Toads

by Ravemore

The toad, also referred to as the borax or stelon, has a long history and association with witches and witchcraft, both as familiar and a ritual component. The historical record is rich with examples, and failure to not account for it in my Left Hand Path would be remiss. I have no concern with its connotations with the dark side of the craft. The old records state they were creatures possessed by devils and demons, residing with a witch to protect and to teach the dark arts. This may be true, as some Lesser Powers do indeed have the ability to possess, but they should be viewed as a tool, nothing more and nothing less. As mentioned elsewhere, the Lesser Powers can be hostile, benign, or indifferent. They can have their own motivations and agenda’s though, so caution should always be exercised when dealing with them.

It is said that to carry a dried toad tongue in a pouch over your breast will impart the power to obtain success in matters of love or lust. A power to bend the will of a female.

A component for some old spells calls for swelter’d venom. This is the saliva of a toad. The skin of some toads also secretes a powerful chemical compound used by witches in ointments to facilitate altered states and enable them to fly. This compound is indole alkaloid bufotenine.

A stone is said to reside in the skulls of some toads. This “toadstone” is also said to have the power to detect poisons. When in the presence of toxins it would grow warm to the touch. It can be assumed that the body temperature of the toad containing the stone would also be elevated due to the concentrations of toxin in its own skin.

Lore surrounding the toad suggests it has connotations with the Underworld, and rituals surrounding death are therefore appropriate to include the toad as component or focus.