Category Archives: Magical Creatures & Beings

Unicorns 101

You’ve probably noticed that unicorns are all over the place these days – in stores and online they’re simply everywhere! No longer just an iconic image from the 80’s or a little girl’s favorite animal, unicorns have really made a comeback and are loved by all sorts of different people in today’s day and age.

Just like fairies, elves, gnomes, mermaids, dragons, and other magical creatures, you may wonder if unicorns ever really existed, or if they exist in some way now. That is something that each person must determine for themselves. Perhaps learning a little more about unicorns will help you decide.

Unicorns in Mythology

When fairies and other wee folk freely roamed the Earth, it is believed that unicorns did so as well. While they kept their presence more hidden, they would show themselves to anyone they deemed to be innocent or honorable. They were extremely psychic creatures, and they could feel what others were feeling, and convey their own feelings telepathically.

Unicorns never wandered out into open areas unless they absolutely had to. They always kept to wooded areas. Their horns were believed to have medicinal properties so unicorns were often hunted. This is most likely why they didn’t last past the days of fairy. It was said that when a unicorn’s horn was taken, the animal died. A unicorn could, however, choose to heal someone with his/her horn – and if the animal chose to do this of their own will, it would not die.


Unicorns have made many appearances in fairytales, movies, and storybooks, and in many of these depictions you’ve probably noticed some similarities. Often the unicorns are white horses and typically (not always) their horns have a spiral swirl design, right? Let’s examine the symbolism here. In many of the stories about unicorns, they will only show themselves to humans who are innocent or “pure of heart.” The color white represents childlike innocence and purity. Unicorns are also known for being extremely wise animals. The horn could very likely symbolize a sword. The suit of swords in the traditional tarot represent the intellect, the mind. Those who have studied unicorns believe that this symbolism is very important. I couldn’t agree more!

Unicorns as a Totem Animal

If you have a unicorn as your totem animal you can expect wonderful things! Unicorns bring wisdom, they can help you manifest your dreams into reality, and they can help you see the truth in all situations. They represent purity, magic, and uniqueness.

Working with Unicorns

If you want to work with Unicorn energy, spend time in wooded areas that are off the beaten path. Unicorns don’t like to be around too many people. Make sure the area is quiet and clean. Like the fairies, unicorns do not like litter or anything that tarnishes their natural environment. If you see garbage around, pick it up. Call upon the unicorns just like you would angels or fairies by inviting them to work with you. Regular and persistent interaction with them will eventually pay off.


Get to Know Your Angels

by Kelly Lingen

Do you believe in angels? Many people do believe in angels, visualizing them peacefully resting on clouds or floating around in the heavens somewhere. It’s easy to forget that angels are actually but a mere request away, ready and willing to jump in and help us with just a moment’s notice. They want to be of assistance to us, but they will not come barging in unannounced. It’s just not their style. We have to ask them. You might be wondering how you should ask for their help, or which Angel you should even ask to help you (there’s a lot of options!). Here I’ll give you the basic 411 on angels, how to welcome them into your life, and who you might want to reach out to depending on your needs or issues.

Calling Angels: There’s no right or wrong way to ask an angel to help you. You can literally say the words “please help me,” and your guardian angels (yes, you have more than one!) will be at your service in an instant. In addition to speaking the words with your voice, you can also just think the words. Angels can read your thoughts, and a thought that’s intended just for them will undoubtedly be heard. This is a great way to call on them when you are numbed by fear or anxiety. If you’re unable to speak the words aloud, don’t worry. Your angels will hear your thoughts and act on them without hesitation. Some people like to write letters to their angels. This is another excellent way to ask them to assist you. Write them a thoughtful letter, taking care to be clear with your words. Tell your angels what you are struggling with, what you need, or what you wish to bring into your life. When you’re finished writing your letter, take it to a place where you can safely burn it. Your written words will travel to your special angels via the smoke and ashes – and they will be received.

Chat with Your Angels: While angels expect absolutely nothing from you, they surely appreciate some regular dialogue with you! When you find some quiet time alone, talk to your angels. Talk to them like you would with your Earthly friends. Angels love to hear your thoughts, desires, and concerns. Share your worries and anxieties with them and ask that those be lifted from you. Just getting them out will lighten your load, and angels are excellent listeners! Take some time, too, to listen back. Angels will reply back to you by way of symbols, signs, animals, other humans, or you may even hear their voices in return. Hectic schedules and busy lives are distracting. We are often so busy go-go-going that we miss some of these replies or signs. Don’t forget to pay closer attention to small details. A small object on the ground, a sign on the side of the road, or a beautiful encounter in nature might be communications from your angelic guides.

The Angel Directory: Who should you call in a moment’s notice? Any of your guardian angels or the Archangels can and will help you! Your guardian angels are able to help you with all sorts of things: protection, finding lost items, making an important decision, alleviating fear and worry – you name it. But if you have a specific concern or issue you’d like help with, you might want to call on an Archangel. Archangels are heavenly experts with their own specialties. Below is a “directory” of Archangels. You can call any of them at any time – they are always available to you.

Ariel: Typically depicted as a female, Ariel’s expertise are in the areas of nature and animals. For environmental concerns, animal welfare, or anything that deals with nature, call on this archangel. If you have pets at home, ask her to watch over them and protect them. Ariel is also helpful when your pets are sick or in need of medical care. She always wants to extend a helping hand to environmentalists, veterinarians, and anyone who works with nature or animals.

Azrael: This Archangel is a great one to call on if you are coping with grief or loss of some kind. Azrael guides those who are crossing from this life to the next, and he also comforts and counsels those who are left behind. If you’ve lost a loved one (pets included), ask Azrael for some heart healing. Azrael is a wonderful angelic guide to call on if you provide care for elderly patients or if you are a Hospice worker. Those who lovingly care for people who are close to transitioning are special people indeed – Azrael always wants to assist them in providing a loving, comfortable, and dignified passage.

Chamuel: This lovely Archangel is one of peace. During times of turbulence inflicted by war, politics, or anything of the sort – Chamuel can be called upon to promote feelings of peace and goodwill towards others. In addition, Chamuel can help you locate lost objects! Pick up a pendulum and ask Chamuel to help you find something important that you’ve misplaced!

Gabriel: Archangel Gabriel adores children and those who are trusted to watch over them. If you are a parent, teacher, or caretaker of children, ask Gabriel to help you be the best caretaker you can be. If you’re worried about your kids or issues they are struggling with, this Archangel can guide, help, and protect them. Gabriel can also be of great assistance to writers, actors, and artists. Need some divine inspiration? Give Gabriel a call!

Jophiel: Jophiel sees beauty in all things. Could you be kinder to yourself? Are you your own best friend? If not, ask Jophiel to help. Self-love is her specialty, and she can help you love and care for yourself the way you love and care for others. Would you like to beautify your environment but don’t know where to start? Ask this Archangel to inspire you be it at home or at work. She can inspire some beautiful changes in your home or office as she is a divine interior designer! She’s also an excellent Archangel to call on if you’re struggling with negativity. She can help you transform negative situations and thoughts into positive ones.

Metatron: Once human, Metatron is a very popular Archangel who is known for helping children…especially Indigo and Crystal children. Children who are very sensitive to the world around them can really benefit from Metatron’s presence. And while angels of any sort don’t ever interfere with free will, you can ask Metatron to assist those who cannot ask for themselves. Oftentimes children fall into this category. He will provide a feeling of security, and is very comforting for children and adults alike. This Archangel is also a magnificent teacher. If you are studying something of a metaphysical or spiritual nature, Metatron can help you progress quickly through your studies.

Michael: Michael is a loving but fierce protector! You can call on him for absolutely anything and he will be there, but he is especially known for providing immediate protection in any situation. Whether you need energetic protection, physical protection, or emotional protection – he’s your guy. When you feel afraid or worried for any reason, call on Michael. Midwest winters can make for some hazardous driving conditions, especially around the holidays – ask Michael to protect you and your family during your travels.

Raphael: This Archangel of healing is the perfect one to reach out to if you or your loved ones have health issues or injuries. Ask for Raphael’s healing touch, and for guidance in seeking appropriate healing modalities or health practitioners. He is a miraculous healer and always at your service when a health concern arises. If you are a healer of any kind, it’s nice to have the comfort and guidance of Raphael while you work to heal others.

Raguel: Need some guidance or healing when it comes to relationships? Ask Raguel to intervene. Raguel is the Archangel of harmony, and he can help you find healthy relationships, mend relationships, or assist you in letting go when a friendship or relationship no longer serves the highest good of the individuals involved. This Archangel can also help you create a harmonious atmosphere at home. Say “hello” to Raguel and “goodbye” to arguing, sibling rivalry, and tension in the home.

Uriel: If you could use some guidance when it comes to communication (especially at work!), call on Archangel Uriel. Group projects, presentations, and important meetings are this Archangel’s specialties. When you ask Uriel for guidance and wisdom, you’ll find that the answers will just start coming to you. Divine inspiration at its best.

This directory is far from complete, but it’s a good start if you’re just slightly curious about the angelic kingdom. There are other helpful Archangels that aren’t mentioned here, and I would definitely recommend getting to know more about them if you’re interested in working with angels.

During the holidays especially, the presence of angels can be so helpful. Traveling, lots of relatives, excited kids, missing someone special, and crazy shopping can bring about a mixture of joy, stress, and sometimes even sadness. Call on the angels to bring you comfort, happiness, safety, and good health during your holiday season!

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Types of Fairies: an Overview

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Fairy, Faery, Fay, Fae, Feri, The Good Folk

compiled and written by Mari Powers

Who are fairies? So many names, so many definitions:

  •         Humans with Fairy DNA or “Touched by the Fae”
  •         Several Pagan Spiritual Paths
  •         Radical Faeries
  •         Spirits of Nature
  •         Our “cousins”, another more evolved humanoid species
  •         A “star seeded” race of beings here on earth

Fae may mean those who are Fairies or Faeries, or sometimes the ones who practice the spiritual path Feri, the Radical Faerie or another Faery faith. Fay can also be those humans who are part Fae, or who have been “Fae touched”; altered in some way by contact or a journey to the a land the Fae inhabit.

In other cultures:

Faerie is old French for the “Land of Enchantment”. This word evolved from a place to several variations in spelling which came to mean a race of beings. An example comes from Ireland is the word “Sidhe” (shee), which used to mean a fairy mound, and came to mean the “royalty” of the Fairy race(s). Victor Anderson, Founder of the Feri spiritual path, said that “Fae” means magic and “ry” means its practice — like the “ry” in carpentry. Faery (Feri) means those who are, and practice magic, i.e. creating magical actions and constructs.

But that’s just the beginning; these magical beings go by many other names: The Little People are all around the world, and some are not so little. Many are said to be shape shifters who can change size and appearance at will. Some are local and said to be tied to the land where they live, and others are travelers. My rudimentary list of some Fae around the world is very limited; intended to show how widespread the belief in them is, and reveal variations of form. Think of this list as a place to begin further research.

Dahomey (Africa) – Aziza are Friendly Fairy Forest Dwellers – The Aziza are a beneficent fairy race. Living in the forest, they provide good magic for hunters although they can be quite shy at time. They can, and have given practical and spiritual knowledge to people, including knowledge of the use of fire. They appear as little hairy people and are said to live in anthills and silk-cotton trees..

East India – Deva – some Hindu Deities, Buddhist super humans and nature beings assisting in growing and attached to trees, plants, flora and fauna; and sometimes to rivers, mountains and other natural geographies.

England – The Faery Queen named Britannia and her relatives. Her Priestesses are said to reside on the Isle of Avalon where ancient ways are taught and maintained. This realm was hidden from most humans after the time of King Arthur and Camelot.

Inuit (Eskimo) – Ijarait – shape shifters who live in two worlds and sometimes take human children as changelings. They are also said to mate with humans upon occasion, leaving part Fae children in this world.

Ireland – Tuatha de Dannan (also called Sidhe) – Individual and long lived beings of great power. Other Fae who are spirits of the local or plant world are often referred to as “hiving fairies”; many beings with shared minds. The Sidhe are traveling royalty, with individual minds, agendas and personalities. They are also said to take human children as changelings and mate with humans.

Germany – Elves who are the protectors of the great forests, and Dwarves who are awesome miners and metal workers. From this country comes the tales of “Elf Shot”, deadly arrows made by the Dwarves for the Elves.

Cherokee – Nynneh (Travelers): A supernatural spirit race which is friendly towards humans, particularly towards the Cherokee tribe. Nunnehi are very strong and sometimes intercede in battle on the Cherokees’ behalf. Like Little People, Nunnehi are usually invisible but sometimes show themselves to humans they like (appearing as regal looking human warriors.) Their name is pronounced similar to nun-nay-hee.

Indonesia – Peri: Beautiful and sensual Fae who feed the life force to other life forms; also found in Persia.

Japan – Kitsune, who are similar to Elves, yet often prefer to take the form of a fox and can be androgynous. They can be clever tricksters. Also, there are the Tanuki, who prefer to take the appearance of raccoon. They are a lusty bunch who love sex and food in equal measure.

Malaysia – Pari-Pari – These Fae are related to the Peri from Persia or Indonesia.

Persia – The Peri have been mentioned already. Persia is also home to the Ifrit, the original Genie who grant carefully worded wishes and are a race of Fae tricksters, as well.

Tibet – Dakini – Female Fae who practice Tantric Yoga and are referred to as “She who transverse the skies”, or “She who moves my space.”  They are said to bestow the gifts of psychic abilities on chosen humans.

Elementals are sometimes classified as Fae, though some will argue that definition.

Gnomes are Earth Dwellers

Undines are Water Merman or Mermaids

Sylphs are Winged Air Spirits

Salamanders are Fire Elementals and Shape Shifters

As I said, this is a brief overview of a set of words that are often used these days. Think of all the places in the world, and the people within those places, that I did not mention. This is just a starting list from which to do further research on the world wide Faery reemergence. Here are some artists and bards that work with the fairy realm:

Graphic Artists: Brian Froud, Stephanie Law, J’te Argent, Paul Rucker, Helga Hedgewalker

Bards: Elaine Silver, Karen Alexander, Gary Standler, Francesca De Grandis, Gwydion Pendderwen, Blackmoor Night, Sharon Knight, Thorn T. Coyle, Jim Alan

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fairies & their allies

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by Kelly Lingen

Fairies aren’t an invention of the Brothers Grimm or Walt Disney – they once existed on the same physical plane we do now, and there’s loads of history, legend, and lore to back up that fact if you’re ever interested in digging deeper. The truth is, fairies and their elemental counterparts were forced to leave the dense plane we now live on in order to survive, lifting up their own energetic vibrations so that they could escape extinction due to the human race. For example in Ireland, the extremely magical Celtic Fairies known as the “Tuatha de Danann” (the little people of the Goddess Dana) were driven into hiding during the invasion of the Gaelic peoples. This type of thing happened everywhere, and elementals of every kind including unicorns and mer-people eventually “switched channels,” moving to their own realm that exists right here on Earth.

Fairies are the angels of the Earth plane, and because they have a lower vibration than the beings of the angelic realm, they have egos just like us! And when you have an ego, you judge, you form your own opinions, and you may have a difficult time being objective, right? Because fairies have egos, they choose to be near people only if they want to. This would also explain why not everyone can see them physically with their own eyes. Fairies are actually very choosy!

Fairies, elves, gnomes, brownies, mermaids, unicorns, leprechauns, and all other types of elementals can be very helpful to humans if they want to be, and there are many ways that you can connect with them for healing, prosperity, assistance (with gardening and even your household), protection, and especially to bring more joy into your life.

Be Kind to Animals: Fairies and other elementals are guardians of the animal kingdom. They are fierce protectors when it comes to our animal friends – and they don’t like to see cruelty of any kind towards them. Having pets in your home is an excellent way to attract fairies, and when you treat your pets as valued members of the family, you’ll undoubtedly win over the hearts of the fairies. Sitting quietly with a furry companion while petting them makes you feel relaxed, doesn’t it? That’s the perfect time to reach out to the fairy kingdom, requesting their presence in your life.

If you don’t have a pet at home, don’t worry. Consider volunteering at your local shelter to walk dogs, or pay frequent visits to the animals in nature (just be careful and respectful).

Clean Up the Environment: Fairies don’t only protect animals, they protect all of nature as well. When you go for a walk outside, take a bag with you and pick up the litter and trash you see lying around. Fairies love this, and they may even reward you for helping them keep the Earth clean. Keep your eyes open for little gifts that they might leave you out of gratitude. Feathers, pretty stones, shells, and other natural jewels are often gifts from the fairy kingdom. If you ask the fairies to help you with something – they may request a favor in return! And picking up trash is a common one. If you hear through a thought that you should do this, it’s a message directly from the elemental realms. Listen.

Use Eco-friendly, Cruelty-Free Products: If you want fairies on your turf, I highly suggest that you take things a step further by using products that won’t hurt nature or animals. For some people this may seem like a real challenge, but I’m here to tell you that you can’t ask someone to be your pal if you’re doing something that causes harm to that which they love most – the planet and her inhabitants. The fairies don’t expect you to be a saint, but they do like to see some effort on the part of humans. Try making your own cleaning products (it’s easy!), buying beauty products that aren’t tested on animals, or even buying organic fruits and vegetables. When you refuse to buy and use things that are loaded with chemicals and harmful to the environment, you choose to lift up your own spiritual vibration – and that’s a reward in itself. Make positive changes with sincerity and elementals just might take notice.

Create a Fairy Garden: Fairies and gnomes especially adore gardens. If you have a garden, ask the fairies to help your plants grow healthy and hearty. You’ll be amazed at how much they can do for your garden! Better yet, create a garden just for your fairy friends. Little homes, furniture, real flowers, moss, crystals, shells, and more can be placed in a special little area just for them. If you have children, enlist their help in the creation of this sacred space. Children are much more adept at picking up on fairy energy – they can sense it much easier than adults can most of the time. Don’t forget to make a magical fairy circle out of crystals or pebbles for the fairies to use as a portal between our world and theirs!

Go Outside: Other than helpful brownies (elementals without wings, similar to gnomes) who prefer to reside indoors, you’ll find most fairies and other similar beings out in nature. So get outside! Go for regular walks, work in your garden, or go sit under a wise old tree to connect with the tree spirits. Nature heals. Being outside will help relieve stress, lift your spirits, and most of all…it’s the best place to connect with fairy energy.

Believe: If the thought of connecting with fairies sounds crazy, then I’m here to tell you that it won’t work for you. If you don’t believe in something, it can’t exist in your world. Believing that there is a realm parallel to our own, one that is merely separated by a thin, energetic veil, is of the utmost importance if you want to be closer to the fairies.

Kelly has studied tarot and a number of different oracles for over 20 years. Because Kelly has always been drawn to elemental energy, she recently studied under Doreen Virtue to become a certified Fairyologist. In addition to her love for the nature angels, she also loves the mineral kingdom! Kelly is a Master Crystologist, having completed Melody’s Levels I & II Laying on of Hands, Laying on of Stones workshops, as well as studying under Certified Crystal Healer Ashley Leavy and DaEl Walker. Her knowledge of healing crystals and stones combined with her love for the fairy realm creates a reading experience unlike any other. She works and gives fairy readings at Mimosa, and is the creator of Lingen Oracles.

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Shadow Animals: Mysteries in the Dark

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by Cathy Douglas

My interest in shadow animals comes from personal experience.  I’m often outside after dark, and see a lot of opossums, bats, raccoons, and other animals that like to hang out in Madison at night.  But occasionally, I’ll catch a glimpse of something harder to identify–something halfway in size between a cat and a raccoon, but not exactly shaped like either.  These creatures run off so quickly it’s hard to get a good look at them.  Usually, the next day I’ll try to convince myself I’d seen something ordinary–maybe a baby raccoon, even though it hadn’t really looked or moved like one.  But since whatever I’d seen was dark enough to blend in with the night-time shadows, it was hard to know what else to think.

I noticed one of these creatures very early one winter morning, on the bar of land that goes out into the Lake Mendota by the Tenney Locks.  Against the white of ice and snow, its shape was a little easier to make out, even in the dark.  It was catlike, but bigger and more hunched over like raccoon, 100% black.  It ran away, out onto the mostly frozen lake–something I’ve never seen a cat or a raccoon do.  This animal was much too large to be a muskrat and didn’t have a beaver’s tail; besides, it didn’t jump off the ice ledge into open water as a muskrat or beaver would.  It just ran off across the ice towards the other shore.

This was all very strange, but I didn’t know much more about it than that until I recently decided to check the internet to see if others had similar experiences.  I was kind of surprised to see how much I found.  These creatures I saw are called shadow animals, shadow spirits or black animals.  (“Shadow animals” may also refer to the shadow pictures you make with your hands while you brother is holding a flashlight.  Not the same thing at all!)  Some think they’re related to a well-known paranormal phenomenon called “shadow people,” human-like shadows.  Shadow people sound awfully sinister, so I’m just as glad I’ve only encountered the animal kind.

One paranormal investigator saw a shadow animal while closing a vortex in a troubled house.  Here’s how she describes it:

Suddenly, I saw this bobcat-sized creature bolting toward me.  It had a curved back held in the posture of a raccoon. I saw that it had a rounded head, though I could not see the face.  I only saw the top of the head, neck, back, and part of the sides of the thing.  I knew that it had a cat-like tail, and that it was black with black spots (how I knew this, I cannot say).

–Brandy Stark, from Shadow Animals website.

This sounds exactly like what I saw, except that I didn’t notice any spots.  (I don’t know how anyone could make out black-on-black spots either.)  When she encountered this animal, there were several other people present and a video camera running, but strangely she was the only one who saw it.

Since then, she’s collected first-hand stories from many others.  What’s remarkable about these stories is how much the reports have in common.  The black animals people describe are almost always cat-like, fast-moving, and quick to flee when they notice they’re being watched.  They aren’t scary, but rather leave the viewer with a feeling of perplexity.

I’m not really sure what to make of all this, except to realize once again that there are still many things in the world we do not understand.

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“Your Basic Multicultural, Metaphysical Dragon” by Cathy Douglas

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Dragons are universal. This may be a strange thing to say, since if there are any real dragons in our world they’re doing a pretty good job of hiding. Yet creatures identifiable as dragons figure into mythologies everywhere, and nobody knows why. There are theories: that flying reptiles represent a composite of beasts dangerous to humans; that farmers found dinosaur bones when digging their fields, and invented dragons to explain them; or that dragons represent a psychological force that is part of the human psyche.

Aboriginal Australians saw the Rainbow Serpent in the night sky. Looks like a dragon to me!

Aboriginal Australians saw the Rainbow Serpent in the night sky. Looks like a dragon to me!

That’s not what I think. I think dragons are real.

I’m not saying we have any lurking around Earth. But I think something of the force that links humans to our universe must involve huge, scaly, winged reptilian monsters who spew fire and ice–and, more importantly, who possess a dangerous kind of wisdom. Because unlike most scary predators, dragons speak. In fact, according to many traditions, they were the ones who taught us to use language.

It’s interesting to compare a few of the dragon legends that have developed independently in a wide variety of times, places and cultures:

DAMBALLAH WEDO–Damballah, the most important of all Vodou loas, is the African sky god who created the world from his coils. His wife is Ayida Wedo, the rainbow serpent. He’s associated with water and rain, through which he sustains the life he created. He can also appear in fire form. A god of peace and purity, he is able to grant wishes.

SHEN: Dragons have a huge tradition in China. One variant is the Shen, an aquatic creature who can not only shapeshift, but may change the appearance of things around it, creating mirages. This type of dragon is associated with shellfish, as so is often seen holding a pearl. All these details–water, shapeshifting, mirages, and the pearl that forms around a tiny speck of sand–point toward the idea of the dragon’s traditional symbolism as a creature of transformation.

QUETZLCOATL–Myths regarding a feathered serpent deity existed throughout ancient times in what is now Latin America. To us, the most familiar name for this deity is Quetzlcoatl. Older versions show him as a snake with feathers, though later on he’s often shown with some human-like features. He was a god of knowledge, crafts & learning, and of sky and air. As a leader of the priesthood, as he provides a shamanic connection to the underworld. Large temples and pyramids were dedicated to the worship of this flying serpent, the creator who defines the boundary between earth and sky.

RAINBOW SERPENT–Another primeval serpent is the Rainbow Serpent of aboriginal Australia, another creator god. According to myth, he lives in a pool of water, and from there heaves up the earth to create hills, valleys and other landforms. Rainbow serpent is the descendent of the celestial being visible as the dark streak through the milky way. In dry times he lives in a deep water hole, but he can move about through rain and other moving water, and especially the rainbow. As Rainbow Serpent travels about, he rewards good people with knowledge and punishes bad people through natural disasters.

LAC LONG QUAN–The founders of Vietnamese culture were the dragon Lac Long Quan and his consort, Au Co, the fairy daughter of the Air God. She bore him 100 eggs, which hatched into 100 sons. Dragons bring rain, prosperity and protection from foreign invaders. Ha Long Bay means “bay of the descending dragons,” and in this bay dragons defending the coast came down to the water, the fire of their breath creating the islands you can still see rising from the water today.

DRAKON–Our word dragon comes from the Greek drakon, probably from the verb drakein, which means to see clearly, or to catch a glimpse of something which flashes or gleams. The ancient Greeks didn’t necessarily view dragons as mythical. Travellers reported news of elephant-consuming dragons in Africa and India.

Y DDRAIG GOCH–The Red Dragon of Wales is the good dragon depicted on the Welsh flag, which by legend is also the standard King Arthur carried into battle. Legends of Y Ddraig Goch show him protecting the small kingdom of Wales from invaders. On the advice of the young Merlin, he was freed by King Vortigern in time to defeat the White Dragon of the Saxons, ensuring freedom for Wales.

Sure, there’s plenty of cultural diversity here, but we also see a lot of similarity. Dragon stories the world over feature water, transformation, wisdom, protection, rainbows… Almost as if people throughout the world were looking at the same thing from different angles.

Strange, yes–but it would be stranger still if all those people were looking, and there was nothing to see.

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