Monday, April 20, 2015

Raising the Standard

Master of Elements, Immortal Enchanter;
I emerge from my shell and unfurl across the skies.
With bladed grin and delicate claws,
parting the fabric to pass between worlds and realities.

Pearl of Wisdom hidden at my brow,
my glittering armor shields me 
from the arrows and sharp edges of Life's atrocities.

Storm-bringer, Primordial Guardian;
Uncoiling from my eternal lair
beneath the intertwined roots of the World Tree,
breathing wrathful devastation in cyclic rivalry.
My mighty coils squeeze tremors from the Earth,
or thrash tidal waves across the restless Seas.

Behold my power running rampant 
over the battlefields of history!
Armies birthed from the seeds of my teeth,
a testament to my ferocity!

Herald of Fortune, Celestial Guide;
I can show you the way.
Conquer the beast within
by looking with brave and honorable eyes.
Questing for and slaying each debilitating flaw, 
is how you sinuously transform and ascend
to lie resplendent upon the hoard of the wise. 
Learn my songs, and you will soar
through even the darkest skies.

For those new to the game, each singing poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature. Can you guess who is singing here? Congrats to Robin Smith, Angie Davies, Jan Neavill Hersh, BeadaBeada and Donovan for naming this Teacher

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.” Unknown dragon lawn ornament

“You helped yourself. In doing so, you helped me, and now it’s time to be truly brave.” Puff the Magic Dragon

“I stopped when I smelled the magic. It was strong magic. Old magic. And it carried a faint scent of the sea.” Dragon of the Lost Sea, Laurence Yep

Dragons have fired the imaginations of humanity for centuries. Most cultures, from Mayan to Indo-European, to Welsh to Chinese, have some concept of these magical, mystical elemental Masters. Tales of their draconian forms and abilities can vary widely beyond the basics of sharp claws, bladed grins, and scales that turn away swords and arrows. 

Some fly, with or without wings. Some swim, some live deep underground having slept so long that mountains have grown over them, or high in the clouds nesting on floating islands they keep hidden. Some dragons are greedy, violent, self-centered creatures that act on bestial instinct. Others are thoughtful, peaceful rational beings more concerned with the world at large than themselves. Some hoard jewels and gold, while others hoard only knowledge or even bestow wishes. In all tales Dragons are the Masters of the Elements. 

Dragons in general symbolize strength, power, courage, protection, luck, magic, nature/elements, knowledge, wisdom, longevity, leadership/guidance/guardianship, primordial instinct, diversity, imagination, yinyang, magic,  dreams, visions, questing, manifestation and transformation. They create storms and thunder with their wings, breathe fire, lightning, or even acid. Dragons are Keepers of natural magic, ancient wisdom, and guardians of places of power. 

Dragons are also linked to Snakes, so these elemental creatures carry all the lessons of snake plus their own potent individual lessons. These powerful creatures have inspired people for centuries. There are countless stories woven around them, and the study of them is an ever unfolding journey. Long before recorded history, early Europeans believed that a Dragon lived at the base of the World Tree. This dragon would arouse according to its schedule, and only a god could battle it successfully! Ancient Greeks told tales of burying dragon teeth to birth armies. Christian St. George rode out in armor to battle his dragon. 

"This of course is the way to talk to dragons, if you don't want to reveal your proper name (which is wise), and don't want to infuriate them by a flat refusal (which is also very wise). No dragon can resist the fascination of riddling talk and of wasting time trying to understand it." ~ Tolkien, The Hobbit

Elementally, Water Dragons bring hidden desires and memories to the surface. They bring us the courage and compassion to move through emotional transformation, or to help others through such a painful experience. They have the impassioned yet fluid strength of water, which yields to everything yet can wear through stone. Earth Dragons bring messages of abundance and prosperity, lessons on how to remain grounded and centered, and the slow but steady growth into our own power, our individual beauty brought forth through self-nurturing.

The Stone People (everything from Feldspar to Sapphire) are the record keepers of the Earth, and Earth Dragons have access to the same ageless wisdom, the same slow but certain progress echoed by the Earth’s transformative ability, evident always in the dance of seasons. Whether called by this Dragon or Snake, the study of the Stone People is sure to be of great benefit to those called by such earthy Teachers.

Air Dragons bring clarity, vitality, and inspiration to any situation. The flash of their scales is the bright light of the “ah-a!” moment of inspiration, and they love to help us develop the confidence to listen to our inner voice. Master communicators, they encourage us to speak only after we have thought through the situation. Study (especially of ancient wisdoms), contemplation, and meditation are fine tools for Air Dragons.

Fire Dragons bring the fiercest, most enthusiastic energy to your situation, but also the most easily mishandled. Rapid changes and great strength can be brought about by this Teacher, but it will also test your ability to act with moderation, with the full power of your potential realized but used only to the exact limit needed. With proper respect and self-discipline, this sort of Dragon will stoke your inner fires, teach you to both accept and project a steady protective aura brimming with the air of leadership, courage and mastery of self. Potent and wise allies, these elemental creatures can teach us all there is to understand about their given element. Familiarizing yourself with the different aspects of Dragon in the Chinese calendar may be particularly helpful to those drawn by these Teachers.

My son was born in the year of the Earth Dragon, and examining this aspect of him really helped me to understand his equally delightful and exasperating outrageous-ness. Dragon people in general tend to be charismatic, unpredictable, talented, unfettered, extroverted, impulsive, innovative, and insightful personalities. The Earth element of my son’s birth year helped to steady his outrageous impulses more than I realized, but I have often noticed that for all the impulsiveness natural to him, he is not given to fiery verbal or emotional responses. 

Earth Dragons are the least likely to assert their devastating breath without serious provocation, but when they do it can be like being hit with a stream of molten lava! All Dragons have more than a touch of the mystical or magical about them, and they are often seen as heralds of good fortune, powerful transformation and protection.

“Sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself.” 
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"

In the Chinese Zodiac those born in the years 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 and 2001 were all born under the sign of the Snake. In that culture, Snake people are believed to be soft-spoken, graceful, deep thinkers, shrewd, mystical, wise, ambitious, cautious, purposeful and creative. They can also be loners, bad communicators, possessive, distrustful, deceitful and hedonistic. This matches fairly well with the general opinion of Snake people in other cultures too. The lines between Snakes, Lizards, Toads, and Dragons have often been blurred throughout history, and those interested in one of these totems would be wise to examine them all.

In Laurence Yep’s Dragon of the Lost Sea we learn of the most prized of dragon possessions, the fabled Dragon Pearl… much like the stone of wisdom once believed to be contained within the head of every toad. If you have never examined the many depictions of Ouroboros and you may be surprised at how often this mystical symbol of eternity and balance is shown as a dragon swallowing its tail. 

In Tolkien's The Hobbit, we meet Smaug who is by his passions. He is a prime example of the clever hoarder dragons who care only about serving themselves in all that they do. This sort doesn't just hoard, they dominate their territory, they rule with a bladed glove. In Diane Duane's So, You Want to be a Wizard?, we meet The Eldest, a dragon of sorts. The Eldest is so ancient that he cannot remember the precise contents of his hoard, and is thus always worried that someone has stolen something from him without his notice. 

In Jane Yolen's Pit Dragon Trilogy we meet Heart's Blood and her brood of telepathic children who open up a unique world of dragons. Anne MacCaffery, E.E. Knight, Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weiss, Christopher Paolini, Joel Rosenberg, Byron Preiss, Michael Reaves, Peter Dickenson, Robert Asprin, Michael Ende, Terry Brooks, Alan Dean Foster, Melanie Rawn, Patricia Wrede, Robin Hobb, Ursula K. LeGuin ... Hundreds of worlds, entire galaxies perhaps, have sprung up around Dragons! Creation, destruction, chaos, harmony... the few things Dragons don't do are mediocre and boring! 

Dragons teach us that diversity is strength. Knowledge and Wisdom together make a solid foundations for us to build fantastical castles. Dragons most often illustrate for us the pinnacles and depths to which we humans can run. The choice of direction is always up to us. Which is more potent to you, greed or generosity? Do you feel powerless or consumed by the need to have power over others? What do you consider treasure and what do you hoard? What rules you? How does this magical Teacher sing in your life? 

“You can't map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs. ” 
― Terry Pratchett, The Color of Magic

“Knowledge is a funny thing, Auron. The more of it that's in your head, the more your head can hold. It breeds on its own. You never know what the next bit of reading is going to do, what it's going to meet up with in your head and mate.” 
― E.E. Knight, Dragon Champion

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” Eckhart Tolle


  1. This sounds like a Dragon....your verses are so fierce!

    1. So glad you enjoyed this flight of fancy :o)