Frog symbolism and meaning include fertility, potential, transformation, purity, prosperity, and good luck. For as long as humans have walked the Earth, frogs have been here. In fact, they have inhabited the Earth for 200 million years. Scientists even found a 40-million-year-old frog fossil in Antarctica.1 Thus, frogs and toads have been subjects in the mythologies and folklore of people around the world for centuries.
In addition, the frog spirit animal is an important figure for many people who feel a kinship with these special amphibians. In this post, you’ll learn all about frog and toad symbolism and mythologies, the frog spirit animal, and more.
Table of Contents
- What do frogs symbolize?
- Detailed Frog and Toad Symbols and Meanings
- Frog Spirit Animal
- Frog Power Animal
- Frog Totem
- The Frog in Mythology and Folklore
- Native American Frog Meaning
- Frogs in Central and South American Cultures
- Australian Aboriginal Frog Myth
- The Frog in Japan
- Frog Symbolism in China
- Frog and Toad Meanings in Hinduism
- The Frog in Greek Mythology
- Frog Meaning in Ancient Egypt
- Frog Symbolism in Celtic Mythology
- Frog Symbolism in the Bible
- Frog Dream Meaning
- Frog Tattoo Meaning
- Organizations that Protect Frogs and Other Amphibians
What do frogs symbolize?
- Good Luck
Detailed Frog and Toad Symbols and Meanings
But first, what’s the difference between frogs and toads?
This post includes both frog and toad symbolism under the same umbrella. However, there are some differences between these two amphibians that you might be curious about. To begin, toads are a type of frog. However, toads can survive in drier climates, while frogs need to be near water.
This key difference is obvious in the two amphibians’ skin. Frogs have smooth skin while toads have rough skin. In addition, frogs have longer legs than toads, as the former hops more and the latter crawls more. In many cases, these two animals share the same symbolism and mythologies. But when they differ, I’ll be sure to mention it!
Frog Symbolism: Fertility
In a number of cultures, the frog is a symbol of fertility. In fact, frogs can lay up to 20,000 eggs.2 Thus, many people associated the frog abundance. In addition, as the frog is a semi-aquatic animal, they are associated with water – is a life-supporting element.
Thus, the frog is a helpful symbol if you want to conceive, adopt child, or expand your family in some way. In addition, they are helpful symbols for anything that you want to nurture and grow, such as a relationship, a community, or a creative or business endeavor.
As they are symbols of fertility, frogs also symbolize potential. Growing from a tiny tadpole swimming in the water to a frog who can hop, climb, and croak, the frog demonstrates the capacity for something simple to evolve into something magnificent. After all, just as the fairy tales say – if you kiss a frog he may very well turn out to be a prince.
When the frog is your spirit animal, you are a person who can see potential where others do not. For instance, you can see a child or adult struggling at something and know exactly what they need to do to improve. Or you can look at a dilapidated house and envision a gorgeous home that someone will love. Likewise, you can see people’s inner beauty and know what it will take to make it shine outward. You are also the type of person who can look at a failing business or other enterprise and know how to turn it around.
Frog Symbolism: Transformation
Born from eggs laid in the water, the frog starts life as a simple tadpole. Then they grow their legs and arms, evolving to become adult frogs who can swim, hop on land, croak, and even climb trees. Because they go through this miraculous metamorphosis, the frog is also a symbol of transformation.
The frog spirit animal reminds you that your soul is here on Earth to learn and evolve. And you are capable of far more than realize. As the poet Rumi wrote:
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the ocean in a single drop.”
While the frog began their life in the water and then evolved to live on land, they never completely disconnected from their aquatic origins. In fact, the frog moves easily back and forth between the two elements. On a symbolic level, land represents the conscious mind and the material world. While water represents the subconscious and spiritual world. As the frog moves back and forth between water and land, they are a symbols of not only personal transformation, but also spiritual transformation.
People for whom the frog is their spirit animal have a special capacity for moving back and forth between the material and metaphysical worlds.
Like the water lily or the lotus flower emerging from water, the frog is also a symbol of purity. They may hop or crawl in mud, but then they dive in the water, come out to sit on a lily pad, and they are clean again. So, the frog symbolizes our own capacity for redemption and renewal. No matter what we’ve been through in your life, we have the power to heal, to improve, and to become the unadulterated best versions of ourselves.
Frog Symbolism: Prosperity
As they represent potential and fertility, frogs also represent prosperity. People in Asian cultures know this. Hence, you will see a lot of frog figurines in Asian-owned businesses to bring prosperity to the business.
If a frog or toad enters your life, whether in real life, artwork, or media, view it as a good luck sign for new opportunities to create more abundance in your life. And remember that the frog is about potential. Sometimes a new these opportunity may not seem that exciting at first. However, once you understand it better, you can recognize it for the golden opportunity that it is and something that will enrich your life.
As the frog is a symbol of fertility, potential, and prosperity, they are naturally symbols of good luck. When all of these qualities are wrapped into a bundle, you have a winning combination to bring more good fortune into your life.
After all, good luck happens when preparation and opportunity meet. While you can’t control everything that happens in your life, the frog spirit animal reminds you to do everything you can to increase our odds. Prime your thoughts and put yourself in situations that will increase your odds of achieving your dream. Then, when the golden opportunity comes your way, you’ll be ready to hop on it!
Frog Spirit Animal
When the frog or toad is your spirit animal, you are blessed with good fortune and the exceptional potential to transform any area of your life that you want to improve.
If a frog or toad make themself known to you, whether in real life or through art, the media, or elsewhere – pay attention. There are no coincidences. Your spirit animal serves as a guide, bringing you messages from the Universe to help guide you on our soul’s journey.
The frog spirit animal reminds you to live up to your potential. If you ever find yourself envying others or even feeling jealous in some way, it’s always a sign that you are not fully utilizing your own unique gifts. Within you is the power to be an expert when you utilize your gifts. The frog spirit animal is here to remind you to spend time understanding what you have to bring to the world and to take the time and effort that it takes to maximize your potential in these areas. This is how you live an exalted life.
According to Native American traditions, you can have more than one spirit animal. If you’re curious about other animals who might be your spirit guides, you can take UniGuide’s spirit animal quiz in my overview post about spirit animals.
Frog Power Animal
As the name implies, a power animal can empower you with their most dynamic traits. For example, you can summon the frog power animal when you:
- Want to conceive or see something in your life grow and thrive.
- Feel you need to detox in some way, whether it’s physical, psychological, or somewhere in your environment.
- See potential in yourself, another person, or an initiative that you want to maximize.
- Would like to reinvent yourself or transform an area of your life.
- Hope for good luck and prosperity in a creative or business endeavor.
An animal totem is a helpful talisman that encapsulates the positive attributes of the animal that it represents. It can also serve as a protective symbol. So, a frog totem can be a helpful symbol for bringing more abundance, prosperity, and good luck into your life. In addition, the frog totem is helpful s when you are undertaking a transformation of some kind and you want to see the best results possible.
The Frog in Mythology and Folklore
Many cultures around the world have beliefs, myths, and fairy tales about frogs. Here are some of those stories:
The Frog Who Turns into a Prince
A frog is a central figure in a number of fairy tales. Possibly the most famous is the story of a frog prince. There are a few different versions of this story, but essentially, it centers around a princess befriending a frog.
Unbeknownst to the princess, a witch has cast a spell on a prince and have turned him into the frog. Through a number of different means, depending on which version of the story you read, the princess see something special in the frog. And because of her pure heart and seeing the frog for who he really is, the princess is able to free the prince from his spell (usually by kissing him.) At its best, the story is about seeing the potential and inner beauty in another and ignoring the superficial aspects that don’t really matter.
Native American Frog Meaning
Every Native American tribe has their own unique set of beliefs and traditions. Yet one thing they all have in common is a deep reverence for animals and nature. And for many tribes, the frog is an important medicine animal.
Most importantly, Native Americans associated the frog with rain, fresh water, renewal, and growth. In times when fresh water was plentiful, tribes would be grateful to the frog spirit. However, in times of drought, the frog might be blamed.
There are some tribes for which the frog is especially significant. Native American tribes have a clan system that is organized around family groups. And the family groups are based on the maternal line. Clans serve as a system of community organization and a division of labor, as well as a way of keeping gene pools healthy by preventing close relatives from marrying.
Each clan has an animal associated with it, such the wolf, bear, hummingbird, crow, or fox clan. And a number of tribes have a frog clan. These tribes include the Chippewa, Zuni, Pueblo, and Tlingit.3
Frogs in Central and South American Cultures
The Aztecs and Mayans told tales of an aquatic creature called Tlaltecuhtli. While some say that she was a giant alligator or crocodile, other describe her as toad or frog deity. Tlaltecuhtli was always hungry and she even had extra mouths on her elbows and knees. In fact, she demanded human sacrifice.
The two gods, Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl, feared her power. So, they transformed themselves into giant serpents to battle her. In the battle, they split her in two and threw half of her body into the cosmos and the other into the sea.
The other gods and goddesses were horrified by what Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl had done to Tlaltecuhtli, so they insisted that all life on Earth would spring from Tlaltecuhtli’s body, including the rivers, flowers, grasses, and mountains.
Stone carving of the Aztec water goddess Chalchiuhtlicue. Ca 1350 – 1521 AD.
Museum of the Americas, Madrid, Spain. Photo: Luis García.
Another Mesoamerican goddess who was associated with frog and toads was Chalchiuhtlicue. She was a water deity who ruled rivers, streams, lakes, and storms. She was also the goddess of fertility and childbirth. In fact, in ancient Aztec culture, wombs and water were closely associated with each other.4
The Golden Frog
In Panama, the Kuna People have a legend about a golden frog. According to the legend, if you spotted a golden frog in the wild, it meant good luck would come your way. And once the frog died, it would turn into a golden talisman or huaca.
(There actually was a golden yellow frog, Atelopus zeteki, that inhabited the rainforests of Panama. However, they nearly went extinct due to habitat loss and being captured. Thanks for conservation efforts, they are protected in captive breeding programs, which hope to bring them back into the wild.5)
Like the Native Americans further north, the Aymara People of Bolivia and Peru associated frogs with rain and fresh water. They believed that frogs could call down the rain. But likewise, if there was not enough rain, the frogs were to blame.
Australian Aboriginal Frog Myth
The Australian Aborigines tell the tale of a giant frog whom they call Tiddalik. One morning, Tiddalik woke up very thirsty. So, he began to drink all of the water he could see. He drank and drank until the plants and then the land grew dry.
The other animals decided they had to do something. It was the wise owl who came up with a plan. She enlisted the help of the eel. The slithery eel began to tell Tiddalik jokes. Tiddalik tried not to laugh, but after some time, he could not help himself. When he did finally laugh, all of the water he had stored up in his mouth and body came pouring out, and the animals and plants got water again.6
The Frog in Japan
In Japan, a folk hero named Jiraiya rides a giant toad. As a ninja, he also possesses the ability to shapeshift into a toad.7 In general, the Japanese view toads and frogs as symbols of good luck and prosperity.
Frog Symbolism in China
In China, frogs are associated with yin or female energy. For this reason, the Chinese also associate frogs with the moon.
The Three Legged Frog
In China, a legendary three legged from named Jin Chan was said to come out during a full moon. If he appears near a home or business, good luck and wealth will come to that establishment. The real Jin Chan was apparently the animal companion of a famous Daoist monk named Liu Haichan.
Jin Chan is often depicted as a large bull from with one back leg and glowing red eyes. He also has a coin in his mouth and sits atop a pile of money. Nicknamed the Money Frog or Toad, Jin Chan is often used in Feng Shui to increase the flow of money and to protect against bad luck.
Frog and Toad Meanings in Hinduism
In Hinduism, frogs and toads are viewed as protectors when one if going through a change or transformation of some kind. Frogs were also associated with the transition from dusk to evening, as the sun sets.
In one Hindu story, a king falls in love with a beautiful maiden named Bheki. She agrees to marry the king on the condition that he never shows her any water. As it happens, one day Bheki gets thirsty, so she asks the king for a glass of water. The king indulges her request. However, as soon as Bheki sees the water, she begins to melt and sinks out of sight like the setting sun.8
The Frog in Greek Mythology
The ancient Greeks viewed frogs often in a comical light. In the comedy The Frogs by Aristophanes, the amphibians are a croaking chorus who disrupt the god Dionysus and his slave Xanthias as they travel on a mission to the underworld.9
And in a few of Aesop’s fables, the frog has a big ego or is an otherwise silly character. For example, in in one story, the frogs feel like they are undisciplined and out of control, so they ask Zeus for a king. Zeus gives the frog a log to follow. The frogs complain that the log is dull and doesn’t know how to govern. So, Zeus gives them a heron for a king, and soon the heron eats them all.10
Frog Meaning in Ancient Egypt
Known for their deities who were part human and part animal, the ancient Egyptians had a few deities who were part frog.
The Ogdoad of Hermepolis were a group of eight deities who had the heads of frogs or snakes and the body of human beings. The males had frog heads and the females snake heads. The Egyptians believed that the world began as an endless sea of watery chaos. From this chaos emerged the Ogdoad, who brought balance and order to the world.11
When the Nile River flooded, it helped crops to grow and make the land more fertile. At the same time, it brought a lot of frogs. Consequently, the ancient Egyptians associated frogs with water, fertility, and renewal. A later deity than the Ogdoad, the goddess Heket appeared as a woman with a frog head. Heket was a fertility goddess who protected women in childbirth.
In Mesopotamia, frogs were also associated with fertility as they were in ancient Egypt. In addition, they were viewed as helpful and protective symbols. There is an epic story told on ancient tablets dating back to 3000 BC about the god Enki and the goddess Inanna. Enki was the god of water for the ancient Sumerians, and Inanna was an Earth goddess.
In the story, Inanna tricks Enki into giving her the sacred mes.12 For the Sumerians, the mes was the collection of divine texts that explained the secrets of the world, how it was organized and how humans should conduct themselves in it. In order to get the mes back, Enki enlists the help of a frog.13
Frog Symbolism in Celtic Mythology
The Celts associated the frog with the Earth, fertility, and rain. In fact, they believed that when a frog croaked it meant that rain was imminent. Frogs were also seen as healers.
According to Celtic lore, if a child had an upper respiratory infection, putting a live frog in the child’s mouth and then releasing the from to swim away would cure the child. Evidently, this is where the saying, “I have a frog in my throat,” came about.
The Celts also told tales about a frog king. According to the story, some frogs had a stone on their heads, which was actually a jewel. If you befriended and tamed the frog, you could tap his head to dislodge the jewel and it would be yours.14
Frog Symbolism in the Bible
Probably because frogs were important in a number of pagan societies and were associated with gods and goddesses in ancient Egypt, they got a bad rap in the Bible. For example, in the Book of Exodus 8:6, frogs are the Second Plague of Egypt. And in Book of Revelation, frogs are associated with unclean spirits.15
In Islam, frogs are respected and they symbolize faith. According to one story, when the frog croaks he is saying, “Subhaanah Allaah,” which translates to God is perfect. In another story, when King Nimrod tried to burn the Prophet Abraham, it was a frog who took water in his mouth and then poured it on the fire to put it out. So, Muslims say you should show frogs mercy.16
Frog Dream Meaning
If a frog or toad enters your dreams and you wonder what the dream meant, consider the emotions you felt in the dream. Dreams are personal to each dreamer, so a frog dream to one person may be interpreted very differently from one that another person has. However, delving into the emotions you felt in your dream in context of how you view frogs can provide better insights into what your subconscious is trying to tell you.
As a symbol of transformation, a frog dream might be interpreted as a positive sign that you are in a transition and there will be positive outcomes. A frog dream might also mean abundance is going to come into your life. Hopefully understanding more about frog symbolism and meanings will bring new insights into what your dream is telling you.
Frog Tattoo Meaning
A frog tattoo is a happy symbol that shows the world you are person who is undergoing your own transformation and evolution. It can also mean that you are person who sees the best in others and values helping them realize their potential. Tattoos are very personal to each individual, but hopefully understanding more about frog symbols and mythology will bring even deeper meaning to your tattoo.
Organizations that Protect Frogs and Other Amphibians
Around the world, frogs and other amphibians are in peril. To begin, frogs have very porous skin, which allows them to breathe (along with their mouth) and absorb moisture. Because of this, frogs are extremely susceptible to pathogens and chemicals in their environment – which includes water and land.17
In fact, frogs and other amphibians are viewed as key indicator species because they are among the first animals to be impacted by environmental conditions. If frog populations plumet, it’s a sign that other life in an ecosystem is going to be impacted as well. Threats that frogs face include habitat loss and degradation, climate change, pollution, competition with and predation by non-native species, pathogens, and capture for the pet trade.
If you care about frogs, toads, and other amphibians, please do what you can to help protect them. Here are some organizations that are working to save them: