Tag Archives: Spiritualism

One Spot of Beauty, In a Gray World

When the Beauty of Life Clings onto Life Itself,

Photo of Fireweed
Fireweed (Epilobium augustifolia), Photo taken: Nov 8th, 2015

Sometimes,

We may need a little inspiration to continue doing, that which we feel needs to happen. Life, with all of its challenges and hardships, is also full of anticipation, expectation, curiosity, and the limitless number of possibilities and potentialities. It is all the more reason, worth exploring Life to its every moment. Even a path, traveled only inch-by-inch, will eventually be able to tell the world, that at least someone, has taken the travel, into unfamiliar territory. It is an experience recorded, for others to see, reflect, and also be inspired to carry on, with their own paths of exploration.

There is no “handbook” nor manual on Life. Nor is there any “roadmap” on which path or turn to take, and of when. Each and every Path, is an individual’s own “Sacred Moment of Reflection”. Each and every crossroad, a point of decision. Each and every step, a movement towards the goal, a nuance, or a progress towards an ultimate understanding of who and what we are, and of who or what we may become. It is a Path worth the travel, even with its ruts, stones, and other hazards. It is THAT state of Being in Motion, Here and Now, that we begin to realize our Path, is our own!

THIS is worth a Life experienced, because it is a Life well-lived, no matter where, when, or how we came to it. THAT is the eternal beauty of Life, with all of its “unknowns”.

Rev. Dragon’s Eye,
Founder and Chief-Elder Dragon of the Temple,
TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENT DRAGONS

On D.J. Conway’s “Dancing With Dragons”

“Dancing With Dragons” – A Book Review.

For as many “critiques” I have read, on-line and elsewhere, concerning the book, “Dancing With Dragons”, I sometimes wonder if some of the detractors of this written work have any joy or appreciation for the works of others. Sure, we all have our differences in opinion and different ways of doing things. THAT is what makes life the most interesting! My problem comes about when one’s “esteemed” opinion comes out as downright hostile towards the differences of others’ beliefs and/or ritual methods.

 So, please allow me the time here to give my own critique, as less-biased as I humanly can. Then shall we?

 First off, Ms. Conway’s book, “Dancing With Dragons” IS perhaps the one book of its kind that went into publication on the subject matter of actually working some of the “dragonic art”. Though I am not limited to the practices of Wicca, or its varied traditions ( I actually incorporate quite a bit from several different Wiccan “traditions” in my own practices ), I find this book very interesting in the way information and ideas are presented. The book is well organized and very easy and enjoyable to read. I think this would be a good book for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of the dragon archetype and its ancient legends and lore.

 Though this working-with-dragons methodology seemed a little bit “off the wall” in some of the chapters and passages, there were some very interesting points made clearly when it came to some of the ritual material. With much of it based on the Wiccan methodology, it should be fairly easy for the average Wiccan practitioner who has a strong interest in dragons, to incorporate this into his/her own practices. I found the inclusion of some reference data and correspondences in the appendices to be very helpful. Though, the references were a little few for my needs, but having at least some basic correspondences handy within one book makes size and space considerations for it a bit of planning. The “Dragon Script” was an interesting addition. Though she claimed that they came from one of her prior teachers, I DO see some interesting possibilities in using them, as they have a very symbolic character – good for meditations and sych.

 I really appreciated some of the tidbits about the legends and mythologies of dragons and their “following” in some of the other cultures. I have learned a few new things about dragons of the past cultures because of some of the mythology I had no prior knowledge of, which she included in her book. There were some very neat drawings and artwork of dragons, a few of which I had seen before, that gave an interesting perspective of how the ancient peoples may have “viewed” or imagined these entities, creatures, or “natural energies”. I would recommend that anyone looking into working with the dragon-archetypal forces, do some good research into the various legends and mythologies of dragons around the world. There are some similarities of thought behind the dragon-archetype and the forces that are often associated with being “dragonic”.

 Some may view the book as being completely “off” when they refer to the author’s take on “elemental dragons”. Please allow me to put to rest where I stand on the thought of elemental dragons:

 The Chinese mythologies of dragons, being around for over five-thousand years, viewed that they thought of dragons as being of, like, or masters of particular elements. Chinese medicine, under the “five element” system, recognized certain dragons were peculiar towards certain elements, and wary of certain other elements. They expressed elemental strengths and weaknesses, even about the dragons, in the texts of their recorded belief systems. Other cultures around the world also expressed that one or more “dragonic” spirits, deities, etc. had a certain affinity for one or more specific elemental forces in nature. My own belief holds that dragons can work ANY particular magic they wish, but may choose to be the master of one specific elemental force. Many other pantheistic beliefs have it that certain deities “have charge over” certain activities and certain natural forces, so why not dragons too?

Further on the “elemental responsibilities” of certain dragons, Ms. Conway did well to explain each group, clan, or whichever, in her own terms, certain attributes that can be recognized from certain dragons. Why would there not be some similarities in dragons of the skies between say, Huracan – of the South Pacific – held as responsible for the hurricanes and other sea-based storms, with Typhon – the Egyptian personification of chaos, destructive storms (like Typhoons) – in dragon form. Ladon, the dragon who guarded the golden apples of Greek mythology, could have thought of as either reminiscent of an agent of fire or earth by the common characteristics that are often afforded those elemental forces. I would probably, personally, describe some of the dragons I image a little differently ( there again, we each hold our own beliefs on the matter ). However, the descriptions she gives of how she “sees” the dragons of her practices come out crystal clear.

 Some of the ritual and ceremony material seemed pretty basic. However, this IS a book intended for those new to working with dragon forces and the “dragonic art”. She gives some very good guidelines and beginner-material for proposing “dragonic rituals” in one’s own practices. I do agree with her take that practice and regular meditations and relaxation work are very important. This should be a “no-brainer” for anyone looking to become a good practitioner of the arts. After all, HOW can one truly be able to work effective magic by instigating changes about them, if their minds are too chaotic to pay attention to the needed changes from within?

 In conclusion, I would say that this book was an interesting read and well worth the time in acquiring it. Though some of it may seem a little “soapy” and somewhat opinionated (I would expect this from most creatively-written works anyway), there is a lot of good information for the curious minded and researcher in ancient legends, lore, and mythology. This has to be the first book published on actual ideas for workings using the dragon-archetype and dragon energies. Some of the ritual material was creative and well-applied as far as the methodology and set-ups. I would consider this form of workings to be more of “dragonic wicca”, but that is okay with me. The aspects of wicca are there and clearly understandable. This, alone, makes it simple for others to incorporate these rituals and ceremonies into their own practices.

 Unfortunately, there are some who see more of a “dogmatic” approach to doing rituals and ceremonies in a practice. That is also fine, for group settings like covens, circles, groves, etc. However, the solo practitioner has his/her own methods that will work equally well. Just as many other religious systems have “splintered off” new and unique “traditions”, so would wicca and even the “dragonic arts” practices. I already see many different organizations practicing their brand of “dragonic arts” across the web. Just plain proof that there is no singular answer on how to do something in the area of magics.

 This is a book I would recommend to those who have interest in the mysteries of dragons, and would like some ideas on how to go about workings with them and their power. Take this book as a “primer for ideas” and not as the “bible” of dragonic practices. As one gets more comfortable in his/her art, he/she can surely come up with some new and innovative material of his/her own.

 BTW, I also LOVE the “Celtic Dragon Tarot” also by D.J. Conway (and unfortunately, I forgot the name of the co-author of them). These were some of the most beautiful tarot cards with dragons on them I have ever seen! I use them heavily for my own divination practices.

– Rev. Dragon’s Eye

On The Path Of Dragon-Shamanism, Part I

By: Athauliz “Dragon’s Eye” Firestorm

Originally from December 21st, 2012

 The Path of a Dragon-Shaman is a spiritual path that is not to be taken lightly. It is one of deep introspection and can often be unnerving and quite scary. It is a path that can know great joy or sorrow and pain. It is a path of finding the True Self that does not compromise from the Universal Truth, that is the Nature of the Divine and the Divine Nature.

 Many who follow much of the New Age thinking or proclaim themselves to be “Neo-Pagans” ( IE: The modern “Pagan Community” ) often miss the vital clues about the spiritual reality, and that traveling such a spiritual path demands that they honestly look into themselves. They fail to see themselves for who and what they really are. To many, such experiences are scary and the truth becomes a horrifying sight to them. Dragon-Spirituality often demands our attention and our integrity in facing those things about ourselves in a true light. It is not a path for the insincere at heart.

“Gnothi sauton.” (“ Know thyself. “)

 To give account of what it means to be Dragon, I would like to present a brief synopsis on some characteristics and aspects that define what is and is of the Dragon. First, a Dragon, as a spiritual being, knows itself from a deep, spiritual understanding. It knows that the base foundation of its great power begins with truly knowing its Self ( not from the egotistical perspective of “know itself”, which we would know of as narcissism ). It knows that its Spiritual Self is a creature of the Divine, and created in the total image of the Divine Creator. ( This encompasses the Mental, Emotional, the “Heart Spirit”, and the Ætheric planar bodies. ) The physical existence is not being considered right now because it has an ephemeral ( temporary ) nature ( a mortal existence – it will die ). Similarly, the Ego is mortal and knows that it will eventually die. The Dragon comes to know that it is not the Ego that defines the Being, but the spiritual with the emotional aspects that ultimately define the Being. This is what can be expressed as the “Universal Truth”.

“ Wisdom is Power, Knowledge is the tool of power. “

 So now, we come to the heart of what the Dragon Symbolism means, in its deepest sense: Knowledge as the tool, and Wisdom as the means to best apply those “tools” with forethought and insight. I view the Dragon as the synthesis of Divine Awareness, and the Consciousness that knows no bounds nor limits. If you were to say “God” as the figurehead or symbolism of the most expansive and limitless of possibilities, I would say THAT equally applies to the aspect of the Dragon. Whether or not the imagery matches what we have been given ( which is often made up and probably quite inaccurate anyway ) through our histories, mythologies, legends, and lore, matters not when it comes to the ultimate realization that the Dragon is the essence of all things. It is more than just an “energy” or idea or thought, it is ALL thoughts, ideas, and encompasses ALL things, material, ætheric, spiritual, mental, and more.

 To realize the Dragon-Consciousness, one must be ready to put away all prejudgments and preordained thinking about what Dragons and their mystique truly are. If one is already on a Shamanic Path, one is already on his way to self-realization and the opening of the Inner Eye(s) to ALL of the realities. This physical reality is only but one of the manifested realities to existence. It is often referred to as the “ordinary reality” or “mundane reality”. The other realities that one may encounter on his journey, are often referred to as “NON-ordinary realities”. They are the “extensions” of our Higher Selves, and the “parallel planes” of our state of Being. Once one comes to the realization of these other non-ordinary realities, he begins to truly grasp the depth, width, and limitlessness of the Creation(s) and existence, in general. This “expansion of consciousness” can be very startling and even very scary to the new traveler. This is one of the best reasons to have a guide before the neophytes sets out on a journey of the Mind.

“ The Dragon and the Serpent, are they the same? “

 The modality that is probably the least understood, is the Serpent, in all its glory. To many, the Dragon and the Serpent ( as in “The Great Serpent”, or even “Kundalini” from Buddhist and Hindu traditions ) are considered one and the same. This is very close to as accurate as one can get. However, The Serpent represents the “flow” of energies, and the “cycles” that are ever-moving, ever-flowing. The Serpent knows that energy, cycles, etc. must always be moving, and must always be flowing, just as moving water does more work and has great er effect than stagnant water. The Hermetic Teachings also state, from the Seven Hermetic Principles, that “everything is in motion. Nothing remains still.” In order for the Creation(s) to exist, its/their energies ( from the very make-up of their Being, etc. ) that must continue to move, vibrate, cycle, flow, etc., else, the Creation and all manifested things can not Be! Just as stagnating water begins to fester and spoil, so does energy if it is confined and not allowed to flow freely. Stagnating energies become the “disease” within Being. If one’s heart were to cease beating, then he would very quickly die. The same goes for the Serpentine Energies that manifest throughout the Creation and all existence. The Serpent knows this, because the Serpent is present in every form or fashion of the flowing energies, because it IS the flow of those energies!

 The “Dragon”, as an archetype, and an idea, is central to many of the ancient spiritual beliefs. The Serpent is also recognized be many of early man’s contemporaries even to this day by surviving belief-systems of today. Whereas, the Serpent has been recognized as the “flow” and the “cycles” in action, the Dragon would be considered the “presence”, or “state of I AM” – in other-words, the present moment. The Dragon-Consciousness is the total awareness of the “here and now” as expressed by its own state-of-Being. Its reality is primarily focused on the “here and now”, but not limited to it, but rather fully aware of the ideas of “past” and “future” are but reflections and reverberations of the now. At this level of conscious, there is no “past”, and there is no “future”, because they are the same as the “here and now” though expressed as reflections of it. It is in this state of Being that “time”, “space”, and “dimension” are meaningless and immaterial. They simply have no concept in this level of existence, just as the spacing between atoms and molecules is meaningless to most of us. A fish may have its own realizations, when it finally surfaces to see the world beyond what it knows, for it only knew beforehand, its own “familiar” existence in the water. The fish had no concept of what realities lay beyond its own level of existence. The Dragon sees things in all possibilities, and all reflections, because it is BEYOND the level of existence we, ourselves, were aware of. So, those first “footsteps” into one or more of the “non-ordinary realities” often become very frightening to the novice traveler. Such fears are common, and rational at first. The Dragon’s “vision” can be our helping hand in those times of need.

“ How is Dragon-Shamanism and traditional Shamanism any different? “

 “Traditional Shamanism” mainly works with the Earth’s energies and Earth Spirits. Much of it ( though not all traditions ) is very Geo-Centric, in that it deals more with the expression of Nature’s Powers here on Earth. The “Traditional” aspect is very hard to nail down because there are many differing traditions depending where in the world, and which culture you meet, when referring to a specific tradition. The Siberian Tuvan’s traditions in Shamanism may differ greatly from African or Australian Aboriginal traditions. The famed Voodoo and/or Hoodoo differ in some respects from Santeria, Stregheria, etc., but they are still forms and traditions of Shamanism. Most traditions of Witchcraft, both the old and the new forms, incorporate much of Shamanism, often from many different “traditions”, to define their own traditions. They are still incorporating Shamanism into their practices. Dragon-Shamanism is not so different here in that it also incorporates methods, rituals and rites, and other aspects from different traditions. This is not where I define any difference with other expressions and traditions of Shamanism.

 As previously mentioned, most commonly-associated traditions of Shamanism are very Geo-centric, or Earth-centered spirituality. They define their practices and traditions based on their work with Earth-Energies and their associated Spirit-Guides, Totems, etc. ( most of which we may recognize as “animal-spirits” ). Dragon-Shamanism, on the other hand, is not limited, by any means, to Earth-centric thinking and spirituality. It is very much all-inclusive, and centers its course of spirituality and thinking to the depths of the whole Cosmos, and everything within AND without. It is expressive of what some may call “Astro-Shamanism”. The story, “Pharmacratic Inquisition”, is a great place to begin one’s studies into the realm of Astro-Shamanism. I highly recommend it for all who are seriously interested in beginning a voyage of this likeness! Anyway, the Dragon figures very prominently into Astro-Shamanism because it is in the “Heavens” where we are first introduced to the Dragon as a super-archetype. In the very center of our twelve Zodiac signs, lies the “Crooked Serpent” ( as some fundamentalists disparage him as ) or as some may call it “Theli” ( from the Kabbalah ), Leviathan ( from Semitic legend and biblical texts ), and its official name: “Draco”. It is from these perspectives that we were introduced to the “Celestial Dragon”, or Serpent ( like the Norse: “Midgardsormr” ) which become a major part of much of our ancient spiritual beliefs and religions. So, our spiritual journey could start there as so many before us did.

“ The Dragon and the Serpent as the most recognized symbol to mankind. “

 Of all the great mythological creatures to ever appear in much of early man’s writings, stelae, and his mythologies, the Dragon has the most enduring and everlasting place in man’s day-to-day life and in his preoccupations. The Dragon is recognized across the world in virtually all cultures, in one form or another. The Dragon is easily one of the oldest archetypes and spiritually-significant symbol throughout human history. Some cultures pay the dearest respect and reverence to the Dragon(s) as the early Chinese, Japanese, and other Orient cultures did. Other cultures fear and even “hate” the Dragon as a harbinger of doom and destruction, which is most common with the Western cultures. Whether for good, or for ill, the Dragon is a solid, recognized feature of man’s cultural and spiritual ethic that dates far back to virtually unrecorded history. It is a lasting symbol and very recognizable to most parts of the world.

 The times of today are beginning to see a change in perspectives towards spirituality and life in general. Many of the dated stereotypes that were propagated by the establishment churches and their doctrines, are showing signs of wear and deterioration in their credibility. This is largely because they often do not answer, to the seekers’ satisfaction, the unanswered questions of life, or – their explanations, often handed off as “answers”, are limited in scope and understanding. Many of the present-day dogmas are beginning to lose their luster and nuances as people are craving more genuine answers from the personal, actual experiences of those questioned. A priesthood that for so long was vaunted to be the “pillars of societal values and morals” by “men of the cloth”, are starting to fissure and crumble in the wake of this awakening and “quest” of those who seek the greater truths. These “churches”, and the systems of governance they have built up, have relied so heavily on the followership not asking these types of questions and demanding real answers. Under such an inflexible administration, the systems built upon the people’s ignorance and unfailing devotion to dogma is beginning to feel the stresses of the changing times, and of the changing hearts and minds of the people. Such systems are destined to be relegated to the scrap heap of “past history”.

 One of the main reasons why today’s expression of “Paganism” has gained such an increasing following, is that they offer the promise of a “new way”. That is, a new way of thinking, a new way of believing, and a new way of seeing the world. This nuance of “forbidden knowledge” has a certain attractive quality that draws people from all walks of life away from the establish churches, and into their circles and covens. This expresses that there is a dire need for fresh answers, often lacking from the predominant doctrines, in today’s world.

“ The Dragon also represents change. “

 Many of the churches of today are decrying, now ever louder, the shrinking of their membership and attendance due to “Satanic” or “Luciferian” influences ( their claims, not mine ). The real question, then, is why is this? Why do these churches who have held sway over the Western cultures for many centuries, only now fear that their fate are sealed? Some believe the internet and its wide open forum for discussion and debate are largely to blame. Healthy debate and access to the most unbiased information as possible usually will spell the end of the grip of systems of control. Political control of the world’s peoples is also challenged by a free and open internet. This could be characterized as the “rising of the Dragon”, by means of the social changes taking place. This is fitting for a description of only one of the aspects of the Dragon, “Change”.

 When one begins his tour of the realm of Dragons, the deeper he goes, the more he must be willing to change, or bend to adapt with the changes. The ancient Dragon mythologies held that the Dragon was one could instigate changes, whether the slow and steady kind, or of the catastrophic kind, changes were often associated with a “Dragonic element” or power. Some of the early texts on Dragons give the impression that the Dragon represented “Chaos”; The uncontrolled or uncontrollable forces of Nature. This gave rise to many legends where the Dragon was either a participant in or the lead cause of storms, tidal waves and tsunamis, and probably droughts and sandstorms. The Egyptian Apophis ( or “Apep” ) was considered the reason for the darkening of the Sun and Moon, and was supposedly sent by Seth, the dark God of destruction, confusion, and chaos. The Babylonian Azhi Dahaka ( or “Azhi Dahaki” ) was considered the beast, sent by Ahriman, who makes the winters colder and the summers hotter and drier. The Ancient Greek monster, Typhon, was said to cause the storms at sea ( as to a possible reason how Typhoons get their names ). In the Americas ( namely the Southern Pacific Islands ), Huracan was viewed as a storm-causing creature ( probably Dragon-like ), possibly the reason we have called these storms “Hurricanes”. In each of these examples, it is illustrated that change can often be preceded by one or more destructive acts.

 The same way we, ourselves, may need to remove obstacles in our own lives, this may be necessitated by change. The Dragon, as a symbol, is very fitting as the symbol for changes, even if through what seems like a destructive act ( but not truly destructive in this sense ). There is the symbolism, also of the Serpent, of cycles in action. The cycles being that of: birth, growth, life, and then death – before a “rebirth” is possible. The Dragon and the Serpent were recognized as important symbols in the early cultures when considering their relationships to the powers of Nature. Nature is very creative, and equally destructive in its tendencies. This creation-destruction cycle is necessary as it follows the “cycles” in accordance to the Natural Laws.

– Rev. Dragon’s Eye

Nature Magick with Drums and Friends

A DRUM CIRCLE IDEA FOR THE MAGICK OF NATURE!


Here is a way to make a little Nature Magick with the help of a drum circle! This is also another great way to celebrate Life with the giving of a special gift.

MATERIALS:

  • A 3-lb. empty coffee can with its lid,
  • Two twigs that are suitable for use as drumsticks ( the closer to au Naturel, the better ),
  • Some Acorns, dropped fresh from under a tree ( try to find some without any cracks or other signs of mutilation ),

The idea for this project is to put the Acorns inside the coffee can ( as many as there are folks attending your drum circle ) and secure the lid. Prior to starting your drum circle, you could say a prayer to bless your acorns and the drum ( and also your “Natural drumsticks”, as you see fit ). Be sure NOT to shake your drum very much as you wouldn”t want to put too much stress on the acorns! Just play your drum as normal and “make music”, the sweet sounds of Nature should be enough to fill the air!When your “jam session” is over, be sure to thank the God(s) and/or Goddess(es) for their time and their blessings. You can then open your drum to hand out an acorn to each in attendance as a gift of blessings. Each one who receives an acorn from your drum probably should be ready to plant it in some fertile soil when it is time. A sprouting tree is a marvel to behold and makes a great project to plant outdoors when it is big enough to need transplanting. It can also be given as a wonderful “living” gift!The tree you plant from this acorn can be an inspiration and a continued blessing by Nature; full of life, energy, vigor and a reminder of Nature”s marvels!


By: Rev. Dragon”s Eye