Often nature herself sends me the symbols that come to summarize phases of my life. Since I was small and inspired by books like Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong, and later Francesca Lia Block’s magical realism writing, I have looked for answers in the way ants move, leaves turn, the way plants respond to wind. I have trusted that all there is to know is reflected in the patterns of our environment. I aspire to always find a way to dance through the stillness and resilience of our ever-spiraling cycle through Life’s journey.
This Spring on the first warm evening, I saw my first toad. It was in the middle of the sidewalk. What do toads mean? They are, like frogs, associated with fertility, family, and exploring new possibilities. The only association I’d had was that of the Frog Prince.
I’ve often been “reminded” that life is not a fairytale and that I should consider “the reality” of certain situations. But when you believe that you actively interact with life, that the universe responds to your actions and state of mind, that experience itself is a big shiny mirror of your interior world, and that your subconscious weaves with your conscious conceptions to create a mysterious tapestry that plays with the bounds of your imagination… it’s the idea of “reality” itself that needs to be questioned. In order to expand, we must poke around the borderlands to see where the fabric can give. I’m always switching out my sunglasses, eager for an alternative perspective and looking for secret tunnels through the wildwood. Often this leaves me feeling amoebeous and so mutable that I lose my concept of “self.”
Fairytales contain immense amounts of wisdom collected by our species. The princess in this story, is the human soul in pure form. (Being magnetically drawn to the imagery of The High Priestess and Psyche).
Coming out of time of feeling like I was in a relationship with God, out of my body, dedicated to an ideal, I was suddenly awakened. In my ethereal L0VE, I had been purified. With the coming of the toad totem, I was simultaneously being reawakened to the physical world. I identified with the princess in The Frog Prince, by “throwing the frog against the wall,” not only was the “I” of my BEing was asserted, autonomy and freedom regained, but the transformation of the frog into the prince (he’d always been) would be catalyzed.
Thus far the dragons which wind around each other in the distance, in our depths, have continued to paralyse the latent potential of transformation from ideal into physical manifestation. The eternally-nourished invitation to divinity nakedly stands in the garden.
To consider transforming these dragons into something magical and playful like caterpillars (pure potential, promise of emerging as our greater selves, the freedom of the butterfly awaiting…) was a powerful tool for me that came through liquidly, in a poem. “…I’ll take your dragon/a caterpillar to giggle with.” We all have the opportunity to interact with our dragons in accessible ways. Here I paint them as the dual forces (like feminine/masculine), intertwining to create that third entity, looking left, into the past, a bit faded into the distance, because I have found a way to giggle with them. The Frog Prince becomes the Toad King, terrestrial, and through his experience of dealing with his dragons, has crowned himself in the natural minerals of Mother Earth, the divine feminine, to become his highest self, the divine masculine. He has answered the invitation with action and completed the sacred transformation.