A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. The English word dragon derives from Greek meaning, "serpent of huge size". There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European Dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese Dragon, with counterparts in Japan, Korea and other East Asian countries. There is also sometimes a third tradition that covers unknown animals found in Central America, Africa and Australia.
Dragons occur in many legends around the World, different cultures have varying stories about unknown and strange animals that have been grouped together under the dragon label. Some dragons are said to breathe fire or to be poisonous, such as in the Old English poem Beowulf. They are commonly portrayed as serpentine or reptilian, hatching from eggs and possessing typically scaly or feathered bodies. The European Dragon also has bat-like wings growing from its back and guards a hoard of treasure.
In many Asian cultures dragons are revered as representative of the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe. They are associated with wisdom and longevity. They are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural power and are often associated with wells, rain and rivers. In some cultures, the Chinese Dragons are also said to be capable of human speech.
The most famous Dragons in Norse and Germanic mythology are:
¥ Nidhogg who gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil, the World Tree
¥ Jormungand the giant sea serpent which surrounds Midgard, the world of mortal humans
¥ Fafnir who was a dwarf - turned into a Dragon because of his greed and was killed by the Hero Sigurd
¥ Lindworms were monstrous serpents of Germanic myth and lore
¥ Landvaettur, the benevolent Dragon whom King Harald's servant met and is also depicted on the Icelandic Coat of Arms
¥ The Dragon encountered by Beowulf, the poem is one of the oldest surviving pieces of literature in the English language
Nidhogg or Nidhoggr (the "Dread Biter") was one of the most feared of the early Nordic dragons. He lived at the foot of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. Nidhogg was a dragon that devoured the corpses of evil-doers, and he would gnaw at the roots of Yggdrasil when he got tired of the taste of dead flesh. Since the world tree supported all life and Nidhogg attempted to destroy it, Nidhoggr was personified as evil itself. Both Yggdrasil and Nidhogg were destined to survive the final catastrophe of Ragnarok.
Jormungand or Jormungandr (the Midgard Serpent) is the World Serpent that lies in the seas with its tail in its mouth, encircling the land and creating the oceans. In Norse mythology it was the serpent son of Loki, God of fire. At Ragnarok he would be slain by his arch-rival, Thor. Thor would also die - by Jormungand's venom.
Viking ships were vessels used during the Viking Age in Northern Europe. Scandinavian tradition of shipbuilding during the Viking Age was characterized by slender and flexible boats, with symmetrical ends with true keel. The Norse had a strong sense of naval architecture and during the early medieval period they were advanced for their time. According to the historical sources, the ships' prows carried carvings of menacing beasts, such as dragons and snakes, allegedly to protect the ship and crew and to ward off the terrible sea monsters.
Draconic Wicca is the study of the way of the Dragon, using Dragon Magick and being a Dragon Magi. There are many types of dragons to study including: Guardian Dragons, Fairy Dragons, Elemental Dragons (fire, water, earth and air), Dragons of chaos, Dragons of the mountains, Dragons of the forests, Oriental Dragons and more. The Dragon is the combined powers of the God and the Goddess and is invoked during Sabbats.
In many Pagan and Wiccan spell instructions, you’ll see a reference to an ingredient called Dragon’s Blood. Dragon’s Blood is actually a resin, which is harvested from a variety of different plant species. The bright red pigment is what lends it the name Dragon’s Blood. In some Wiccan traditions of magic, Dragon’s Blood is used for healing, incense, protection or banishing.
Some creationists believe that dragons of mythology were actually dinosaurs and that they died out with other creatures around the end of the Ice Age. Skeletons of whales, as well as dinosaur and mammalian fossils may have been occasionally mistaken for the bones of dragons and other mythological creatures. Dracorex was a dinosaur whose name means "dragon king of Hogwarts".
In the early 20th century, dragons are a frequent theme—as symbols of sin but also as a nature force, fighting against or for humans. Dragons and dragon motifs are featured in many works of modern literature, particularly within the fantasy genre. The popular role playing game system Dungeons & Dragons makes heavy use of dragons, and has served as inspiration for many other games' dragons.
The Dragon rune can be used in chaos, as a destroyer or nothingness. In many cultures dragons are viewed as representing the primal forces in nature and the universe. Their varied views gives them the abilities to demonstrate that they are both creators and destroyers. In this context, dragons can be thought to symbolize the ability to see the “big picture” as well as the ability to see far off danger or future circumstances.
Iar rune is used for io/ia - serpent, binding or encircling. Occasionally, serpents and dragons are used interchangeably, having similar symbolic functions. Ior symbolizes dual natures. In Norse mythology the World Serpent known as Jormungand encircled the world in the ocean's abyss biting its own tail. Like the serpent that it symbolizes, it entwines itself around life, causing change by bringing death and subsequently allowing new life to begin.
Dragons flying in the sky, swooping down and soaring high.
Mighty wings, so awe inspiring, always moving, never tiring.