May 8: Our Animal Totem for today is "Frog." Frogs are only vocal during the mating season, in late February and March. The Celts thought that the croaking Frogs were invoking the spring rains, which cleansed and renewed the face of the Earth after winter; regenerating and transforming it, watering the sleeping seeds so that they could burst into life. In a similar fashion, water at healing shrines could wash away illness, purify the body and stimulate health. The Celts often identify frogs with the spirits that they believed inhabited such shrines. There is an ancient healing spring at Acton Barnett in Shropshire England, where the spirits of the well appear as Frogs; the largest of the 3 is addressed as the Dark God. The association of the Frog with creation appears all over the world; it is thought to resemble a foetus. The Sheela-na-gig (Old woman with Vulva) may be derived from early images of a Frog goddess. Depictions of a frog or toad goddess with a human vulva have been found dating from the earliest times. The vulva represented an opening to the underworld womb of the earth goddess. Both Frog and toad are associated with the goddess of death and regeneration, the mirror image of the birth goddess. The power of Frog is concerned with cleansing and purifying, and with the free flowing of emotional energies. Frog may be telling you not to try and conceal your feelings, but to allow yourself to experience them fully, whether joy, anger, sadness or grief. Tears are water too, and have a power of their own. Emotional blockages and dammed-up passions may cause problems later on, and even can lead to physical illness. Frog teaches you how to nourish your emotions, and how to maintain the flux of your energies. The famous story of the Frog that turns out to be a prince teaches us not to judge by appearances - the ugliest exterior may conceal a soul of pure goodness. In a society where the surface is accounted supremely important, we can easily forget, and fall into the trap of being superficial.
And our Tarot Card for today is from the Tarot of the Old Path, and is "The Guide". This card is unique...it's "Temperance" or "Alchemy" in other decks. Here, I see a distinctly different slant to the interpretation of this card.
We have the waterfall, the stream of life-giving water
flowing from a point in the distance, which appears again and again in this deck. It seems to be coming directly
from the sun, which also gives life. It could be setting, or rising,
depending on one's perspective. The Great Mother and Father stand
watchfully, their presence shadowy, yet prominent.
In the pool at the bottom of the card, a man with what seems to be an
anxious expression on his face looks hopefully at the Angel, who is
pouring a steady, measured stream from one chalice to the other. He holds a prone, extremely pale woman. One of her graceful hands barely
grazes the water. A leg, however, is more immersed, as is one of his.
Apparently, she is quite lifeless. He kneels on the bank, and one
cannot tell if he is lowering her into the water, in hopes of reviving
her, or if he's come upon her and is taking her out. The Angel has
dipped its toe in the water as well, but appears comfortably balanced
on the bank. The red triangle, which in some traditions represents
Spirit, is in the centre of the Angel's chest.
From this card, I get a sense of the suspension of time itself. Everyone seems to be waiting to see what happens next, except the angel,
who steadily pours, and the woman, who looks as if she's beyond it all
now. I get the feeling that the man has either just asked the Angel (or
is about to) for assistance, to please do something to restore this
woman to him, somehow.
I also get the impression that he has asked the Goddess and God to come
to his aid. And, yes, they have come, although whether or not they will
choose to intervene on his behalf is in question. Clearly, this is a man
in need of some guidance.
Sometimes, the Gods alone know, and only they can provide the guidance
necessary in such a troubled, confusing circumstance. They can intercede
if that is what's best, and many times, I believe, that's precisely
what they do. But the way it's done is usually a mystery to us, and so
we have to go on faith alone. I also think this is a lesson being
I see the angel as indicating the path of the flow of the soul, from one
vessel into another, the concept of reincarnation in action. I feel that this card is reminding us of the ongoing flow of life (the river), the unexpected calamities of life, as the body of the woman, and the nature of life, in the
respect that all things must change.
Is the angel symbolically advising the man not to mourn , for the love
he feels he has lost will flow again for him in a different vessel? One
door closes, another opens. I see the Great Mother and Father watching
him carefully, observing how he is dealing with this, so they will know
what to do, in order to provide the appropriate form of guidance and
protection that he will need.
Will the man pay attention? Or is he so distraught that he will ignore the guidance given?
" Help. Please. What do I do NOW?" The plaintive cry. It echos through time, as time itself remains suspended.
For us, today, the combination of the Frog and the Guide tells us that life is unexpected, but that we can keep our balance. Let yourself Go with the Flow, and know there is Guidance even in the most turbulent times. Be real. Be your Self. The Gods, and the Guides, are with you.