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Shayana File 1 the Frog Prince

Shayana File 1 the Frog Prince

This first Shayana File deals with the fairytale we all know as ‘the Frog Prince’, a story by the Brothers Grimm (Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich).

Part of Shayana’s training as nature’s sorceress involved the study of old folk wisdom about the special forces of plants and herbs. These ancient tales and myths have been passed on from generation to generation, with each generation slightly changing or adding elements to the story. But until today, they still contain a core of wisdom.

Although some tales have been forgotten, others have made it into our modern age and have evolved into what we now know as fairy tales, stories we have all been told when we were children. Sometimes, people decided to write down these stories so as to prevent them from being lost. And that is exactly what the Brothers Grimm might have done.

Their story, the Frog Prince is about a beautiful young princess who discovers a frog in a pool while playing in the forest with her ball. When her ball accidently falls into the water, the frog helps her get her ball back on the condition that she give him a kiss in return. The girl agrees but the minute she gets her ball back, she ignores the frog and goes back home. The frog, however, does not give up. He follows her and keeps on asking for a kiss. Finally, the girl accepts and does as promised. She kisses the frog and to her great surprise the frog suddenly turns into a handsome young prince. As it turns out, a long time ago, an evil sorcerer had put a spell on him and transformed him into an ugly frog. The only way the spell could be broken, was by the kiss of a young princess.

Many people probably believe that this story is the product of some storytellers imagination and that this fairytale was mere fantasy. After all, how can a slimy amphibian suddenly transform into a handsome young prince???

Well, according to Shayana, there just might be a very easy explanation. Let’s just suppose that the princess’ or the storyteller didn’t know very much about the animal world and that the princess wasn’t in fact dealing with a frog, but rather… with a toad.

In that case, it could be more than possible that the image of the handsome young prince, was triggered by something other than a wizard’s curse. Toads, belonging to the family of Bufonidae, produce skin secretions that are quite toxic. A major group of toxins in toad skin are the so-called bufotenins.

The exact mechanisms behind the effects of bufotenin on the human mind are not yet fully known, but it is certain that bufotenins show a remarkable resemblance to both serotoxin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and to the famous ‘hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide’, which we all know as the hallucinogenLSD. There also exist reports on the use of a bufotenine based snuff, called cohoba, by Native Americans in religious rituals.

The powerful effects of bufotenins are used by, among others, some tribes in the Orinoco. They prepare a tabacco mix containing bufotenin based on seeds and leaves of a mimosa shrub which they give to their worriers to get them into a trance and make them « invincible ».

Certain tribes like the Maya-Quiché in Guatemala are also known to use bufoteninis to get into a trance by applying the skin of these toads directly on open wounds.

This leads us to think that there is an alternative truth underneath the hocus pocus fairy tale of the princess who kisses an ugly amphibian that turns into a handsome young prince.

In fact, Shayana tells us, the Frog Prince is actually just a story about a little rich girl who got incredibly bored with sitting around in her large mansion and decided to go out and have some fun. Following the advice of the naughty kids from the village, she went into the forest looking for a funky psychedelic experience.
After several hours of walking, searching through woods, fields and swamps the rich chick finally found what she was looking for: an obese and smelly toad with its slimy skin full of bufotenin. A couple of tongue slides over its skin and there he was…A mind-blowing hallucinogenic trip in the form of a handsome looking young prince !

See you next month for a new Shayana File.
  • Shayana File 1 the Frog Prince
    This first Shayana File deals with the fairytale we all know as ‘the Frog Prince’, a story by the Brothers Grimm (Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich).

    Part of Shayana’s training as ... Mehr

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