The Symbolism and Meaning of Dragons


Dragon SymbolIntroduction to Dragon Meaning

More than any other image, the dragon is associated with the Orient. A symbol of the emperor himself, the dragon was master of all of the elements of nature. The sinuous dragon can take many forms and can be victorious in any circumstance. The dragon is often used in corporate logos and can be either male or female.

Dragon Symbolism in Feng Shui

A pregnant dragon is particularly auspicious as a symbol of future growth and expansion. The dragon is most useful in connection with fame, reputation and career. When the dragon symbol is applied in feng shui, the most effective placement is in the fame area of a home or in connection with a home office. An impressive representation of a dragon can be of tremendous positive benefit.

For more information about feng shui, try the following recommended Amazon books:
Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui
Feng Shui Your Life
The Western Guide to Feng Shui: Room by Room
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feng Shui

Dragon Meaning in European Mythology

Dragon SymbolismIn addition to Chinese dragons, there are nearly limitless tales of dragons in European mythology. Interestingly, the word dragon derives from two separate Greek words. One word means “a huge serpent or snake” and the other means “I see clearly”. Dragons in European traditions have wings, allowing them to soar freely above, resulting in a perspective that encompasses a huge panorama below. In this context, dragons can be thought to symbolize the ability to see the “big picture” as well as the ability to see far off danger or future circumstances. (Photo courtesy of Kit from Pittsburgh, USA, Wikimedia Commons)

Dragon Symbolism and Nature

In many cultures dragons are viewed as representing the primal forces in nature and the universe. They can alternately breathe fire, poison or ice. These abilities demonstrate that they are both creators and destroyers. Fire gives life (and sometimes death); ice and poison mete out death. Early muskets were named “dragons” due to their fire-spitting ability. Likewise, muskets can serve either to procure food and preserve life or to dole out death in battle. (Photo courtesy of TharkunColl, Wikimedia)

Dragon Meaning in the Orient

Dragons in the Orient are associated with wisdom and longevity. They usually possess some form of magic or supernatural power. Chinese dragons tend to be benevolent; European dragons are often malevolent.

Asian dragons are usually associated with water in some way. Japanese dragons, in particular, are often depicted as huge water serpents. In early Jewish religious texts, dragons are seen as sea-monsters. In contrast with this, the early Vedic dragons were representations of lack of water or drought.

Origin of the Dragon Symbol

Dragon SymbolismDragons have captured the imagination of man for millennia. Some theorists believe that dragon myths originated from primitive peoples finding large skeletons of dinosaurs and postulating how they appeared during life. Others believe that forms of dragons still exist on earth today. The Loch Ness Monster is the primary modern example of a potential “water dragon”.

Some anthropologists believe that fire-spitting creatures are a real possibility. Animals with chambers for gases such as methane and a way to rub stones together in a large gizzard could conceivably breathe fire. Bombardier beetles, for example, spit vaporized acid out of their abdomens.

Dragons are one of the most complex and universal symbols on earth. Their popularity in contemporary literature and films seems to assure their ongoing place in literature and in the imagination of mankind.  

Learn About Chinese Symbolism and Feng Shui

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More Information on Mythical Creatures

For more information on mythical creatures, see these recommended books on Amazon:
The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings
The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures

Field Guide to Fantastic Creatures
The Mythic Bestiary: The Illustrated Guide to the World's Most Fantastical Creatures

More Information on Dragons

For more information on dragons see these recommended Amazon books:
Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons

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