Frogs in Mythology: Although small, but symbolically arousing great interest creature. It is a chthonic animal and indicates the forces of the origin of life. Lunar animals bringing rain. As rising out of the water means renewal of life and resurrection. Life and resurrection also depend on the moist skin of life as opposed to the dryness of death. The Great Frog, on which the universe rests, personifies dark and undifferentiated primordial matter, the element of wateriness and primordial mucus, the basis of created matter.
A frog means a transition from the element of earth to the element of water and vice versa. This connection with the fertility of nature is an attribute arising from her amphibious nature, and for the same reason she is considered a lunar animal; many legends tell of a frog on the moon, and in many rituals, it is considered to call for rain. The antithesis to the frog is the toad, just as the wasp is to the bee.
In various mythopoetic systems, the functions of the Frog, both positive (connection with fertility, productive force, rebirth) and negative (connection with the chthonic world, pestilence, disease, death), are primarily determined by its connection with water, in particular with rain. In the scheme of the tree of the world or three cosmological zones, the Frog (together with other chthonic animals) is confined, respectively, to the roots and the lower world, primarily to groundwater. In some cases, the Frog, like a turtle, fish, or any sea animal, holds the world on its back, in others, it acts as a discoverer of some important space elements. Among the Altaians, the Frog discovers a mountain with birch and stones, from which the first fire is produced. Sometimes the water elements of chaos, the original silt (or mud), from which the world arose, are associated with the Frog.
The motive of the celestial origin of the Frog allows us to consider them (and some other chthonic animals) as transformed children (or wife) of the Thunderer, expelled to earth, into the water, into the lower world. The connection of the Frog with the god of the sky is indirectly attested in Aesop’s fable about the Frogs begging the king of the Thunderer for themselves. It manifests itself more directly in the mythological story of the African Ashanti, according to which the god of the sky, Nyama, planted the Frog as a watchman at the well, where the water never runs out and gave her a tail for this; during a drought, the proud Frog did not let thirsty animals and even Nyama himself to the well, for which he deprived her of her tail and made all the Frogs are born with a tail, but soon lose it. The motive of the Frogs as transformed people, also known in Australian mythology, is not limited to their connection with the Thunderer: in the Philippine etiological myth, a man who fell into the water, whom his wife carried in a basket across the river, turns into a Frog; to the same range of representations are the motive of turning to the Frog for deception, the images of the Frog Princess in Russian fairy tales, and frog prince in Germanic folklore.
The Frog itself can undergo further transformations into other images of the guardian of waters (in particular, underground). At the same time, she can act as a source of fertility and the progenitor of the entire human race (among the Mexican Indians); this motive is associated with the cases when the Frog acts as a totem (among the Mansi). Other variants of the relationship between man and the Frog are known (the swallowed Frog as the cause of pregnancy, the Frog as a source of illness, witchcraft carried out with the help of the Frog, etc.).
Sometimes the Frog acts as a person’s helper: she shows the way to the hero, carries him across the river, gives useful advice, etc. At the same time, the Frog can symbolize false wisdom as a destroyer of knowledge, etc.
The image of the Frog is often introduced into mythological and fairy-tale schemes with the participation of other animals. In the folklore of different peoples, the Frog is often the object of ridicule or allusion (compare the motive of the non-articulation of the sounds emitted by the Frog in Russian riddle: “He sits with bulging eyes, speaks French”).
In Ancient Egypt, with the head of a Frog, the gods of the Hermopolitan ogdoad, Heket (the goddess of fertility associated with the afterlife), and even Amon were depicted. The attribute of Herit, the goddess who helped Isis in her ritual resurrection of Osiris. Small frogs appeared in the Nile several days before the flood and were therefore considered fertility messengers. The male primal deities of Hermopolis were often depicted with the head of a frog; the frog is also a sacred animal of the goddess of the Heket clan. Finally, mention should be made of the frog, which in later paintings is the escort of the god Nile, who ensures fertility.
The green Nile frog is a new life, abundant offspring, abundance, fertility, reproducing the forces of nature, longevity, and strength born of weakness. Hekt’s attribute is a symbol of the ability to generate life in water. Protector of mothers and newborns. Isis’ emblem.
Due to her fertility and amazing metamorphoses from egg to tadpole and further to a graceful creature with four limbs, vaguely resembling a man, she symbolized the emerging and constantly renewed life. Often, the deities of the octal, emerging from the mud, appeared to be frog-headed. The goddess of childbirth and fertility Heket, a benevolent helper, according to popular beliefs, was considered a frog.
Antiquity. The emblem of Aphrodite (Venus), fertility, debauchery, harmony between lovers.
Peasants collecting sedge turned into frogs. The transformation of the stingy Lycian peasants into frogs, when they, not wanting to give one thirsty goddess to drink clean water, jumped into the water and muddied it. (Latona).
Slavs. A frog, a toad is an unclean animal, akin to a snake and other reptiles. The toad is considered the mother of the snake, they believe that she “plays” with the snake, like a husband and wife, and mates with him (among the Ukrainians). The frog, which has not seen the sun for seven years, turns into a flying serpent; Like snakes, Frogs have their own king with a crown on his head (Poles). Frogs and toads are considered poisonous. Their poison is stronger than that of a snake, but they are forbidden to bite a person from the creation of the world (among the Belarusians). The female symbolism of the Frog is represented in Serbian and Macedonian stories about a girl turned into a Frog. Due to the similarity of the Frog’s paws to human hands, Ukrainians believe that the Frog was a woman in the past. Belarusians believe that there will be many Frogs in the house if a woman turns out to be the first visitor at Christmas, Easter, and other big holidays. Russian legends associate the origin of the Frogs with people who drowned during the Flood, with the biblical army of the Pharaoh, sunk in the waters of the Red Sea. Until now, it seems that the females of the Frog have long hair and female breasts, and the males have a beard. In the future, they will become humans again, and the living people will turn into Frogs. Therefore, hitting the Frogs is a sin. Frogs are characterized by love and marriage symbolism. In a Russian fairy tale, a wanderer sees a Frog in the bedroom of the happy spouses at night, which jumps at her husband, then at his wife. Frogs are used in love magic. For example, in Ukraine, a guy catches a Frog in a swamp, which was the first to voice at sunrise, pierces it with a needle and thread, and then imperceptibly passes this needle through the girl’s skirt. Old maidens, to get married, find a Frog in the swamp and, squatting, try to hit it with a sweep of their bare backs (among the Russians). About the Kashubians who became pregnant out of wedlock, they say that she ate Frogs. In the form of Frogs, they represent the souls of the dead (especially unbaptized children) and the souls of children who are to be born. In Poland, at the sight of a Frog in the house, they express a wish for eternal rest. A widespread motivation for the prohibition against killing the Frog is connected with these ideas: the mother will die, less often the killer himself will die. Killing a frog, like other reptiles, can cause rain. Therefore, among the Eastern Slavs, during a drought, they kill a frog, hang it on a tree branch, throw it into a well, bury and carry it around the village in bast shoes. For many Slavs, the frog, like the snake, is credited with the role of the patron saint of the house. For example, Slovaks believed that every house has its own “mistress” in the form of a frog. According to Bosnian beliefs, such a frog has a beneficial effect on cow’s milk. The brownie can appear in the form of a frog (among the Eastern Slavs, Poles). Most often, toads and frogs are viewed as converted witches who, in this guise, enter the barn and take milk from other people’s cows, sucking it from the udder. According to one Russian belief, a girl cursed by her parents or an unbaptized girl turns into a “frog cow” that comes out of the water at night to milk the cows. According to legend, a frog with a human body lives in the vicinity of Krakow under a pair of lindens, to which consecrated greens are thrown on Good Friday, so the cows give a lot of milk. The dairy theme is also presented in methods of spoilage (taking milk from cows with the help of a frog), in the prohibition of killing frogs, in medical practice, and signs of the frog’s first croaking in spring. Signs about the weather are associated with the beginning of the croaking of the Frogs. With the first cry of spring, frogs in Bulgaria, Macedonia roll on the ground so that their back does not hurt; in Poland, they kneel and pray or sow oats and barley. The Poles believed that Saint Bartholomew drives the frogs into the swamps with hop twigs, after which they stop croaking, as their mouths are overgrown with silt. In the spring, old swallows that have wintered underwater in a swamp turn into frogs.
A characteristic motive in the performances associated with the Frogs is blindness. It manifests itself in the motivation for the prohibition to kill Frogs (the one who killed the Frog will go blind – in the Poles), in the methods of damage with the help of Frogs (to blind a person, they rub his door with frog fat – in the people of Ludwig) and as the harmful ability of the Frog itself (from her spitting in the eye, a person goes blind – from the Poles). In folk medicine, the frog, as a cold-blooded creature, is especially often used to treat fever, which is symbolically associated with fire and heat.
China. In China, where Frogs are also associated with the moon, they are called “heavenly chicks,” as it is believed that Frogs fall with dew from the sky.
The lunar animal is associated with water, rain; like the toad, it corresponds to the female yin energy. Ancient texts claim that one of the two human souls is like a frog. With its cry, the frog asks for divine protection for all living beings.
A lunar creature related to the yin principle. The frog in the well represents a person with a limited range of vision and understanding.
The dominant idea was that frog eggs fall to the ground with dew, and instead of the word “wa” the frog was called “tien-chi” (heavenly chicken), which correlated with the Moon in mythological relationships. An ancient text says that one of the two human souls is a frog in shape. Many emperors and poets have ingratiated themselves by forbidding the pursuit of frogs that arrange restless choirs.
Indochina. In Burma and Indochina, an evil spirit is often associated with the image of a frog, which swallows the moon (therefore, the frog is considered the cause of the eclipse).
Hinduism. The hymn to frogs (Rig Veda VII 103) says that Frogs appear in the rainy season and give a voice, awakened to life by the god of storm Parjanya; at the same time, the Frogs refer to their relatives as “like a son to a father” (that is, to Pardzhanya). Some researchers believe that the hymn to the Frogs is a verbal part of the ritual of making rain with the help of Frogs, which is also known in modern India. In this case, the Frogs are explained and compared with the Brahmanas participating in the ritual, and with cows as zoomorphic images of fertility and abundance.
The support of the Universe, in the Vedas she is presented as the embodiment of the earth, fertilized by the first spring rains, and her cry is gratitude.