Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dragons - Angels Of The Orient

Stories and myths about dragons run through most cultures, ancient and modern. Was there ever a beast that walked the earth that could account for these myths? Some say that the ancients may have found fossils of dinosaurs, and by the use of their imaginations 'created' a beast from this evidence. Another theory is that dragons were merely the creative embellishments of large snakes and reptiles. We will never know precisely what triggered ancient peoples to come up with these myths. The first references to dragons can be traced to approximately 4000 B.C. and probably began before that

In Western culture, the dragon was usually seen as a beast to be feared. Dragons lived in the sea waiting to devour ships that sailed too far. They lived in caves, protecting treasure with their breaths of fire. In the Middle Ages, the story of St. George fighting a dragon to save a princess entered the mythology of the west, and has been retold and depicted in art for centuries.

The dragon in the culture of the orient is quite different. Instead of a beast to be feared, the dragon is a positive symbol that represents many things, some of which are intelligence, persistence, optimism and energy. Most oriental dragons are creatures of beauty and wisdom. They are loved, and in some areas worshipped. They have been called the angels of the orient.

Dragons have been represented in all forms of art, and been used to decorate pagodas, temples, shrines, palaces and private homes for millennia in China. The Emperors of Japan traced their ancestry back to a daughter of a dragon king of the sea. Many Emperors of other Asian countries also claimed lineage from dragons. In China, many people think that the entire Chinese people are descendants of the dragons. Many things associated with oriental royalty involved depictions of dragons. To call an Emperor 'Dragon Faced' was a very high compliment. Everything connected with the dragons of the east are blessed.

In China, the dragon is seen as a symbol of protection, and is regarded the Supreme Being among creatures. It can live in the sea, fly through the sky, coil up on land and take the from of a mountain. It is also a symbol of good fortune. The Chinese believe that having a statue of a dragon in the east part of their home brings them good fortune and success in life. But the dragon can be placed anywhere in a home, except areas of rest such as bedrooms. The dragon can also bring great energy, and if placed in a bedroom could interfere with sleep. These ancient angels of the orient are among the most beautiful of Asian home decor items.


No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Worked in a steel mill for 30 years. Amateur chef, piano player, book reader, letter writer, gardener, peace advocate.