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I have been collecting frogs since I was a child. From the live frogs I collected in aquariums, to the glass frogs I would later collect as an adult. Most recently, I approached a large frog just so I could touch it on the head. Naturally it leaped into the water, but I felt accomplished none-the-less. So, what is it with frogs anyway?
Italian song, Lu Rusciu te lu mare (watch the video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=0jryWN38HfQ&feature=player_embedded) Background of the song: Singing passoniale Gallipoli tells of an impossible love between the daughter of a king and a soldier, a love prevented, in a time when class distinctions were very much alive, so that the author compares the conflict between Turks and Spaniards, historical invaders of our land. The year in which it seems that this song had emerged as one of many popular songs is typical of the area in 1978, by Luigi Cardigliano, originally Ugento (LE), a boy who at the time was in Florence. It was in this city for several years, from 1974 to 1980 in Piazza della Signoria or near the Uffizi Palace was created a sort of ethnic community, comprising people orgine Puglia, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia. These were mainly young people who were there to study and every night, all night until dawn, driven by the desire entertainment night, were given appointment in the usual spot. It was a kind of theater that it was formed, where each partner brings their own musical experiences: there was one who had talent for singing, who invest for the dance. The original Presena a rather slow pace, was Louis Cardigliano to change making it more rich musical arrangements and giving it a more measured pace. The same Cardigliano, who sang this song solo, he added a verse which became the last. The peculiarity of this song, among other things typical of all the others that arose and spread at that time was the absence of music.
Chrea created this harmony of sounds was the polyphony of voices: three or four different voices that overlap each other gave birth to a melody sound rare in its sweetness. Had not used any tools. It was around 1993-94 when Bruno plucked, of Melissano (LE), a friend of Cardigliano, she joined a fledgling group called the Bua "and other popular songs to sing incominiciò not yet well known. the opportunity to propose a third version of "U rusciu te lu mare", the pace even faster than the previous year, with the addition of another verse, which concludes the story of two lovers. The verse said "U rusciu lu te Mutu sea is strong, fija te lu ta king's death." The new final stanza took the place, who in turn became the penultimate. (Translated from Italian to ENGLISH) In some versions of this song is missing the first two verses and the song was best known of those years that immediately succeeded in attracting the interest of many. It was quickly learned by those who attended each night to show the sort of improvised from this close-knit group of friends. It distinguished the Sardinians, master par excellence of Italian folk music. From what you told the Sardinians were reluctant to introduce outsiders to their group, but the skill of the Florentine community of some guys, so if you can call it, could not that lead them to choose. And between these guys remember Bruno and Luigi Cardigliano plucked, for the extraordinary complementarily of their voices. Lyrics - Italian LU RUSCIU TE LU MARE (Gallipoli Lecce) Nu giurnu scei 'ncaccia a li patuli e 'ntisi na cranonchiula cantare. A una a una le sentia cantare ca me pariane lu rusciu te lu mare. Lu rusciu te lu mare è troppu forte la fija te lu re si ta la morte. Iddha si ta la morte e jeu la vita la fija te lu re sta se marita. Iddha sta se marita e jeu me 'nzuru la fija te li re porta nu fiuru. Iddha porta nu fiuru e jeu na parma la fija te lu re sta va 'lla Spagna. Iddha sta va la Spagna e jeu 'n Turchia la fija te lu re è a zita mia. E vola vola vola vola vola e vola vola vola palomba mia ca jeu lu core meu te l'aggiu ddare ca jeu lu core meu te l'aggiu ddare
English THE ROAR OF THE SEA - LU RUSCIU TE LU MARE (LYRICS) One night I was walking along the marsh And I heard the frogs singing And I heard the frogs singing One by one I heard them singing So that it sounded like the roar of the sea So that it sounded like the roar of the sea The roar of the sea is very loud The king's daughter gives herself to death She gives herself to death and I to life The king's daughter is going to get married She's going to be married and I'll be bridegroom The king's daughter gives me a flower She gives me a flower and I give her a palm-tree The king's daughter is going to Spain She's going to Spain and I'm to Turkey The kings's daughter my sweetheart And fly fly fly dove fly And fly fly fly my dove For I have got this heart For I have got this heart to give you The roar of the sea is very loud The king's daughter gives herself to death The king's daughter gives herself to death The more I understand the allegorical value of the lyrics, the more I like this song. The song was made part of a transcendental dance class I have been taking, under the instruction of Julia R, Zay, author of Ecstasia. I was recently watching Elizabeth R, a series put out by the BBC in the 1970's. Elizabeth I, refers to the Duke she is betrothed to as, ' her little Frog'. Initially he takes offense, and in response she calls him ignorant. She asks that one of her advisers teach him the symbolism. Sir Lester, explains to him that in Ancient Rome the frog, represented a love token.
Ancient Greece and Rome A frog being eaten by King Stork, an illustration by Milo Winter in a 1919 Aesop anthology The Greeks and Romans associated frogs with fertility and harmony, and with licentiousness in association with Aphrodite. * The combat between the Frogs and the Mice (Batrachomyomachia) was a mock epic, commonly attributed to Homer. * The Frogs Who Desired a King is a fable, attributed to Aesop. The Frogs prayed to Zeus asking for a King. Zeus set up a log to be their monarch. The Frogs protested they wanted a fierce and terrible king, not a mere figurehead. So Zeus sent them a Stork to be their king. The new king hunted and devoured his subjects (as many human kings also do). * The Frogs is a comic play by Aristophanes. The choir of frogs sings the famous line: "Brekekekex koax koax." (source: Cooper, JC (1992). Symbolic and Mythological Animals. London: Aquarian Press. pp. 106–08. ISBN 1-85538-118-4.) Source: Wikipedia FROG: A symbol of fertility to many cultures. The Romans linked it to Aphrodite, the Egyptian to the shape-shifting goddess Heket who would take the form of a frog. To the Chinese, it symbolized the moon -"the lunar, yin principle" bringing healing and prosperity. Since frogs need watery places, their image was often used in occult rain charms.  Source: A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography, mythology, and geographical By Sir William Smith It makes sense, considering how often frogs show up in Greek/Roman plays, Fairy Tales (The Frog Prince), Italian folk tales, and music. I found a book, on Google books entitled: The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, By Barbara G. Walker It lists frogs as a medieval totem of witches (questionable), and the author associates frogs with Hecate, rather than Aphrodite. It goes on to say, that the Egyptians specifically used the frog to represent the human fetus (tadpole), and amulets found made by the Egyptians in the shape of a frog read: "I Am the Resurrection", spoken by Hecate. It is believed that this is where early Christians got the idea of using this phraseology. It later goes on to read, that at a much later date the Romans did associate it with Venus, as the Fleur de lis, represented the triple frog, as her yoni. Tailors of the time, were instructed to include 9 frogs on every garment, which dates back to the Ancient Babylonians. There was a cylinder seal found containing 9 frogs, as a fertility charm, the 9-fold goddess to represent the 9 months of gestation of a human child. The source, E.M. Budge, is referenced for the source of this information for the book. Frogs, are used in similar ways by different peoples around the world. It is believed that frogs are connected to the waters in the womb, preparation for emerging, water magics, and the sounds frogs make as 'thunder' symbolism. Rain/Thunder. I've been collecting frogs for years, and have heard this symbolism but I hadn't read a scrap that it was related to Rome, until recently.
So, when the frogs are singing in Lu Rusciu te lu Mare, it represents the love between the Turk and the Spaniard yes, but also as a love charm itself.
The Frog talisman (Illustration No. 44, Plate IV-A) was highly esteemed, and is an attribute of Isis, being worn to attract her favors and for fruitfulness. Because of its fertility its hieroglyphic meaning was an immense number. It was also used as a symbol of Ptah, as it represented life in embryo, and by the growth of its feet after birth it typified strength from weakness, and was worn for recovery from disease, also for health and long life, taking the place sometimes of the Crux Ansata or Ankh, as a symbol of life. Source: http://www.jstor.org/pss/4421766
Peru, 800 AD - modeled after the Babylonian model Source: http://www.maltergalleries.com/archives/auction99/nov799.htm There are other 'frog weights' on this site from various cultures.
Frogs An important member of Mythology and Folklore Nov 11, 2006 Diana Tierney It is somewhat surprising that the frog is so important to Mythology and Folklore. Being an amphibean that transforms it is a symbol for birth, death and rebirth. Frogs have held an important role in the mythologies of many civilizations. Most of these myths center around the frog’s transformation from a tadpole to a frog. Many cultures saw this as a rebirth thus associating them with creation myths and the land of the dead. The fact that some frogs can lay up to 3,000 eggs makes it no wonder that they have been associated with many fertility deities and creation itself. In Egypt the frog is most commonly found associated with the goddess Heqet (or Heket) who was the goddess of fertility and childbirth. Sometimes depicted as a frog or a woman with a frog head Heqet was seen as protectress of childbirth. Her priestesses who were trained midwives wore amulets that bore her image. It is theorized that the reason why the Egyptians saw frogs as being a symbol for childbirth and creation was because during certain times of the year thousands of frogs would surface from the Nile River. Thus creating the belief that this was an omen of fruitfulness. In the Greco-Roman tradition the frog was a symbol of Aphrodite and Venus, along with fertility the frog came to represent harmony between lovers. Read more at Suite101: Frogs: An important member of Mythology and Folklore http://www.suite101.com/content/frogs-a9027#ixzz1119uXOdf I had this leather book custom made for me, and I've had for years but it only has (2) pages filled. A sketch of a frog I drew, with a poem I wrote. I'm considering dedicating that book, to frog symbolism.
This is among my favorite frog dolls, that I own. He is a collectors item, the chair alone was $200.00, I received it as a gift many years ago.
There is a plethora of frog symbolism to be found from culture to culture. The areas I have researched thus far are: Japan, China, Greece, (Italy)Rome, Peru, Ancient Babylon, Maya, Egypt, Mojave Desert People (Native Americans), Australia and Medieval Europe, just to name a few. Frogs appear in allegorical artwork, mythology, cultural superstitions, and folk traditions.
Kings and queens, historic battles, the trials of Noah, Jesus on the cross, the birth of Venus, the fall of Babylon, Latona turning the Lycian peasants into frogs. Johann, 1730 In Japan, the word for frog is 'kaeru', the word for return is also 'kaeru' and pronounced the same way, though written differently to communicate which word is in use. Frogs in Japan, are linked to things or people, returning to their place of origin. A frog, could be placed in the home so that money, friends, good luck, and good things come back 'home'. In China, frogs have been used to symbolize immortality, healing, money, the moon and frivolity. If you've ever seen a 3 legged frog statue in a Chinese restaurant, this is traditionally liked to Daoist principles. The frog, is seen as a 'magician' or escape artist. There is a reoccurring character in the stories of a famous Daoist, Liu Hai, who is immortal and keeps a 3-legged toad named Ch'an Chu. The toad knows the secret of immortality, and shares it with Liu Hai out of gratitude for his friendship. A legend tells, that the secret to immortality is found in the fungus that grows on a frog's forehead. As a result, toads and frogs are believed to have medicinal properties. Eating frog legs, is thought to cleanse the person, and prolong life. They are called 'celestial chickens' by the Chinese. The moon association comes from the eggs of frogs thought to float down from the moon, and be carried in the morning dew down stream. The frog represents the Yin, or female force, which must be balanced by the Yang, or male force. If these forces are out of balance, this is believed to cause strife among the Chinese people. Money and Frivolity, are associated with spontaneity, and prosperity from following Daoist principles. In the Native American cultures of the Southwest, images of frogs with wood in their mouth are common. The Mojave people believed that frogs brought fire to humans.
In Australia, the Aborigines believed that frogs brought the rain, to help the plants grow. The 'thunder' was believed to come from their croaking. In Egypt, the frog was associated with the goddess Heqet/Heket, which means 'frog' in Egyptian. She was typically depicted as a frog woman, an Egyptian with a frog-head, or a phallus with a frog at it's end to indicate the association with fertility. She was considered to be wife of the Nile god Sobek. Midwives, called themselves servants to Heqet, women wore Heqet's amulet during childbirth to assist in a successful delivery. The amulet depicted Heqet sitting on a lotus flower, in her frog form. She was considered to be the goddess of the last stages of birth, and for that reason she became known as wife to Chnum, who formed the bodies of new children in his potter's wheel. After Aset was Romanized, to become 'Isis' it was the goddess Heqet who breathed new life into Horus at birth. Horus, because associated with the resurrection of Osiris, so Heqet became more closely associated with resurrection symbolism.
The Ancient Maya, Uo meant frog in the Mayan language. And, Uo is a month on the Mayan calendar. This marked the rainy season. The treetoad would find pools of water at the beginning of this season, breeds, and makes loud croaking sounds. For this reason, this god is associated with rain and agriculture. In 200 AD, during the dry seasons rituals were performed to pay homage to the tree-frog god, to bring the rain, so that crops could grow to feed the people. Frogs in Exodus, as a plague ~ The Plague of Frogs "The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your servants and your people; they will be left only in the Nile."
Frogs, as allegorical symbols have represented water, fertility, emotion, love, birth, resurrection, alchemy, magic, shape-shifting, healing, purification, dream journeying, transformation, and even curses. As the seasons change, so do the most prominent creatures in the forest. Some hibernate in the winter, and emerge in the spring. Spring-time, is associated with fertility due to the emergence of new growth, and thousands of species which lie dormant during the Fall/Winter months. When people wanted to enhance their sexual magic, a frog was seen as a beneficial creature. Frogs kept in jars, or frog symbolism (statues, tapestries, fetishes, dolls, etc.) present during sex, was thought to ensure conception. Many folk practices emerged from the superstitions and legends about frogs. If a woman thought her husband to be unfaithful, she would stick pins into a frog, and bury it. It was believed that her husband would be in extreme pain, and would make his way back home to his wife for her care. She would dig up the frog, and remove the pins, and this would make the pain disappear. He would stay faithful from that point on, most likely out of fear, of what she could do. Hence, many of the legendary stories of 'harmful witches' in antiquity. Fairy Tales: The Frog-Prince, by the Brothers Grimm Folk Lore: Exploratorium, Frogs http://www.exploratorium.edu/frogs/ Dream Symbolism: The Dream Book, Betty Bethards Greek Plays: The Frogs, by Aristophanes Stories: The Hop-Frog, by Edgar Allan Poe Superstitions: The History & Use of Amulets, Charms and Talismans, by Gary R. Varner Forum Discussion: Paganspace.net http://www.paganspace.net/forum/topics/the-allegorical-value-of-frogs SIN JONES The Poison Apple www.the poison-apple.com September 2010
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