A Little History of Dragons (part 1)

The Dragon is the most fabulous, complex and ambivalent of all the animals that inhabit the jugle of the imagination. This fabulous creature has been subject of myth and traveller’s tales for the last 4000 years and, although it has been seen apart from its snake incarnations, its image has been used in religion, alchemy, heraldry and medicine (to name but a few of its aspects), throughout all cultures and histories of the world, primitive, classical, medieval and oriental.

A dragon can primarily be considered to be a symbol of the many different aspects of the powes of the earth, booth good and bad. When associated with water, it may represent the fertility of the soil, or herald floods and drought. It can also be seen as a sign of the heat within the earth — appearing in mythology as Typhon, the son of mother Earth, the fire-breathing dragon representing the volcano.

Today sites of dragon legends, hills, caves, mounds and lakes can often be linked to pre-Christian religions, and depictions of the dragon appear ub okaces where they are least expected, like Christian churches.

A pagan dragon can be found in a number of churches with foliage sprounting from its mouthm denoting fertility. Perhaps too the dragonslayer is equally pagan in concept, and descends from the Green Man and other fertility deities, pressuring the dragon via the spear into releasing its generative forces of nature.