Frogs

I recently read a couple of blogs regarding the Egyptian frog goddess Heqet, and I found it stirring interest ideas and memories to my mind. I recall not too long ago I had associated her largely with Hekate due largely to a providence over birth, and also a similarity in names phonetically. But when I read of Heqet this time, I found myself thinking of another goddess entirely, and one which rang strongly to me as a goddess hailed as a divine mother, and who in some parts of the Hellenized world (most specifically as I have read in Anatolia) was considered a cthonic goddess. Namely Leto, the very goddess who was said to have turned a Lycian village (or shepherds depending on what version you are reading) into a mass of frogs for denying her the water that they so loved. Frogs the singers between the world who I actually devoted some brief time to in my book on Apollon because they came up so many times, not only associated with his mother in the above mentioned myth, but also described by Plutarch as adorning the entrance doors of the temple at Delphi, and in Aristophanes Frogs connected intimately with the music of Apollon. Noting that both Artemis and Apollon are portal deities, and the connections that they have with death and birth, and their own mother hailed as a goddess of motherhood and worshipped at the same time by others as a chthonic deity, it is not too difficult to imagine a relationship between Heqet and Leto symbolically as symbols of motherhood, transformation, music, movement, and the unknown.

It is a nice coincidence in this that I have always had a fondness for frogs which is partially what rivited my attention so strongly in the last year when I was researching and again when I came across the posts on Heqet. Frogs in so many ways represent life to me. Even as a child I was raising tadpoles, keeping frogs in aquariums, and admired the small green ceramic frogs that my grandmother gave me that she had made (which have long since sadly disappeared). Frogs are the very essence of the cosmic harmony, the transformations from one form to the next, and the deep well of the unknown. If Artemis and Apollon are lightbearers, and Apollon is illuminating the darkness of the unknown, it is not difficult to image his mother submerged deep within welcoming her children. So whereas I am not Khemetic and don’t do Hellenic-Egyptian syncreticism, coming across these things are wonderful in that they get me thinking more about my own worship.

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