Dragons in Mythology and Legend

Dragons in Mythology and Legend



The world’s mythologies are full of tales about dragons. Sometimes they are portrayed as huge serpents, sometimes as the type of dragon known to the Western world, sometimes in the shape known to those in the Orient. But dragons have always played a part in the shaping of this world and its many diverse cultures. They have also had an important part in cultural perception of spiritual ideas.

Dragons have been portrayed in many forms and variations of these forms. Ancient teachings say dragons can have two or four legs or none at all, a pair of wings or be wingless, breathe fire and smoke, and have scales on their bodies. Their blood is extremely poisonous and corrosive, but also very magickal. Blood, or the life force, is a symbol of the intensity of their elemental-type energies. Depending upon the reception they received from humans in the area where they lived, dragons could be either beneficial or violent. One thing is for certain: dragons were regarded with awe by all cultures affected by their presence and interaction with humans.

Although one can speak of dragons as a separate species of being, there are numerous subspecies and families within the dragon community, as one can deduce from reading ancient histories and stories. The subspecies and families may have greater or lesser differences in appearance but still retain the basic traits that are common to all dragons wherever they are. One family of dragons, with very similar characteristics, lived in Europe, especially northern Germany, Scandinavia, and islands of the North Atlantic. A second family was recognized in France, Italy and Spain. A third family dwelt in the British Isles, including Ireland; these dragons, commonly called Firedrakes, included the subspecies of Wyverns (dragons with two legs) and the winged but legless Worm. A fourth family was found in the Mediterranean area, especially Greece, Asia Minor, southern Russian, and northern Africa; the dragons with many heads was common in this region. A fifth dragon family and the largest in number was the Oriental dragon of China, Asia and Indonesia. The sixth family, of very limited size and number, was found in the Americas and Australia.

In the Eastern world, dragons seldom breathe fire and are more benevolent, although hot-tempered and destructive when provoked. They are sometimes pictured as wingless, but can propel themselves through the air if they wish. The dragons of the Orient, Mexico, the Americas and Australia propelled themselves through the skies by balancing between the Earth’s magnetic field and the winds.


Characteristics of Dragons

Characteristics of Dragons


Dragons are long-lived, hoard treasure, and are very wise. The older a dragon, the wiser he is. Conversing with an old dragon is a double-edged sword. He may be wiser, able to give you greater knowledge, but he is also touchy and extremely untrustworthy, unless you handle him correctly. After all he has been around long enough to have experienced human unreliability and deceit.

Dragons have control of deeper currents of elemental energies than is usually felt by humans. They are always connected in some manner with various forms of the four elements. Sightings of dragons have also been reported in areas where other psychic phenomena have occurred, such as ghosts and other astral creatures.

Depending upon the behavior of the dragons under observation, their apppearance can be considered an omen of good fortune. Oriental dragon-watchers said that it was possible to predict the weather and fortune of any community by studying the part of the sky in which a dragon appeared and the way it behaved, such as breathing fire, fighting with another dragon, screaming or frolicking in and out of the clouds.

Dragons tend to speak in riddles and symbols, avoiding straight answers whenever possible. The only weapon dragons respect is the sword, but only if it is wielded by a confident magician who is prepared to stand his ground. Please notice I say respect, not fear. I believe this is because dragons like strong humans with a healthy, balanced opinion of themselves. They do not care for vacillating humans, who are afraid to make a decision or take responsibility. Do not make the mistake of trying to physically attack with the sword. In the first place a dragon could melt the blade like ice in a flame. In the second place, the dragon is an astral creatures, incapable of being actually harmed by a physical weapon. The sword is only for magickal gestures.

As one can see by the legends, there was a time when dragons materialized from the astral into the physical plane on a fairly regular basis. Considering a dragon’s intelligence, it is no wonder that they now choose to stay away from humans. Most humans want to control, dissect, or vanquish everything they do not understand, and even a lot of what they do understand.

But that wonderful, vast storehouse of dragon magick and power is still available if a magician will take the time to learn how to approach the dragons and their deep magickal energies.

“Dancing with Dragons”

D. J. Conway

Dragons and The Ancient Arts

Dragons and The Ancient Arts

The Chinese word for dragon’s breath is sha, a term which may correspond to what European dowsers call “black radiations.” For the past 50 – 60 years European dowsers have traced lines of black radiation which seem to follow underground water-bearing fissures or “black streams.” These black streams produce an energy imbalance in the Earth, affecting the landscape, its vegetation and crops, and any humans or animals that live there or frequent the area. Dowsers say that this imbalance of energy can be caused by quarrying, cutting through hills for roads or building, landslides, etc. Like an acupuncturist “staking” a node on an acupuncture meridian to restore balance in the human body, these dowsers stake the black streams with iron rods. In Chinese terms, they are restoring the Yin and Yang of the land where the dragon’s breath has turned sour or noxious.
This staking or guiding the dragon’s Earth energies may have been an ancient art which both balanced and collected these energies within a specific place. Dragons are connected in legends with mazes, spirals, labyrinths, and hills, coiling around or within them. It is possible that the terraced and spiraled hills, the circles of stones, indeed the single monoliths, were a method of controlling and directing this dragon energy. With the spiraled mounds and labyrinths the energy would have been guided into the center of the structure where it would have been of use to initiates who understood its great potential and power. In legends this guided dragon energy would be symbolized by the dragon coiling around a hill and squeezing the hill into its spiral form, such as in the legends of the Wormington Hill and Bignor Hill dragons in Britain. The Vurm of Shervage Wood was said to lie in and out among the trees of its area, its winding coils marking the boundaries of an ancient so-called campsite. Archaeologists have long called these spiral-marked areas ancient campsites, although common sense tells you that they could not be defended from invaders.
This dragon energy may be a form of static electrical energy flowing naturally through the Earth. It would explain the strange sensations one gets within specific areas, especially in what are called sacred spots. The sensations range from tingling in the fingers, spine or back of the neck to a great sense of peace to an unidentifiable strange feeling. Whatever this energy is, it is extremely strong wherever it is concetrated into a contained area, such as the center of a stone circle or a spiral. There are other places, commonly called power spots or power-sinks, where this energy appears to rise from the ground without human-made structures. These power spots covers a specific area of ground and have definite edges where the energy phenomena cease to exist.

Barrow mounds have long been associated with strange happenings. It may be that the priests of the original builders knew now-forgotten techniques of situating these sites over power flows so that they collected and stored the energy as would batteries. Among the Celts, it was a common practice for trained seers to spend the night on such a mound or grave and communicate with the dead, either to gain information from the past or predict the future. It has been documented several times within the last few centuries, that when a barrow mound was opened, strange and violent thunderstorms occurred soon afterwards. It would appear that there was a release of some kind of contained energy, and that the release was done in such a way as was not safe for such a build-up.
Many old stories tell of the dragon using a regular path, whether by air or land, whenever it journeyed from one place to another. These paths were not necessarily in straight lines. It is possible that these dragon paths followed underground streams of energy that move from one sinkhole of energy to another. In his book Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain, L. V. Grinsell tells of a mysterious light commonly seen moving from a cairn at Torhousetie to a water conduit and back; the conduit had been covered with a stone slab taken from the cairn. In this instance it would seem that the cairn slab had become so magnetized that the energy set up a new line of flow from the sinkhole (cairn). Legend says that when the dragon’s blood is spilled, no vegetation will grow there. Dowsers say that if something goes wrong with the Earth energy the same thing happens. One story about spilled dragon blood is connected to the bare spot called Dragon Hill, which lies just below the White Horse at Uffington in Berkshire, England. There is another such legend connected with a bare spot near Aller in Somerset.
The conquering Christians were quick to take advantage of these power spots. They had a policy of building churches to St. Michael the dragon-killer over these old sites, some of them in very unlikely places. Both Glastonbury and Burrowbridge in Somerset have churches to St. Michael atop them. Other churches are built in the most illogical, out-of-the-way places, areas far from towns or even roads. There is absolutely no reason for siting the church in such an isolated place except to cover a power spot known to the Pagans.

The Anglo-Saxons spoke of another type of dragon Earth energy when they said dragons laired in certain sites to protect hoards of treasure. These sites most often seemed to be connected with burial mounds which the Anglo-Saxons called dragon hills. The Celts, Anglo-Saxons and the Norse all said that were-fire burned above the barrows where treasure was buried. It may well be that the ancient peoples knew where the energy streams ran and built burial mounds over them for some specific reason. The grave goods in barrows over such energy streams would absorb that energy, particular if they were made of gold or silver.
In the Mabinogion, there is a story of Peredur, son of Efrawg, who refers to a Welsh barrow that is guarded by a Worm. The Mabinogion is filled with symbolic stories that can be interpreted on a spiritual level. On the physical plane, the burial treasure was considered to be magickally charged. Perhaps the treasure in the dragon lairs really meant spiritual treasure which could be discovered through the use of the streams of “dragon” energy. Physical treasure which has been removed from such mounds often carries with it strange vibrations which precipitate very weird events.

“Dancing with Dragons”
D. J. Conway