You’ve heard of the Right-Hand Path (RHP) and the Left-Hand Path (LHP) …well, I propose another one: The Ambidextrous Path (AP) 😀 — but as I found out after Googling it, it’s not an original idea 😦 …and I thought I was being so clever …oh well. 😉
Earlier this year I read Apophis by Michael Kelly (followed by Aegishjalmur and Dragonscales, see below) in which he says,
“Draconian magic is, by definition, magic fuelled by the symbolism and energies of dragons.”
However, this book is very different to others I have read on “dragon magic/k” — eg. books by D.J. Conway and Parker J. Torrence (click here). Although I found Kelly’s books interesting — quite intriguing actually — there is a lot in them that just doesn’t “resonate” with me. Having said that, there’s also many aspects of the other books mentioned that I just don’t “get” or agree with either (all matters of personal opinion really) even though overall, I did enjoy reading them and would certainly recommend them, along with Kelly’s books, to others seeking information about a draconic magical path.
A couple of pages into Apophis Kelly recommends that readers of his book also read Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies as well as the Setian magical books by Don Webb, plus many others on the reading list of the Order of Apep and the Temple of Set. He says also of the Draconian current,
“that it is unashamedly and irrevocably Left-Hand Path in its aims and methodologies. That is to say it is a school which teaches the immortalisation and deification of the individual psyche, as opposed to the Right-Hand Path which seeks to submerge that psyche within a sense of universal oneness.”
From this (and the description provided of the book — see below) it is obvious that the Draconian path that Kelly writes about is very different to my interpretation of a “Draconian” or “Draconic” path, or to my personal understanding and experience of “Dragon Magic”.
As with many things, we take the ideas we like and mix and match those to form something that is personally pleasing and satisfying. I plan to revisit Apophis and work through its curriculum more thoroughly to see if there are aspects of it that I can incorporate into my path which is always changing and evolving.
I suppose at this stage I should provide more information here on what LHP and RHP is (or is not?) so here is a quote from the current version of the Wikipedia page on this topic…
Left-hand path and right-hand path
The terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path refer to a dichotomy between two opposing philosophies found in the Western Esoteric Tradition, which itself covers various groups involved in the occult and ceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious Black Magic and the Right-Hand Path with benevolent White Magic. Other occultists have criticised this definition, believing that the Left-Right dichotomy refers merely to different kinds of working, and does not necessarily connote good or bad magical actions.
In more recent definitions, which base themselves on the terms’ origins amongst Indian Tantra, the Right-Hand Path, or RHP, is seen as a definition for those magical groups which follow specific ethical codes and adopt social convention, while the Left-Hand Path adopts the opposite attitude, espousing the breaking of taboo and the abandoning of set morality. Some contemporary occultists have stressed that both paths can be followed by a magical practitioner, as essentially they have the same goals.
There is no set accepted definition of what comprises the Left-Hand Path and what comprises the Right. Early proponents of the terms, such as Madame Blavatsky, believed that they were essentially conflatable with Black Magic and White, although this has been criticised by later occultists as being overly simplistic.
The Right-Hand Path
The Right-Hand Path is commonly thought to refer to magical or religious groups which adhere to a certain set of characteristics:
- They adhere to social conventions and avoid taboos.
- They divide the concepts of mind, body and spirit into three separate, albeit interrelated entities.
- They adhere to a specific moral code and a belief in some form of judgement, such as karma or the Threefold Law.
Esoteric groups that could be considered to be RHP include Theosophy, as well as various Neopagan religions such as Druidry, Wicca, Kemetism, Celtic Neopaganism, Slavic Neopaganism, Germanic Neopaganism, Nova Roma, Hellenic Neopaganism and the Rada cult of Haitian Vodou, most of Thelema, and certain traditions of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, or the Gnostic Catholic Church. Right-Hand Path Tantra (Sanskrit: Dakshinachara) is also included. The occultists Dion Fortune and William G. Gray consider non-magical Abrahamic religions to be RHP, although the term is rarely used outside of magical societies such as Fraternity of the Inner Light and Ordo Templi Orientis. Other RHP traditions include most of Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, and all other Dharmic religions. Many groups and beliefs of the New Age Movement, particularly those based on self-help psychology, consciousness research, and many traditional religions and doctrines can also be considered RHP.
The Left-Hand Path
The historian Dave Evans studied self-professed followers of the Left-Hand Path in the early 21st century, making several observations about their practices:
- They often reject societal convention and the status quo, which some suggest is in a search for spiritual freedom. As a part of this, LHP followers embrace magical techniques that would traditionally be viewed as taboo, for instance using sex magic or embracing Satanic imagery. As Mogg Morgan wrote, the “breaking of taboos makes magick more potent and can lead to reintegration and liberation, [for example] the eating of meat in a vegetarian community can have the same liberating effect as anal intercourse in a sexually inhibited straight society.”
- They often question religious or moral dogma, instead adhering to forms of personal anarchism.
- They often embrace sexuality and incorporate it into magical ritual.
Under these definitions, various esoteric groups, often with widely differing beliefs, could be considered to be followers of the LHP. These include various forms of Satanism, such as LaVeyan Satanism as well as Theistic Satanism. Other Western LHP philosophies include Setianism, the Typhonian Order, Luciferianism, some beliefs of the New Age movement, chaos magic, Feri, magicians involved with demonology, as well as groups like the Dragon Rouge, and the Order of Nine Angles. The Petwo cult of Haitian Vodou reflects the LHP ethos. Several eastern philosophies could also be viewed as adhering to the LHP including forms of Taoism, forms of Hinduism such as Aghoris and Vamachara, forms of Buddhism like the Drukpa Lineage and Bön.
Criticism of both terms has come from various occultists. The Magistar of the Cultus Sabbati, Andrew Chumbley, stated that they were simply “theoretical constructs” that were “without definitive objectivity”, and that nonetheless, both forms could be employed by the magician – he used the analogy of a person having two hands, a right and a left, both of which served the same master. Similar sentiments were expressed by the Wiccan High Priest John Belham-Payne, who stated that “For me, magic is magic.” 
I think the nature of my path could best be described as “ambidextrous” rather than RHP or LHP as it incorporates elements of both and is neither one nor the other. Then again, if my path is “ambidextrous” why label it as anything at all? I tend to agree with Diane Vera who wrote (in 2003):
…it does seem to me that the terms “RHP” and “LHP” aren’t very useful anymore. Regardless of whether you identify as “RHP” or “LHP,” the terminology encourages stereotyping of people and religions in the other category. And, since hardly anyone calls oneself “RHP” these days, calling yourself “LHP” just makes you sound like you’re still fighting yesterday’s battles. 
Further explorations of the terms LHP and RHP can be found in references  and  at the bottom of this page.
Regardless of whether my interests in Dragons, magic and spirituality are called Draconian, Draconic or something else, or are LHP, RHP or AP, I’m sure the Dragons are guiding me to find the most suitable information for my personal use to enhance my interactions with them so I will happily read whatever information they direct me to. 🙂
Books by Michael Kelly on the Draconian Left-Hand Path
A practical handbook of Draconian Left-Hand Path Initiation. The Primordial Serpent lurks in the deepest, darkest roots of human consciousness. Each of its seven heads embodies a power which may be awakened within the psyche. ‘Apophis’ outlines the transformative process whereby the human Initiate becomes something much more than human. It provides the weapons necessary to win the war of consciousness against conformity. It openly teaches the means of immortalising the Self. (Text also available online here.)
Aegishjalmur: the Book of Dragon Runes is a curriculum of runic study which uses the myth of Sigurd the Volsung to awaken the powers of the Northern Dragon within the psyche of the student. Uses the same highly effective and transformative pattern of Draconian Initiation first developed in the author’s previous book ‘Apophis’, here adapted exclusively to runic lore.
Dragonscales is a collection of essays and articles which supplement the Initiatory curricula presented in Apophis and Aegishjalmur. The articles may be read alone or together with the other two books in the series. These essays explore some of the Draconian themes in greater depth than was possible within the scope of the basic curriculum, providing new avenues and techniques for students to explore. In particular, this book’s contents shed much more light upon the higher ‘Heads’ in the Draconian initiatory curriculum, providing much food for thought for the more advanced student. With expanded lore, practice and philosophy across a broad scope of subjects, this book will prove invaluable to all who Seek After the Draconian Mysteries.