Chaos Reign Acadamy (Studies of Everything) : Forum : Dragons


17 Years Ago

The dragon is a mythical creature typically depicted as a large and powerful serpent or other reptile with magical or spiritual qualities. Mythological creatures possessing some or most of the characteristics typically associated with dragons are common throughout the world's cultures.

Dragons are commonly portrayed as serpentine or reptilian, hatching from eggs and possessing extremely large, typically scaly, bodies; they are sometimes portrayed as having large eyes, a feature that is the origin for the word for dragon in many cultures, and are often (but not always) portrayed with wings and a fiery breath. Some dragons do not have wings at all, but look more like long snakes. Dragons can have a variable number of legs: none, two, four, or more when it comes to early European literature. Modern depictions of dragons are very large in size, but some early European depictions of dragons were only the size of bears, or, in some cases, even smaller, around the size of a butterfly.

Although dragons (or dragon-like creatures) occur commonly in legends around the world, different cultures have perceived them differently. Chinese dragons (Simplified Chinese: 龙; Traditional Chinese: 龍; Hanyu Pinyin: l�ng), and Eastern dragons generally, are usually seen as benevolent, whereas European dragons are usually malevolent (there are of course exceptions to these rules). Malevolent dragons also occur in Persian mythology (see Azhi Dahaka) and other cultures.

Dragons are particularly popular in China. Along with the phoenix, the dragon was a symbol of the Chinese emperors. Dragon costumes manipulated by several people are a common sight at Chinese festivals.

Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world. In many Eastern and Native American cultures dragons were, and in some cultures still are, revered as representative of the primal forces of nature and the universe. They are associated with wisdom�often said to be wiser than humans�and longevity. They are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernormal power, and are often associated with wells, rain, and rivers. In some cultures, they are said to be capable of human speech. They are also said to be able to talk to all animals.

Dragons are very popular characters in fantasy literature, role-playing games and video games today.

The term dragoon, for infantry that move around by horse yet still fight as foot soldiers, is derived from their early firearm, the "dragon", a wide-bore musket that spat flame when it fired, and was thus named for the mythical creature.

In medieval symbolism, dragons were often symbolic of apostasy and treachery, but also of anger and envy, and eventually symbolized great calamity. Several heads were symbolic of decadence and oppression, and also of heresy. They also served as symbols for independence, leadership and strength. Many dragons also represent wisdom; slaying a dragon not only gave access to its treasure hoard, but meant the hero had bested the most cunning of all creatures. In some cultures, especially Chinese, or around the Himalayas, dragons are considered to represent good luck. Dragons are depicted in medieval symbolism to be the size of a bear of smaller. Most dragons posses magical abilities. Dragons also represent envy, treachery, and anger.

Joseph Campbell in the The Power of Myth viewed the dragon as a symbol of divinity or transcendence because it represents the unity of Heaven and Earth by combining the serpent form (earthbound) with the bat/bird form (airborne).

Dragons embody both male and female traits, as in the example from Aboriginal myth that raises baby humans to adulthood, training them for survival in the world.[2] Another striking illustration of the way dragons are portrayed is their ability to breathe fire but live in the ocean. Dragons represent the joining of the opposing forces of the cosmos.

Yet another symbolic view of dragons is the Ouroborus, or the dragon encircling and eating its own tail. When shaped like this the dragon becomes a symbol of eternity, natural cycles, and completion.