Cane Toad – Toxicity
* This file focuses specifically on the role of Cane Toad in Australia. It does not explore the messages of Cane Toad where it is naturally a healthy part of the environment.
Adaptation and proliferation. Success at the cost of others. Earth and water mysteries. The visionary. Strong medicine. Toxic situations. Toxicity. Invasion. Poisonous situations. Poisoning others. Harm.
The cane toad was introduced into Australia in the early 1900s in order to control cane beetles. They not only failed to control the beetles, but became a major pest growing in proportion yearly. Cane toads are poisonous, they oust other frogs and toads from wetlands, poison many creatures that try to eat them, and kill many pets who also attack them. They are hardy creatures with no known effective predators or methods for control in Australia.
Cane toads can lay up to 30,000 eggs a year, in comparison to the 2,000 that most native frogs lay. The consume marsupials, mammals, birds, reptiles and other frogs and toads. Cane toads are unfortunately the target of inhumane methods of slaughter and are generally detested by the public. There is a small tourist industry based on posing dried cane toads or making them into purses and other saleable products.
Lessons and Challenges:
Cane toad has a strong and often overwhelming energy, and if it has shown up, it is letting you know that you are currently experiencing a situation (or many) that is toxic. It may be external circumstances beyond your control, or alternatively it may be thoughts and feelings within you that have become toxic.
Do a general scan of your life, and find out where the toxicity lies. Cane toad can help with this, and point your attention to specific situations which are toxic. Cane toad will also warn against certain people and situations who are particularly poisonous towards you. You may not be able to avoid these toxic situations, as you may be too overwhelmed and taxed at this point, but awareness is a step towards knowing how to work against them, and how to start leeching the toxins from your life; both internally and externally.
The presence of cane toad also warns against your own ability to ‘poison’ others, either with your words or actions. Watch out for how you speak to and interact with others. Are you being positive with them, or are you trying to clean your own inner toxicity out by spreading it in the direction of others? Watch out for harmful behaviour at this time.
In addition to watching out for general themes of toxicity, be aware that there may be some harm occurring in your life right now. Alternatively, you may be reacting in a toxic manner to harm that occurred in your past, or even harm that you imagine could occur in your future (i.e. such as pushing a partner away because you suspect they may do the same to you). Harm is not the same as hurt, it is long-lasting and has consequences on the body and spirit. Be careful at this time and look at what you fear, what harm has occurred, and how you can go about addressing it and healing.
Feral cane toad is ‘strong medicine.’ It comes into a person’s life with lessons that are often very hard to face and as such, it is loathed by almost everyone Australia-wide. Its lessons are akin to having to swallow a herbal tincture that makes one gag, or knowing that that infected splinter has to come out, or it will get worse.
There is a theme of adaptation and proliferation around, or that of invasion. What may be happening at this time, is that because you have not been able to contain the hurt, fear or harm within you (or because others cannot), it is spreading outwards and infecting others. You have the choice to attempt to stop this from happening, whether by protecting yourself, or by helping others to heal themselves.
Despite some of the more distasteful lessons of cane toad, there is the energy of a true visionary around when cane toad comes to call. This is an animal that has managed to conquer territories and adapt to landscapes readily, and almost easily. It is a resourceful, proliferate creature that stretches its energy out across the land. When it is around, you have the potential to harness great success. This success may be at the cost of others, but if it is necessary for your survival, cane toad tells you to seize it and embrace it as your own birthright.
Chances are, with cane toad around, you have access to visionary ideas and thoughts that may change the course of the businesses, relationships and interactions around you. It is often overwhelming to have this energy around, but despite the costs, the benefits and reward can be great.
Cane toad teaches about profound earth and water mysteries, especially those that are challenging towards us, and force us to grow or look beyond what is comfortable for us.
The Shadow Aspects:
Those who dislike or fear cane toad, often hate unpleasant change. The fact is that cane toad is a part of Australia now – whether we like it or not – but do we spend all our time funneling emotions like hatred and fear towards the cane toad, or do we become proactive and find ways to minimise their impact while maximising the survival chances for native wildlife? Cane toad let’s us know that it’s up to us to change our own attitudes. Unpleasant change / change for the worse is a part of life, it happens. How we deal with it determines how we experience life.
Cane toad challenges those who do their utmost to avoid ‘toxic’ situations and emotions. They might spend their entire lives running from memories that are hurtful or frightening, they might deny the presence of poisonous thoughts and emotions within their own person, or they might avoid others when they are going through times of crisis. Cane toad confronts such running and reminds us that toxicity can be a valuable teaching tool. Without acknowledging its presence and forcing ourselves to experiencing it, we cannot begin to assimilate it and leach the poisons from our unpleasant experiences.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Cane toad is an overwhelming energy, and because it so easily reaches out, it is readily accessed through visualisation and journeying. Its presence is strong, and in my own experiences with cane toad, I found that it was never ever alone. There were always others hiding nearby.
Cane toad responds well to offerings, and I’d recommend offering anything (water, food, etc.) to prevent it from taking offerings of energy. It can be quite a communicative guide, one that ‘talks’ and converses rather than teaching through example. If you want to voluntarily work with the energy of cane toad, make sure that you are able to connect with other more cleansing energies afterwards, whether this is guides in the spirit worlds, or people in real life who can help you to feel grounded once more.