Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts

Sunday 6 March 2022

Dragon People

Dragon People

What do all these people have in common?

Hint: This year, 2012, is also a year of Dragon.

Still guessing?

Answer: They are all born in the year of Dragon. Those born in the Dragon year, besides being fortunate (the Chinese name “lung” is a sign of luck), are also honoured and well respected.

Here is some character traits associated with the Dragon Personalities:

Dragons are free spirited persons always being free and uninhibited, for conformation is a Dragon’s curse. Restrictions snuffs out the ample creative spark that is always ready to flare.  Dragons feel that all rules and regulations pertain to others and not to them. 
The Dragon beings are beautiful creatures; their natural instinct is to be colourful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly, utterly irrepressible, in fact, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale: big ideas, ornate gestures, and extreme ambitions. Because they are confident and fearless in nature, they will always overcome any challenge and are inevitably successful in rising to the very pinnacle of any profession.

A note of caution: Dragon people need to be aware of their ambitious nature however, for too much enthusiasm can leave them fatigued and unfulfilled. Though they are always ready to give any assistance whenever the need arises they are also proud and loathe accepting any form of aid from others.

The Dragon's originality is the most impressive and outstanding of all his characteristics. The Dragon is quite imaginative and always able to see new paths where others may run into brick walls. Dragons are very adaptable and are fit for various occupations, especially those occupations that allow them to bathe in the limelight. Dragons work hard, but would rather give orders than receive them. Therefore to be content, they should avoid jobs that encompass too much routine, and opt instead for the positions in which their self-reliance can be an asset. Some of the occupations best suited for the Dragon are Computer analysts, Inventors, Engineers, Architects, Lawyers, Philosophers, Psychoanalysts, Brokers, Managers, PR People, Advertising agents, Sales people, Officers in the military, Campaigners for Charities or Politicians. In any of these occupations the Dragons will often take a radical approach

Not the most domesticated of the Animal signs, Dragons may be more content out and about rather than stuck at home. Nevertheless, blessed with imagination and artistic sense, they may enjoy decorating their home or anywhere else where their extravagance can be expressed and duly appreciated. A Dragon's home is usually large and majestic in accordance with his personality, providing ample space for that fiery temperament or sudden emotional eruptions that are typical of their character.  Keep in mind also that Dragons are egotistical and love to be the center of attention; modesty is not one of their assets. Add to that the Dragon temper and you have a commanding, domineering and authoritative chief. They do hate unsolicited advice and can be hopelessly tactless and insensitive to their lovers and spouses. It takes someone who is easygoing yet has a thick skin to be the Dragon's partner because, despite their sentimental characters, Dragons can be moody and insensitive. All the same, Dragons are loved so much because they are generous, charismatic, irresistible, and so brave that standing beside them banishes fear. They generate excitement and turn heads anywhere they go. They are free-spirited and impulsive and can help others achieve their dreams. Others love to be around Dragons because they have a way of making people feel better.

True enough, the Dragon’s generous personality gives them the ability to attract friends easily, but they are rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon’s self-sufficiency means that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people. Dragons are quick to fall in love, but do not surrender their independence easily leaving most of them to live life by themselves. Yet, a smart, witty, and funny companion may intrigue the Dragon long enough to make him want to get married and, once the Dragon becomes committed, they will be fiercely loyal and most unlikely to ever leave.

Many people will want to run when the Dragon's temper is provoked. Chinese horoscopes are very specific about which partnerships have the potential to be successful in love and in business. Yet, though destiny can point us in the right direction, we must still make all efforts to maintain loving relationships.

Dragons and Other Animals:

Dragons are compatible with, and are best friends with, Rats and Monkeys. There is an easy bonding with the Snake and few problems; not much understanding with the Ox and Sheep and Rabbit. Tigers present a challenge but also many thrills. When it comes to the Horse and Pig there are complications with their different attitudes and dragons have some difficulty in getting along with them. Dogs meanwhile are considered a mortal Enemy for Dragon folk.

In a scenario where Dragon marries another Dragon, they need to learn to share the spotlight; once this is accomplished, they will live in absolute bliss. Furthermore nothing is beyond their reach.

A Dragon and Snake union: A clever, crafty and quick-witted relationship as they fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
Dragon marrying a Horse: In this case you share a powerful sexual chemistry.
Dragon marrying Rabbit or Sheep: Despite the sexual attraction, eventually you'll find too many differences to overcome.
Dragon marrying Monkey: You share similar opinions and goals that destine you for happiness.
Dragon marrying Dog: A truly tumultuous affair-not recommended for peace of mind.
Dragon marrying Pig: A caring and deeply affectionate relationship.
Dragon marrying Rooster: You make a beautiful couple, but your egotism blinds you.
Because people born in the year of the Dragon are so bent on furthering their careers, they usually put off having and raising children until late. Parenting doesn't come very naturally or easily to the Dragon. However, when Dragons do become parents, they approach it with the same enthusiasm as their other endeavors. They are proud parents and tend to boast about the accomplishments and good looks of their children. Dragons, noted for their benevolence, tend to shower their children with toys and spending money. It has been remarked that they substitute material things for quality time with their children. Even so, Dragons take parenting seriously and are quite protective of their children's welfare. Should anything upset them, or should anyone wrong them, the Dragon will prepare to fight and avenge the people who have hurt or belittled their offspring.

Like their adult counterparts, children born in the Year of the Dragon have vivid personalities and are independent from birth. Noisy and active, parents should stimulate their imaginations as soon as possible. Their imagination and inquisitive natures can be troublesome for the Dragon child and can often land them in a heap of trouble at school which can cause teachers and other parents to deem them troublemakers or naughty.
Sometimes Dragon children are loners who daydream and drift to into their own world of make-believe. They are creative and are able to entertain themselves for hours on end. They don’t mind playing by themselves, often inventing games and puzzles while doing so. All the same, Dragon children are responsible children who love to take on and complete as many tasks as possible for it gives them a sense of accomplishment. They do however demand careful attention and special handling in order to bring out the best in them. Their creativity and talents must be encouraged, even if it means spending extra time in certain school subjects in order to help them master the subject.

As we mentioned earlier, Dragons are usually popular people, but because of their personalities, they seem to gather as much criticism as they do esteem. Due to their tumultuous temperaments, Dragons are not the most sensitive friends to those in need of a shoulder to cry on; however, those who truly know the Dragon know he is a loving soul who will become your best ally in times of need. Once the dynamic Dragon has given his friendship, he will not let his friends down and will never falter in his allegiance to his companions. To a Dragon, a friend is a friend for a lifetime. Incredibly honest, Dragons are known for sincerity and are trusting souls. Because of this honesty Dragons don't realize others may not demonstrate or uphold the same codes of ethics. Making the discovery that they placed their trust in someone who is dishonest makes the Dragon person quite sad, yet much more perceptive for future encounters.

Dragons are attracted by the bizarre. No self-respecting Dragon desires to walk in a tourist's footsteps. Instead, they take a lot of gratification in finding hidden destinations, or, closer to home, locations off the beaten track. But Dragons also need thrills, which they might find by taking an unplanned winter break to go skiing or a spontaneous rock climbing trip in the spring. They may even test their bravery by daring to ride the highest roller coaster in the world. Dragons are also sentimental at heart, so conquering their childhood haunts, or taking a second honeymoon would bring immense pleasure too.

Dragons also like to spend money and are most charitable. They do not know the meaning of the word "accumulate," and making money does not intrigue them as it may others. Many Dragons will take big chances with their finances, sometimes betting on their shirt and losing it right off of their backs. Yet, they were born with the Midas touch, and it very rare that a Dragon remains poor for long. Dragons will always be straightforward in financial dealings and can always be trusted. 

Other characteristics are as follows: Innovative, Enterprising, Flexible, Brave, Passionate, Conceited, Tactless, Scrutinizing, Unanticipated and Quick-tempered.
Dragons take thrilling risks and burn the candle at both ends so they are fortunate to be blessed with good health. Among the heartiest of the Animal signs, they can suffer bad health as a result of stress. Symptoms of their personalities often stem from emotional outbursts and can range from tension headaches to depression to hypertension. Dragons can remedy these problems by maintaining their cool, implementing a routine in their daily lives, and utilizing exercises such as yoga or tai kwon do that soothe the mind and spirit as well as tone the body.

Some of the likes and dislikes of the Dragon personality:

Color Preference: Greenish-Blue
Gems and Stones: Opal, Sapphire, Amber
Suitable Gifts: Tarot cards, camera, a copy of the I-Ching, mirror, a family crest, a mobile phone
Hobbies and Pastimes: Computer programming, public speaking, fossil hunting, astrology
Dragons Dislike: Taking orders, unnecessary bureaucracy, discounted ideas, people who don't give 100%

Now here are the people in the photo, have fun matching their names:

Maya Angelou, Joan Armatrading, Joan Baez, Sandra Bullock, Bing Crosby, Salvador Dali, Charles Darwin, Chiristian Dior, Placido Domingo, Fats Domino, Sigmund Freud, Che Guevara, Joan of Arc, Immanuel Kant, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Edgar Allan Poe, Keanu Reeves, Isabella Rossellini, George Bernard Shaw, Alicia Silverstone, Ringo Starr, Shirley Temple, Andy Warhol, Raquel Welch, and Mae West

Other notable Dragon Year people are:
Jeffrey Archer, Joan Armatrading, Count Basie, Roseanne Barr, Maeve Binchy, Juliette Binoche, Alexandra Burke, Michael Cera, Courteney Cox, Russell Crowe, Roald Dahl, Neil Diamond, Bo Diddley, Matt Dillon, Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Colin Farrel, Dan Fogler, Bruce Forsyth, Calista Flockhart, Graham Greene, James Herriot, Paul Hogan, Boris Johnson, Sir Tom Jones, Wyonna Judd, Courtney Love, Elle Macpherson, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Nick Nolte, Julia Ormond, Sharon Osbourne, Al Pacino, Gregory Peck, Pele, Nikki Reed, Ryan Reynolds, Sir Cliff Richard, Martin Sheen, Dinah Shore, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Dave Stewart, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Maria von Trapp, Louis Walsh, Mark Webber, and Reese Witherspoon. Just to name a few.

To find out what years belong to which of the Chinese Animal Signs (and to you) see our blog: The Year of the Dragon Brings Ups and Downs for the full list.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Dragons in Slavic Mythology

Dragons in Slavic Mythology

In Slavic mythology Dragons are either male or female. Often seen as siblings, they represent different forces of agriculture. In the Bulgarian mythologies the female dragon is always depicted as being hateful of mankind, locked into a perpetual battle with her male sibling. She represents water characteristics, adverse weather and is associated with destruction of crops. The male dragon on the other hand has a fiery nature and is depicted as being a caring, loving, shielding benefactor of men working to further their crops and their survival. In Bulgarian folklore both male and female dragons are depicted with three heads, snake bodies and have wings.

Dragons in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Serbian lore are all unvaryingly represented as being hostile. They are depicted with anywhere from one to seven or more heads, three and seven being the most favoured, and the heads always re-grow upon decapitation unless fire is used to cauterize the neck. Their Dragon blood is so poisonous that, when spilled, the Earth cannot absorb it. Always represented as being evil, these four legged, winged, fearsome monsters have few redeeming qualities. They mercilessly extract tribute from strained settlements by way of maidens, gold or food, all of which the poor inhabitants can ill afford.

Bulgarian Dragons

The Chuvash Dragons of Bulgaria reflect the myths of the Volga River before the Turkish dominance and differ from Turkic counterparts like the Zilant. The best known of the Chuvash Dragons is the Veri Selen [fire snake] which, like the Russian Gorynych, has multiple heads and flies through the air trailing fire. These dragons are said to hatch from the dead bodies of illegitimate children, killed by their mothers and discarded. At night the Veri Selen assumes human form and seeks revenge for their betrayal by seducing the men and impregnating the women.

Islamic influence on dragon myths can be seen in the account of the Bulgars who founded the town of Bilar. They discovered a big snake living nearby and resolved to kill it, but the snake begged them to leave it in peace and that night pleaded with Allah (God) to give her wings. Taking pity on her Allah granted her the gift of wings and she was able to fly away from this danger, never to be seen again.

Ibn Fadlan visited Bulgaria around the time of their conversion to Islam in the Tenth Century, and found numerous snakes in the area around the Volga, particularly in the trees. One huge tree, over a hundred feet high, had fallen and around the trunk a huge snake, as long as the tree was high, was coiled. The Bulgars allayed Ibn Fadlan’s apprehension, assuring him the snake was not dangerous. Another great snake, sometimes referred to as a Dragon, inhabited a pagan temple tower at Alabuga, and the legend of this particular reptile persisted after the Islamic period until the invasion of Tamarlane.

The Wawel Dragon

The Polish Wawel Dragon, according to lore, once lived in a cave on the Vistula River below Wavel Castle near the city of Krakow during the time of its founder, King Krakus. Every day the dragon would emerge from its cave to wreak havoc across the countryside, destroying farms and homes, killing the people it found and devouring their livestock. In many variations of the story the Wawel Dragon was particularly fond of eating young girls and could only be deterred from his destructive rampage if the townsfolk of Krakow left a young maiden outside his cave once every month. This situation continued as the King’s knights, testing their mettle against this terrible beast, one by one fell to the Dragon’s fiery breath, and eventually all the young girls of the town and the surrounding area were all sacrificed. All but one that is, and now came the turn of the beautiful daughter of King Krakus himself. He loved his daughter very much and in his desperation, he promised her hand in marriage to anyone, regardless of his station in life, who could defeat the Dragon and end this terrible carnage.

Coveting this legendary beauty, great warriors thronged to the capital from near and far to try their luck. Unfortunately the fierce Dragon destroyed all these fine knights as if they were but cattle herded to the slaughter. Finally, with all the challengers exhausted, there came the turn of a poor cobbler’s apprentice named Dratewka. The resourceful boy, undaunted by the jeers and mockery of his friends, set to work at once. He did not need to attain any fine armour or weaponry for he had his wits about him instead. He had only one night to complete the seemingly impossible task, so he quickly obtained raw sulphur and tar and concealed it in the carcass of a slaughtered lamb. He then carried it all the way up to the entrance of the dragon’s cave, left it just outside and quickly hid. Almost immediately after eating the bait the Dragon developed an unbearable thirst, so strong it was that it could not be assuaged by any amount of water. The Dragon drank and drank, swallowing almost half of the Vistula River, yet his thirst could not be quenched; meanwhile, his stomach swelled so much that suddenly, with a thunderous sound, he exploded.

The king and all the townsfolk were overjoyed and Dratewka became their most beloved hero there and then. The sovereign, honouring his word, blessed the marriage of Dratewka to his beautiful daughter and they all lived happily ever after.

A charming Play about the Wawel Dragon:

See this on YouTube at:

Sunday 6 November 2011

European Dragons- An Introduction

European Dragons - General introduction

Dragons in European mythology and folklore are almost always portrayed as being malevolent (with some exceptions such as The Red Dragon of Wales).

Photo by Geordie Michael

They are depicted as serpentine or reptilian, hatching from eggs and usually possessing scaled or feathered bodies. Dragons can have any number of legs: none, two, four or more. Often they have a hard, armoured hide and possess wings; though they rarely fly. They are endowed with large eyes adept at diligently watching treasures. Some myths portray them with row of dorsal spines. They live in underground lairs or inaccessible caves.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

The word dragon entered the English language in the early 13 the century (the usage lasted till 18th Century) from Old French dragon, which in turn comes from Latin draconem (nominative draco) meaning “huge serpent”.

You may wonder what it was that inspired dragon myths in the first place? Here are some possible explanations:

It could be that the whole mythology of European dragons stemmed from a cult of snakes; as folklore and mythological accounts of dragons often shared similar traits with huge snakes inhabiting nearby rivers or the sea. Also the Nile crocodiles in ancient times enjoyed a much larger range, with some even able to swim across the Mediterranean Sea, they could have been spotted in the southern parts of Europe. These supposed wayward crocodiles could have easily been the budding source for dragon myths.

Another possibility could be that many tales about dragons, monsters and giant heroes might have been spun from the accidental discoveries of the skeletons of whales, as well as dinosaur or mammalian fossils that could very well have been mistaken for the bones of dragons and other mythological creatures. Case in point: A discovery in 300 B.C. in Wucheng, Sichuan, China, was labelled as such by Chang Qu.

In Australia, stories of such creatures may have referred to land crocodiles, Quinkana, a terrestrial crocodile which grew to 5 to 7 metres long. Today the Komodo monitor lizard Varanus Komodoensis, is known in English as the Komodo Dragon.

Anthropologist David E. Jones, in his book entitled An Instinct for Dragons explored the hypothesis that humans have inherited instinctive reactions of fear when it comes to large cats, birds of prey and most certainly, slithering snakes. Dragons have the same characteristics that are combinations of all three. This would account for similar features been attributed to dragons appearing in various cultures throughout the world. The influence of drugs used in many religious ceremonies may also have vastly contributed to the fantastic, exaggerated imagery.

In any case, in various cultures around the word, Dragons often held major spiritual significance.

Incidences of a monstrous serpent opponent always overcome by a heroic deity had its roots in the mythology of the Ancient Near East, including Canaanite (Hebrew, Ugaritic), Hittite and Mesopotamian. The Chaoskampf motif entered Greek mythology and ultimately Christian mythology, although the serpent motif may already be part of prehistoric Indo-European mythology as well, based on comparative evidence of Indic and Germanic material. Presumably the accounts of spitting cobras may have evolved into the myths of fire-breathing dragons. In the New Testament, the Devil, in his battle against Archangel Michael, takes the form of a red dragon with seven heads and ten horns.

In modern times Dragon images have evolved to depict a huge fire-breathing lizard or snake with two pairs of lizard-type legs or a huge, scaly, horned dinosaur-like creature with leathery or bat-type wings growing from its back, four legs and a long muscular tail. Sometimes they have feathered wings, crests, fiery manes, with ivory spikes running down their spine and various exotic colorations.

A dragon like creature with no front legs is known as a wyvern. This is after the discovery of pterosaurs that walked on the ground. Some Dragons have been portrayed since, without front legs and using the wings as front legs Pterosaur-like when on the ground.

More recently depictions of dragons have been a bit kinder, perhaps a result of the heightened interest in dinosaurs. Who doesn’t like dinosaurs? Their cousin the Dragons, benefiting from this popularity, now are depicted as the guardians and friends of humans, with evil dragons (for we must have them also) as a misunderstood anomaly. They are now represented as intelligent creatures who can talk and possesses (or be under the spell of) potent magic. A dragon’s blood also has magical properties, for example in the opera Siegfried dragon’s blood let Siegfried understand the language of the Forest Bird. In most fables the dragon inhabits a cavern or a castle filled with gold and treasure. The dragon is often associated with a great hero who at first tries to slay him, is eventually won over and quickly develops into reciprocal bond, with the hero often seeking help or receiving advice from the Dragon.

Though they are grouped together under the dragon label, many cultures have varying descriptions and stories about them. Bad dragons still persists in some fables. These ones not only breathe fire but they can also be poisonous, such as the one depicted in Beowulf.

Beowulf, the oldest extant heroic poem in English literature, is usually credited as being the first one to explore the concept of a dragon slayer; though in fact the legend of the dragon slayer had already existed in Norse and Icelandic sagas, such as the tale of Sigurd and Fafnir. The poet of Beowulf would have had access to similar stories from Scandinavian oral tradition. The dragon fight occurring at the end of the poem, symbolizes Beowulf’s stand against evil and destruction, and as the hero, he knows that failure will bring destruction to his people after many years of peace.

J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit has expanded on Beowulf’s dragon, clearly demonstrating the lasting impact of Beowulf poem. There is a slight variation however. The dragon fight ends Beowulf, whereas in The Hobbit Tolkien uses the same dragon motif (namely the dragon’s love for treasure), to trigger a chain of events that form the narrative of the book.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

The Eastern Dragon

The Eastern Dragon

The Eastern dragon is not the gruesome monster of European medieval imaginings. He is in fact, the very embodiment of goodness: nobility, veracity, kindness, strength, change and life itself. He wields the power of transformation, and the gift of rendering himself visible or invisible at will. He lies hidden in the deepest caverns of the most remote mountains, or lays coiled in the abysmal depths of the vast oceans. There he waits for spring when he ascends to the towering, lofty clouds to wash his golden mane in the brewing turbulence of the impending storms. HIs thundering voice is heard far and wide in the wake of rising winds that scatter debris and thrash the branches of trees newly laden with leaves. His claws are in the forks of lightening and after a good downpour his scales glisten on the myriad surfaces of the land. Thus, by the moisture that is spring, he heralds the awakening and the return of nature’s energies.

Then in the autumnal equinox he once more returns to the mountain caverns or the depths of the ocean and there he lays hidden to re-emerge once more in spring. That is why the dragon is seen as a symbol of renewal and spring.

Brief History:

In the In 200 A.D., the Shuo Wen dictionary had stated that among the 369 species of scaly reptiles, such as fishes, snakes and lizards, the dragon is considered the ruler. It could be that Chinese dragon is merely a modified form of the alligator that to the present day is infrequently spotted in the Yangtze River. The emergence of alligators from hibernation coincides with the arrival of spring, when the dragons are supposed to be exerting their influence. This fact however has not been verified.

Another possibility is that lamas and Chinese Buddhists could have incorporated the dragon (whose body seems to be distinctly serpentine, head made up of parts of various other animals, teeth of a mammalian carnivore, legs and claws those of a bird) with the mythical serpents of Indian myth.

In various parts of Northern China, fossil remains of Stegodon, Mastodon, Elephants etc., have been occasionally unearthed fostering this belief. The discovered bones are oftentimes identified as “Dragon’s bones” and the fossil ivory is called “Dragon’s Teeth”.

There are believed to be three major Eastern dragons:

· Lung, which is the most powerful and inhabits the sky.

· Li, which is hornless and lives in the ocean

· Chiao, which is scaly and resides in marshes and makes its den in the mountains.

Of the three, Lung is the only authentic species and is described as such:

It has nine resemblances: It has the head of camel, the horns of a deer, eyes of a rabbit, ears of a cow, neck of snake, belly of a frog, scales of a carp, claws of a hawk and palm of a tiger.

There is a ridge of scales along its back, eighty-one in number. The scales on the head are disposed like the ridges in a chain of mountains and those on the throat lie towards the head. It has whiskers on each side of its mouth and a beard under its chin. When a bright pearl is placed hanging under its chin, he becomes unable to hear; which is also the reason why deaf persons are sometimes called lung.

It is said that the dragon’s voice is like the jingling of copper pans; and when a breath emerges from the mouth, it resembles a cloud, sometimes changing into water or fire.

To the ancients water-spouts were thought to be a living dragon, and swelling waves were enchanted by the dragon that is said to possess the power of raising great waves to injure men and boats.

The round red object which seems to be the constant appurtenance of the dragon is variously described as the sun, the moon, the symbol of rolling thunder, the emblem of the dual influences of nature and the pearl of potentiality (the loss of which betokens deficient power). The Chinese imperial coat of arms from the Han to the Ch’ing dynasty consisted of a pair of dragons fighting for a pearl.

There is some interesting lore about this pearl:

A Minister of State-Chi Liang, Marquis of Sui- when he was visiting abroad, took a stroll one day and happened to come upon a wounded snake. Taking pity, he at once administered some medicine to the wounded creature and so saved its life. Some years later when he was again abroad, strolling in the evening he chanced on the same snake. This time the snake was holding a brilliant pearl in its mouth. When he accosted it, the snake is said to have addressed him: “I am the son of His Majesty the Dragon and, while recreating myself, I was wounded. I’m indebted to you sir, for the preservation of my life and hence brought this pearl in recompense for your kindness. “

The Minister accepted the pearl and presented it to his Sovereign, who placed it in the Palace hall where by its influence the night became as day

The End.