“Statistically improbable, Dragons are the most likely impossible creature to exist, with a higher (though equally near infinite) improbability assigned to Fairies, Gnomes, Pixies, Witches, and Elves, in that order.” from Wikipedia
What is so incredibly compelling and fascinating about the dragon mythology? The legendary powers and character aspects of dragons contain a powerful imagery that illuminates something deep in the human unconscious.
“A dragon is a symbol of the raw, primal power of life itself. Left alone, it is dormant. Awake, it can manifest as the power of chaos and destruction. Yet, with guidance and education, the dragon’s manifestation of power can be constructive, liberating, illuminating. Power of good and evil all encompassed in one entity—exactly the same for us human creatures. Human capacity for good is equal only to its capacity for evil and destruction. Both powers lay within our bodies and spirits, waiting only for the proper trigger to bring them forth.” from Wikipedia
Oriental philosophies tended to portray dragons as kind, wise and in service to their enlightened masters. Occidental mythology portrays dragons as evil creatures, laying destruction where it dwells. Fire! Chaos! Death! Yet, in all cultures, dragons are shown to have great power, which humans have difficulty taming, capturing or controlling.
Don’t humans show the same difficulty taming our own destructive natures?
Tales of dragons span cultures and centuries. Many religions have stories involving dragons. There is a widespread belief that earlier cartographers used the Latin phrase: “hic sunt dracones” i.e., “the dragons are here, or “here be dragons,” to denote dangerous or unexplored territories on maps.
“Here be dragons” is another way to describe the unexplored territories of our own unconscious. Within our own secret, hidden places, what will we find? The mythology of dragons plays out our choices. Fire and light, danger and power…Or enlightenment, healing and illumination?
Fantastic dragon artist, Pablo Ciruelo.