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Myths and Legends.

Dragon Page
© Eileen Holland

"The Scorpion connects with the Serpent through the Dragon."
- Dion Fortune

     

    DRAGON BLESSING

    May dragons bring you wealth and guard your treasures
    May they banish darkness and enlighten you
    May female dragons grant you inner power
    May the Dragon Queen neutralize your enemies
    May Dragon Spirits
    give you power over Elementals
    May weather dragons
    bring rain at your request
    May Ti'amat effect the changes you command
    May Ishtar grant you Dragon Power
    May Ishtar grant you Dragon Power
     

    Natural history teaches us that humans and dinosaurs never coexisted. I wonder if I am the only one who wonders if an unknown convergence of the two somewhere in Eurasia is not responsible for the dragon myths that stretch from Ireland to Japan.


    MYTHOLOGY

  • Other names for dragons include wyrm, wurm and firedrake
  • Sacred to:
    Anantaboga, King of Underworld Dragons - Ao, the Four Dragon Kings - Dahaka - Godi - Goru - Fafnir - Illuyankas, the Dragon - Irnini - Ishhara - Ishtar - Lung-Wang, the Dragon Kings - Medea, the Dragon Queen - Nidhogger - Ryujin,  the
    • Dragon King  - Tiamat, Dragoness of Chaos - Vahagn Visapakal, Dragon-Choker - Vritra
    • Individual dragons known to us from mythology include:
    • Long / Lung, from Chinese mythology.
      Ladon, the hundred-headed oracular serpent of Greek mythology who guarded the Golden Apples of the Sun in the Garden of the Hesperides. He was slain by Hercules.
    • Raja Naga, King of the Sea Serpents, largest of the ocean dragons in Malaysian mythology.
      Tiamat, or Leviathan, the five-headed dragon goddess of Mesopotamian mythology. She was instrumental in
    • Babylonian myths of the Flood.
    • Benzaitin, Japanese goddess of love and happiness, was sometimes depicted riding a dragon.
    • The magical rowan tree of Irish legend was guarded by a dragon.
      An unsleeping dragon guarded the Golden Fleece, which Jason and his Argonauts sought. Medea overcame this
      dragon by sprinkling sleep drops in his eyes.
    • Dragons are usually depicted with wings in the West, while Eastern dragons are generally wingless and move or fly by magical means.
    • Dragons symbolize yang, the male principal, in Tao.
    • Dragons are not considered evil in China, where they symbolize:  mystery - originality - the active principle
    • There are five kinds of Chinese dragons:
      1. Imperial dragons, with five claws. The others all have four claws.
      2. Celestial dragons, who guard the heavenly abode of dieties
      3. Dragon spirits, who rule wind, rain and cause floods
      4. Earth dragons, who clear rivers and deepen oceans
      5. Treasure-guarding dragons
    • Glass was once believed to be solidified dragon breath.
    • Green dragons:  Male symbol
    • White dragons:  Gold was believed to be formed of  their congealed breath
    • Purple dragons:  Rock crystal was believed formed of their spittle
    • Sea dragons:  Sacred to Hung Sheng, the Holy One, who protects fishing vessels

    DRAGON MAGICK
    Planet: Mars
    Element:
    fire-breathing dragons = Fire
    dragons as sea serpents = Water
    flying dragons = Air
    Circle Invocations: (thanks to: John/Draco)

    North: Grael, Earth
    South: Fafnir, Fire
    East: Sairys, Air
    West: Naelyan, Water

    Language of Flowers: Dragon Plant = Snare
    For: earth energy - power
    Plant: bistort, dragon's blood
    Can be positive or negative
    Portent of prosperity - enlightener of darkness
    Believed to produce rain, in China
    The Chinese assign dragons the following correspondences:

    color: green
    direction: East
    element: fire; wood
    season:  Spring
    part of the body:  liver


    WHEEL OF THE YEAR
    The Midsummer bonfire drives away  the dragon that causes disease.

Fairy Page

©Eileen Holland - www.open-sesame.com


"Dread Fairy King,
I sacrifice before you,
How nobly do you stand!
You have filled up my house.
You have brought me a wife when I had not one,
Instead of daughters you have given me sons.
You have shown me the ways of right,
You have given me many children."

              - Biddulph, Tribes of the Hindoo Kush

Are fairies real?
   I have never seen a fairy so I don't believe in them. But I know people who do, people whose opinions I respect. This may be an urban thing on my part, because any fairies brave enough to show up wouldn't last long where I live. The popular notion of fairies is that they are cute or sexy creatures you'd like to have around. I can't bear cuteness in any form so I imagine fairies as Elementals, a kind of djinn. I think they'd probably be nasty if you disturbed them and would be best left alone.  I think nymphs are more interesting mythologically.
    Do you believe in fairies? Don't let my grouchy disbelief spoil your enjoyment of them.

About Fairies
Mythology gives us lots of information about fairies. These are some of their supposed qualities and attributes:

  • May be male or female, helpful or harmful
  • Have powers of magic and enchantment
  • Wear green clothes
  • Move swiftly
  • Live on hills, in woody dells, underwater, or in the Otherworld
  • Can turn invisible, or blend so closely into the forest as to seem invisible
  • Are immortal
  • Shape-shift
  • Cause fog and tempests
  • May be winged and fly
  • May be tiny, or child-sized
  • Live on fruit
  • Play tricks
  • Brawl with each other
  • Possess gold
  • Bestow gifts - Fairy gifts include the cauldron of plenty, the wand of intelligence, and the tree of knowledge
  • Steal babies and replace them with changelings
  • War with insects and reptiles
  • Borrow household items from humans
  • Enjoy music, dancing and making love
  • Enchant humans and beguile them into the fairy realm
  • Are associated with certain plants, trees and places
  • Sometimes take human lovers
  • Can breed with humans
  • Create artifacts, such as shoes and bows

ORIGIN:

  • The Little People are said to be the dispossessed early tribes of the British Isles. They faded away into uninhabited places, growing smaller and smaller with time as they were forgotten and passed into legend.
  • The Tuatha de Danann, People of the Goddess Dana, ruled Ireland before the Milesian invasion. They were driven underground where they became the Daoine Sidhe fairies.

Other theories hold that fairies are:

  • Supernatural beings
  • Fallen angels trapped on earth
  • Spirits of the dead
  • Elementals/Nature spirits
  • Old god/esses who have been neglected, lost their powers and dwindled away

NAMES:

  • Fairies are the Little People, the good folk who live in woody dells. Names for them include: faery - faerie - fatae - fa'ae - fairye - sidhe - sith - fee - fay - fae - fayerie - fair folk - verry folk - feriers - ferishers - farisees - wee folk - green men - greenies - greencoaties - green children - gremlins - good neighbors - good people - grey neighbors - pixies - piskies - sprites - tamlane - tammerlane - tom-lin - tom of lyn
  • Elves, gnomes, sprites, goblins, hobgoblins, nymphs, merfolk, trolls, leprechauns, etc. are considered types of fairies in some traditions.
  • Knowing a fairy's true name gives you power over it, so fairies are said to guard their real names very closely. Nevertheless, individual fairies known to us from mythology include:
    • Aeval, Fairy Queen of the Midnight Court
    • Aillen MacModha, who sets Tara ablaze every year
    • Caer, a beautiful fairy who lived as a swan
    • Clethrad, an alder fairy
    • Donagh, Finvarra's beautiful wife.
    • Finvarra, fairy king of the Daoine Sidhe. He is known for his skill at chess and for abducting brides-to-be. Spanish wine is a suitable offering got him.
    • Ghillie Dhu, a Scottish fairy who wears moss and leaves, lives in birch thickets.
    • Heliconian, a willow fairy
    • Melia, an ash or quince fairy
    • Melwas, the fairy king of the Summer Land who abducted Guenivere
    • O'Donoghue, king of the Lough Lean fairies in Ireland
    • Summer, beautiful queen of the Elves of Light. Her presence melts Winter away.
    • Urisk, a lonely male Scottish fairy who is found near pools
    • Wichtlein, a German mine fairy
      • Also:
        • the Asparas/Apsaras, fig tree fairies
        • the Caryatids, nut tree fairies
        • the Dryads, oak tree fairies
        • the Luantishees, blackthorn fairies
  • Literary fairies include Queen Mab, Puck, Titania, Tinkerbell, Tammerlane, Mustardseed and Oberon.
  • Fairy Goddesses: Aine of Knockaine - Airmed - Eri -  Morgan le Fay (Morgan the Fairy)
  • Fairy Gods: Credne, the fairy goldsmith - Goibnie, the fairy blacksmith - Lichtar, the fairy carpenter

GLOBAL FAIRIES
Little People from cultures around the world. UPDATED

Fairies: PLANT LORE UPDATED

FAIRY GODMOTHERS
    The fairy godmother is a stock character of fairy tales. She appears alone or in a group to bestow gifts, usually on newborns. Sometimes she acts like a guardian angel.
    Fatae, one of the names for fairies, derives from Fata/Fatae, the Fates. This Roman Triple Goddess appeared at the birth of kings and notables to decree the child's destiny. The archetype is much older, going back at least as far as Egypt where the Seven Hathors appeared upon the birth of a child to bestow gifts and divine its fate.

CHANGELINGS

"There are other forms of life as well as ours whose sphere of evolution impinges upon the earth. In the realm of folk-lore we constantly meet with the idea of intercourse between the human and the fairy kingdoms; of the marriage of a human being with a fairy spouse, or the theft of a child by the fairies, an impish changeling being left in its place. We shall be rash if we assume that an extensive body of folk-belief is entirely without foundation in fact."

          - Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defence

 

THE FAIRY KINGDOM
    Fairyland, also called Elfland or Tir Nan Og, is an enchanted place where fairies live in an organized community. It may be thought of as an alternate or parallel universe, a place where time stands still and there is no sickness or death. The fairy kingdom is said to be a hilltop one, but invisible, or composed of magnificent underground cities. Fairy kings and queens rule there.
    Humans who enter the fairy realm cannot leave once the door closes behind them. Those who do leave may find that years have passed on earth during what was, for them, but minutes in the fairy kingdom.

FAIRY MAGIC Element: Air (airy fairy) Color: green Metal: iron repels fairies For: enchantment - gifts - flower magic - tempests - raising magic mists


WHEEL OF THE FAERY YEAR
March 15
    Festival of river nymphs and water fairies, a dangerous day for swimming.
April 30/May 1 - Beltane/May Day
    Fairies ride out from their hills to celebrate Beltaine on May Eve
August 7
    Fairy hills and dwellings are revealed on this day.
September 29
    Doors open between our world and the fairy realm.
November 8
    Another day when it is possible to catch a glimpse of fairyland.
November 11
    Festival of the blackthorn fairies.

MERLIN
©Eileen Holland - www.open-sesame.com

  • Other names:
    • Merddin - Myrrdin - Emrys - Ambrosius - Rof Breoht Woden, Bright Strength of Woden

(British)
    Powerful Druid wizard, counselor to three High Kings; key figure in the Arthurian legends. Merlin was a bard, seer, prophet, magician and political advisor. He was a magical child with an unnatural birth, the son of a virgin and a demon. He inherited magical abilities from his father and learned the Craft from a mage named Bleise. Christian myths say that Merlin was baptized.
    He was brought as a boy before King Vortigern, the usurper, who sought to sacrifice a fatherless child upon the Salisbury Plain to stop the nightly destruction of the fortress he was trying to build. Merlin saved his own life by revealing the source of the problem, two dragons that fought nocturnal battles in a subterranean pool. He directed digging beneath the construction site which unearthed two dragons, one red and one white, who immediately started fighting. Merlin began to prophecy, using the dragons' battle to foresee the outcome of the Saxon/Briton wars. He also predicted the death of the king as well as that of the Old Religion, telling Vortigern and his druids:     "And Janus shall never have priests again. His door will be shut and remain concealed in Ariadne's crannies."       As Chief Druid Merlin served first King Ambrosius, later his brother Uther Pendragon, helping them to overthrow Vortigern. Uther fell madly in love with Igraine, Duchess of Cornwall, a married woman. Merlin did not approve but made a deal with Uther to use magic to ensure his seduction of her, provided he was given the child they would conceive that night. Merlin transformed Uther into the likeness of the Duke of Cornwall, enabling him to walk right into the seagirt fortress of Tintagel and bed Igraine, who took him for her husband. The duke was killed in battle by Uther's men while he lay abed with Igraine, enabling him to later make her his queen.
    Uther kept his bargain with Merlin, handing the infant Arthur over to him. Merlin arranged foster parents for the boy but visited him periodically throughout his childhood, molding him. This arrangement saved Arthur's life and Merlin later made him king and helped him to unite England. When first he saw Guinevere, Merlin predicted she would break Arthur's heart.
    Legendary feats ascribed to Merlin include construction of the Round Table and placing the sword in the stone. He is said to have changed himself into a fish and swum beneath the sea, to have designed Camelot and built it in one night. Merlin was once believed responsible for erecting Stonehenge, also called the Giants' Dance, by using magic to transport the stones from Ireland.
    There are several myths concerning Merlin's death, which is usually believed to have been brought about by his fatal attraction to Nimuë/Viviene, the Lady of the Lake. He saw her dancing in a wood and was instantly besotted with her. The attraction was not mutual and the aged Merlin stalked her, made a fool of himself over her, agreed to teach her magic but promised never to use magic on her.
    She played along until she had obtained all his knowledge, then used his own spells to bind him to her and beguiled him in Brécéliande Forest beneath a flowering whitethorn tree. Nimuë circled him nine times dragging her veil behind her, making her spell nine times, then bound him to a stone. Or trapped him in an enchanted forest. Or imprisoned him in a crystal cave. Or in a tower of air.
    Another myth tells how Merlin accidentally sat in Galahad's chair at the Round Table, a seat reserved for the purest of knights, and was instantly swallowed up by the earth. The gentlest version of the legend has Merlin simply choosing to return to the Otherworld, Nimuë the nurse and companion of his old age and final journey, to whom he bequeathed all his knowledge.

  • Sacred Animal:
    • stag - wolf - mammals
  • Geography:
    • Salisbury Plain, England
  • Depicted:
    • as an old man with long white hair and beard, wearing robes and a pointed hat - as a strong, handsome, magical young man
  • Invoke Merlin for:
    • wisdom - psychic work - magic - passion - protection - spells - advice - prophecy - influence - manipulation - magical power - temporal power - wise counsel - shape-shifting - protecting the land - enchanted sleep - harmony with the environment - sensitivity to unseen powers and natural forces - shaping future events - connectedness with the Old Gods
  • Invoke Merlin where the wind can be heard rustling in the leaves of trees.
 

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