An Introduction to Draconic Paganism
According to the teachings of the Ancients, anything unexplainable in everyday terms, or so fantastic that it invokes feelings of curiosity, suspicion, or fear while still seeming plausible, was said to come from a place of Great Mystery, a place where the Spirit itself lived, and where dreams and visions originated. This place is said to be where Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the children of Earth watch over the people from, and where the creatures of the Shadow Lands and the realms of fantasy are said to reside. This place relies on our unconditional faith and trust in order to exist, and is know by the Wise Ones as “The Void”. It is part of the Astral Realm, where we cannot travel on our own unless we are invited in and shown the way.
It is believed that when we sleep, our dreams are sent to us from The Void. When we consult our guides, they answer us from The Void, and when we receive visions and foresight, it is relayed to our Higher Selves from The Void. This shadowy world of untold mystery is where much of our inner knowledge comes from, but it is also a place where many things have gone. The Void, being where the Spirit lives, is like a giant safe haven for those things we are incapable of seeing in today’s “civilized” world. Creatures such as Unicorns, Faeries, Centaurs, Fauns, Dryads, and Dragons find refuge in this other world, and are felt in the presence by some and “seen” by even fewer as they continue to go about their invisible physical lives here on Earth.
Throughout history, from cultures as distant as the Aborigines and their Dreamtime, the Vikings and the people of China, Japan, and England, Dragons have been mentioned in one form or another. Why is this? Did these people actually see these beasts, or did they simply mistake a giant lizard, or some other reptilian creature that had folds of skin under its forearms and could fly, such as giant bats, or the flying dinosaurs, Archaeopteryx or the Pterosaurs? Were there dinosaurs still roaming the Earth only a few thousand years ago? Loch Ness Monster, it is believed, is one such creature. There is even a constellation of stars in the night sky named “Draco”, as its general shape is that of a Dragon.
Wyverns, traditionally depicted on shields and banners in heraldry for hundreds of years, are considered a sign of strength to those who bear the symbol. European Dragons are anatomically different to most dragons, having the usual two wings, but only having two legs; sometimes shown as having hand-like claws on the tips of its wings and a razor sharp stinger filled with poison on the end of its tail. Today the Welsh flag still has a red dragon on a green and white background, and the red dragon is their national symbol.
In the Chinese and Japanese culture the Dragon symbolizes life and growth and is said to bring the five blessings: harmony, virtue, riches, fulfillment and longevity. Chinese Dragons are still shown in parades around the world celebrating the Chinese New Year with the Dragon Dance. In China there are four main kinds of dragons: the Celestial Dragons who protect the places of the Gods, the Spiritual Dragons who control the wind and the rain, the Earth Dragons which control the rivers and water on the Earth, and the Underworld Dragons which guards precious metals and gems. Separate dragons also control the rivers of the North, South, East, and West. The commander of all the River Dragons is blood red in color, has a fiery mane, and is 900 feet long from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail.
The Dragon became a symbol of evil and the devil only after Christianity gained power. In an attempt to crush the ancient beliefs of Pagans, the Christians spread their propaganda of their devil, calling him the Dragon. By instilling this fear of eternal damnation the church gained control of many royal houses. With this they changed or passed laws that prohibited the Pagan beliefs, and with this caused humankind to fear Dragons instead of respecting them, as they should. Also from this came Knights, later called “Dragon Slayers”, that were eager to prove their faith to their God and country by hunting the Dragons down. Not completely an unselfish act because of the payments of gold they received for their “bravery”. Whether the ‘dragons’ they hunted were strange beasts or simply those who followed another religious path is unknown.
Because of humankind’s acts of the past, today Dragons are forced to mostly live their lives in the Void with little to no contact with those of us who live on this side of the Veil. Those with quick eyes and an open mind occasionally catch a glimpse out of the corner of their eye, an insubstantial form that is dragonish. The more traditional, larger Dragons, however, must be seen with the inner eyes and heard with the inner ears before they can become a reality for most people. To see them, you first have to believe 100% that they are there, not just images in your mind, but really there! You must learn to feel them, welcome them, and honor their presence by gifting them with offerings.
Dragons do travel constantly between our world and the Void to determine if humankind has matured, meaning that we have outgrown our need to dominate anything different from ourselves. There are some who believe that they are connected with the mysterious lights in the night sky which are reported as UFO’s. Others believe that miracles and other unusual happenstance should be attributed to dragon interference.
We are contacted by, and are able to make contact with, those dragons who wish to build a bridge of understanding. Dragons aren’t ‘biding their time’ waiting to return to this plane of existence, they are perfectly happy where they are. However, just as we are always seeking to further ourselves, to grow spiritually, so are they. By working together we can learn valuable information not only about our spiritual paths but also what makes us ‘human’. As understanding grows between our two species there are sure to be great benefits arising to help us all.
“I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another’s creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged.”
–Thomas Jefferson 1816
This is a reminder that this is how we are supposed to approach other religions; whether we agree with their practices or not, even if we don’t believe that that their path is a religion. This doesn’t mean that all religions are good, but that we should try to see their value in the measure of the life they produce. It also means that our own path’s should be a reflection of what we wish to embody and our life is the mirror.
I’m sure you’re wondering what the draconic path is, or else you wouldn’t be here. It teaches you how to work in harmony with dragons and with draconic energies, how to befriend dragons, and how to blend their magic and majesty with your current spiritual way. You don’t have to forgo your current way of worship, but you do need to be willing to adapt it in order to work with dragons. It’s similar to working a group, everyone needs to be willing to bend a little in order to work in harmony.
Many call this path ‘dancing with dragons’ and refer to them as co-magicians. However, some see them as friends first and more than just valuable working partners. They are equals who blend their energies with ours so we can work toward a common goal. Dragons don’t just wait around, suspended, until we need them. Nothing does. Just as we ask for their help, there will be times when they call on us. Friendship is about reciprocation as well as equality.
I am still learning the ropes there. If you are just beginning on a magical or religious path, I would suggest learning that system thoroughly first before adapting draconic practices.
Very few people in the world today follow the true Draconic or Draconian Tradition. It is not that it has nearly become extinct, but that generally when it is taught, it is orally from teacher to pupil. Rarely is anything written down, it was chosen to change this aspect so that it would not be lost altogether.
I think this path was created out of both human and dragon necessity to connect and interact. Whether you believe dragons to be mere thought-forms or you feel them to real, living creatures – the desire for them to make a connection with us is the same.
The teachings of the Draconic Tradition can be used, as its own tradition or an additive to an existing one. If it is used in conjunction with other Traditions you should never place other deities above dragons, or expect the dragons to be subservient to your patron gods. The dragons should be treated with the same respect that you grant to Deity, this means that you give the dragons the same level of honor that you give to your God(s). There are many deities who are dragons or have draconic forms; you may work with them as well as other dragons and deities.
Unlike other traditions those who are solely Dragon Magick practitioners don’t refer to a group of practitioners as a Coven or an Order. They refer to it as a Clan. As such, a Clan is basically the family that you choose; instead of being related by blood you are related through the dragons. Some practitioners combine terms as well, some Wiccans work in Clan-Covens and I have also seen Clan-Groves and Clan-Circles.
What is Dragon Magick?
The simplest definition of Dragon Magick or Draconic Magick is the calling upon of Dragons to aid you in your magical workings. There are some schools of thought that say that Dragon Magick must be kept strictly as High or Ceremonial Magick, but that is not the case. Dragon magick can and does work within any magical system. It can be practiced as its own Tradition or in conjunction with another magical tradition. Dragons can help to empower your rituals no matter what tradition you practice.
Some do not believe that there is only one way to work with Dragons. You will find these graceful beings in almost every magical system throughout the world, where they are usually deified or vilified. Each system looks at dragons in a different way and helps us to learn about different facets of their personalities. There are some who see them only as elemental energies without independent existence; while others seem them as symbols of that energy and having no true existence at all. Some believe that Dragons are astral beings, having form and existence but they do not have the ability to manifest on the physical plane that we live in. Their bodies are made of energy, but the will and personalities that we connect with are very real and independent of us.
Dragons do not only exist when we call upon them. They do not wait, suspended in time, until we remember to invoke them. Just as we do not live only in ritual, the dragons that we work with will have other things to do and their own lives to lead. What may be convenient for you may not be for them. As astral beings time may flow differently for them, but they are in no way bound to our wills nor must they obey our commands. In fact, that is a sure way to drive them off and possibly suffer backlash from such an action.
Some call any magical practice with Dragons is to “Dance with Dragons”, but they can be more then just a dance partner. As teachers of ancient knowledge their grasp of it is deep and profound. Their ability to help in divination is astonishing and quite accurate. As protectors during rituals and everyday life there are no equals. And if a Dragon chooses to take you under their wings you will have the opportunity of learning knowledge and evolving your magical ability, which few have done.
A lifelong practice with Dragons can form a bonding companionship with them and they can become the best companions you could ever have. Although this companionship can seem extremely demanding, at times, it is always in your best interests. This companionship and practice with Dragons is never boring. If it is practiced daily it can be a joyful addition to your life not to mention the benefit that both species gain in their evolution and spiritual growth. The more that you seek them out, work with them, and earn their trust the more Dragons will be encouraged to once again have a closer, positive relationship with humans in general like they did in old times.
Dragon Magick is not for everyone. Those that choose to practice it must be self-disciplined individuals who are serious about changing things in their lives and the world around them. You must be willing to have beings be brutally honest with you and be willing to turn that same honesty upon yourself. Working with dragons is a hard path, but ultimately rewarding.
On old maps, mapmakers would use the picture of a Dragon with writing under it saying, ”Here There Be Dragons” denoting unexplored regions of our world that had unknown dangers. Dragon Magick opens up the unknown mental and psychic realms to us, showing us where the dragons lie. The ones who are true explorers of the unknown and seekers of knowledge will be challenged, not frightened, by these signs and forge on ahead in their continuing search for knowledge. They will undertake and create friendships and partnerships with these powerfully great beings, known as Dragons.
Dragon Magick is Not Wicca
There is often a general misconception when beginning in dragon magick that it is a Wiccan tradition. It is not. Dragon magick does not require that you follow the Rede, nor does it say that you cannot work harm. The only ethics in it are the ones of your clan and Draconic Codes of Honor. In fact there are many clans who only use the Draconic Codes.
Dragon magick does not have any special holidays that its practitioners must follow. As you find companion dragons to work with, they may inform you of feast-days of holy-days that they wish you follow. When or if, this happens you may either practice these days in conjunction with your current path or you may celebrate them as separate entities. Dragons do not require elaborate rituals for their celebrations; however they understand that humans often need such trapping and are accepting of it. It is not an offense to try to celebrate with a dragon, just keep in mind that you may also choose to meditate quietly and that will also be accepted.
There is no monthly or yearly cycle that must be followed in dragon magick. Working with dragons is exactly that, you are forming a bond and a relationship with them. There is no special language or writing system that you must learn to communicate with them. You must work at opening yourself psychically to them and feeling out how to best deal with them.
It helps to have at least some training in another magical system before beginning dragon magick. Many of the ideas and knowledge in paganism translates over into dragon magick. If you don’t follow a pagan path, learning about one will be useful. If the path you currently follow doesn’t allow you to also follow a pagan one, you’ll have to decide if you can honestly follow the Draconic Tradition. If you can, you may have a harder time with some of the concepts but you still can become a skilled practitioner.
This does not mean that you cannot practice Wicca and dragon magick together; in fact they are a highly effective team. However, too many people make the mistake of equating the two which is erroneous. Dragon magick is about working in harmony, be it with a spiritual path or dragons, not about domination.
Content © to Eidolon Moon ☾ 2007-2012 unless otherwise noted.