Dragons of Wind, Storm and Weather
Dragons of wind and storm and weather in general belong to a subspecies of Air dragons. They are long, slender dragons, some of them with great gauzy wings, others with the Oriental “flying-lump” on their foreheads. Down the spine of the back flutter thin fringes of membrane tissue. They tend to be pale yellows and blues, but change to angry red-orange, purple, or black when they call up storms. Long, feathery antennae rise above their eye ridges.
Dragons of wind, storm, and weather are excellent helpers to control excesses in the weather; get things moving in your life, especially in the areas of creativity and the mental processes; protection; flexibility of the mind; openness to new ideas; sweeping away obstacles, most often in a dramatic fashion.
Sometimes these dragons have feather-looking scales that surround their eyes and necks. Such a dragon was the British Henham dragon, which was well documented in 1669. It as described as being only about nine feet long with small wings and rather curious eyes surrounded by “feathers.” The Henham dragon put in repeated appearance before a great number of observers for several years before it disappeared.
These dragons inhabit cloud banks or very high mountain peaks where the winds never cease. Some Oriental weather dragons live in pools and ponds. They are in almost constant motion, riding the breezy air currents or roaring along with a whistling gales. Sometimes two or more of them join forces, either in play or a temporary dispute, thereby creating tornadoes and hurricanes. When they roll together, lightning and thunder occur.
The ancient Chinese writer Wang Fu wrote that dragons scream like struck copper basins when rain is near. Their breath became clouds. After the fourth month of Summer, the dragons were said to divide the land into territorial sections, thus accounting for the wide diversity of weather in any given region. The Chinese believed that careful observation of dragon activity in the skies could predict the future and the weather. For instance, dragons fighting each other was an omen of a rough journey or approaching storms.
Chinese tradition says that the cry of a male dragon makes the wind rise, while the cry of the female makes it calm again. Their mid-air mating, which is more frequent than with Western dragons, causes great storms and downpours of rain.
The Chinese celestial dragon with the name of Fei Lin was said to appear as a dragon with a bird’s head, deer’s horns and a snake’s tail. The Chinese still hold dragon processions to mark their New Year and to ask for rain and fertility. These festivals are accompanied by lots of noise and dancing to give the dragon and spring a good welcome.
The greatest and Lord of all Dragons was the Celestial Lung. He was different from others of his species as he had five claws on each foot instead of the usual four and had a pair of wings, something missing from most Oriental dragons. He appears to have been a dual-element dragon, since he lived in the sky during the spring and summer and in the ocean during the autumn and winter. Celestial Lung had power over the fertility of all creatures and the land itself. He appointed other Oriental dragons to control areas of human activities, such as music, literature, the military, bridge building, law and architecture.
Many of the Celtic intertwined serpent-dragons were of the Air Element. Above the gate of Kilmainham jail in Dublin can still be seen a large carving of entwined Celtic serpent-dragons. The Danish Ringerike style of carving shows the same kind of dragon. These carved, twisting shapes are full of energy, giving the illusion of constant movement. A Buckle from the Sutton Hoo burial site also portrays these aerial serpent-dragons.
Janet Hoult, in her book “Dragons: Their History & Symbolism (Gothic Image, 1990)” tells of seeing such an aerial display of these dragons above the houses in London. She describes it as a fiery ball of golden “serpents” which looped and writhed around each other in a strange dance in the morning skies.
When the Ringerike style went out of fashion in the Middle Ages and dragons began to be more realistically portrayed, this looping movement was retained in at least the tail if no other part of the body. Since even the vilified Christian dragons had at least one loop in their tails, this may have been a symbol for the great and limitless energy of dragons.
Although one does not usually think of the Australian Rainbow Serpent as being a dragon,, it falls into the category of both weather and water dragons. The Rainbow Serpent is known as a rainmaker in Australia, North America, and West Africa. The Australians say that when the rainbows arch across the land, the Rainbow Serpent is traveling from one water hole or water course to another.
From the deserts of Arizona to the peaks of the Andes, the great Feathered or Plumed Serpent Quetzalcoatl was known as a kindly benefactor and rainmaker. When he arched himself across the heavens, he was an awesome sight, with multicolored scales and bright feathers about his neck and head. When he appeared among his human followers, he chosen the form of a handsome young man attired in a cloak of feathers from the quetzal bird. Quetzalcoatl was the god of win, creator of all life forms, the loving father who produced fertility and ample rain. He taught humans the arts and crafts of civilization and gave them the gift of fire. When Tezcatlipoca, god of war, turned the people to sacrificing living human hearts, Quetzalcoatl left the land.
Even in the British Isles, there are still a few remnants of ancient dragons processions for good spring weather. At one time there were a great many suck festivals. Most of the significance has been lost because of the extreme propaganda by the church. In Britain many of the dragon figures carried in the processions have been destroyed. One of the very few remaining is carried each May as part of the Helston Furry Dance. Two very old dragon effigies now hang in the Castle Museum at Norwich. The Civic Snap, which is the older of the two, dates from about 1795; the Pockthorpe Snap was made by the people of a neighboring village.
Throughout the Middle Ages, these dragons effigies for the spring festivals were very elaborate. They had wings that flapped, horseshoes for gums that made a clacking noise as their mouths opened and closed, and gun powder that made them belch smoke and fire. They were painted in bright colors and quickly became the centerpiece and most popular part of the processions.
In Central and South American and the Caribbean there was a dragon called Huracan; hurricanes were named after him. He was also responsible for earthquakes. In Olmec and Mayan carving of Huracan, he is shown with two forelegs one crooked up , the other down, to suggest his spinning movement. He has only one hind leg the destructive leg that sweeps across the Earth. Other carvings show a man sitting inside what was called Dragon-mouth Cave, and identify this person as Huracan’s brother; it is more likely an initiate. Dragon-mouth Cave has the dragon’s eye on its top with the dragon’s flaming eyebrows; the pupil of the eye is an X. Out of the cave mouth issues clouds of mist-laden breath, a symbol of both rain and the fertility of spirit. Carved near this cave mouth are four sets of concentric circle, the South American sign of precious jade-water (spiritual moisture or blessings).
In ancient Greek culture Typhon was one of the children of the Goddess Gaea and Tartarus. He created powerful, destructive whirlwinds called typhoons. He was pictured with a human body, legs of coiling serpents, a hundred dragons’ heads and many wings. Fire glittered from his many eyes.
This subspecies of dragons is petitioned for weather changes, such as bringing rain, abating a storm or calming wind. Obviously, the magician cannot collect any substance from their dwelling places, but he can entice them by using a small drum and the gong or bell to draw their attention. Wind chimes and winds socks also attract them. The magician can easily work outside with this dragon force. However, do not go outside, particularly under trees or with any metal objects, during a thunderstorm! Such action can be potentially dangerous, because lightning could strike you.
Chant while beating the drum or striking the gong with a slow, steady beat:
THE WINDS ARE HOWLING THROUGH THE TREES.
THE CLOUDS ARE RACING ‘CROSS THE SKY.
THE WEATHER IS CHANGING ONCE AGAIN.
GREAT DRAGONS ARE PASSING BY.
BY THOUGHT I FOLLOW YOUR AIRY DANCE
THROUGH MOUNTAINS OF CLOUDS ABOVE SO HIGH,
BRING US GOOD WEATHER FOR THIS LAND.
GREAT DRAGONS, PASS ON BY.