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On Dragons



Lore 1

Lore 2

Lore 3



A Little Idea of Dragon Lore - Part Two:

    Within the centuries the Chinese dragons adapted to the human forms of organisation, so there exists a complete heavenly bureaucracy and hierarchy with all the offices, departments and peculiar characteristics old China had to offer. Luckily the Chinese government is oriented in a quite material way, otherwise this circumstance would be a problem, there is nothing known about a cultural revolution A Golden Dragon among the dragons (although Alan Dean Foster introduced a socialist dragon in his Spellsinger Novells, but only this single one). After all there is no death penalty anymore for picturing or using the emperors dragon. Now there are, besides the dragonkings, the royal clerks, administrative clerks, prawnsoldiers and generals (lobsters). The attendant of the nine dragons (not the nine dragons sons, mentioned further below), distributes on the 23rd day of the 5th month of the moon their individual quantity of rain, with it they have to housekeep for the whole year. Dragons have an exquisite taste of music and literature, not to mention their very expensive and fine palate. They live in huge palaces under water and have quite a few real human habits. They also used to have one or the other little family feud. Li Zhaowei passes us down the following episode: "How many did you kill?" asked the dragonking his younger brother. "Sixhundredthousand". - "Did you destroy fields?" "In a radius of 300 miles" - "What happened to my unworthy son-in-law?" - "I ate him.". Since the earthly model (the emperors empire) doesn’t exist anymore it is very interesting to ask the dragons about present matters - and you can give a bet on it that they are not very amused. There are some passing downs, which tell about things dragons can’t stand. In my opinion they are individual cases of antipathy. It is hard to imagine that iron would make an impression on all dragons in general. There might have been individual cases of it, which turned into platitudes while passed down over the times.

    We find the already mentioned nine dragons in the ornamentation and artwork of old China all over, because they are present on all sorts of things according to their likings. In Beijing there is the Nine Dragon Wall, where the nine dragons are seen (actually there are 635 all together, because there are also hundreds of small dragons used in the ornamentation of this wall). Unfortunately I am not sure in this case, wether there are more ninesomes within the Chinese dragon mythology. The number 9 is to be seen as an auspicious number, there also exists a Nine Dragon Lake in China. It is the highest possible number between one and ten and belongs of course to the Emperor. No one else had the permission to use representations of the famous nine dragons then himself. The dragons portrayed on the Nine Dragon Wall seem to be the above mentioned nine dragons and not in particular the ones described in the following.

Nine Sons of the Dragonking

    The first dragon, Qui Niu loves music, he is preferable used to decorate string instruments. The second dragon, Ya Zi, is more of the fickle and aggressive kind, he loves fights and weapons. Logically, you will find Ya Zi on many old swords. Number three, Chao Feng likes high places, loves the risk and has no fear. That’s why you find him at the corners of the roofs of the old palaces as a guardian and lightning conductor (really!). The fourth one is Pu Lao. He likes to roar real loud. His preferred place to live is near the ocean and because of his loud voice he is used as handle for bells or in gongs. However confronted with the big wale he is a little subdued. The fifth dragon, San Mi, looks like a lion, most of the time he guards the main entrance (or stands right beside it). He also has a preference for fire and smoke, so he is often used as decoration on censers or smoking bowls. The sixth dragon, Ba Xia, looks like a turtle, he loves words, is very strong und likes to carry around heavy things (how convenient!), that’s why he is mostly found carrying stone slabs or steles with poems. Bi An looks like a tiger and is the seventh dragon. With his wisdom he is able to differ between good and bad, he is seen in the decoration at the court and in jail. The eighth dragon Fu Xi also loves literatur, he decorates the stone slabs on the sides which Ba Xia is carrying around. The ninth and last dragon is Chi Wen. He devours everything that gets in his way. He is the one responsible for the rain and is liked to be used as a fire insurance in palaces, he is also found on bridges.

     In Europe we know the dragon as a star sign also. I find it worth mentioning, that the European dragon used to have wings. These where changed into the sign of the little wagon (it was done by a greek scholar). The night sky over Beijing shows the rising dragon in springtime and the descending dragon in autumn. During wintertime the dragon sleeps in his lake, because his head is below the horizon (a parallel to this is the tuvinic ritual to call the dragons in spring).

      The Chinese dragon also appears in the Chinese astrology and in Feng Shui. As already mentioned before the I-Jing goes back to the dragon - more precisely: to his back. Within the Chinese astrology there are also twelve signs of the zodiac. One of it is the dragon. Each year is assigned to one of the five elements of a zodiac sign. Since the Chinese calendar starts at the second full moon after the winter solstice, the beginning of the year is different every time. In the 20th century there where to following dragon years:

16th. of February 1904


3rd of February 1916


23rd of January 1928


8th of February 1940


27th of January 1952


13th of February 1964


31st of January 1976


17th of February 1988


5th of February 2000


     Having read the written so far, its easy to come to the conclusion, that such a year is specially blessed by the gods and dragons. Generally seen, people who are born in a dragon year are authority persons who make their own laws and hate boundaries. These people can be very inspiring and motivating, are always ready to help, but are not capable to receive help from others - to help a dragon? These people are much too proud for that. They are always in the focus of attention, but they are loners. They are known to be trustworthy and generous and love everything new and interesting. It wouldn’t be such a good idea to get these people upset - although they forget about it fast and you can get along with them again just fine in a short while.

     Naturally the five elements also have their effect on the character of the ones born in a dragon year. People born in the year of the wood-dragon are creative, full of ideas and quite curious. They are able to develop brilliant new plans and put them to action - logic is the highest principle for these people, they have a strong will to make their ideas work and know how to keep their dominating and proud character under control. They are even ready for compromises if it is to their advantage. These people are a lot less self-centred than the rest. The ones born in the year of the fire-dragon are the most extroverted and demanding of the dragon born. They demand too much of their surrounding and use to much pressure. They can inspire big crowds and are very objective in their critical opinion, but they have not too much patience and are intolerant. These people can build great empires if they learn how to deal with their less good sides a little better. People born in the year of the earth-dragon are a lot calmer and considerate as the rest. They can accept other opinions, even if those are opposite to their own. They are less dictating and problems are thought over thoroughly before they are solved. Emotional outbreaks are seldom with these people, although they demand their respect. They are the most diplomatic and compromising individuals among the dragon born. The ones born under the sign of the metal-dragon are the most stubborn and obstinate of all dragon born. Beeing unflexible and stubborn, they don’t much consider the emotional values of their fellow human beings. These persons rise up in the hierarchies very fast - although at the cost of many relations. They cannot accept a failure, but it is possible to convince them, that there are things that cannot be done. If they do not get any support, they do their thing by themselves. People born in the sign of the water dragon are much less selfish and hungry for power as the other ones. They are more withdrawn and have no problem living with their own failures. They have a natural talent for negotiation, they know exactly, just how much pressure it takes at the right time to achieve a satisfying result. They are a little bit to enthusiastic and have to learn, to let go of illusions and how to use their energy in a more promising way.

     In the chinese geomantic system Feng Shui dragons are omnipresent. A dragons influence on a piece of land is the strongest if he is there. In Feng Shui, every cardinal point has a star sign assigned to it: the green dragon of the east, the red phoenix of the south, the white tiger of the west and the black turtle of the north. All this animals have their geographic and their geological equivalent. The real dragon is a mountain which is high above the others, which has a steep slope and which is located in the east, northeast or southeast of a region. Kuo His, a painter of landscapes during the Sung-dynasty says: Rivers are the blood vessels, gras and trees the hair of the dragon, fog and haze are his breath. Across from Hongkong lies the island of Kow-loon, which means Nine Dragons (what else did you expect?): eight dragons are the hills on which Kopf eines Drachens Kow-loon is located, and the ninth dragon is the emperor. Dragons and mountains are synonymous with each other. The energetic lines which in Europe are known as Leylines, are called Dragonlines in china. This term is now used in Germany also, since the popularity of Feng Shui is increasing more and more.

     If you own a dragon - a sculpture or a picture of one - it is already favourable for your family and their plans, no matter where this dragon is located. The ideal place to keep a dragon is within the east part of the house or apartment. If you have a pregnant dragon integrated in your companies logo - which I cannot really imagine in our part of the world - the companies development will be very positive. But it is sufficient enough, to have a dragon in your office or at an important location within your company. Preferably near an aquarium or a spring the dragon brings knowledge, authority, development and powerful positions. In the east or central section of your living place the dragon brings health and wellness, especially when you have a low resistance (however it is not a substitute of a soul recovery).

     At the Chinese New Years celebrations there are many dragon festivals, also dragon dances are very popular. These festivals supposed to help to eliminate the evil for the next year (our carnival rituals have the same purpose). The dragon dances should also help turning away bad luck when they are done at other times than New Years. There are two different movements of dragon dances, the ones in the north and the ones in the south. The northern dragons are smaller and quicker than the southern ones, which are slower and bigger and need a lot more actors than the northern dragon dance. Beside the dragon there also is the already mentioned dragonpearl. The dragon is following the pearl during the dance. If you are interested in further informations and a really good footage of photographs on the various dragon-dance styles pay a visit to this beautiful Website of a dragon-dancer team which is well-known over there.

     Since at least two thousand years the dragon boat festivals are very popular. At the fifth day of the fifth month these Festivals are scheduled to commemorate various chinese individuals of history: The national poet Qu Yuan, the hero Qu Zixu of the Chu period, the tragic death of Cao Eh which drowned herself in order to safe her father and the revolutionary poet Qiu Jin which was sentenced and put to death at June the 5th in 1910. So these races share only the dragonboats with the dragons and the fact that the Dragonking is honored before they actually begin the races.

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