By: Athauliz “Dragon’s Eye” Firestorm
Originally from December 21st, 2012
The Path of a Dragon-Shaman is a spiritual path that is not to be taken lightly. It is one of deep introspection and can often be unnerving and quite scary. It is a path that can know great joy or sorrow and pain. It is a path of finding the True Self that does not compromise from the Universal Truth, that is the Nature of the Divine and the Divine Nature.
Many who follow much of the New Age thinking or proclaim themselves to be “Neo-Pagans” ( IE: The modern “Pagan Community” ) often miss the vital clues about the spiritual reality, and that traveling such a spiritual path demands that they honestly look into themselves. They fail to see themselves for who and what they really are. To many, such experiences are scary and the truth becomes a horrifying sight to them. Dragon-Spirituality often demands our attention and our integrity in facing those things about ourselves in a true light. It is not a path for the insincere at heart.
“Gnothi sauton.” (“ Know thyself. “)
To give account of what it means to be Dragon, I would like to present a brief synopsis on some characteristics and aspects that define what is and is of the Dragon. First, a Dragon, as a spiritual being, knows itself from a deep, spiritual understanding. It knows that the base foundation of its great power begins with truly knowing its Self ( not from the egotistical perspective of “know itself”, which we would know of as narcissism ). It knows that its Spiritual Self is a creature of the Divine, and created in the total image of the Divine Creator. ( This encompasses the Mental, Emotional, the “Heart Spirit”, and the Ætheric planar bodies. ) The physical existence is not being considered right now because it has an ephemeral ( temporary ) nature ( a mortal existence – it will die ). Similarly, the Ego is mortal and knows that it will eventually die. The Dragon comes to know that it is not the Ego that defines the Being, but the spiritual with the emotional aspects that ultimately define the Being. This is what can be expressed as the “Universal Truth”.
“ Wisdom is Power, Knowledge is the tool of power. “
So now, we come to the heart of what the Dragon Symbolism means, in its deepest sense: Knowledge as the tool, and Wisdom as the means to best apply those “tools” with forethought and insight. I view the Dragon as the synthesis of Divine Awareness, and the Consciousness that knows no bounds nor limits. If you were to say “God” as the figurehead or symbolism of the most expansive and limitless of possibilities, I would say THAT equally applies to the aspect of the Dragon. Whether or not the imagery matches what we have been given ( which is often made up and probably quite inaccurate anyway ) through our histories, mythologies, legends, and lore, matters not when it comes to the ultimate realization that the Dragon is the essence of all things. It is more than just an “energy” or idea or thought, it is ALL thoughts, ideas, and encompasses ALL things, material, ætheric, spiritual, mental, and more.
To realize the Dragon-Consciousness, one must be ready to put away all prejudgments and preordained thinking about what Dragons and their mystique truly are. If one is already on a Shamanic Path, one is already on his way to self-realization and the opening of the Inner Eye(s) to ALL of the realities. This physical reality is only but one of the manifested realities to existence. It is often referred to as the “ordinary reality” or “mundane reality”. The other realities that one may encounter on his journey, are often referred to as “NON-ordinary realities”. They are the “extensions” of our Higher Selves, and the “parallel planes” of our state of Being. Once one comes to the realization of these other non-ordinary realities, he begins to truly grasp the depth, width, and limitlessness of the Creation(s) and existence, in general. This “expansion of consciousness” can be very startling and even very scary to the new traveler. This is one of the best reasons to have a guide before the neophytes sets out on a journey of the Mind.
“ The Dragon and the Serpent, are they the same? “
The modality that is probably the least understood, is the Serpent, in all its glory. To many, the Dragon and the Serpent ( as in “The Great Serpent”, or even “Kundalini” from Buddhist and Hindu traditions ) are considered one and the same. This is very close to as accurate as one can get. However, The Serpent represents the “flow” of energies, and the “cycles” that are ever-moving, ever-flowing. The Serpent knows that energy, cycles, etc. must always be moving, and must always be flowing, just as moving water does more work and has great er effect than stagnant water. The Hermetic Teachings also state, from the Seven Hermetic Principles, that “everything is in motion. Nothing remains still.” In order for the Creation(s) to exist, its/their energies ( from the very make-up of their Being, etc. ) that must continue to move, vibrate, cycle, flow, etc., else, the Creation and all manifested things can not Be! Just as stagnating water begins to fester and spoil, so does energy if it is confined and not allowed to flow freely. Stagnating energies become the “disease” within Being. If one’s heart were to cease beating, then he would very quickly die. The same goes for the Serpentine Energies that manifest throughout the Creation and all existence. The Serpent knows this, because the Serpent is present in every form or fashion of the flowing energies, because it IS the flow of those energies!
The “Dragon”, as an archetype, and an idea, is central to many of the ancient spiritual beliefs. The Serpent is also recognized be many of early man’s contemporaries even to this day by surviving belief-systems of today. Whereas, the Serpent has been recognized as the “flow” and the “cycles” in action, the Dragon would be considered the “presence”, or “state of I AM” – in other-words, the present moment. The Dragon-Consciousness is the total awareness of the “here and now” as expressed by its own state-of-Being. Its reality is primarily focused on the “here and now”, but not limited to it, but rather fully aware of the ideas of “past” and “future” are but reflections and reverberations of the now. At this level of conscious, there is no “past”, and there is no “future”, because they are the same as the “here and now” though expressed as reflections of it. It is in this state of Being that “time”, “space”, and “dimension” are meaningless and immaterial. They simply have no concept in this level of existence, just as the spacing between atoms and molecules is meaningless to most of us. A fish may have its own realizations, when it finally surfaces to see the world beyond what it knows, for it only knew beforehand, its own “familiar” existence in the water. The fish had no concept of what realities lay beyond its own level of existence. The Dragon sees things in all possibilities, and all reflections, because it is BEYOND the level of existence we, ourselves, were aware of. So, those first “footsteps” into one or more of the “non-ordinary realities” often become very frightening to the novice traveler. Such fears are common, and rational at first. The Dragon’s “vision” can be our helping hand in those times of need.
“ How is Dragon-Shamanism and traditional Shamanism any different? “
“Traditional Shamanism” mainly works with the Earth’s energies and Earth Spirits. Much of it ( though not all traditions ) is very Geo-Centric, in that it deals more with the expression of Nature’s Powers here on Earth. The “Traditional” aspect is very hard to nail down because there are many differing traditions depending where in the world, and which culture you meet, when referring to a specific tradition. The Siberian Tuvan’s traditions in Shamanism may differ greatly from African or Australian Aboriginal traditions. The famed Voodoo and/or Hoodoo differ in some respects from Santeria, Stregheria, etc., but they are still forms and traditions of Shamanism. Most traditions of Witchcraft, both the old and the new forms, incorporate much of Shamanism, often from many different “traditions”, to define their own traditions. They are still incorporating Shamanism into their practices. Dragon-Shamanism is not so different here in that it also incorporates methods, rituals and rites, and other aspects from different traditions. This is not where I define any difference with other expressions and traditions of Shamanism.
As previously mentioned, most commonly-associated traditions of Shamanism are very Geo-centric, or Earth-centered spirituality. They define their practices and traditions based on their work with Earth-Energies and their associated Spirit-Guides, Totems, etc. ( most of which we may recognize as “animal-spirits” ). Dragon-Shamanism, on the other hand, is not limited, by any means, to Earth-centric thinking and spirituality. It is very much all-inclusive, and centers its course of spirituality and thinking to the depths of the whole Cosmos, and everything within AND without. It is expressive of what some may call “Astro-Shamanism”. The story, “Pharmacratic Inquisition”, is a great place to begin one’s studies into the realm of Astro-Shamanism. I highly recommend it for all who are seriously interested in beginning a voyage of this likeness! Anyway, the Dragon figures very prominently into Astro-Shamanism because it is in the “Heavens” where we are first introduced to the Dragon as a super-archetype. In the very center of our twelve Zodiac signs, lies the “Crooked Serpent” ( as some fundamentalists disparage him as ) or as some may call it “Theli” ( from the Kabbalah ), Leviathan ( from Semitic legend and biblical texts ), and its official name: “Draco”. It is from these perspectives that we were introduced to the “Celestial Dragon”, or Serpent ( like the Norse: “Midgardsormr” ) which become a major part of much of our ancient spiritual beliefs and religions. So, our spiritual journey could start there as so many before us did.
“ The Dragon and the Serpent as the most recognized symbol to mankind. “
Of all the great mythological creatures to ever appear in much of early man’s writings, stelae, and his mythologies, the Dragon has the most enduring and everlasting place in man’s day-to-day life and in his preoccupations. The Dragon is recognized across the world in virtually all cultures, in one form or another. The Dragon is easily one of the oldest archetypes and spiritually-significant symbol throughout human history. Some cultures pay the dearest respect and reverence to the Dragon(s) as the early Chinese, Japanese, and other Orient cultures did. Other cultures fear and even “hate” the Dragon as a harbinger of doom and destruction, which is most common with the Western cultures. Whether for good, or for ill, the Dragon is a solid, recognized feature of man’s cultural and spiritual ethic that dates far back to virtually unrecorded history. It is a lasting symbol and very recognizable to most parts of the world.
The times of today are beginning to see a change in perspectives towards spirituality and life in general. Many of the dated stereotypes that were propagated by the establishment churches and their doctrines, are showing signs of wear and deterioration in their credibility. This is largely because they often do not answer, to the seekers’ satisfaction, the unanswered questions of life, or – their explanations, often handed off as “answers”, are limited in scope and understanding. Many of the present-day dogmas are beginning to lose their luster and nuances as people are craving more genuine answers from the personal, actual experiences of those questioned. A priesthood that for so long was vaunted to be the “pillars of societal values and morals” by “men of the cloth”, are starting to fissure and crumble in the wake of this awakening and “quest” of those who seek the greater truths. These “churches”, and the systems of governance they have built up, have relied so heavily on the followership not asking these types of questions and demanding real answers. Under such an inflexible administration, the systems built upon the people’s ignorance and unfailing devotion to dogma is beginning to feel the stresses of the changing times, and of the changing hearts and minds of the people. Such systems are destined to be relegated to the scrap heap of “past history”.
One of the main reasons why today’s expression of “Paganism” has gained such an increasing following, is that they offer the promise of a “new way”. That is, a new way of thinking, a new way of believing, and a new way of seeing the world. This nuance of “forbidden knowledge” has a certain attractive quality that draws people from all walks of life away from the establish churches, and into their circles and covens. This expresses that there is a dire need for fresh answers, often lacking from the predominant doctrines, in today’s world.
“ The Dragon also represents change. “
Many of the churches of today are decrying, now ever louder, the shrinking of their membership and attendance due to “Satanic” or “Luciferian” influences ( their claims, not mine ). The real question, then, is why is this? Why do these churches who have held sway over the Western cultures for many centuries, only now fear that their fate are sealed? Some believe the internet and its wide open forum for discussion and debate are largely to blame. Healthy debate and access to the most unbiased information as possible usually will spell the end of the grip of systems of control. Political control of the world’s peoples is also challenged by a free and open internet. This could be characterized as the “rising of the Dragon”, by means of the social changes taking place. This is fitting for a description of only one of the aspects of the Dragon, “Change”.
When one begins his tour of the realm of Dragons, the deeper he goes, the more he must be willing to change, or bend to adapt with the changes. The ancient Dragon mythologies held that the Dragon was one could instigate changes, whether the slow and steady kind, or of the catastrophic kind, changes were often associated with a “Dragonic element” or power. Some of the early texts on Dragons give the impression that the Dragon represented “Chaos”; The uncontrolled or uncontrollable forces of Nature. This gave rise to many legends where the Dragon was either a participant in or the lead cause of storms, tidal waves and tsunamis, and probably droughts and sandstorms. The Egyptian Apophis ( or “Apep” ) was considered the reason for the darkening of the Sun and Moon, and was supposedly sent by Seth, the dark God of destruction, confusion, and chaos. The Babylonian Azhi Dahaka ( or “Azhi Dahaki” ) was considered the beast, sent by Ahriman, who makes the winters colder and the summers hotter and drier. The Ancient Greek monster, Typhon, was said to cause the storms at sea ( as to a possible reason how Typhoons get their names ). In the Americas ( namely the Southern Pacific Islands ), Huracan was viewed as a storm-causing creature ( probably Dragon-like ), possibly the reason we have called these storms “Hurricanes”. In each of these examples, it is illustrated that change can often be preceded by one or more destructive acts.
The same way we, ourselves, may need to remove obstacles in our own lives, this may be necessitated by change. The Dragon, as a symbol, is very fitting as the symbol for changes, even if through what seems like a destructive act ( but not truly destructive in this sense ). There is the symbolism, also of the Serpent, of cycles in action. The cycles being that of: birth, growth, life, and then death – before a “rebirth” is possible. The Dragon and the Serpent were recognized as important symbols in the early cultures when considering their relationships to the powers of Nature. Nature is very creative, and equally destructive in its tendencies. This creation-destruction cycle is necessary as it follows the “cycles” in accordance to the Natural Laws.
– Rev. Dragon’s Eye