Image: Sima Domke
“If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.”
If you walk the Left Hand Path, either as a Theist or an Atheist, you have had encounters with the Dragon or Archetype. There are few things synonymous with our path but the Dragon, Serpent, Great Mighty Sea Beast (all one in the same, really) seem to be the top contenders.
Whether it is a metaphorical process of death and rebirth as the Ouroboros (Uroboros) suggests, or the shedding of skin aka accepting change via the Serpent metaphor; the Dragon is the epitome of what it means to walk this path.
Throughout history there have been depictions, stories, and great tales from the likes of Tiamat in Baylonian/Sumerian Mythology; Nidhogg (Nidhoggr) and Jormungondr in Norse Mythology; Leviathan and Her consort Behemoth in Hebrew mythology, though many suggest that Her origins are from the Canaanite Sea Beast, Lôtān or Litānu. Python in Greek Mythology; Apep in Egyptian Mythology, just to name a few. We then of course have the depiction of the Dragon as the Serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.
I find it interesting that Leviathan is mentioned as a female in the Book of Enoch:
‘And that day will two monsters be parted, one monster, a female named Leviathan in order to dwell in the Abyss of the ocean over the fountains of water; and (the other), a male called Behemoth, which holds his chest in an invisible desert whose name is Dundayin, east of the garden of Eden.’
1 Enoch 60:7-8
I also find it interesting that Tiamat is described as “a primordial Goddess of the ocean, mating with Abzû (the God of fresh water) to produce younger Gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation, depicted as a woman, she represents the beauty of the feminine, depicted as the glistening one. It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a “Sacred marriage” between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations. In the second “Chaoskampf” Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.”
In all the other stories the Dragon is associated with strong masculine energy, and Satan but could it be that the Dragon really is a female? Only a female can birth beings into creation, and if we adopt the ideology that we come from the great Void aka the Womb of the Dragon, it surely must be a She.
Before I get into that, let me first explain what it means to walk the path of the Dragon.
Like the serpent is sure to coil, our path is sure to be crooked; there is nothing that is going to be handed to us, and answers will not come easily. This is not a path for the faint of heart, or those who seek instant gratification. The Left Hand Path is a path of battling self, going against the status quo; this is a path of searching, of pain, and endless leaps into the Abyss where we go to molt, shed our skin, and come out a better version of ourselves– a stronger, more aware, and enlightened version.
The Dragon shows us how to be an element of our own, and reminds us of the Chaos that was necessary for our birth. Not only did a star have to die for us to come into existence but the act of sex, the moment of orgasm, the very second when the sperm meets the egg, are all moments of shear Chaos: beautiful, Divine, creation.
The Dragon is an unforgiving force but one of freedom, and individuality; She grants us permission to be exactly who we were created to be.
The Dragon is in all of us because we all come from Her Womb, but children or not, Her natural instinct is undeniable, She will devour us all the same. We must face our own inner Dragon, or surely the Beast’s true nature will turn on us.
Now that I have said my piece, let me give you some information for your reading pleasure.
For Jung the Dragon is “the personification of Sulphur and is by far the male element. Since the dragon is said to impregnate himself by swallowing his tail, then the tail is the male organ and the mouth is the female organ. The winged dragon represents personal obstacles that must be overcome to insure a more-perfect being; thus, leading to the saying: “You conquer the dragon or he will conquer you.” We see that Jung did, certainly, inspire awareness of the connections between modern psychology and ancient spiritual practice. Some credit the Chinese as the inventors of dragon. The origins of dragon lore are a matter of some debate. It is known that at least as far back as 300 BCE, some bones of prehistoric animals were labeled as coming from dragons. In Christianity the dragon is generally a symbol of evil, a demon or the devil. The most famous Christian legend is that of St. George slaying the dragon. “
If you notice how the Sulphur symbol (pictured) resembles the male sex organ. The Ouroboros (also pictured) as noted above is said to impregnate himself by swallowing his own tail. We know this metaphor today to be the idea of life/death/rebirth, repeat.
Fun Fact: The word Ouroboros comes from Oura meaning “tail” and boros meaning “eating”, thus “he who eats the tail”. Some translations have noted it to mean “tail devourer”.
Jung not only associated the Dragon with the collective unconscious, creation itself and overcoming obstacles, he associated it with the Hero Archetype, and the need to rescue the Feminine:
“In the fight with the dragon the hero battles the regressive forces of the unconscious which threaten to swallow the individuating ego. The forces, personified in figures like Circe, Kali, medusa, sea serpents, Minotaur, or Gorgon, represent the Terrible side of the Great Mother. The Hero may voluntarily submit to being swallowed by the monster, or to a conscious descent into Hades so as to vanquish the forces of darkness. This mortifying descent into the abyss, the sea, the dark cave, or the underworld in order to be reborn to a new identity expresses the symbolism of the night-sea journey through the uterine belly of the monster. It is a fundamental theme in mythology the world over — that of death and rebirth. All initiatory rituals involve this basic archetypal pattern through which the old order and early infantile attachments must die and a more mature and productive life be born in their place.
“The mythological goal of the dragon fight is almost always the virgin, the captive, or more generally, the ‘treasure hard to attain.’ This image of the vulnerable, beautiful, and enchanting woman, guarded by and captive of a menacing monster gives us a picture of the inner core of the personality and its surrounding defenses. The hero’s task is to rescue the maiden from the grasp of the monster and, ultimately, to marry her and establish his kingdom with her. This dragon fight and liberation of the captive is the archetypal pattern that can guide us through those major transitional passages in our personal development where a rebirth or reorientation of consciousness is indicated. The captive represents the ‘new’ element whose liberation makes all further development possible.
“In response to the call the hero undertakes a journey, usually a dangerous journey to an unknown region full of both promise and danger. Often the journey is a descent. Sometimes, as with Jonah, Aeneas, Christ, and Psyche, it is a descent into the depths — the sea, the underworld, or Hades itself. Always there is a perilous crossing. Sometimes the faintheartedness of the hero is balanced by the appearance of guardians or helpful animals that enable the hero to perform the superhuman task that cannot be accomplished unaided. These helpful forces are representatives of the psychic totality that supports the ego in its struggle. They bear witness to the fact that the essential function of the hero myth is the development of the individual’s true personality.”
Regardless of how you view the Dragon, or what experiences you have had, it is clear that the Dragon in all Her forms has made a mark in history among every culture, and that is something that cannot be denied. Her story has been demonized, but we owe everything to Her primordial Chaos; the great Void, the Womb of Darkness, the Great Mother Herself.
For we are nothing without Her.
“I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves. Alas, the time is coming when man will no longer give birth to a star.”
In Nomine Draconis!
Sources, and Further Resources: