According to the Chinese zodiac, 2012 has ushered in the year of the dragon upon the world stage.
In addition to occupying an ages old position in our cultural consciousness, legend and folklore surrounding
the dragon mythology has long been firing the kiln of our dreams with fright and menace. When we are speaking of
Dragons, we are speaking from ancient texts gathered form the beginnings of kept records of any kind and from all
points of the Earth Sphere.
In a time before modern science and anthropology, farmers tilling their fields and
fishermen drawing their nets would find amazements that struck them with fear and awe: fanged serpentine skulls
larger than the tallest man, along with other bones indicating powerfully-taloned creatures taller than the treetops.
All creation itself was assumed to be no more than several dozen human generations’ lifetimes’ long, so the idea
of dinosaur remains from 200 million years ago was beyond the most educated human comprehension of the time. The
mind of ancient man must have been reeling.
What were these creatures? Monsters? Gods?! And more pressing: Did they still walk the earth? (Or fly above the clouds?)
In what remote lairs could they be found? Mountaintop keeps? Inside volcanoes? Living deep beneath the oceans?
Believable stories, legends, mythos had to be created to help humans
calm their fears and place these terrifying beings within some kind of manageable
context in their lives and societies.
The dragon mythos was born.
Although ancient Europeans imagined their dragons to be originated from the seas (like the terrifying “sea serpents” and
giant octopuses and squids that haunted the seafaring Europeans’ nightmares) and the Chinese and Far Easterners imagined their
dragons to have flown forth from volcanoes, spewing the volcanic fire that was their birthright – what is remarkable about
dragons is their ubiquitous presence in the myths and legends and historic consciousnesses of peoples and societies all over
the world. "Dragon” is an instantly understood idea and image held in common by every person currently alive. Dragons have continued
to evolve as frightful symbols of nature’s overwhelming destructive forces, far beyond the defenses of humankind, on down through the millennia.
Of course, in our warp-speed modern times, just when science might be thought powerful enough to finally “explain away” the “dragon”
skulls and forever vanish the monsters from our fitful dreams – we, being the fun humans that we are, have decided to embrace The Dragon
in our pop consciousness like never before, even transforming him (and her) from a force of destruction into a friend and protector (as in
Anne McCaffrey, George R. R. Martin, and Harry Potter novels and many highly-grossing films and video games). It would seem that while we
as intelligent beings value our scientific discoveries, we value just as much our marvelously crafted and generationally passed-down stories, myths and legends.
Thus: Our Dragons will live forever!
Questions for the Reader
What aspect of the “dragon” most fascinates you personally? The mystery of their possible actual reality (now or long ago)?
The amazing worldwide span of the “dragon story” and belief as well as the millennial timespan of the legends? Or simply the
the incredible fun that fills the dragon stories and artful depictions?
Do you think science ruins wonderful myths like “dragons”? Or can science and mythic consciousness exist side by side if both are respected, appreciated and given their due?
Which dragon story or depiction most influenced your childhood?
What is your first impression of a person you see wearing dragon jewelry?
If a living dragon were discovered to be living in an Icelandic volcano, what impact do you think this would make on our world? What if because they emerged in Iceland, Bjork and Robbie Rotten were designated as our human ambassadors to the upper echelon of an emerging dragon society?
If we ever needed to, who, in your opinion do you think we should assign this most important of positions, specific and depending of course on which Volcano in what part of the world they were to emerge from? And why would they be best for the job?