Thursday, January 28, 2010

Befriending Dragons

As long as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with dragons. As a child with a big imagination, my favorite genre was fantasy – stories about magic, witches, fairy godmothers, trolls, elves and the more dragons the better. I always wished I was Samantha on "Bewitched" so I could twitch my nose and clean up my messy bedroom. Even still, I am a Harry Potter fan - devouring each new volume days after each was released. Thoughout my adult life, I seem to have amassed a small collection of dragon sculpture, pottery, candles and even a few stuffed animals which feature prominently.

There are many different definitions of dragons. From Wikipedia, “dragons are legendary creatures, typically with serpentine or otherwise reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of worldwide cultures.”

Some depict dragons as breathing fire or even poisonous. According to Wikipedia, “They are sometimes portrayed as having especially large eyes or watching treasure very diligently, a feature that is the origin of the word dragon (Greek drakeîn meaning "to see clearly").

But dragons are not seen as evil everywhere. In many cultures, they have a great spiritual significance. For instance, in Asian cultures dragons are often thought to be magical creatures, representative of the forces of nature, religion and even the universe. There, they are associated with wisdom.

I like the Asian view of dragons. All of my dragons are nice, friendly dragons – most of whom are obviously smiling not hurting anyone. Two of my most favorite ones are bejeweled wrought iron friendly types warming my hearth that I picked up from a wonderful artist whose studio I visited in Boston, MA many years ago. Since she didn’t sign her work, I can’t point you to her unfortunately but I can show you her gorgeous pieces!

I never thought much about my dragon fascination until I read a piece by Tammy Vitale, a wonderful raku artist we met at Christine Kane’s Wide Awake Weekend. Tammy recently posted an article about dragons on her blog that really resonated with me. Like me, she is a big fan of dragons and creates some gorgeous representations of the ones that live in our imagination. Being the dragon fanatic that I am, I jumped at the chance to commission a few amazing pieces from Tammy which will soon take their rightful places among my collection.

Although they have been given a bad rap as evil, mean and nasty fire-breathing creatures that have to be slain to get at a treasure, I prefer to think of them as the manifestation of our own power – and that it is our dragon selves who are guarding the treasures of our deepest thoughts and desires.

As Tammy puts it:

Dragons are creatures of the imagination. Perhaps even guardians who push us to prove that we indeed do want to go there (wherever “there” may be and wherever that may take us). Dragons help us move toward higher levels of consciousness and out of our comfort zone.

As my readers know, I have been working through Christine Kane’s Uplevel Your Life program and attacking some of the deepest stuff that has been zapping my energy. I like to think of it as befriending my dragons to get at the treasures – my deepest desires, my own wisdom, and clues to my essential self – that I have hidden deep away behind obstacles (a.k.a dragons) to protect them from even myself. It has been an enlightening experience to tap into some of this stuff, befriend those dragons, and clear away the obstacles that have been keeping me from achieving my true potential.

So now I look at my collection of nice friendly dragons as evidence of the achievements I’ve made in my life. Each befriended dragon has opened new doors, exposed new treasures, and is helping me harness my own power.

I encourage you to befriend your dragons too and consider Tammy Vitale’s dragon definition and call to action….

Perhaps the Dragon is only yourself that you don’t yet recognize. Take on her power. Take on her fierceness. Take on her willingness to protect that which she loves – the things that sparkle and shine and make her life beautiful.


Romilly said...

I've always said that Western dragons needed a better PR representative. It sounds like Tammy Vitale might be that rep! (Not to mention YOU.) Thank you for this post.

Stacey said...

Thanks so much for this thoughtful post!

And I loved that you included pictures of your dragon collection - absolutely fabulous!

I can't wait to see the pieces you commissioned from Tammy! Thanks to both of you for sharing your love of dragons and encouraging me to see them in a magical light!

Tammy Vitale said...

Kathy - OH! I do love your dragons! The hearth pair and the lovely little gathering a bit further down. I am so excited that some of my dragons are soon coming to their new home!

Your post is so powerful - I didn't know that about "seeing clearly." It says to me even more so how dragons didn't come with a bad rep - it got overlaid.

Here's to all of us wonderfully diverse dragons - may we claim our heritage proudly!

Kathy said...

Romilly - thanks for taking the time to comment. And Tammy may be the dragon PR queen you seek!!

Stacey - I will most definitely post pictures of my Tammy dragons once I get them. I am upleveling my dragon collection in a major way!

Kathy said...

Tammy - your dragons will most certainly uplevel my collection and I've already picked out their new spots. I'm so sad I can't get the name of the hearth dragon artist and give her due credit. I am hoping that the friend who took me there so many years ago might be able to remember her name.

Elaine said...

I LOVE this post and your pics - thx so much for sharing this and reminding me of Tammy's awesome artwork