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Posts Tagged ‘dragons’

Having moved to the Land of the Red Dragon nearly eight months ago I began to ponder over the relationship between the Welsh Red dragon and one of my personal dragon links – a huge white dragon.
The legends of conflict between the red and white dragons came from various sources. In the medieval story of Lludd and Llefelys the warring dragons were a source of trouble and stress to the point they were killed and buried at Dinas Emrys in north Wales.
The original source of the legend seems to come from the earlier writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth (1100-1155). In Geoffrey’s ‘History of the Kings of Britain’, Merlin was called upon to solve the problem of newly built castle walls constantly collapsing. The young Merlin confirms that the collapse being caused by the fighting dragons and instructs Vortigern to cut into the hill that he was building on, to release the dragons. Being one never to miss a political point, Geoffrey of Monmouth also identifies the white dragon as that of the Saxons and the red dragon of the native Welsh.

dragoneyesThe status of the white dragon linked to the Saxons was taken further in the 18th century by Sir Walter Scott, when he also aligned the Saxons to the white dragon in the poem “The Saxon War Song”. Indeed even more recently Welsh-born Rowan Williams, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002-2012 wore robes showing a white and red dragon when he was enthroned in 2003.
This sounds fine at superficial levels, but there were two things nagging in my mind:
1 – ‘warring dragons’ is indicative of unbalanced earth energies. So the dragons that Merlin released were geopathic energies that were disrupting the stability of the building works. Parts of the UK are still quite active geologically, especially if building works were to be carried out near one of our many rift-valley cliffs.
2 – In Tibetan and Chinese traditions the colours red and white represent female and male respectively. Male is represented by white (semen) and female by red (menstrual blood).
Taking these into account it puts a logical answer to Merlin’s wisdom on the collapsing towers. However it also sheds a different light entirely on the relationship between the red and white dragons. Like the black/white of yin/yang – the red dragon energy cannot maintain balance without the white dragon energy and vice versa.
This in turn makes me wonder about the underlying relationship between England and Wales. Is this essentially a male/female, yin/yang relationship with one balancing the other?

(This first appeared in ‘Notes from the Edge of the Epynt’ March 2015)

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It has been a while since I left a blog here, but I often say to my clients and students…’life happens’!

So it did for Simon and I. Earlier this year everything turned on its head in the space of a few days. It was the start of an emotional rollercoaster that began with the full Moon on Valentine’s Day and followed the New and Full Moons thereafter until the New Moon on the 26th July when we completed the purchase of our first house. By the Full Moon on the 10th August we had fully moved in – us, the cats and the trees!

We now find ourselves living in the Land of the Red Dragon – Wales – exactly 2 degrees of latitude due north of where we lived in Devon and 170 miles away, by road.

The translation into English of our new address is – ‘The sacred house of Saint David, on the ridge by the wood near the Church of St Cadmarch’. We look out to the Hills of the Wild Horses to the south and the Welsh Mountains to the north. Beautiful!

Mostly settled in my new home, I am now turning my attention once more to the unseen energies of the Land.

Looking at the energies of the forthcoming New Moon and eclipse it is interesting to note that Mars hugs its biennial spot on the galactic centre (27-28 degrees Sagittarius). Hopefully this will bring wider understanding and a practical approach to the difficulties in the world at this time. This is an opportunity when a new balance could be found if people, both individually and collectively could act less selfishly.
There is still plenty to be uncovered/discovered and the truths that emerge eat away at the constructed beliefs that all are fed and many still do not question. The knack is to habitually look beyond what is obvious, to try to understand the processes that are in play.

This eclipse, at zero degrees Scorpio, is also conjunct Venus. A karmically laden eclipse if there ever was one! Venus in Scorpio needs a lot of effort to transform it from continuous lack of self-worth, deep resentment and jealousy into an insightful, powerful healing energy. Yet, at a quintile ( 72 degrees) from Pluto in Capricorn the spiritual drive is there to complete the change.

Samhain/Halloween may be less than two weeks away, but the transformation drive of the so-called ‘dark’ aspects of the Goddess are being reflected in this eclipse cycle. In her many guises she challenges us to change, to let go of what holds us back, to reassess where we are going and what we are doing. Time spent reflecting on these challenges in the next few days will be time well used!

(The solar eclipse will be visible in the north of the USA and the north Pacific)welsh dragon

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Whilst visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London recently we came across this lovely sculpture of St Margaret and a Dragon:
Far from the dragon being at all scary, this one looked more like a pet.
StMargaretsmall
St Margaret is recorded as being a patron saint of childbirth, pregnant women, kidney disease and wronged people. The childbirth and pregnancy angle is initially very surprising as she was venerated for her virginity. However, one of the stories goes that on her refusal to marry she was tortured. It was also said that she was tempted by or eaten by a dragon. When the dragon swallowed her she fought back and killed it with her crucifix – hence her sometimes being referred to as ‘St Margaret, the Dragon Slayer’. Here, the assumption being that the dragon was a representation of Satan. It is thought that this is where her patronage of childbirth came from – as she herself was safely delivered from the innards of the dragon.
In the Roman Catholic Church her feast day used to be the 20th July, but in the fifth century it was first suggested that decided that her story was ‘apocryphal’ (of doubtful authenticity) and only in 1969 was the date was withdrawn from the calendar. In the Eastern Orthodox Church her feast day is the 17th July. St Margaret is still recognised as one of the saints that spoke to Joan of Arc and indeed there are many churches that bear the name ‘St Margaret’ – including Westminster Abbey.
Delving a bit further, here are some of the lines that give reference to St Margaret, taken from a mediaeval poem:
“Holye mayde Margarete loked her besyde.
There sche sawe a lothelye dragon in a corner glyde,
Brennynge as the blake fyre. His mouthe he gaped wyde.
That mayde wexed alle greene as the gresse in someres tyde.” (lines 179-182)
“Holy maid Margaret looked her beside.
There she saw a loathly dragon in a corner glide.
Burning as the black fire. His mouth he gaped wide.
That maid waxed all green as the grass in summer time.”

 

The final line is very interesting as ‘waxed all green as the grass in summer time’ was a well-known, subtle way of referring to promiscuity.
So what do we have here? Is this a description of seduction? Is this yet another tale of deriding women for being women? This does seem to sit easily with some religious traditions that make it clear that if a woman is raped, she is the one to be punished. Similarly, with a situation of sex outside of marriage when the woman is blamed and vilified, yet the man walks ‘free’.
Is the ‘dragon’ also another way of referring to woman’s sexuality, women’s ability to give birth and women’s power?

Not as far-fetched as one might think and there is a religious commentary on the story of St Margaret and the dragon that says:

“Surely this is because giving birth is not unlike a dragon splitting open to reveal a saint!”

Ouch!

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My book ‘The Sovereignty Year’ * (linked to the Sovereignty Essences**) describes the facets of the Goddess for each of the 4 solar stations of the year and the 4 quarter-days between. In the book the facets are given Celtic or Arthurian names, but each has a resonance worldwide.

Spring Equinox (20/21st March)

The archetype in Arthurian Grail legends is Kundry where she is described as a wild woman, an ugly crone who challenges Gawain. She also appears in Wagner’s ‘Parcifal’ in a similar role. The name ‘Kundry’ itself is derived from the German for ‘news’ or ‘information’ (Kunde). Indeed although depicted as an ugly woman she is also described as wealthy and learned.

In many Celtic tales she is referred to as the ‘Loathly Damsel’ whom the hero is often required to kiss. When he does, her ugly form will then dissipate and she is transformed into a beautiful woman. As a facet of Sovereignty (the Goddess of the Land) any aspiring king or knight must embrace her in her worst aspect in order to have the authority to rule. This can also been seen as a need to love the Land in winter, which allows the flowing season of spring to appear!

The Loathly Damsel also appears in the folk songs, like ‘King Henry’first recorded by Steeleye Span in 1972

Click Here

In this song ‘King Henry’, Henry is challenged to do the ugly crone’s bidding, which he does, to the letter, and is rewarded.

“Take off your clothes now King Henry
And lie down by my side,
Now swear, now swear you King Henry
To take me for your bride.
Oh God forbid, says King Henry,
That ever the like betide,
That ever a fiend that comes from hell
Should stretch down by my side.

When the night was gone and the day was come
And the sun shone through the hall,
The fairest lady that ever was seen
Lay between him and the wall.
I’ve met with many a gentle knight
That gave me such a fill,
But never before with a courteous knight
That gave me all my will”

This type of ‘challenge’ made to men is present in many cultures and many legends and reflects the ancient tradition of women holding the power and ‘ownership’ of the Land. In Egypt, for example, the pharaohs only ruled by the power of Maat – the goddess of judgment and balance. If he did not meet her requirements, he did not rule.

It has only been since the balance between male and female was lost, that men have taken over that role of ruling and ownership alone and in the process have tended to subjugate and denigrate their role to bolster their own. Regrettably many religions, business and goverments continue to regard women in this lowly way.

The energy behind the goddesses of the Spring Equinox epitomises knowledge, challenge, teaching and destiny.
Kundry is regarded as a guardian of tradition and has no qualms of getting down to do the most difficult of tasks. She has clarity and compassion, but is also thought of as wrathful or ‘black, indicative of the amount of power she wields, rather like Kali of the Mahavidyas and Hindu mythology.

Kundry represents the voice of the Earth and therefore the voice of Sovereignty. When approached in the right way she has much to teach much about how we approach experience. One way is to embrace everything and look at life as a play of the Elements, another is to study theories. One way is to know things intellectually and the other to know things from the center of our being. This reflects the duality of the spiritual path, a recognition of the balance of male/female within.

The Spring Equinox energy also has close links with serpents and dragons, with all the mythology that both entail.

Visualisation from’ The Sovereignty Year’

Kundry’s Dragons

1. Begin by settling your body into a comfortable position.
2. On each outbreath relax your body
3. Imagine yourself in a small clearing within a wood, surrounded by trees with spring flowers bursting from the ground beneath your feet.
4. Follow that pathway before you and begin to walk into the wood.
5. The further you go, the more rugged the ground. You come across a stream that is running very fast.
6. Centre yourself, and ask for help from the Earth elemental energies, to enable you to cross the stream.
7. Before you, stepping stones emerge from the waters and you can then safely walk across.
8. Continue following the path until you come to a place where a veil of ivy bars your way.
9. Sweep away the ivy and you see before you a tree stump, framed by two other trees.
10. As your vision clears, you notice that there is a silver dragon entwined around one tree and a gold one around the other.
11. On the tree stump you can see a hologram of moving and changing lights and energies, and you draw nearer for a closer look.
12. In the ever-moving spherical hologram you see people, places, the future and the past.
13. Centre yourself once again, closing your eyes.
14. When you open them again, the hologram has changed to a view of far-off galaxies that move to engulf you.
15. Concentrating on the trees around you, you become aware of the dragons speaking to you.
16. Stay here for a while. Listen first to the gold dragon, then the silver. Listen to what they say and look closely at anything that is offered to you.
17. When you are ready to leave, thank the dragons and see them merge before your eyes and dissolve into the galaxies and stars.
18. You find yourself, once again, on the shores of the fast running stream. The stepping stones are still visible, but as you use them to cross over, they disappear from sight.
19. You retrace your steps to the clearing in the wood, noticing the beauty of the flowers.
20. Stay still for a few moments and then bring yourself out of the visualisation.

* Hardcopy version of ‘The Sovereignty Year’ is available from:
greenmanshop.co.uk

*PDF version is available from TreeSeer.com

** Essences are available from: greenmanshop.co.uk

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I have always has an ‘interesting’ relationship with snakes.

My initial difficulties stem from an early age. We lived in a street called ‘Adderbury’ and I was aware that in the summer there were lots of adders (the only poisonous snake native to the UK) at the bottom of our garden.

I can clearly remember walking down a narrow alley, near where I used to leave my bike whilst at school and having to jump over a small coiled snake. I was really scared and never used that short cut again. I know now that the snake I saw was a female adder, often more brown than the striking and classically marked male.

An episode at a Girl Guide camp in the New Forest did nothing to ease my fears. Whilst walking in the woods quite close to the camp I saw a huge grass snake (non-poisonous), with a body about 20cms diameter, curled up, sunning itself on a tree stump. I ran like hell!

My next significant encounter was during a visualisation/meditation as part of my yoga-teacher training in the late 1970s. Part of the visualisation was set beside a lake and we were asked to meet a creature that was to be your helper. Immediately a snake appeared. We were instructed to walk with the creature down to the water’s edge….. Yeah! Right!   The snake curled up my lower leg and I limped down to the lakeside, thinking to myself ‘this is stupid’! The next instruction was to pick up a bucket and full it with water. Then to let your creature carry the bucket back to the clearing……. Oh Yes! My imagination is now working overtime with various cartoon images of snakes carrying buckets with handles in their mouths; me limping away from the lake….. It was all too much and I started to giggle. At the end when the tutor checked with everyone he was at a loss to explain ‘why a snake?’ He had never encountered this before and I wasn’t the only person with a snake as a helper that day.

A short while later I had a lucid dream where I was bitten by a snake. I woke up sweating and in panic.

A year or two after that I had a similar dream. This time there was no panic. The thought was ‘no problem, there is a homeopathic remedy for that’.

Sometime later there was yet another similar lucid dream. By this time I had started to understand what the dreams meant for me.  This time the reaction was  “Oh b****r! That means another big spiritual transformation and shift! Damn!’.

The fear left over from my childhood has evaporated and replaced by fascination and curiosity – I even managed to touch a python about ten years ago at Paignton Zoo. I have seen snakes in the wild in the UK, Nepal and Japan,  in situations where they are seen as a blessing and signs of good fortune.

Dragons and nagas (serpent-like earth guardians) are now very close to my heart and are one of the main personal links I have to the subtle energies of Nature.

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During one of our earlier visits to Japan, as a break from our teaching schedule, our hosts took us to the Shinto Shrine of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu at Ise.

The name ‘Amaterasu’ can be translated as ‘shining in heaven’. The story goes that she had two brothers – Susano (Mmm ….interesting link there!!), the summer storm god and Tsukuyomi, the god of the Moon and night. (Another fascinating note that the idea of the Sun as female and the Moon as male has its roots in several ancient systems including Tibetan and Norse.)  Amaterasu split with her brother Tsukuyomi after he killed the goddess of food, the break-up giving rise to the division of night and day. She had problems with Susano too, which led to her retreating into a cave, effectively removing the life-giving Sun from the earth. The other gods did all they could to lure her out and when eventually she did emerge, she returned to the sky.

Japan has a long tradition of being linked to the sun. Historically referred to as ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’ Japan continues its link to Amaterasu through its national flag and the items linked to her – the mirror, jewel and sword – that comprise the Japanese Imperial regalia.

We arrived after dark at our hotel for our first night’s stay. I was not at my strongest as I was recovering from the Noro stomach virus. As I rested before going to sleep and probably because of my weakened condition, I slipped into ‘other’ awareness very easily.

I found myself gasping for air. I was up to my neck in water and the ceiling was just above my head. The water was continuing to rise and I knew I was about to drown. There was no panic. I focused on where and who I was. I knew that I held a religious post with many responsibilities and that at least one person I am close to now, was a colleague, and they had already died. I realised too, this was a tsunami and with that I simply let go.

The following day we visited the famous shrine of Amaterasu. There was a familiarity about the place that was a little unsettling, even to being able to find small hidden shrine, tucked away down a narrow pathway. We were rewarded by a gentle breeze that moved the shrine curtains, a sure sign that our presence was noted. We went from there to Mikimoto Pearl Island to learn about pearls and to watch the amazing ‘ama’ the lady pearl-divers, do a demonstration on how pearls used to be collected. How fit are they!

That night, as my consciousness slipped, I became aware of a huge pearl. Apt, I thought, given where we had been that day! I then realised that there was a claw holding that pearl. The pearl then raced away from me, down and down into the earth. I followed it until I came face to face with an enormous dragon. It scared me, it was so BIG. Nevertheless I stood there, holding my ground and now holding the pearl. The dragon roared and flames engulfed me. But I was OK. Shaken, cleansed but definitely OK. I then jolted back into full consciousness.

The next day we went to Meoto Iwa where the famous ‘husband and wife’ or ‘loved-one and loved-one’ stones are found just offshore, joined together by a heavy rope of rice-straw. We were there at low tide (as you can see by the image below), as at high tide the sea fills the gap between the rocks.

In the summer the sun rises between these stones and aligns them with Mt Fuji, in the distance. Whilst fondling the bronze sculpture of the huge frog and looking to the stones, my awareness slipped again.  This view was SO familiar, yet from long ago. I could also see people doing ritual bathing in front of the rocks. Later, I discovered the ritual bathing still happens here.

I thought little more about this until my return to the UK. As an astrologer I was very aware that my natal chart was ‘active’ at this time with transiting Pluto conjunct my natal Mars. On a whim I looked up the correspondences to the Mars placement in (A T Mann) Tad Mann’s book ‘Divine Plot’ (available from Amazon as pre-owned). In this book Tad Mann correlates natal planetary placements to past- life/other-life timings. My Mars placement correspondes to around 1707 AD. To quell my curiosity I googled for tsunamis in Japan at that time.

SHOCK!

On 28th October 1707 at 2pm the largest earthquake at 8.6 (until the recent one in 2011) occured At Hoei. The subsequent tsunami caused thousands of deaths. The landfall of the wave would have included  the Toba/Ise/Meoto Iwa area. It is also thought that it may have triggered the last-known eruption of Mt Fuji in mid-December that year!

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I am writing this on the full Moon on May 5/6th 2012 as we begin the approach to the first of two important solar eclipses in 2012.

This first eclipse is on the dark/new Moon of the 20th May 2012 at 23.53 GMT.

A solar eclipse  occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth.

The full shadow of this particular eclipse does not meet the surface of the Earth and is known as an annular eclipse, but it can, nevertheless, be seen clearly from the Earth.

As with all solar eclipses the energetics show the Moon (the past) creating an opportunity to learn from the past as the past and future (the Sun) ‘meet’ in the present (the Earth). This meeting creates an integration that spurs a move forward into new patterns. This eclipse is in the sign of Gemini, so is linked to thinking processes and new ideas.

The eclipse itself will be seen over the northern half of the Pacific Ocean. It begins in Hong Kong, passes north over Mount Fuji in Japan and on to the Aleutian Islands near Alaska, where is reaches it maximum. It then arcs south to Mount Shasta, finishing in Texas. This arc links two of the most spiritually important mountains of the Pacific Ring, bridging the divide between different traditions and beliefs.

Eclipse May 2012

The impact of the two eclipses this year on the collective conscious and unconscious will depend on how many changes have been made since the powerful eclipse of August 1999.

The pattern of the 1999 eclipse indicated that change would be difficult (Grand Fixed Cross) and indeed, it was only with the banking collapse that we saw any evidence of any real change going on.

This forthcoming eclipse also focuses on the financial centres in the Far East (Honk Kong and Tokyo) and pressurises all those countries whose ‘birthday’ is the 1st January. Pluto at 9 degrees Capricorn sits neatly on their sun-sign! (The UK is one of many of such countries.) More changes for those countries too.

The potential at any dark/new Moon is for the integration of energies into the psyche. For a brief time the male/female (Sun/Moon or Moon/Sun, depending on your beliefs) are in unison from the Earth’s stance. An eclipse intensifies this.

Small groups of people worldwide have been working at these key times to integrate their own energies and those of the planet to heal the multi-level problems in both.

This forthcoming eclipse is an ideal opportunity to do just that. So whatever beliefs you hold, I urge you to focus on and be aware  of yourself and the planet on the 20th/21st May, even if you can’t ‘be there’ at the actual time on the day when the eclipse occurs.

A particular group of people, nick-named the ‘dragon riders’ regularly work for Earth healing at the time of the dark/new Moon. Many perceive the flowing energies of the Universe as ‘dragons’in their various forms and elements. These flows of energy are ancient and are linked to the formation of the planet. The dark/new Moons provide an opportunity to heal the energy flows which have become damaged over time.

There is a ‘dragon rider’ page on FaceBook if you want to keep in touch and be reminded when each dark/new Moon occurs. (Send a friend rqeuest to ‘Jemma’ to be signed in!)

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