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Curious Findings: Toadstones

"Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, are ugly and venomous, Yet wears a precious jewel in his head..." 
(As You Like It, William Shakespeare)
Toadstones definitely fall under the category of Curious Findings. Often presented in the form of a ring toadstones are a type of amulet, an object worn or carried for the purpose of protection. Sometimes an inscribed charm or incantation will accompany the ring for added bonus. Popular in medieval times, it was believed the stone's magical properties protected the wearer against any number of ailments, including poisoning, epilepsy, and kidney failure.

Belief in the power of these stones to counteract the effects of poison seems to trace back to Pliny the Elder, father of the unverified naturalist observation. Because toads are often venomous, having two parotid glands at the back of the neck that secrete deadly bufotoxins, it was thought they must possess some magical means of preventing their own poisoning. The n…

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Luanne G.'s bookshelf: read

The Hazel Wood
My Sister's Grave
The Naturalist
Harry Potter: A History of Magic
A Cool and Lonely Courage: The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France
Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
The City of Brass
To Capture What We Cannot Keep
The Woods
Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Faithful Place
Tell No One
Thanks, But This Isn't for Us: The Compassionate Guide to Understanding What's Wrong with Your Writing and Leaving the Rejection Pile for Good
The Last Days of Magic
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies
French Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from a French Village
The Witch of Painted Sorrows
The Apprentice Witch

Luanne G. Smith's favorite books »