It is 2012, an auspicious time for Dragons—and Dragon lovers—the world over.

On the back of the Sovereign Plumed Serpent, the Mayan Long Count calendar is winding towards the close of the Fourth Age. If the past is precursor of the future, this means the beginning of the Fifth Age is at hand—a joyful turn of events that no doubt disappoints eschatologically-minded folks counting on the world coming to a crashing end. Less contentiously, to the billions attuned to the Chinese zodiac it is the Year of the Dragon—the Water Dragon, to be precise—a year for optimism, reflection, and big dreams.

With all of this draconic energy informing the Universe, it is fitting to ponder the foundational questions of Dragon Science and answer, if we can: What are Dragons and why are they so important to us?

The human experience is rich with cosmological lore, legends, and faȅrie tales—not to mention authoritative lexicons. All of these make most everyone on Earth—and a few other planets—comfortable picking "generic" Dragons out of a zoological line-up. According to such sources, your standard Western or European Dragon is a vicious reptilian creature, winged, usually fire-breathing, who nests on a hoard of riches and dines on sacrificial maidens and the errant heroes inspired to rescue them. Oriental Dragons, we're told, are more benevolent beings, long and sinuous with bewhiskered leonine heads and silky manes and ankle tufts. The third species of True Dragon, the New World—also known as Feathered—Dragon is rarer and, thus, less well known, but even they would be recognized soaring over the Yucatan. Note: There are, of course a plethora of lesser dragon species around the world but True Dragons are more than sufficient for our discussion.

Simply put, in the shorthand of Dragon Studies, they are Magnificent, Monstrous, and Mythic. Of course, Dragons being so much more than other creatures, are also mammoth, magical, and much maligned. Those less kindly disposed towards Dragons would likely add malevolent, mendacious, and menacing.

What exactly do such words mean in a draconic context? Are they even accurate? And what do they tell us about Dragons and their place in our world?

Despite certain zoological particulars that are at odds with these general perceptions (see The Dragon Keeper's Handbook and Dragons for Beginners for specifics), there is little doubt that they are magnificent. These great creatures are as large as any megafauna and twice as graceful; they light up the sky with fire and usher rain from the clouds. Let us not forget that on a level of sheer metrics, Dragons are jaw-droppingly awesome. A full-grown European Dragon can reach 75 feet from nasal horn to tail spade, her wings unfurling like great lateen sails eager to billow and swell; mature Asian Dragons have been known to measure 100 feet and shake the earth with a whisper of their passing. Combine this corporeal prowess with mental acuity and nobility of spirit, and Dragons become the poster children for magnificence.

Monstrous is a more partisan epithet. The very word is conflicted, its Latin root, monstrum, meaning everything from omen to (traditional) monster to miracle! And as such embraces Dragons, length and breadth and everything in between.

Sadly we humans like to attribute moral weight to our monsters and bandy the word around to inspire nightmares, fear, and jingoistic furor. When dealing with Dragons, it is wise to remember the words of Andre Gide: "There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them." That said, Dragons are prodigious, unusual, stunning, and dangerous. They are quintessentially natural with all the light and dark that entails. Dragons are the apex predator, and, though often more reasonable than the humans who have pursued them, have every right to defend themselves. These monstrous miracles of cryptozoology deserve to be treated with respect and caution, and most of all, understood. As Melville said, "Ignorance is the parent of fear," and fear makes us do very stupid, cruel things.

Cryptic Dragons-as-Monsters serve as a bridge between their dynamic physical presence and the even more ambiguous complexities of their mythic status. Back in the day, Dragons were Creators and Destroyers, gods and cohorts of gods. And why not? When our ancestors were struggling to survive in a hostile Paleolithic environment, Dragons were romping and roaming across the landscape, leaving their psychic paw prints on human hearts and minds. In this primitive world they were large where we were small, powerful where we were weak, and as wild as any creatures of sea, soil, or sky. They were made for myth, for embodying all that was unexplained and mystical in the world. We latched onto them to make sense of that which was beyond words. In stories told across the hearthstone, we inflated Dragons to meet our needs. These supernatural creatures stretched from briny abyss to star-pocked heavens, dined on the sun, and eclipsed the moon with the furl of a wing. They were fire and water, earth and wind, the magic of the elements, the rhythm of the seasons. In time, shamans sought them for wisdom, and, to our shame, would-be heroes fought them for glory.

Since those early days, the mythic import of Dragons has faded, becoming more symbolic, more token, than it once was. Finding strength in numbers, people went from clans to villages, from cities to states. We built walls between us and the wilderness and, in the process, cast down our draconic deities, raising in their place gods with whom we were more comfortable, gods who looked more like us. Through millennia, we who were made in these new gods' image, grew in our arrogance and ran roughshod over the planet and all her habitants. In the process, we lost much of our sense of wonder so vital to keeping Dragons with us. Bit by bit, our scaly friends slipped out of the real world and into the mist of fantasy and faȅrie tale.

Fortunately, out of sight did not mean out of mind and, even in absentia, complex, contradictory Dragons ruled the mythic imagination as powerful metaphors. Depending on culture and worldview, they've represented everything from the greatest good to the vilest evil. Fortunately, their metaphysical standing not only kept them alive but made possible their resurgence. Dragons-as-Myth continues to be at the heart of their presence in our lives.

Which leads us to Dragons in 2012. Their year. It is a time to embrace all we know of Dragons and all we have yet to learn, their natures both physical and metaphysical.

I have kept company with Dragons for more than half a century. I have studied, worked with, written about, and adored them. I have read lore and science and the most fanciful of tales. After all that delicious time amongst them, the one thing I know for sure is that you can't fit all things Dragon into a teaspoon—or even a teacup. Our relationships with Dragons are about as subjective as they come. There are few rights or wrongs, few hard-and-fast rules. In the end, there is only unique personal experience and empirical Dragon wisdom. One person's Dragon is ravenous flesh and bone, and for another, a winged guardian who flits around the edges of the dreamtime. For some, they are loyal, family-oriented beings just trying to survive against daunting odds; for others they are channelers of magic and keepers of elemental power. They teach us how to find balance with the nature and remind us, by their raw majesty, that we are here to care for the world, not exploit it.

Real and imaginary, learned and wild. Dragons are all of these and so much more. That is as it should be. We've burdened them since the dawn of time with our hopes and fears, our faith and wild expectations. Only beings of supernal complexity and strength could bear up under such a load.

Novelist Charles Morgan noted, "As knowledge increases, wonder deepens." As the Year of the Dragon winds down, it behooves all who love Dragons to learn as much as we can about these magnificent, monstrous, and mythic beings. To gift our friends, as our ancestors did, with the simple willingness to believe. Then feel your wonder deepen.

Views: 16

Birthdays

Important (read & understand)

How to Contact us:Preferred Contact point

Skype: Travelingraggyman

 

Email and Instant Messenger:

TravelerinBDFSM @ aol/aim;  hotmail; identi.ca; live & yahoo

OR

Travelingraggyman @ gmail and icq ***

***

Find us on Google+

Please vote for Our Site. You can vote once a day. Thank you for your support. just click on the badge below
Photobucket

OUR MOST RECENT  AWARD


1AWARD UPDATES & INFORMATION
10,000 votes - Platinum Award
5,000 votes - Gold Award
2,500 votes - Silver Award
1,000 votes - Bronze Award
300 votes - Pewter Award
100 votes - Copper Award


Member of the Associated  Posting System {APS}

This allows members on various sites to share information between sites and by providing a by line with the original source it credits the author with the creation.

Legal Disclaimer

***************We here at Traveling within the World are not responsible for anything posted by individual members. While the actions of one member do not reflect the intentions of the entire social network or the Network Creator, we do ask that you use good judgment when posting. If something is considered to be inappropriate it will be removed

 

This site is strictly an artist operational fan publication, no copyright infringement intended

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

© 2017   Created by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service