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The Land of Dragons




Dragons

Green Dragon Pictures, Images and Photos





Western Dragons


Dragon Pictures, Images and Photos


Largest of all the serpents and all the beasts of the earth, the dragon uncoiled at the beginning of time and has multiplied in names and shapes ever since. Known by all the peoples of the world, it is the greatest of all beasts. In the West, the dragon is the drakon (“sharp-sighted”, “watchful”) of the Greeks. The Romans called it drako, and the British know it as “drake”-as in “firedrake”- and “worm.”


The natural historian Edward Topsell says that some dragons have no feet. Dragons differ from other serpents in having crest upon their head and a beard under their chin. Their bright eyes see all things. All have teeth. Many have horns of even antlers. Some are black with green bellies, some are red, some yellow, and some the colour of ash. Many eat poisonous herbs, and their breath infects the air. Many jealously guard treasure deep in the earth.


The best-known kinds of dragons have either two or four legs. Those with four legs are like the Dragon of Wales. A Dragon with two legs is called a Wyvern. Both of these have scaly bodies that shake the earth when they move. They have broad spiny wings, a barbed tail, and claws and teeth as sharp as blades. They breathe smoke and fire, and their roar alone is enough to make people die of fright. These have battled gods, saints, and knights to the death.


In the head of a Dagon is the Draconce, or Dragon-stone, a brilliant red gem with curative powers. The blood of a dragon is a marvelous elixir that heals grievous wounds and enables the conqueror of the beast to understand the speech of birds and other living things. When mixed with honey and oil, the fat of the Dragon restores sight.

On old maps, “Here be Dragons” marks unexplored regions on the rims of the world. The dominant monster in heraldry, the Dragon has pointed ears, a bared tongue, the teeth and scaly stomach of a crocodile, the talons of an eagle, the ribbed wings of a bat, and a barbed, serpentine tail. The beast can be seen nightly as the constellation Draco, which winds across the skies of the northern hemisphere.


The Western dragon tends to be quite huge and heavy with sharp-claws and bat-like wings. They are typically with reptile features but may also have fur or feathers. Sometimes dark colored but always shinny. Some have forked tongues, others crests, fringes, or some other adornment. It always has the ability to belch forth blazing fire and fumes.


In the West, dragons are either live in caves or mountain dwellers and predators. Cave dweller dragons stay most of the time in the coldness of the dark. The caves, filled with fire and water, are easily guarded and located close to towns, where food is convenient. Mountain predators live in cave-riddled mountains that provide an invincible edifice, a sort of protection.


In the west, the dragon is an evil beast. There are many myths and legends of dragon slayers such as Hercules and Seguird (See also: Hydra).

Many people gained sainthood after slaying a dragon, famous names include St. Michael, St. George, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret. The places where the dragons were killed or slain could be found all over England named as "Dragon Hill."


Western Dragons like to feed upon human flesh and prefers young people and those who are weak. They also hunt large game animals such as deer, elk, and sometimes livestock. In folklore, it is depicted that they typically take a flight at night to terrorize the villagers and cause pestilence over the land. However, there are also many accounts of dragons giving assistance to weary travelers or acting as guardians or protectors over sacred forests or treasures.


Western dragons were also very intelligent, and in many cases capable of speech. Legend has it that Western dragons held secrets, knowledge or power that may only be claimed when the dragon is slain. The one who killed the dragon must drink its blood and eat its flesh in order to have these secrets revealed





Eastern Dragons



eastern sky dragon Pictures, Images and PhotosThe oldest culture in the world to utilize dragons in their mythology and beliefs, are the Chinese. For them, the dragon is a divine, mythical creature that brings good fortune, prosperity and bounty. It is the symbol of emperors and imperial rule, and its legends have shaped a good portion of modern Chinese culture.


The dragon is a positive force, and represents power, excellence, and striving for goals, as well as being a benevolent force, which radiates goodwill, good luck, and blessings. Shrines to them can be found in many places in China, usually near the sea, since Eastern dragons tended to be water creatures.


In Eastern culture, the dragon represents the essential forces of Nature. While Emperors consulted them as revered advisors, they did not always follow that advice, and consequently the dragons' anger would either produce storms and floods though the clouds they breathed out, or such things as water shortages, when they beat their tails about, and emptied lakes and rivers. A dragon's celestial breath, known as sheng chi, bestows warmth from the sun, wind from the ocean, soil from the Earth, and water from rain.


The number nine figures in many aspects of dragon worship in Chinese culture, for example, the nine ways in which they are shown:


On the screws of fiddles because they are said to like music

On top of bells and gongs, because they call out loudly

On the bottom of stone statues, since dragons can support heavy weights

On the top of writing tablets, because dragons are fond of literature

On bridges, because dragons are associated with water

On the eaves of temples, because dragons guard against danger

On Buddha's throne, where dragons rest

On prison gates, which represent trouble-making dragons

On the hilt of swords, because dragons can slaughter their enemies

In Western culture, the dragon developed a very different persona, which many aficionados claim is misinterpretation of the tales in which their stories are told. Where Eastern dragons are perceived as good and benevolent, western dragons are all fire, and flinging their tails about, and biting heads off. In reality, if you read a broad range of literature from both hemispheres, you'll find that eastern dragons sometimes took a notion to be bad characters, and in the west, there are dragons whose whole existence was to serve and protect a kingdom, or prince, and they display the most sterling qualities of loyalty and sacrifice.


Part of the reason it is so hard to define what constitutes a dragon, is the wide variance in their physical images. In Eastern culture the dragon started out as an elongated, almost serpentine creature, usually, but not always showing four shortened legs, and a spaded tail. They were covered in scales, had a crest on the head, and were brightly colored in many hues. In Western culture, the traditional image of the dragon is of an almost reptilian animal, usually green, with wings like a bat, and breathing fire. Some also have feathers. Which is likely what leads to confusing dragons with gryphons (leonine in the hind quarters and raptor-like in the front quarters) and the phoenix (a mythical bird).


As the mythology of dragons in both cultures became shared through world travel, the line between the two images blurred, so that some Western representations, now show a definite eastern influence.


Today, the popularity of science fiction, and such role-playing games as Dungeons and Dragons, means that dragon figurines are a hot commodity. From pewter or other metal game pieces, to wood carvings, Chinese jade and crystal, the dragon has become a symbol of magic and mystery, a tangible piece of other worlds, that can be held in our hand, and admired for the exquisite craftsmanship put into every piece. Whether they are hand cast pottery, or hand-blown glass, dragon figurines add a splash of brilliance to a desktop, bookcase, or display pedestal, where they can rule over their kingdom.


Notable Dragons


The Tarasque dragon-like monster of Tarascon, France, was charmed and led back into the city by St. Martha, where he was stoned to death by the people.

Dragonroot, also known as Jack-in-the-pulpit. Used for medicinal purposes, but only after the root is dried. Taken internally while fresh it causes death by gastroenteritis.

Leviathan, a biblical creature who has wrapped his body around the Earth, and holds its tail in its mouth, lest the Earth fall apart.


About the Author:

Johann Erickson




Dragon Magick



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In all forms of magick, the cosmos and everything in it are deemed to be made up of four elements, Air, Fire, Water, Earth. Most do not know of the Fifth element, that of spirit or the Deities, which rules as a balance. In Dragon Magick, specific dragons rule these elements and help us through their powers when called.

Fire and Air are male (positive) energies while Water and Earth are female (negative) energies. Male and female dragons may appear to represent any element, however. In the world of Dragon Magick, each element has assigned traditional rulers and boundaries to their realms. Do remember that these Dragons possess form and force, and can influence our personalities as well as magickal procedures. Each element and its dragon has certain qualities, natures, moods, and magickal purposes; each has positive and negative traits which much be dealt with.


The traditional Pagan colors of the elements are: east=yellow, south=red, west=blue, north=darkgreen. However, there are other colors given to the elements. To the Celts this list was: east, white; south, red; west, gray; north, black. The Hindus use east, blue; south, red; west, silver; north, yellow. In China and Japan these colors are: east, blue; south, red; west, white; north, black. To the Zunis of North America, ease was white; south, red; west, blue; north, yellow. The definitions of the element I'm about to give you lists the traditional Pagan colors, but if you feel that one of the other color lists better suits you, then by all means.....adopt it!


The names of the dragons of the elements and the spelling and pronunciation of those names have proven compatible with Dragon Magick; however, knowing Dragons, they probably are not the actual names of the Elemental Dragons. They do work. That is all that is necessary


Air

Air governs the eastern quarter of the circle and of the universe. Its Dragon ruler is Sairys (sayr'-iss). Its color is pure yellow and is thought to be warm and moist. Positive aspects are: sunrise, spring, incense, wand, bell, clouds, breezes, breath, optimism, joy, intelligence, mental quickness, renewing. Negative associations are: frivolity, gossip fickleness, inattention, bragging, forgetfulnes, windstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes and the like


Fire

Rules the south quarter of the circle. Its Dragon ruler is Fafnir (faf'-neer) who oversees the Dragons of Fire and the sunbeams. Its color is pure red and is warm and dry. Fire is: noon, summer, the dagger and sword, candles, incense burner, the sun, blood, laser surgery, enthusiasm, activity, change, passion, courage, daring, will power & leadership. Negative associations are: hate, jealousy, fear, anger, war, ego, conflicts, lightning, volcanoes.


Water

Water governs the western quarter of the circle. Its Dragon ruler is Naelyan (Nail'-yon), who oversees the Dragons of the sea, springs, lakes, ponds and rivers. Its color is pure blue; and it is cold and moist. Positive aspects are: sunset, autumn, the water chalice, compassion, peacefulness, forgiveness, love, intuition, calmness, peace of mind. Negative aspects include: floods, rainstorms, whirlpools, laziness, indifference, instability, lack of emotional control, insecurity.


Earth

Earth rules the northern quarter of the circle. Its Dragon ruler is Grael (grail), who oversees the Dragons of mountains, land, minerals, gems, and moonbeams. Its colors are clear and dark green and is cold and dry. Positive aspects are: midnight, winter, the wine chalice, ritual salt, dragon bowl, gem bowl, dragon mirror, gemstones, mountains, caves, soil, respect, endurance, responsibility, stability, prosperity, thoroughness, purpose in life. Negative aspects are: rigidity, unwilingness to change or see another side of a problem, stubbornness, lack of conscience, vacillation, earthquakes and slides.


Akasha/Spirit

The white, black and "special" dragons rule the center of the circle and balance all the other elements into a cool, even grey tone of Magick. Through invocation of these dragons of light and darkness, the Magick User is able to mix a blend of elements that will bring forth the desired manifestation. Some would scoff at the idea of a Dragon of Light, mixing energies with a Chaos Dragon or any other "darkly aligned" Dragon. Unfortunately, those sceptics are usually Role Players; Gamers if you will. The concept of darkness blending with light makes perfect sense to the experienced magick user, just as the concept of "tough love" makes perfect sense to a psychologist. It is the same concept.














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