Dragons from Myth, Folklore and Magick

I found this information at http://yinglong.org/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5698 The author of the forum post that I copied it from found it at http://www.correllian.com/herald.htm The Correllian Herald page lists all the different editions that have been published. After doing a bit of research I found that this info was published over a number of C.H. weekly free editions in a section called the A-Z of Dragons from May 26, 2008 to August 11, 2008, compiled and submitted by Rev. Nehal. It is by no means a complete list as there are many other Dragons that could be added, but I present it here in its original form. 🙂

Origin: Persia

The dragon Abraxas originated in Persian mythology however the name has been taken up elsewhere. As such descriptions of Abraxas vary considerably.

Abraxas is usually described as having either a man or a serpent’s body with the head of a cockerel (sometimes two such heads). He has two dragon’s feet and carries a whip in his human hands.

The name and image of Abraxas were of importance in Gnosticism and other esoteric teachings. Some identified Abraxas with a supreme deity.

There is much numerological interest in the name Abraxas. The number of letters – seven – is considered important by some. There is also interest in the fact that the letters of the name can be made to sum to 365 in some  systems. Abraxas is thus considered the Lord of the 365 Virtues, one of which represents each day of the year.

Some people have suggested that the name “Abraxas” could itself be derived from “Abracadaba”.  The name is considered to have great power and is inscribed on stone talismans called Abraxas Stones.

Origin: Folklore of the Dahomey in West Africa

In a sense, Aido Hwedo is seen as both a creator and a supporter of the world. The end of the world, as predicted in this folklore, is said also to be the weakness of this giant serpent  – the shear mass of Aido Hwedo can not be maintained. Therefore, Aido Hwedo can be seen as a symbol of eternity and rebirth, much as any Ouroboros. He was said to be a vast Rainbow Serpent.

This creature helped to create the universe by transporting Mawu, a god, through the cosmos. Aido Hwedo also created the mountains of the earth as well, which were said to be its excrement. However, the Earth became far too heavy, so the god Mawu ordered the Rainbow Serpent to coil underneath the world to hold it up. In order to help Aido Hwedo, the oceans were created to comfort the dragon while it held up the world. However, the oceans would sometimes not help, and therefore this dragon would tremble and thus make the Earth quake.

In order to remain strong, it is said that Aido Hwedo needed a great amount of iron, and there would sometimes not be enough. When this happens, it is said that Aido Hwedo would eat its own tail. Thus the problem comes: the iron, supplied by the ocean for Aido Hwedo, would someday give out. When it does, this mighty dragon would eat its own tail, and the world, unable to support itself, would slip into the oceans.

Origin: England

Brinsop is believed to be the dragon that St. George killed.

St George was originally a Roman Calvary officer who was known for his courage in war. He was a mighty sight on his white war-horse. He eventually converted to Christianity, and to show the people that Christians did not have to be meek, he sought out to fight a dragon that was destroying the area around Cappadocia. The people of the town tried to calm the beast with sacrifices of their best sheep. This worked for a while, but then the dragon attacked again. The poor people had to give up what they thought would rid the animal of their town: a virgin princess. George slayed the dragon with the lance he had in his hand while charging with his huge steed. Because of this heroic deed, other Christian Knights sought out to save damsels in distress from dragons, and how dragons eventually got slaughtered into being just a myth.

Origin: Anglo-Saxon

This fire-breathing dragon was greedy, fierce, and ruthless – the classic Western Dragon.

A servant who was running away from the trouble he was in accidentally discovered the dragon’s hoard at a burial ground near the town. Thinking that a nice gold goblet would buy him out of trouble, the servant quietly took it, and ran back to the kingdom. The dragon woke up at night, and checked his treasure. Upon finding one of his favourite trinkets gone, the dragon was extremely angry. To vent its anger the dragon swept through Beowulf’s lands and set fire to the villages.

Beowulf, even though he was up in age, decided he had to rid his land of this terrible dragon. He gathering a small band of the best warriors and went off to find this creature. He gathers up some warriors and heads off to find the dragon. A young man of the group, Wiglaf begs Beowulf to help him fight the dragon, but he refuses and goes to the dragon alone. At the cave entrance, Beowulf challenges the dragon to come out so he could destroy it. The dragon belched flames at him as Beowulf raises his shield against the burning fire. He rushes the dragon and strikes the dragon, but breaks his sword. He reaches for his dagger but is too late as the dragon bites him.

Wiglaf rushes to the King’s side and jams the sword into the soft underside of the dragon’s jaw. The dragon lets go and Wiglaf and the King hack the dragon until it collapsed. The poison from the dragon’s mouth was killing Beowulf. Eager to please the King, Wiglaf grabs an armful of treasure to show Beowulf. The king gives Wiglaf his helmet and ring, and tells him he is King of the Geats now.

Origin: China

Though there is not much known about Ch’ien T’ang, he is said to be the Chief of all River Gods, and also brother to Ling Hsu, king of a local river. He was a deep blood red colour all over, and his eyes shined brightly. He was over 900 feet tall. He is also said to have caused a flood that lasted for 9 years.

Origin: Ogden Nash

The American poet Frederic Ogden Nash created Custard the dragon, who belonged to a little girl Belinda, along with her little yellow dog, little black cat, little grey mouse and a red wagon.

Custard had huge sharp teeth, scales on his back and spikes underneath him. His mouth is like a fireplace and his nose like a chimney, and on his toenails he has daggers.

Belinda and her pets were all brave, apart from Custard who was being teased mercilessly by the rest and he cried for a safe cage. But, when a pirate came, Belinda, the dog, the cat and the mouse all ran away scared, and it was Custard who went at the pirate. The pirate shot at Custard with his gun but the bullets did no harm, and Custard gobbled the pirate up.

Origin: Chelan Indians in Washington, North America

“In another story the monster, a gigantic dragon was still living in the lake. He seized a fisherman one day, carried him down to the lake, and then came to the surface to tell the fisherman’s wife that he was the spirit of the lake and that nobody must venture upon it. When two canoes full of warriors went forth to give battle, a storm came up, and the dragon, rising up, seized one canoe and took it with its crew beneath the lake. The other warriors fled.” Pg. 512.

Source –  Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and Its Origins

Origin: Aztec

Coatlcue means “Serpent Skirt” and is sometimes shown with 2 dragon heads, a necklace of severed human hands and hearts and with a skirt of writhing snakes.

Coatlcue’s children planned to murder her and her unborn child, a warrior. But she held strong until her child was born after which the warrior defeated his siblings.

Her statue was buried 2 times and exhumed 3 times. It now stays in the Mexica Room of La Trobe University in Melbourne.


Origin: Star Wars

Another name for the Hssiss after they came corrupted by the dark side aura of the planet Stenness

Origin: England

A venomous dragon that lived in Deerhurst near Tewkesbury.

From the pages of The Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire by Sir Robert Atkyns:
There lived in the vicinity of Deerhurst a serpent of prodigious bigness.
It poisoned the people and the cattle and ravaged the land.
The king issued a decree to the effect that whoever could rid the land of this menace would receive a grant of lane, the estate of Walton hill.
The task was undertaken by one john smith, a labouring man.
He went to the serpents favourite resting place where he found the beast asleep in the sun.
With a mighty blow of his axe he cleaved the head of the serpent from its body. So ridding the
land of the beast forever.

Origin: Norse mythology

This dragon guarded a hoard of gold. Hurnen Sifrit decided to slay the dragon, and take the treasure. He hid himself in a covered pit, and when Drachenstien passed above it, plunged his sword into the dragon’s unprotected belly. After killing Drachenstein, Hurnen loaded the treasure onto his horse, and left.

Origin: Star Wars

Reptiles from the swamps of Dagobah.

Origin: Ethiopia

There is another neo-dragon known as “The Ethiopian Dream.” This type of dragon had four wings and two feet with claws. They have no breath, but they ate poisonous plants to make their bite and their scratches deadlier. They were large enough to kill elephants. Once four of them were reported to have woven themselves into a raft and sailed over the Red Sea to Arabia, where there were better places to hunt.

Origin: Norse Mythology

Sigurd (also known as Siegfried) Volsung was told by the dwarf Regin to gain fame and power to slay a terrible dragon named Fafnir that guarded a huge mound of treasure.

Sigurd took up interest  in this dragon, and was awarded with his father’s broken sword (named Gram) which Regin forged back into one whole massive sword. Sigurd and the dwarf rode to find the fearless beast. What Sigurd did not know is that Regin’s brother murdered their father to gain the wealth of the kingdom. This brother’s name was Fafnir. Fafnir, because of his greed for gold and jewels changed his corrupt self into a massive dragon to protect his hoard better.

From what Sigurd knew of dragons, their tough, scaly hide on the top of the body was impregnable to any weapon. Regin suggested building a pit in which Sigurd could hide. So they both dug a pit outside of the dragon’s lair. With Sigurd hiding, Regin covered the pit with branches. He waited hours for the dragon to come back from its daily visit to the watering hole nearby. Finally, a shadow covered the top of the pit, and Sigurd took the huge sword Gram in both hands and shoved as hard as he could up towards the exposed, soft belly of the dragon. With the dragon dead, Sigurd climbed out of his hiding place.

Regin then carved out the beast’s heart to roast. When handing it to Sigurd to share, he burnt his hand and sucked on his fingers. Moments later he heard chattering, and surprised, looked up to see birds talking. They were saying how the dwarf was planning Sigurd’s murder. He saw the truth in the dwarf’s eyes and took out the sword and sliced off Regin’s head. He went into the cave to claim the treasure as his own.

Origin: New Zealand

Hotu-puku is a taniwha from New Zealand. It was a huge, hideous creature covered in warts and spines and was very strong and fast so no man could outrun it.

The people of Taupo realised people travelling between Rotorua and Taupo were disappearing and thought maybe a war party were to blame. So they sent out their own warriors to fight them. When they got to Kapenga they found the taniwha and fled in fear.

A new party set out for Kapenga with the aim of defeating the taniwha and set up a trap of a noose. One of the men called Pitaka acted as bait and climbed through the noose. As soon as Hotu-puku put his head into the noose it was pulled tight until he died. They cut open his body and discovered the bodies of the people he had eaten. After burying their dead, Hotu-puku was cooked and eaten.

Origin: Norse/Greek Myth


Hera (Heracles’s stepmother) decided that Eurystheus, and not Heracles, should become the king of Mycenae. Eurystheus commanded Heracles to perform twelve labours in twelve years in order to keep him away from his kingdom; afraid Heracles would take his throne. The Hydra was Heracles’ Second Labour, the first being the Lion of Nemean.

Eurystheus ordered Heracles to kill the Lernaean hydra. This hydra, raised in the swamp of Lerna, would go out into the plain and destroy both property and livestock. The hydra is a gigantic multi-headed dragon, with anywhere from 6 to 9 heads (depending on which version of the story you read) with the middle one being immortal. Its breath and blood were deadly.

He travelled to Amymone, where the Hydra’s cave was near. After finding the hydra he forced it to come out by shooting burning arrows at the entrance. When the creature emerged, Heracles grabbed it and held on. The hydra coiled around Heracles’ feet and tried to smother him with the huge coils of itself. Heracles’ attempts to smash its heads with his club were unsuccessful, for whenever he smashed one head, two would grow where the one was originally. Additionally, a huge crab helped the hydra by biting Heracles’ feet.

The crab however, was not immortal, so Heracles smashed the crab into mush. After killing the crab, Heracles called to Iolaus for help. Iolaus, after setting fire to part of the nearby grove of trees, stopped the heads from sprouting up by cauterising the stumps with torches as they came up. Heracles, having killed all the other heads, he cut off the immortal head, buried it beside the road and put a heavy rock on top of it. With that done, he cut open the body of the hydra, and Heracles dipped his arrows in its deadly bile. Eurystheus, however, said Heracles could not count this labour among the ten, since he cheated by having Iolaus help him defeat the beast.

The Hydra has a constellation named after it.

Origin: Hittite Legend

The weather god had already suffered defeat in a previous encounter with Illuyankas as it appealed to the other gods for help. The goddess Inaras volunteered a plan; she prepared a delicious banquet with barrels of every kind of drink. She asked a mortal, Hupasiyas, to assist her and he agrees on the condition she would make love to him. She does and the feast is finished. They then call the dragon to come out of his cave and enjoy himself.

Illuyankas came to the banquet with his children, they ate and drank until all the food was eaten and every barrel was emptied. They headed back to their cave but when they tried to go through the entrance they found they could not fit! They were too bloated from Inaras’ feast. Hupasiyas came up and bound Illuyankas with a rope and the weather god came and slew the defenceless dragon.

Origin: Africa

Isa Bere was an African dragon that lived in the mountains of Futa Jallon. He caused a major drought by drinking the Niger River dry.

King Samba, along with his bard, Tarafe, battled Isa Bere for eight years, mainly shooting the dragon with arrows. They eventually killed Isa Bere with a blow to the heart; the dying dragon released the waters of the Niger, ending the drought. It is said that the bones of Isa Bere still lie under the river Niger.

Origin: England

Jim Pulk was a farmer’s son in Lyminister.

There was a local pool, known as the knucker hole, in which lived a dragon. It had been annoying the locals so much that Jim baked a huge sussex pie and put poison inside, he took it on a cart to leave outside the knucker hole and had behind a hedge to wait. The dragon could not resist and ate the pie, dropping down dead soon after. Jim Pulk then came out of his hiding place and cut off the dragon’s head with his scythe.

To celebrate he went to the Six Bells inn, had a drink with his friends and then dropped down dead. He had accidentally got some of the poison, or possibly dragon venom, on his hand, which he drew across his mouth after downing his pint.

Origin: Hawaii

Kane-kua-ana is the dragon said to have brought the oysters to the Ewa Lagoon (now known as Pearl Harbour). The people who gathered the shellfish worshipped her.

When the oysters started to disappear in 1850, the natives said that Kane-kua-ana had become angry and was sending them to Kaniki.

Origin: Unknown

The kaukas is usually described as being a flying dragon with a fiery tail. Sometimes it can take the form of a deformed goblin.

The kaukas brings good fortune and stolen goods for the family to which it is attached.

Origin: Maui

Kiha-wahine was said to be the greatest dragon on the island of Maui. She lived on the edge of the village Lahaina in a large, deep pool and was worshipped by the royal family of Maui as their special guardian.

Origin: Borneo

Kinabalu was a dragon who lived on top of Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. He owned a huge pearl that the Chinese Emperor desired, so he sent his men to take it. Kinabalu killed almost all of his men but a few managed to escape back to China. The Emperor then sent his two sons, Wee Ping and Wee San, to fetch the pearl.

Wee San thought up a plan to steal the pearl. While Kinabalu was out hunting, Wee San went up to his lair and swapped the real pearl with a fake. Upon Kinabalu’s return he noticed the switch and gave chase after the Chinese ships. Wee San fired a cannonball at the pursuing dragon that mistook it for the pearl and swallowed it, killing him.

Origin: china

The k’vei is a primitive form of Chinese dragon. It is a beneficent creature said to exert a restraining influence against the sin of greed.

Origin: Greek mythology

A dragon from Greek myth that protected the golden apples belonging to the Goddess Hera.

Hercules had been given the task of stealing three golden apples from a tree that had been given to the Goddess Hera. Ladon, a huge dragon with a hundred heads, guarded the apples. Ladon had curled himself around the tree so nobody could get to it.

Hercules decided to ask Atlas for help. Atlas has somehow offended the gods and, as punishment, was made to carry the world on his shoulders. Hercules offered to take on the burden for an hour if Atlas would go and retrieve the apples for him. Atlas enthusiastically agreed, and Hercules got rid of the dragon problem by killing the hundred-headed beast with one arrow.

Atlas picked the golden apples and, seeing how good it was not to have the world on his shoulders, went back to Hercules and told him he was leaving but would be back in a few months. Hercules agreed but begged Atlas to take the world back for a few minutes so that he could get some padding for his head. Atlas took back the world and Hercules took the apples and left.

Hera was so saddened when she found her dragon had died, that she made a place for him in the sky as the constellation Draco The Dragon.

Origin: Magick

Léana is one of the dragons who watch over the dreams of those touched by dragons. She is the sister of Léas the moon dragon. She appears as a silver/white dragon whose wings are flecked with silver. She has a mane of silver hair.

Léana helps when nightmares enter your dreams, she can replace the fear with peace and help you combat your dream demons. She often works with other dragons, putting their teachings into dream form to help the student learn easier.

Origin: Magick

Léas is also sometimes known as the Moonbeam Dragon. She appears as a beautiful silver/white scaled, western style dragon. Her wings seem flecked with glitter and she wears a crown of stars on her forehead. She is the sister of Léana, one of the dragons of dreams, and the two are never far from each other.

Léas can only be contacted when the moon is full, it seems this is when her connection with earth is the strongest. She really complements the moons own power and she can help raise energy for full moon rituals. Her energy looks like swirling silver glitter in the darkness.

Origin: Greece
In some versions of the voyage of the Argo, Medea aids Jason in retrieving the Golden Fleece from the grove of Ares.

The fleece was hung on an oak tree, guarded by a huge dragon with horny scales, but Medea invoked Sleep, the conqueror of the gods, to charm him. She also called upon the night-wandering Queen of the world below to strengthen her efforts. The dragon, enchanted by Medea’s song, relaxed but his head still threatened to snap them up, and hovered above Jason and Medea.

Medea, chanting a spell, dipped a fresh sprig of juniper in her brew and sprinkled the dragon’s eyes with this potent drug. As the magic scent spread around him, sleep fell on him and he lowered his head, and his fearsome jaws, to the ground.

Jason was then able to take the fleece from the tree and they left the sombre grove of Ares.

Origin: Egypt
Mertseger’s image was painted in tombs in the Valley of the Queens. It has the body of a cobra with feathered bird wings and a sun disk above its head.

Origin: Hawaii
Mo-o-inanea is known as the ‘self-reliant dragon’ and is a Mother Goddess with a dual nature, sometimes she would appear as a dragon, and at other times as a woman. All the dragons of Hawaii are descended from her.

Mo-o-inanea brought the dragons, the kupua dragons, from the “Hidden Land of Kane” to the Hawaiian Islands. She was coming to the islands in the migration of the gods from Nuu-mea-lani and Kuai-he-lani to settle. The dragons and other kupuas came as spirit servants of the gods. For a while this Mo-o-inanea lived with her brothers, the gods, at Waolani, but after a long time there
were so many dragons that it was necessary to distribute them over the islands, and Mo-o-inanea decided to leave her brothers and find homes for her numerous family. So she went down to Puunui in the lower part of Nuuanu Valley and there made her home , and it is said received worship from the men of the ancient days. Here she dwelt in her dual nature–sometimes appearing as a dragon, sometimes as a woman. Very rich clayey soil was found in this place, forced out of the earth as if by geyser action. It was greatly sought in later years by the chiefs who worshipped this goddess. They made the place tabu, and used the clay, sometimes eating it, but generally plastering the hair with it. This place was made very tabu by the late Queen Kaahumanu during her lifetime.
Mo-o-inanea lived in the pit from which this clay was procured, a place called Lua-palolo, meaning pit-of-sticky-clay. After she had come to this dwelling-place the dragons were sent out to find homes. Some became chiefs and others servants, and when by themselves were known as the evil ones. She distributed her family over all the islands  from Hawaii to Niihau. Two of these dragon-women, according to the legends, lived as guardians of the pali (precipice) at the end of Nuuanu Valley, above Honolulu. After many years it was supposed that they both assumed the permanent forms of large stones which have never lost their associations with mysterious, miraculous power.
Source: www.sacredtexts.com

Origin: Magick

The elemental dragon ruler of water. Naelyan oversees the dragons of the seas, springs, lakes, ponds, and rivers. Although he is normally calm, when angered he is quite powerful. Naelyan is said to have a long serpent body with fins and scales.

Water dragons teach us the importance of water, how to heal both body and land, diving deeply into our dreams and emotions. They can also show us past and present lives and how to tap into that knowledge.

Origin: Norse legend

Nidhogg, who’s name means “Corpse-Tearer” or “Evil Blow”, is the dragon who gnaws at the root of the life-tree Yggdrasil that is planted through Niflheim.

He is also assigned two important roles at Ragnarok; he is the one who eats the corpses of the fallen, and the one who will fly overhead during the aftermath.

Nidhogg is also seen as a symbol of chaos.

Origin: Burmese and Indian legends

The Nyan is described as being a vast, sinuous, worm-like being that inhabited the estuaries and rivers of Burma and Bengal in India. It would prey upon all large creatures that happened to enter it’s domain. It would kill them by encircling their bodies with it’s sinuous coils and dragging them under the water to be consumed. It’s main meal was elephants, and caused the death of so many that the “Dhammathats”, when judging the caused of lost hired work elephants, decreed that there was no liability if they had been taken by a Nyan.


Origin: Japan

O Goncho is a white dragon that lives in Ukisima, which is a deep pool near Kyoto, at a place called Yama-shiro.

Every 50 years this dragon changes into a golden bird, with a cry like a wolf’s howl. This cry was an omen of famine.

Origin: Greek

Ouroborus is the serpent-like dragon who bites it’s own tail, forming a circle. It is a symbol that dates back as far as the 17th century BCE, at least. The name ‘Ouroborus’ means ‘devouring its tail’ in Greek language, although the image of Ouroborus can be found in many cultures, Egyptian, Phoenician, Norse, Indian and Hindu to name a few.

The serpent eating its own tail has many important symbolic connotations. It can be seen as representing the unity as well as its cyclic nature. It nourishes itself by consuming itself, it is forever changing whilst always the same.

The Ouroborus symbol plays an important role in alchemy, both as a symbol of the cyclic universe and as a symbol of purification. A double Ouroborus – two creatures swallowing each other – is said to stand for volatility.


Origin: Canada

Oyaleroweck, or the Great Serpent of Lorette, was a vast serpent of over thirty feet long. It lived in a cavern behind the waterfall of the Saint Charles River. At night it would leave its home and terrify the nearby villagers.

Legend tells of a Jesuit priest who went to the waterfall one evening and chanted the rites of exorcism. He commanded Oyaleroweck to emerge; it did, and slowly dragged itself through the village and departed to Lake Saint Joseph.

Origin: New Zealand

Peke-hava was a water taniwha (monster guardian) who lived in a deep waterhole, known as Te Waro-uri, in New Zealand.

As Pitaka was known to have killed Hotu-puku, he was called to Te Awan-hou to slay Peke-hava. Pitaka and his companions wove traps out of vines before descending down into the hole. While the taniwha was sleeping, Pitaka swam to him and tied the vine ropes around him, before quickly escaping. Using spells to aid them, they pulled the taniwha up so he could be killed.

Origin: Lithuania

Penezny Smij are Lithuanian penny dragons. It is said they leave out a 3-penny piece, if you pick it up they then leave a 6-penny piece the next day. If you take that one too they will leave a dollar. If you take the dollar then all will be well; if you don’t they set your house on fire. The only safe way to get rid of the dollar is to sell it for less than its worth.

Origin: Germany

Puk are small, four-footed dragons that are seen as being household spirits who bring stolen goods to their masters.

They have many regional names including pukis in Lithuania, puuk in Estonia, and pukis in Latvia. Puks spread outwards from Germany but they may have originated in Scandinavia or Britain.

Origin: Japan

Japanese legend tells of a poor Japanese peasant who prayed to the Buddha for rain, as they were suffering a drought and his crops were failing. Suddenly the heavens opened and the rain came down, accompanied by a loud clap of thunder.

The peasant went outside to look and saw a handsome baby lying on the grass. As there was nobody around the peasant and his wife adopted the child and called him Raitro.

From then on whenever there was a lack of rain, Raitro would simply call the clouds and order them to rain, making his adoptive family rich.

When Raitro reached the age of 18, he thanked his foster parents for their care, turned into a white dragon, and flew away.

Origin: Persia

The tale of Rustam and the dragon is from a shah-nama which originated in Persia around 1575.

Rustam and his horse, Rakhsh, were on their way to the Mazanderan River. On the first night of the journey a lion crept up to their camp with the intent of eating Rustam. Rakhsh noticed it and managed to kill the lion. When Rustam awoke and saw the dead body he thanked Rakhsh but told him to wake him up next time so he could help.

On their journey they had to cross a great stretch of desert and at the end of the day they came to a spring where they quenched their thirst and went to sleep. That night the guardian dragon of the spring came out of hiding to kill Rustan and his horse. Rakhsh woke his master, who sprung up and grabbed his sword, but the dragon had crept back into hiding.

Rustam scolded his horse for waking him up for nothing and went back to sleep. Again the dragon approached the camp and again the horse woke up Rustam. But like before, once Rustam was awake the dragon had gone before he saw it. This time he was really annoyed with his horse.

The third time the dragon came Rakhsh didn’t know what to do and waited until the last second before waking Rustam. Rustam sprang up furiously, but this time the dragon could not run into hiding and was killed.


Origin: Japan

Ryujin is the Japanese dragon god of the sea. He uses magical pearls to control the ebb and flow of the tides. His home is an underwater palace known as Ryugu.

Origin: Magick

Sairys is the dragon ruler of air; he oversees the dragons of breezes and winds. To invoke dragons of air, choose music that either represents to you either storms or light, breezy winds. Dancing and singing should make you think of wind blowing across the land. Use candles or other objects of a pure yellow colour. Choose herbs and oils that are of the element of Air.
Repeat this chant three times:

“Dragon ruler of wind and cloud,
I call your secret name aloud.
Sairys (sair’-iss)! (Ring gong once).
Quicken my mind, renew my life.
Grant me joy free from strife.
Sairys! (Ring gong once)”

Origin: Magick

Salamanders are small, agile lizards with four legs and a long tail. They exist today and are not often thought of as being dragons, however, medieval legend says that they were part dragon and immune to fire.

It was believed that a salamander lived in the centre of the earth, in the molten lava of its core. They enjoyed being in a fire and that their voices pop and hiss out of sparks as they perform ceremonial dances within the flames. The singing-like sounds were thought by some to be the casting of spells.

During the witch-hunts and trials it was believed that witches could transform themselves into salamanders to escape the flames at the stake.

Origin: Armenia

A Yellow Dragon from the legends of Armenia. Svara is described as being a vast dragon with an enormous horn upon its head. It had huge ears and its fangs were as long as a man’s arm. Svara was poisoning anything within its reach, causing chaos, but the hero Keresapa vanquished it.

Origin: France

Long time ago a huge monster emerged from the sea and chose the river Rhone as its new home. It was a dragoness, half land mammal, and half fish. She outsized twelve elephants, had teeth like swords and a skin like iron. Her father was the water dragon Leviathan, her mother the giant snake Onachus, and her name was Tarasque.
Wherever the beast appeared, she brought terror and destruction. All animals fled her. She destroyed houses, and her breath was flames. Many heroes tried to kill her, and perished.  After seven years of ravage a farmer found the skin of the dragoness and considered her dead. But every seven years the Tarasque hat to slough, and the farmer had only found her cast-off skin.
Seven more years went by. The Tarasque had destroyed all bridges and devoured everyone who wanted to cross the river. At last the inhabitants of the troubled area tried to lure the dragoness into a trap. Near the town Avignon there was a deep swamp. Whoever got there was lost. So they bound animals to trees near the trail leading to the swamp. The beast followed this line of prey. But when she approached the trap, she turned around and fled back to the river: The swamp belonged to the realm of the devil, and being a creature of the devil herself, the Tarasque was warned.
Again seven years passed. Then one day Saint Martha happened to visit the area. When she heard of the beast, she went out to catch it – barefooted, in her white dress, with no other weapon than a jar of holy water. The dragoness came out to devour her, but was banned solely by the power of the cross and the holy water. St. Martha led the beast to the town, where it was killed. The citizens erected a new church in honour of St. Martha, and the town changed its name to Tarascon.

Origin: Japan

The tobi tatsu is a creature that is described as having the body and wings of a bird with the head of a dragon. Its image can be found on screens in the monastery of Chi-on-in in Kyoto, Japan.

It is possible that the tobi tatsu is derived from the Ying Lung, the only winged Chinese dragon.

Origin: India
Also known as Naga. Characterised by a snake-body, human head, and the ability to change between the two. They are wingless. They are not considered to be particularly dangerous in general, although some believe they are destined to destroy the world with fire. May live in the underwater kingdom of Patala in the city of Bhogavati and are patrons of the clouds and water, and worshipped for fertility in southern India. Could make men invisible under the waves and would give the favoured drink, soma, to make them strong. Nagas could understand birds and would give charms to the humans so that they, too, could understand. “In European and Arabian stories, folk heroes acquire the language of birds, or of all animals, after eating the hearts of dragons. A Naga king causes an Indian king to understand what animals say.
Some sources claim there are exactly 1000 of them, and their king was Ananta-Shesha with between 7 and 1000 heads. Others say the King’s name was Bhuridatta, who became Buddha.

Origin: Armenia

Vishap was a fearsome and terrifying dragon from the legends of Armenia and was said to inhabit the top of Mount Ararat. Many warriors sought to kill this dragon due to the legend that it’s blood would render any weapon it touched so poisonous that the slightest wound would be fatal.

Origin: Russia

Veles, god of cattle, stole the cattle of Perun who chased him. Veles would turn himself into animals and objects to hide but was always found and destroyed. Veles sometimes took on dragon or serpent form.

Origin: India

Vritra is the name of the giant serpent, or dragon, from Hindu mythology. Vritra’s name means ‘encloser’ or ‘enveloper’ and he is sometimes pictured as a three-headed serpent that encircles the whole world. As the destructive element of nature, Vritra caused a major drought by drinking all the earth’s waters. The god Indra battled against him but Vritra gained the upper hand for a while by swallowing the thunder-god. Indra was saved, however, when the other gods gagged Vritra, allowing Indra to escape. He then slew Vritra as it coiled around the mountains, and cut open its body with his thunderbolts, releasing the world’s waters once more.

Origin: England

In England, around the time of Elizabeth the first, a terrible dragon lived in a lodge called Wantley, outside the Yourshire village of Wortley. It had developed a habit of trampling the trees, munching milk cows, and generally pestering the population.

In despair the villagers went to see More of More Hall, a famously virile local knight, to beg him to get rid of this menace. More agreed to do what he could but on one condition; on the evening before the battle, a fair-skinned, dark-haired damsel would be presented to him to perform the duties of anointing his body with oil and dressing him the next morning.

Whilst every fair-skinned, dark-haired maiden in the area attempted to persuade the village elders that she should be the one chosen for this important task, More travelled up to Sheffield to commission an expert armourer to create a suit covered with spikes of steel six inches long. Later More headed back to Wantley wearing his porcupine armour and retired to his Hall, eager to meet his maiden attendant.

When More emerged from his hall the next morning at a disgracefully late hour, he seemed surprisingly weary. To fortify and invigorate him the villagers supplied him with six pots of ale, which he drank thirstily before setting out in search of the dragon.

Knowing that the dragon regularly drank at a certain local well, More cunningly hid inside it and, when the dragon arrived, he leapt out and smote the beast heavily on the jaw. In shock at this sneaky attack the aggrieved dragon defecated exuberantly in the knights direction.

More engaged the dragon in battle at once but the fighting went on for two and a half days, with both combatants failing to inflict a single wound upon the other. More’s spiny armour had rendered him invulnerable and the dragon’s scalloped scaled were also impregnable. More was beginning to tire of this so he grasped the dragon and hauled it around so its head and forelegs faced directly away from him.

The villagers had told More that the dragon only had one vulnerable spot so he decided to test their claim. He raised his right foot, which was encased in a sharply pointed steel boot, took careful aim, and then kicked the unsuspecting dragon as hard as he could.

With a shriek of pain and embarrassment, the dragon leaped into the air, turned six times, then collapsed on the ground. For a few moments it lay quaking and rumbling but, after a final emanation of dung, the dragon expired.

More returned in triumph to the villagers, and his fair-skinned, dark-haired attendant.

Origin: Korea

A woman married the dragon of a nearby lake and had a boy who made money by digging yams. He fell in love with a princess, but her father sent her away from him. He followed and they were married. She gave him gold for them to live on and he said that there was a lot of it (gold) where he’d found his yams, so they got the gold and were very wealthy.

Origin: Canaanite

Yam-nahar is the 7 headed sea serpent-god or dragon-god of Canaanite myths. He is also called: Yam, “Sir Sea”, “Sir Stream”, Yaw, Yamu, “Prince Sea”, “Judge  River”, Tannin, Primeval Serpent, Lotan, Crooked Serpent, Sea Monster, close-coiling One, Tyrant of Seven Heads He represents floods, oceans, and winter. El made him king. He lives in a palace in the sea. His followers may be dragons, serpents, and the Leviathan. He fights with Baal and is finally destroyed by Baal.

Origin: China

Yellow Dragons are a class of dragons in the legends of China.

One notable Yellow Dragon in Chinese history is the dragon who brought the eight trigrams of the I Ching to the Chinese Emperor. A second Yellow Dragon was a monstrous predator, which was dispatched by one of the Eight Immortal Holy Ones named Lu Tung-pin. Finally, a third Yellow Dragon was called Svara, a vast dragon with an enormous horn upon its head.

Origin: China

He is also known as the Proper Conduct Dragon. Ying Lung differs from a lot of Chinese dragons as it is shown with wings, but like others it is a guardian of the waters of earth, and associated with the clouds of heaven.   10

Origin: Japan

Yofune-Nushi is the name of a sea serpent in Japanese legend. It lived near Oki Island in a cave by the rocks and was both predatory and destructive. It would frequently cause storms to rise and it preyed upon the fishermen and inhabitants of the islands remorselessly.

The serpent demanded a maiden be sacrificed each year on the 13th of June, otherwise it would call a storm to destroy the fishermen’s fleet.

One year a girl called Tokoyo came forward to be the sacrifice and bravely stood and faced the serpent. As it reached down to eat her she pulled out the dagger she was carrying and slashed at Yofune-Nushi’s eyes. While it was thrashing in agony she was able to push the dagger into its vulnerable throat and kill it.

Origin: Australia

Yulunggu is the name of the Rainbow Snake, or Rainbow Serpent, in the Dreamtime mythology of the Yolngu Native Australian people of Arnhem Land of northern Australia.

Yulunggu inhabited deep-water pools and was a vast serpent. There is a legend about some sisters named Borlere and Misilgoe who camped by the pool of Yulunggu without realising he was there. They tried to cook on their fire to be able to feed their girl and boy but everything jumped away from them and into the pool. Yulunggu then caused a great flood and the sisters realised something was not right so they started chanting and dancing to try to keep Yulunggu from their children.

Soon they were exhausted and fell asleep by the pool. During the night Yulunggu arose from the water and swallowed them all whole. He went to heaven and started boasting about what he had done, but swallowing humans was not approved and he was told so. Yulunggu then descended back to earth and regurgitated, it is not said if the sisters or their children suffered any ill effects from their ordeal.

The legend is often re-enacted as part of the traditional puberty rites for young boys and girls.

Origin: Lithuania

Zaltys serpents are known as guardians of the home. In modern Baltic tradition they live by the stove and are sacred to Savie, the sun goddess and guardian of fire.

Origin: Japan
“A Japanese legend associates the wandering lights with a dragon woman, named Zennyo, who appears to have the attributes of a fire-goddess. It is told regarding a Buddhist priest who lived beside a dragon hole on Mount Murobu. One day, as he was about to cross a river, a lady wearing rich and dazzling attire came up to him and made request for a magic charm he possessed. She spoke with averted face, telling who she was. The priest repeated the charm to her and then said: “Permit me to look upon your face”.
Said the dragon woman: “It is very terrible to behold. No man dare gaze on my face. But I cannot refuse your request.”…
As soon as the priest looked in her face the dragon woman rose in the air, and stretched out the small finger of her right hand. It was not, however, of human shape, but a claw that suddenly extended a great length and flashed lights of five colours.”

Origin: Babylonia

Zu is a huge dragon from Babylonian mythology, and the attendant of Tiamat. He is described as having the body of a lion and the head of an eagle or having the body of an eagle and the torso of a man with a beard. Whether Zu was able to change his form is unknown.

Zu is probably best known for stealing the sacred tablets of the god Enlil, who ruled the universe with the aid of their power. Zu flew to the top of the Sabu Mountains and kept the tablets like eggs in his nest, unaware of their power. Enlil sent his son Ninurta to retrieve them with the aid of storm birds. Although they threatened Zu it was to no avail, so he surrounded the dragon with the clouds and grabbed him, tore off his wings, and decapitated him. Ninurta could then take back the tablets of Enlil.

Here’s another list straight from Wikipedia (retrieved 15/10/2014):

List of dragons in mythology and folklore

Asian dragons
Chinese dragon Lóng (or Loong. Lung2 in Wade-Giles romanization.)

Chinese Dragon Banner.svg
The Chinese dragon, is a creature in Chinese mythology that also appears in other Asian cultures, and is sometimes called the Oriental (or Eastern) dragon. Depicted as a long, snake-like creature with four claws (or five for the imperial dragon), it has long been a potent symbol of auspicious power in Chinese folklore and art. This type of dragon, however, is sometimes depicted as a creature constructed of many animal parts. It might have the fins of some fish, or the horns of a stag.
Indian dragon Nāga A serpentine dragon common to all cultures influenced by Hinduism. They are often hooded like a cobra and may have several heads depending on their rank. They usually have no arms or legs but those with limbs resemble the Chinese dragon. Other dragons are the Vrtra the serpent dragon who is defeated by Indra the thunder god and king of heaven, and the other evil serpent in Vedic lore, Ahi (cognate with the Zoroastrian Azi Dahaka).
Indonesian/Malay dragon Naga or Nogo Derived from the Indian nāga, belief in the Indo-Malay dragon spread throughout Maritime Southeast Asia with Hinduism. The word naga is still the common Malay/Indonesian term for dragon.[1] Like its Indian counterpart, the naga is considered divine in nature, benevolent, and often associated with sacred mountains, forests, or certain parts of the sea.[citation needed]
Japanese dragon Ryū

Okyo Dragon.jpg
Similar to Chinese dragons, with three claws instead of four. They are usually benevolent, associated with water, and may grant wishes.
Khmer Dragon Neak

Linteau Musée Guimet 25973.jpg
The Khmer dragon, or neak is derived from the Indian nāga. Like its Indian counterpart, the neak is often depicted with cobra like characteristics such as a hood. The number of heads can be as high as nine, the higher the number the higher the rank. Odd-headed dragons are symbolic of male energy while even headed dragons symbolize female energy. Traditionally, a neak is distinguished from the often serpentine Makar and Tao, the former possessing crocodilian traits and the latter possessing feline traits. A dragon princess is the heroine of the creation myth of Cambodia.
Korean dragon Yong (Mireu) A sky dragon, essentially the same as the Chinese lóng. Like the lóng, yong and the other Korean dragons are associated with water and weather. In pure Korean, it is also known as ‘mireu’.
Imoogi A hornless ocean dragon, sometimes equated with a sea serpent. Imoogi literally means, “Great Lizard”. The legend of the Imoogi says that the sun god gave the Imoogi their power through a human girl, which would be transformed into the Imoogi on her 17th birthday. Legend also said that a dragon-shaped mark would be found on the shoulder of the girl, revealing that she was the Imoogi in human form.
Gyo A mountain dragon. In fact, the Chinese character for this word is also used for the imoogi.
Philippine Dragon Bakunawa The Bakunawa appears as a gigantic serpent that lives in the sea. Ancient natives believed that the Bakunawa caused the moon or the sun to disappear during an eclipse. It is said that during certain times of the year, the Bakunawa arises from the ocean and proceeds to swallow the moon whole. To keep the Bakunawa from completely eating the moon, the natives would go out of their houses with pots and pans in hand and make a noise barrage in order to scare the Bakunawa into spitting out the moon back into the sky. Some say that the Bakunawa is known to kill people by imagining their death and remote in eye contact.
Vietnamese dragon Rồng or Long


(Ly dynasty, Daiviet X)

These dragons’ bodies curve lithely, in sine shape, with 12 sections, symbolising 12 months in the year. They are able to change the weather, and are responsible for crops. On the dragon’s back are little, uninterrupted, regular fins. The head has a long mane, beard, prominent eyes, crest on nose, but no horns. The jaw is large and opened, with a long, thin tongue; they always keep a châu (gem/jewel) in their mouths (a symbol of humanity, nobility and knowledge).
European dragons
Catalan dragon drac Catalan dragons are serpent-like creatures with two legs (rarely four) and, sometimes, a pair of wings. Their faces can resemble that of other animals, like lions or cattle. They have a burning breath. Their breath is also poisonous, the reason by which dracs are able to rot everything with their stench. A víbria is a female dragon.
French dragons Dragon Meddragon Liber Floridus Lambert of sint Omaars 1460.jpg Authors tend often to present the dragon legends as symbol of Christianity’s victory over paganism, represented by a harmful dragon. The French representation of dragons spans much of European history, and has even given its name to the dragoons, a type of cavalry.
Sardinian dragon scultone The dragon named “scultone” or “ascultone” appears in legends in Sardinia, Italy. It had the power to kill human beings with its gaze. It was a sort of basilisk, lived in the bush and was immortal.
Scandinavian & Germanic dragons Lindworm

Dragon héraldique.png
Lindworms are serpent-like dragons with either two or no legs. In Nordic and Germanic heraldry, the lindworm looks the same as a wyvern. The dragon Fafnir was a lindworm.
English dragons Wyvern Wyverns are common in medieval heraldry. Their usual blazon is statant. Wyverns are normally shown as dragons with two legs and two wings.
Welsh dragons Y Ddraig Goch

Welsh dragon.svg
In Welsh mythology, after a long battle (which the Welsh King Vortigern witnesses) a red dragon defeats a white dragon; Merlin explains to Vortigern that the red dragon symbolizes the Welsh, and the white dragon symbolizes the Saxons – thus foretelling the ultimate defeat of the English by the Welsh. The ddraig goch appears on the Welsh ¬
The worm hill dragon 700 AD the Anglo-Saxons settled and called it “Wruenele” this translates as “Wruen” worm, reptile or dragon and “ele” hill. According to local folklore the hill at Knotlow was the lair of a dragon and the terraces around it were made by the coils of its tail. Knotlow is an ancient volcanic vent and this may explain the myth.
The Bignor hill dragon There is a brief mention of a Dragon on Bignor Hill south of the village of Bignor near the famous Roman Villa, apparently “A Large dragon had its den on Bignor Hill, and marks of its folds were to be seen on the hill”. Similar legends have been told of ridges around other hills, such as at Wormhill in Derbyshire.
Zomok A giant winged snake, which is in fact a full-grown zomok. It often serves as flying mount of the garabonciás (a kind of magician). The sárkánykígyó rules over storms and bad weather.
sárkány A dragon in human form. Most of them are giants with multiple heads. Their strength is held in their heads. They become gradually weaker as they lose their heads.In contemporary Hungarian the word sárkány is used to mean all kinds of dragons.
Slavic dragons zmey, zmiy, żmij, змей, or zmaj, or drak, or smok

Dragon Crop.svg

Smok Wawelski from Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographie Universalis, 1544

Similar to the conventional European dragon, but multi-headed. They breathe fire and/or leave fiery wakes as they fly. In Slavic and related tradition, dragons symbolize evil. Specific dragons are often given Turkic names (see Zilant, below), symbolizing the long-standing conflict between the Slavs and Turks. However, in Serbian and Bulgarian folklore, dragons are defenders of the crops in their home regions, fighting against a destructive demon Ala, whom they shoot with lightning.[2][3]
Armenian dragon Vishap Related to European dragons
Siberian dragon Yilbegän Related to European Turkic and Slavic dragons
Romanian dragons Balaur, Zburator Balaur are very similar to the Slavic zmey: very large, with fins and multiple heads.
Chuvash dragons Vere Celen Chuvash dragons represent the pre-Islamic mythology of the same region.
Asturian and Leonese dragons Cuélebre In Asturias and León mythology the Cuélebres are giant winged serpents, which live in caves where they guard treasures and kidnapped xanas. They can live for centuries and, when they grow really old, they use their wings to fly. Their breath is poisonous and they often kill cattle to eat. Leonese language term Cuelebre comes from Latin colŭbra, i.e., snake.
Albanian Dragons Bolla In the Albanian mythology Bolla (also known as Bullar in South Albania), is a type of serpentic dragon (or a demonic dragon-like creature) with a long, coiled, serpentine body, four legs and small wings in ancient Albanian folklore. This dragon sleeps throughout the whole year, only to wake on Saint George’s Day, where its faceted silver eyes peer into the world. The Bolla does this until it sees a human. It devours the person, then closes its eyes and sleeps again.[4] Bolla was worshiped as the deity Boa by the ancestors of Albanians, Illyrians.[5] Bolla appears in the coat of arms of the House of Bua Shpata.
Kulshedra In its twelfth year, the bolla evolves by growing nine tongues, horns, spines and larger wings. At this time it will learn how to use its formerly hidden fire-breathing abilities, and is now called a kulshedra or kuçedra (hydra). The kuçedra causes droughts and lives off human sacrifices. Kulshedras are killed by Drangue, Albanian winged warriors with supernatural powers. Thunderstorms are conceived as battles between the drangues and the kulshedras.
Dreq Dreq is the dragon (draco) proper. It was demonized by Christianity and now is one of the Albanian names of the devil.
Portuguese dragons Coca In Portuguese mythology coca is a female dragon that fights with Saint George. She loses her strength when Saint George cuts off one of her ears.
Greek dragons Drákōnδράκων

Kadmos dragon Louvre E707.jpg
Cadmus fighting the Ismenian dragon (which guarded the sacred spring of Ares) is a legendary story from the Greek lore dating to before ca. 560–550 B.C. Greek dragons commonly had a role of protecting important objects or places. For example, the Colchian dragon watched the Golden Fleece and the Nemean dragon guarded the sacred groves of Zeus.[6] The name comes from the Greek “drakeîn” meaning “to see clearly”.[7]
Tatar dragons Zilant

Flag Kaz.jpg
Really closer to a wyvern or cockatrice, the Zilant is the symbol of Kazan. Zilant itself is a Russian rendering of Tatar yılan, i.e., snake.
Turkish dragons Ejderha or Evren The Turkish dragon secretes flames from its tail, and there is no mention in any legends of its having wings, or even legs. In fact, most Turkish (and later Islamic) sources describe dragons as gigantic snakes.
Lithuanian Dragons Slibinas This dragon is more of a hydra with multiple heads, though sometimes it does appear with one head.

3 comments on “Dragons from Myth, Folklore and Magick

  1. […] We love dragons so much that in 2004 author Donita K. Paul made January 16 “Appreciate a Dragon Day”. Get to know a few dragons here – Top 10 Dragons in Fiction and Dragons from Myth, Folklore and Magick […]


  2. […] Dragons from Myth, Folklore and Magick * […]


  3. […] So what exactly is a Dragon? Usually they are depicted as huge reptiles with the ability to breath fire whilst flying through the air on massive leathery wings, but this really isn’t the case! […]


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