily choke, we use that phrase to describe our inability to speak.
Check your waking life. Are you free to sing your song or do you feel afraid to speak up? Your frog dream may give you clues about how you’re feeling where communication in the waking life is concerned.
Frogs as Symbols of Rebirth and Resurrection
Hibernating creatures always make apt symbols for resurrection, especially those who sleep away the winter underground.
Frogs are such creatures.
In the winter, aquatic frogs sink underneath the water into areas of silky mud where the oxygen is also in sufficient supply. They rest in the silt and sometimes go for a sleepy swim until spring arrives. Land frogs either dig below the frost line or hide in rocks safe from snow and freezing cold.
Sometimes we also need to withdraw from the winter of life, taking a nice long nap away from cold, cruel forces seeking our lives. Going underground for a while is different from self-isolation. One is a temporary measure designed to sustain life, the other designed to withdraw from it completely.
If you are dreaming of frogs underground, perhaps it’s time to come back to life. When spring returns, so does life. It might be time to return from your long winter’s nap!
Frogs as Symbols of Resilience
When we think of animals that are tough as nails, it’s not likely frogs leap to mind.
But that’s our problem, not theirs!
Frogs are found everywhere from the driest deserts all the way to the Arctic Circle. Frogs have outlast winters by hibernating and survive drought by burrowing deep into the sand, shedding layers of skin, cocooning themselves until water is flowing again.
If you are dreaming of frogs, their croaks might just be cheers of encouragement letting you know that no matter how you appear to others or to yourself even, you have the tenacity to hang on and outlast whatever extreme situation life throws at you. Well done!
It is easier to say where frogs aren’t than it is to say where they are. While frogs definitely prefer warmer climates, regions, they are found on every continent except Antarctica.
Whenever a creature’s range is in the same space as that of human beings and whenever that creature has a unique appearance or attributes, superstitions regarding it are bound to be plentiful.
Here are a few superstitions regarding frogs and toads.
Midnight in the Garden of Croaking Frogs
According to Appalachian superstition, frogs croaking exactly at the midnight hour mean rain is on the way.
Forget the Groundhog
The first time you hear a frog croak is the last time you’ll see frost. Also, if you find that frog and make a wish, it will be granted.
The Louder the Croak
Frogs not only predict weather but also its intensity. According to legend, the louder frogs croak the wilder the coming storm.
Froggy, What Fine Skin You Have!
Seeing a shiny skinned frog meant fabulous weather while a lackluster one meant rain.
Hapless frogs are ingredients in several superstitious remedies:
- A toad stew made from three different frogs was said to cure epilepsy
- A dried frog worn around the neck supposedly cured the ailment or prevented seizures
- Consuming a frog’s tongue dipped in hen’s blood was considered the best way to cure the disease
A frog in the mouth cured thrush in the throat according to legend.
Warts and All
Frogs, according to superstition both caused and cured warts. If a frog urinates on you, you’ll get all warty. However, if you rub a non-urinating frog on your warts, they will disappear.
Never Let Them See You Smile
Cavities come to those who show frogs their teeth.
A Frog in the House
Finding a frog in your house is good luck. Killing a frog in your house brings more bad luck than breaking mirrors while opening up an umbrella indoors.
Frogs Like Kisses, But Not Spit
Spitting in a frog’s mouth makes a woman infertile.
Frogs as Fertility Symbols
In Greek mythology frogs were associated with libidinous Aphrodite due to the vast amounts of eggs a single frog can produce.
However, a frog’s prolific capacity for egg production can symbolize fertility that has nothing whatsoever to do with sex. In dream speak fertility is not limited to the produce of literal offspring.
Dream fertility most often symbolizes creative fertility—a fertility of the mind, a time when one may experience burst of ideas, energy, and the ability to bring into form that which is seen in the mind’s eye.
If you are dreaming of frogs, your mind may be teeming with tiny tadpoles like the Nile in springtime!
Leap Frog: Frogs as Symbols of Transience
One of the negative aspects frog dreams can symbolize is transience or an inability to commit to anything.
Think of waking life frogs to get a sense of why this is so. Frogs in the waking world are seldom still—in the water they leap from lily pad to lily pad and from place to place on dry land. Frogs can symbolize similar restlessness within the dreamer. They can indicate a tendency toward starting projects but never completing a single one.
Frogs may also symbolize a fear of commitment—a hopping to new relationships and new jobs in a desperate flights of fancy hoping to find a perfect place of peace.
If you are dreaming of leaping frogs, see if you have a tendency toward seeking mindless self-satisfaction and ask yourself if it’s time to stop hopping around and start sitting still.
3 Things You Didn’t Know About Frogs
Frogs as Warnings
Arguable, one of the most well known stories of frogs as warning symbols comes from the Bible where they feature prominently as one of the Ten Plagues of Egypt—the warnings to Pharoah concerning his enslavement of the Israelites.
Despite receive ten warnings, Pharoah refused to heed none of them—not even frogs climbing from the Nile’s banks by the thousands, running roughshod throughout Egypt.
Are you dreaming of frogs teeming throughout your dream landscape? Look at where they are. Are they in your home? At your office? In places you socialize? Ask yourself if these dream frogs are warning you about something you’re overlooking in these areas. Ask yourself if you’ve picked up subtle signals in waking life that something is wrong in any given area but you’ve chosen to ignore the warnings.
Warning exist to help us stave off danger, not to tell us there’s no turning back. Taking heed to warnings now can save us from trouble in the future!
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2019 Róisín Aisling Ireland