Introduction to Dragons

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Dragon Magick
Introduction to Dragons
Dealing with Dragons
Draconic Code of Honor
Draconic Divination
Draconic Lunar Phases
Draconic Practices
Draconic Symbols
Draconic Tools
Dragons and Elements
Kinds of Dragons

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Introduction to Dragons

by Eidolon Moon, from Foxmoon Creations fox-moon.com

According to the teachings of the Ancients, anything unexplainable in everyday terms, or so fantastic that it invokes feelings of curiosity, suspicion, or fear while still seeming plausible, was said to come from a place of Great Mystery, a place where the Spirit itself lived, and where dreams and visions originated. This place is said to be where Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the children of Earth watch over the people from, and where the creatures of the Shadow Lands and the realms of fantasy are said to reside. This place relies on our unconditional faith and trust in order to exist, and is know by the Wise Ones as “The Void”. It is part of the Astral Realm, where we cannot travel on our own unless we are invited in and shown the way.

It is believed that when we sleep, our dreams are sent to us from The Void. When we consult our guides, they answer us from The Void, and when we receive visions and foresight, it is relayed to our Higher Selves from The Void. This shadowy world of untold mystery is where much of our inner knowledge comes from, but it is also a place where many things have gone. The Void, being where the Spirit lives, is like a giant safe haven for those things we are incapable of seeing in today’s “civilized” world. Creatures such as Unicorns, Faeries, Centaurs, Fauns, Dryads, and Dragons find refuge in this other world, and are felt in the presence by some and “seen” by even fewer as they continue to go about their invisible physical lives here on Earth.

Throughout history, from cultures as distant as the Aborigines and their Dreamtime, the Vikings and the people of China, Japan, and England, Dragons have been mentioned in one form or another. Why is this? Did these people actually see these beasts, or did they simply mistake a giant lizard, or some other reptilian creature that had folds of skin under its forearms and could fly, such as giant bats, or the flying dinosaurs, Archaeopteryx or the Pterosaurs? Were there dinosaurs still roaming the Earth only a few thousand years ago? Loch Ness Monster, it is believed, is one such creature. There is even a constellation of stares in the night sky named “Draco”, as its general shape is that of a Dragon.

Wyverns, traditionally depicted on shields and banners in heraldry for hundreds of years, are considered a sign of strength to those who bear the symbol. European Dragons are anatomically different to most dragons, having the usual two wings, but only having two legs; sometimes shown as having hand-like claws on the tips of its wings and a razor sharp stinger filled with poison on the end of its tail. Today the Welsh flag still has a red dragon on a green and white background, and the red dragon is their national symbol.

In the Chinese and Japanese culture the Dragon symbolizes life and growth and is said to bring the five blessings: harmony, virtue, riches, fulfillment and longevity. Chinese Dragons are still shown in parades around the world celebrating the Chinese New Year with the Dragon Dance. In China there are four main kinds of dragons: the Celestial Dragons who protect the places of the Gods, the Spiritual Dragons who control the wind and the rain, the Earth Dragons which control the rivers and water on the Earth, and the Underworld Dragons which guards precious metals and gems. Separate dragons also control the rivers of the North, South, East, and West. The commander of all the River Dragons is blood red in color, has a fiery mane, and is 900 feet long from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail.

The Dragon became a symbol of evil and the devil only after Christianity gained power. In an attempt to crush the ancient beliefs of Pagans, the Christians spread their propaganda of their devil, calling him the Dragon. By instilling this fear of eternal damnation the church gained control of many royal houses. With this they changed or passed laws that prohibited the Pagan beliefs, and with this caused humankind to fear Dragons instead of respecting them, as they should. Also from this came Knights, later called “Dragon Slayers”, that were eager to prove their faith to their God and country by hunting the Dragons down. Not completely an unselfish act because of the payments of gold they received for their “bravery”. Whether the ‘dragons’ they hunted were strange beasts or simply those who followed another religious path is unknown.

Because of humankind’s acts of the past, today Dragons are forced to mostly live their lives in the Void with little to no contact with those of us who live on this side of the Veil. Those with quick eyes and an open mind occasionally catch a glimpse out of the corner of their eye, an insubstantial form that is dragonish. The more traditional, larger Dragons, however, must be seen with the inner eyes and heard with the inner ears before they can become a reality for most people. To see them, you first have to believe 100% that they are there, not just images in your mind, but really there! You must learn to feel them, welcome them, and honor their presence by gifting them with offerings.

Dragons do travel constantly between our world and the Void to determine if humankind has matured, meaning that we have outgrown our need to dominate anything different from ourselves. There are some who believe that they are connected with the mysterious lights in the night sky which are reported as UFO’s. Others believe that miracles and other unusual happenstance should be attributed to dragon interference.

In the Clan I studied with, we believe that we are contacted by, and are able to make contact with, those dragons who wish to build a bridge of understanding. Dragons aren’t ‘biding their time’ waiting to return to this plane of existence, they are perfectly happy where they are. However, just as we are always seeking to further ourselves, to grow spiritually, so are they. By working together we can learn valuable information not only about our spiritual paths but also what makes us ‘human’. As understanding grows between our two species there are sure to be great benefits arising to help us all.

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History of the Dragon

Many sources say that the earliest forms of dragons are linked with the Mother Goddess, Water Gods, and Warrior Gods. In these capacities they were both beneficent and destructive. Dragons were often believed to be sea dwelling creatures, jealously guarding vast treasures of gold and pearls. Rain, clouds, thunder, and lightening were all believed to be the breath of the dragon; it’s fire beginning in lightening. In Dragon magick we link the dragon to all elements but understand that it has it’s origins in the primeval seas, just as we do.

A common factor of ancient myths is the significance of the dragon was in its control over mankind. As the Western myth of the dragon grew, these beings came to represent the chaos of original matter. With man’s awakening, and every growing, consciousness a struggle arose and we created order to constantly challenge the dragon’s power. This is also where we get our need for balance, understanding that leaning too much to one side or the other will only cause strife in our lives.

The most common belief on the origin of the dragon is that they have existed since pre-time; they were the first forms that came out of the swirling mists of a coalescing universe. Whether they began as monsters or deities, their existence was taken as fact until the 17th century. During that time was when ‘scientists’ began to debunk the myth of dragons by exposing museum dragon pieces as fakes. These faux dragons were usually fossilized rays or bats. Then came the scientific leap that dragons were the way that superstitious man, unenlightened by science, came up with fantastic stories to explain away dinosaurs.

Almost all of our ancestors believed that the earth was inhabited by these great creatures. Where did the idea come from? It has been said that dragons stem from a universal human imagination, that they are merely inherited memories of dinosaurs, or that they are simply figments created by our subconscious in an attempt to explain away the unexplainable. Obviously, practitioners of dragon magick don’t believe this but it is important that we understand the stereotypes that we will need to face.

So, if there is no one historical starting point, what are we to do? As a hopeful dragon magician we must have a firm belief in dragons. If you do not, then you should walk away from this area of study as you will never move beyond the theoretical. You cannot hope to contact a dragon in the hopes that they will prove their existence to you.

I was taught that dragons once existed on this plane, as a witch I really want to believe this but the skeptic in me wants proof. As it is, I choose to believe that they may have existed and I keep an open mind about it. My Clan teaches that perhaps in pre-time or if there were a few dragons who remained behind into the current era, they once shared this level of existence with us. They did not disappear, or die out, or flee from the cruelty they found inherent in mankind. We believe that they evolved beyond this plane into pure spiritual beings; their home is now on a level of the astral plane. Does this make them better than us? No. What it does mean is that they are in a unique position to help us evolve into better beings. They are more in tune with the universe that is beyond our ken and can help us to better understand the world we live in.

What we do know is scattered fragments that my magister tried to tie together into coherency. The word dragon is derived from the Latin ‘dracon’ which means serpent. Dracon originated in the Greek word ‘spakov’ (serpent) which in turn was derived from the Greek verb ‘spakelv’ (to see clearly). It is related to other words, most of which deal with sight. They are the Sanskrit ‘darc’ (see), Avestic ‘darstis’ (sight), and the Old Irish ‘derc’ (eye). From the old English there is ‘tohrt’, Old Saxon ‘torht’, and Old High German ‘zoraht’, all of which mean clear or bright. From this we tie dragons in with the great serpents and because of its tie to sight and seeing it became a receptacle of knowledge and visions.

The earliest recorded dragons are from Sumeria and China; both lands have stories of dragons that date back to around 5,000 BCE. Indeed, the Chinese believe that they were the descendants of dragons. Japan also has early tales of dragons but most of those relate dragons to natural disasters. Both Chinese and Japanese dragons could transform themselves into human form.

Egyptian dragons appear around 3,000 – 2,000 BCE and for the most part, Egyptians saw dragons as a sign of evil. This is because Apep was a dragon and Apep’s greatest desire was to overthrow Ra. However, Ra also had a guardian dragon – Mehen – who protected the Boat of the Sun. Babylonian myths of dragons also appeared around 2,000 BCE, the most famous being the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Around 250 CE the Aztecs began worshipping Quetzalcoatl, a feathered serpent God. He was also known as Kulkulkau, Ehecatl, and the Lord of the Dawn. It is said that Quetzalcoatl left when he could not get the Aztecs to change their ways. The Aztecs also had other dragons, Coatlcue a hydra with two dragon heads and a skirt of snakes who was the symbol of nature. There were also Xiuhcoatle, small fire-serpents who aided Huitzilopochtli.

Today we must rely on the old stories in order to learn about dragons. However, we should never confuse the dragons of myth and legend with what we will be contacting. These stories will give us an idea of the power that these beings hold as well as how capricious they can be. They are not a blue print for how our dealings will be with them. Immersing ourselves in their legends will help us to connect with the primal energy that they represent.

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Dragons and Science?

Dragons were mentioned in both alchemy and medicine during the Medieval Times, especially in the field of medicine. The people in the field of medicine sought Dragons not for their ancient wisdom but for their organs. They hoped to find a miracle cure or tonic to help humankind, so they told the “Dragon Slayers” that they paid to hunt down and kill Dragons. They were only looking to line their pockets with gold.

The blood of Dragons was said to make a person invulnerable to stab wounds if bathed in it, and able to understand the speech of birds and animals if drank. Eating a Dragons heart would make one strong and brave beyond comparison. Eating the tongue would give eloquence in speech and the ability to win any argument. The liver cured certain diseases, as did various other organs. The scales would be used as shields or armor because of being resistant to fire and stronger then most metals.

In alchemy, the Dragon was considered to be matter, metal and physical body. Often mentioned in conjunction with the Dragons were the Dragon’s sister spirit, metallic mercury, and the soul. Ancient Alchemy used the picture of a Dragon or winged serpent as one of its many secret symbols. A common symbol of spiritual alchemical work was a Dragon or a serpent holding its tail in its mouth, an unending circle of eternity.

Dragon’s blood is mentioned by both medicine and alchemy in history. Since Dragons would not willingly give their blood and most had already gone into hiding they turned to other sources. There were said to be several sources of this material, other than from actual Dragons. The “bloodstone” hematite, an ore rich in iron; and the mineral cinnabar, a compound of mercury, were both called forms of Dragon’s blood.

However, the most widely used Dragon’s blood was a gum resin. It was said that trees, which originally grew from actual spilled Dragon’s blood, produced a reddish-brown sap of great value. This species of tree is still called Dracaena Draco by botanists. Incisions were made in the bark and the sap collected as it congealed into resin. Most of these trees are found in the East Indies, southern Arabia, and the Canary Islands. Today the resin is still known as Dragon’s blood and used in magical procedures.

Content © to Eidolon Moon ☾ 2007-2012 unless otherwise noted.