MYTH*ING LINKS
An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

[Also see Myth*ing Links' 2012-2013 Lunar New Year of the Dragon,
Common Themes:  Dragon and Serpent,
Dragon & Tiger in Chinese Starlore, Constellations, & Zodiac,
and General Data on Lunar New Year]

11 January 2012: this page is also listed under Animal Guides and Seasonal.]

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The Dragon in Art,
Literature & Culture,
East & West
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Azure Dragon
Han Dynasty

"The above stone was unearthed at Nanyang, Henan Province and depicts the 16 stars of the Azure or Green Dragon constellation (Cong Lóng). The Azure Dragon occupies the eastern sky when the Big Dipper is above. It is one of the four constellations defining the horizon. Above the constellation, the moon is pictured with a rabbit and a three toed toad."
9 January 2012
Author's Note:
As above, so below:  I found this image a year ago and decided it was a perfect way to begin this page, with the dragon in the heavens, yet also in terrestrial stone.  (I did consider cropping the left side of this photo, btw, but then you would have no sense of the size of this work.) The celestial connection with the Lunar Rabbit also works beautifully here, serving as a bridge between the 2012-2013 Year of the Dragon, which follows the Rabbit year of 2011-2012. [See The Rabbit in Art, Literature & Culture]
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THE DRAGON
IN THE EAST

Note: because they have as much to do with starlore as with art and culture,
variants of the first three links will also be found on my new
Dragon & Tiger in Chinese Starlore, Constellations, & Zodiac
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Chinese Dragon / Tiger
[See directly below]

http://www.the-gallery-of-china.com/chinese-paintings-dragon-info.html

[Added 10 January 2012]: The dragon, with whom the tiger is often paired in Chinese art, is yin ruler of sky-beasts.  [For data on the tiger's yang role as ruler of earth-beasts, see my new 2012 page: Dragon & Tiger in Chinese Starlore, Constellations, & Zodiac.] Excerpts about the dragon:
It has long been believed that the Chinese dragon has the power to burst the clouds and bring down the rain. As water symbolizes wealth the dragon is understood to attract wealth -- but one must be able to turn the challenges that the dragon brings into advantages.

In China the dragon is known as the ruler of spring that positively influences natural growth. In the area of wealth the same principle applies and so wealth will not be achieved in a dragon year if one's motivation is greed. A balanced attitude towards life is required.

...The most auspicious placing for a Chinese dragon painting is facing water, ideally an ocean, sea, river or stream - moving water.

Even though depicted without wings on a Chinese painting the Chinese dragon is believed to fly and is usually painted against the clouds and the sun or moon.

In the Chinese zodiac, as noted above, the tiger is viewed as Yang (male) and the dragon is Yin (female).  In Taoism, however, as we'll see directly below, the dragon represents the indispensable male element of Yang and the tiger is the indispensable female element of Yin.
http://www.rightreading.com/writing/taoism-and-the-arts-of-china.htm
This is "Taoism and the Arts of China" by Thomas Christensen. Written for San Francisco's famous Asian Art Museum, this scholarly article from 2001 is well illustrated and rich with insight. (It should be noted that Christensen's spellings differ from what we are used to: thus, Lao-Tse is Laozi and Tao Te Ching is Daode jing.)

The essay opens with a excellent and lively introduction to Taoism:

How can we understand Taoism? It appears at first to be a school of philosophy, but then we learn that ordained Taoist priests, wearing formal robes, perform prescribed rituals before precisely laid-out altars. It seems firmly rooted in humanism, but then we discover that it boasts an extensive pantheon of deities who populate an elaborate network of heavens. It seems to address in the broadest terms the most general questions, but then we find that its theories are detailed in volumes of painstaking minutia. It may appear as a religion, but then it manifests itself as a system of alchemy, of medicine, of geomancy, of astrology, or in any number of bewildering forms.
Some distance into the essay comes this relevant passage on the yang-dragon and yin-tiger in Taoism:
...To some extent, Taoism can be viewed as championing of the virtues of yin in the face of Confucianism's emphasis on yang.

Today the symbol of yin/yang is the taiji diagram (fig. 6), but it did not appear in a Taoist context until the Song dynasty (960–1279). Before that time, yin was represented by the tiger and yang by the dragon; this convention dates at least from the Zhou dynasty (approx. 1050–256 BCE) and probably from the Neolithic. The tiger and dragon are often found as a paired motif in Taoist iconography. "In addition to symbolizing yin and yang, the tiger and dragon also symbolize west and east, and the elements (or phases) fire and metal. In Taoist chemical alchemy (waidan, or "outer" alchemy), the tiger and dragon also represent two of the most powerful elixir ingredients known, lead and mercury, while in the Inner Alchemy (neidan) tradition, the two animals symbolize yin and yang as they are brought together in the inner (human) body through visualization and transformed to create a divine embryonic form of the practitioner" (Stephen Little).

The whole essay is engaging and well worth reading.

Doan (Yamada Yorikiyo), Japanese
Tiger and Dragon, ink on paper, around 1560
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
(See directly below)

http://www.artsmia.org/education/teacher-resources/pnt-objectinfocus.cfm?v=33

This March 2005 page, with unusually rich content, is from Artsmia, an educational site created by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  The page examines the Tiger/Dragon, Yin/Yang pair as it appears in the above example of Zen art.  Here are a few excerpts:
... a dragon shoots into view from a swirling cloud. His motion whips the water below into wild waves. The dragon opens his mouth to roar, as tufts of hair and whiskers fly in all directions.

... a tiger crouches low to the rocky ground. Steady and strong in the wind that bends the bamboo behind her, she silently eyes the dragon in the heavens. Not even her whiskers twitch....

...The screens illustrate why these two animals, both of them powerful and strong, are fitting symbols for yin and yang.

..The tiger crouches low to the rocky ground, a sign that the yin earth is the tiger’s territory. Plants bend in the force of the wind, said to be created by the tiger’s mighty roar. But the tiger’s strength is a quiet power, held in her taut muscles.

..The dragon, on the other hand, is full of active energy. His head rises out of the yang heavens. His energy causes rain clouds to swirl and waves to form. But the tiger and dragon seem evenly matched. One will not dominate the other, just as the forces of yin and yang balance each other in the universe.

The ancient Taoist idea of yin and yang, and the symbolism of the tiger and dragon, came to Japan from China. The ideas had been absorbed into a form of Buddhism based on meditation, known as Chan in China and Zen in Japan. Zen appealed to the samurai warriors rising to power at the end of the 12th century. The simplicity and self-control of meditation was good training for the disciplined life of a warrior.

Warriors admired ink painting for similar reasons. It requires the simplest of materials, just ink, water, and paper. At the same time, it takes great control to use just one color—black, thinned to grays with water—to suggest a full range of tones, with just a few strokes. Once on the paper, a brushstroke cannot be changed....

The page also suggests interactive activities and poses questions designed to help readers explore the topic more deeply.  Again, a very engaging site, for both young and old.
 http://www.chinapage.com/dragon1.html
[Added 2 February 2000 to Metal Dragon page; moved here 1 January 2012; began grokking 1/11 & 1/14/12]:  From "China the Beautiful" comes a brief series of links to their pages on dragons in ancient Chinese architecture, painting, ceramics, royal robes, culture, etc.  Text is minimal but the art is intriguing and worth a look.
http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/HistoricBeijing/Forbidden_City/pages/154_ForbiddenCity.html
[Added 16 January 2012]: This is a page on Beijing's Nine Dragon Screen built in the Forbidden City in 1773. There's an excellent opening photo showing all nine dragons and good text offering interesting information on their names, haunts, and personalities.

Flying Dragon
Artist: Chan Da Bei
From Chinese Paintings
http://www.crystalinks.com/chinadragons.html
[Added 14 January 2012]:  To my surprise, amid the other dragon links on the above "China the Beautiful" page, the last link went to "Chinese Dragons," a well-illustrated page including links to spiraling DNA, ancient serpent lore, ancient astronaut theory, modern lore on "reptilian aliens," conspiracy theories, and other arcane matters from Ellie Crystal -- novelist, teacher, psychic in the New York area, and web mistress of her huge Crystalinks website.  When I first started Myth*ing Links in 1998, I stumbled across Ellie's richly illustrated pages and enjoyed her unique POV.  We corresponded for a time but eventually, as is too common in cyberspace, we lost touch. So finding her dragon page brought back fond memories. She opens with a single sentence:

The symbol of the dragon represents spiraling DNA, the path to greater enlightenment.

That above hypertext link will take you to her page on "Sacred Geometry," which is filled with spiraling images, data, and links to further pages (her own and others). Here is an excerpt from what she writes on "Sacred Geometry":

Sacred geometry may be understood as a worldview of pattern recognition, a complex system of religious symbols and structures involving space, time and form. According to this view the basic patterns of existence are perceived as sacred. By connecting with these, a believer contemplates the Great Mysteries, and the Great Design. By studying the nature of these patterns, forms and relationships and their connections, insight may be gained into the mysteries - the laws and lore of the Universe....
Now to return to her "Chinese Dragons" page. Some excerpts:
Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines have been built to honor them, for they control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas. Many Chinese cities have pagodas where people used to burn incense and pray to dragons....

The Dragon is the ultimate representation of the forces of Mother Nature, the greatest divine force on Earth....

Her page also looks at personality traits of dragon-born people as well as various Lunar Dragon Years (since I already have similar data on my 2012-2013 Lunar New Year of the Dragon, I am not including further data here).  Then she looks at the nine major types of Chinese Dragons -- for example:
A few dragons begin life as fish. Carp, who successfully jump rapids and leap over waterfalls, change into fish-dragons. A popular saying, "The carp has leaped through the dragon's gate," means success, especially for students who have passed their exams....
Further down her page, she retells an engaging story of how four great dragons (Black, Yellow, Long, and Pearl) defied the Jade Emperor and brought rain to their desperate people. They did this by taking great gulps of seawater and then spraying it up into the sky, where it fell down as rain. An excerpt:
...They flew to the sea, scooped up water in their mouths, and then flew back into the sky, where they sprayed the water out over the earth. The four dragons flew back and forth, making the sky dark all around. Before long the seawater became rain pouring down from the sky....

The people cried and leaped with joy. On the ground the wheat stalks raised their heads and the sorghum stalks straightened up....

The furious Jade Emperor punished the dragons by imprisoning them under four mountains:
...Imprisoned as they were, they never regretted their actions. Determined to do good for the people forever, they turned themselves into four rivers, which flowed past high mountains and deep valleys, crossing the land from the west to the east and finally emptying into the sea. And so China's four great rivers were formed -- the Heilongjian (Black Dragon) in the far north, the Huanghe (Yellow River) in central China, the Changjiang (Yangtze, or Long River) farther south, and the Zhujiang (Pearl) in the very far south.
There is much more on this page. If you're interested in esoteric lore, both ancient and modern, this is a good place to browse. Ellie makes no truth claims -- her role is to collect material from many unnamed sources and then to present it with minimal commentary, except for occasionally pointing out that it's impossible to prove any of this material. Sometimes she'll go a step further and shift the data to a deeper meta-perspective. On her Ancient Astronaut Theory page, for example, she writes [I'm including her hypertext links]:
...Ancient aliens, as we envision them based on endless physical evidence found across the planet, does not actually refer to a group of extraterrestrial beings who came here once upon a time, but is more about those who create the consciousness hologram in which we experience and learn. Reality is consciousness created in the matrix of time to study emotions. As we search for the truth behind the illusion about who created humans and other sentient life forms, we look to those who came from the stars - ancient astronauts or creation gods.

One must never forget that if there are indeed aliens - they are physical beings after a fashion, and that creation continues beyond their agendas. They are a sub-routine, for lack of a better word, within our programmed reality. Call it a Grand Design, Master Plan, or whatever term comes to mind, but remember, it had a beginning and is rapidly approaching its end. Watch the signs - internal and external....


The Shesha Naga

http://all-art.org/Visual_History/21.htm

[Added 14-15 January 2012]: In this painting from ca. 1870, the multi-headed Shesha Naga, the last remnant of Vishnu's previous creation, provides the cosmic stage for Vishnu's next creation.  While Vishnu sleeps, from his navel springs a lotus in which the 4-headed god Brahma is enclosed. Since Brahma is unaware of anyone except himself, he believes that he, not Vishnu, is the Creative Source.  Meanwhile, Lakshmi sits patiently, massaging the feet of her spouse. Only she sees things as they are.
[For more on this creation-narrative, see my page, Common Themes: Dragon and Serpent, and scroll down to the 2nd image -- which is a large wooden brown Cambodian Naga (i.e., dragon-serpent).  Click on the "Illuminati" link directly below it & scroll down to the section named "5.2. Ananta Shesha," which is near the bottom of the page.  FYI: several more good Naga links are below that opening "Illuminati" link.]

Nagarjuna along with his disciple, Aryadeva,
receiving the Prajnaparamita sutra from the Naga Realm
Eastern Tibet, 1800 - 1899
Karma Gardri Painting School
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art
From: Himalayan Art
http://www.himalayanart.org/image.cfm/174.htm
[Added 15 January 2012]: "Himalayan Art" is a remarkable site -- but first you'll have to play with all its tools to get the hang of it.  What makes it so amazing is that you can enlarge any detail you wish, making it larger or smaller, moving to the right or left, or wherever you wish (I still make endless mistakes after two years, so don't be discouraged).  Here, for example, is a detail I saved from this painting of a Naga presenting the Buddha's "hidden" Sutra to Nagarjuna.

Why I deeply value this Naga-with-Sutraytra story dates back to when I was in graduate school in the 1980's at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  One of our professors -- probably Ninian Smart -- told us that the Buddha realized before his death that he could not divulge all his knowledge to his disciples. Some of it had to be held back because they were not yet ready. So he decided to entrust the fullness of his wisdom to the Naga-s, ancient serpent-dragons inhabiting jeweled sea-palaces (you can see some of the scattered jewels in the lower left corner above -- also in the Naga-s' shoulder-to-navel necklace). After telling them how to recognize to sage to whom they should give his secrets, the Buddha left.

Centuries later, the South Indian sage, Nagarjuna, was walking along the seacoast when the Naga-s, recognizing him as the One, appeared with their precious treasure. The image of that sage walking along a solitary beach and suddenly seeing all the Naga-s rising up in front of him delights me. In working on this page, I spent hours unsuccessfully trying to find a painting of that scene. But the above painting and one other (further down), although depicting a very different setting, nevertheless capture the essence of the event.

Here is yet a further detail of the Naga herself, presenting the Buddha's carefully guarded Sutra to Nagarjuna:


Bejeweled Naga
Detail from: Himalayan Art

http://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=344
[Added 15 January 2012]: The two connected pages at this link provide further data on Nagarjuna's life as well as 12 artworks, including the two versions shown here and below.  Here are some excerpts from the text:
Nagarjuna, Arya (Tibetan: pag pa lhu drup. Bibliographic details): founder of the philosophical system known as Madhyamaka, the Middle Way School. His exact dates are not known but it is generally believed he lived around the time of the 1st and 2nd centuries C.E....

It was prophesied at his birth that Nagarjuna would live for only ten days but because of pious actions by his father, his life expectancy was raised to seven years. At age seven his parents sent him away from their home because they could not bear the thought of seeing his corpse. He eventually arrived at the great monastic academy Nalanda.  At Nalanda he was initiated into meditation practice by the master Saraha (Rahulabhadra) and attained immortality. Nagarjuna became a great teacher and was widely known in all Buddhist traditions.

Over time Nagarjuna's grasp of the Buddha's teaching deepened and he expressed his understanding in a series of commentaries which taught the doctrine of emptiness and clarified the Middle Way.... At one point during Nagarjuna's long life of ceaseless teaching Nagas, nature spirits that appear as snakes, visited him. The Nagas offered him a teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha known as the One Hundred Thousand Verse Prajnaparamita Sutra that had never been seen in the human world....

http://www.khandro.net/buddhism_doctrine_Nagarjuna.htm
[Added 16 January 2012]: This is from Khandro.net, a Tibetan Buddhist site, with good links and more information on Nagarjuna's life. Here is how it opens:
It is said that the Buddha prophesied that someone would come after him who would clear up any confusion regarding Buddha-dharma.  Nagarjuna is considered to be that person.  Often called The Second Buddha, Arya [noble] Nagarjuna (2nd century CE) was from a wealthy South Indian Brahmin family.  He is considered a terton (hidden-text revealer) as well as a philosopher....

Nagarjuna and Naga with Sutra
Eastern Tibet
Buddhist Lineage
Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection of Shechen Archives - photographs
From: Himalayan Art

http://www.khandro.net/mysterious_naga.htm

[Added 16 January 2012]: Again from Khandro.net comes a page on multi-faceted naga lore. Excerpts:
The word Naga comes from the Sanskrit, and nag is still the word for snake, especially the cobra, in most of the languages of India. When we come upon the word in Buddhist  writings, it is not always clear whether the term refers to a cobra, an elephant (perhaps this usage relates to its snake-like trunk, or the pachyderm's association with forest-dwelling peoples of north-eastern India called Nagas,) or even a mysterious person of nobility.  It is a term used for unseen beings associated with water and fluid energy, and also with persons having powerful animal-like qualities or conversely, an impressive animal with human qualities....


Detail of the above from: Himalayan Art
[Note both green snake-head and pale human-head on one undulating serpentine body]

...The Indian mahasiddha, Nagarjuna, received his illuminating insights and tantric empowerment with the help of the nagas in the lake beside which he meditated.  Nagarjuna is one of the main champions of Buddhist philosophy, and is traditionally portrayed with a sunshade or halo formed by a multi-headed serpent.  He is called the Second Buddha, partly in tribute to his having established the Madhyamaka [Middle-Way, ie. neither materialist nor nihilist nor idealist] school of philosophy....

http://www.khandro.net/mysterious_dragon1.htm
[Added 16 January 2012]: This is "Dragon as Naga," again from Khandro, with fine links and a fairly comprehensive text that looks at dragons, both East & West.  Some excerpts:
...In Eastern mythology, nagas are a class of being whose primary role is as protector and benefactor.  Since their abode is the deep water, they are a source of knowledge and of fertility but they also guard the immense riches of the earth.  Thus the Eastern dragon has mainly benevolent and auspicious characteristics but in Western mythology, the role of the dragon has been strictly curtailed rendering it into an ugly, greedy and jealous opponent of the Hero.  It is the opinion of some that the reason for this has to do with the way people in the West view nature itself-- as something to be vanquished....

...The essence of life in the form of the dragon's celestial breath is called in Chinese sheng chi. It is the source of all energy that contributes to fertility and wealth such as the seasonal changes of the rain that allows crops to grow, the warmth of sunshine, balmy sea breezes and fertile soil.  In fact, the dragon is the eastern Mother Nature....

In the era before this one, that is about 1, 800 BCE or around 4, 000 years BP [Before the Present] the celestial indicator or Pole star was not our North Star (Polaris) but Thuban a mid-point star in the constellation known as Draco or Dragon. Draco is the 8th largest of the conventional constellations curving from the "pointers" of the Dipper (Ursa Minor) to brilliant Vega.  To the observer of today, there is no bright star in the configuration.  Yet, the passages in the great pyramid at Gizeh, Egypt, once acted as channels for the light of the star that is called Thuban....

It has been demonstrated that the Angkor Wat complex, the great Khmer (Cambodian) Buddhist shrine, was built in alignment with this celestial formation.  However, in 1,150 CE the constellation of the Dragon was upside down over the site's medieval buildings, but impressively, in the era of 10,500 BCE traces of the very earliest structures there mirrored the Dragon constellation exactly.

The transition from one ruling celestial system to another is marked in the mythologies of the world by accounts of the overthrow of  Titans (Greek) or Ashuras (Indian) by Gods or Devas.  Naturally, this displacement had to be justified, and so the serpentine heavenly Mother, Tiamat of the early Mesopotamians is considered by devotees of the newer deity, Marduk as an evil draconian monster....

http://www.khandro.net/mysterious_nagini.htm
[Added 16 January 2012]: This is another great Khandro page, this time on cross-cultural female serpent goddesses (don't miss the link to an impressive "Nagini Carving").  In the East, such a goddess is called a Nagini and the page opens with the moving story of an 8-year old Naga-princess, daughter of a Dragon-king,  who instantaneously became a Buddha, despite those who tell her this is impossible, considering her gender and age. A good selection of Western lore is also included.
Naga King art
[Added 11 January 2012]: Finally, from "Himalayan Art" comes this small but fine collection of 10 artworks depicting Naga Kings.
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THE DRAGON
IN THE WEST
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Paolo Uccello's St. George & the Dragon
London's National Gallery
(Also see directly below)

http://www.andrewgrahamdixon.com/archive/readArticle/93

[Added 16 January 2012]: This is an interesting analysis by British art critic Andrew Graham Dixon of Uccello's ca. 1470 painting. The role of the woman has puzzled me for years. She seems to have befriended the dragon, even has it on a frail leash as if the dragon is akin to a pet dog going out for a walk. But if they're friends, then why is she just standing there and not fighting for her dragon? What's wrong with her?

Dixon clarifies the situation -- and there could be no greater contrast between the reverence given dragons in the East and the disgust they inspire in the West. Here are some excerpts:

...The artist’s principal source was the account of St George’s life and miracles given in Jacobus da Voragine’s popular ragbag of hagiographical apocrypha, The Golden Legend:
“It happened that George once travelled to the city of Silena in the province of Lybia. Near this town there was a pond as large as a lake where a plague-bearing dragon lurked; and many times the dragon had put the populace to flight when they came out armed against him, for he used to come up to the city walls and poison everyone who came within reach of his breath. To appease the fury of this monster the townspeople fed him two sheep every day; otherwise he would invade their city and a great many would perish. But in time they were running out of sheep and could not get any more, so, having held a council, they paid him tribute of one sheep and one man or woman. The name of a youth or maiden was drawn by lot, and no one was exempt from the draft; but soon almost all the young people had been eaten up. Then one day the lot fell upon the only daughter of the king, and she was seized and set aside for the dragon…when, weeping, he had blessed her, she started toward the lake.”
At which point the gallant St George, who just happened to be passing at the time, decided to intervene....  Armed with an inordinately long lance (just the trick for dealing with plague-breathing monsters) he goes straight to the root of the problem and spears the halitotic dragon in the back of its foul-smelling throat. Gouts of blood drip on to the rocky ground....

As the beast ducks away like a cross between a cringing dog and an overgrown lizard, the remarkably unflustered and dazzlingly white-skinned heroine of the piece snares it with her girdle. This suggests that Uccello conflated two separate incidents in his retelling of the story. According to The Golden Legend, the princess only lassoos the monster after it has been defeated, subsequently leading it captive to the city of Lybia (where it is ceremoniously killed and buried, prompting public rejoicing and mass conversions to Christianity). If she is indeed meant to be enacting a moment in the story when the fight between George and the dragon has just taken place, and the suspense is over, then her languid and somewhat snooty expression makes more sense than it otherwise might. She is plainly disgusted by the smelly beast standing in submission before her. Holding out one of her dainty little hands in a gesture of appalled repugnance, she looks worried that the newly subdued dragon-on-a-lead might bleed all over her splendid costume....

http://english.emory.edu/classes/paintings&poems/uccello.html
[Added 16 January 2012]:  Here is a weirdly likable poem, "Not My Best Side," by U. A. Fanthorpe about this painting, in which she reveals each of the three characters' thoughts. First, an excerpt from the dragon's thoughts:
...Why should my victim be so
Unattractive as to be inedible,
And why should she have me literally
On a string? I don't mind dying
Ritually, since I always rise again,
But I should have liked a little more blood
To show they were taking me seriously.
Next two excerpts from the princess:
It's hard for a girl to be sure if
She wants to be rescued. I mean, I quite
Took to the dragon. It's nice to be
Liked, if you know what I mean....

...So when this boy turned up, wearing machinery,
On a really dangerous horse, to be honest
I didn't much fancy him. I mean,
What was he like underneath the hardware?
He might have acne, blackheads or even
Bad breath for all I could tell, but the dragon--
Well, you could see all his equipment
At a glance. Still, what could I do?
The dragon got himself beaten by the boy,
And a girl's got to think of her future.

Finally, an excerpt from St. George:
I have diplomas in Dragon
Management and Virgin Reclamation.
My horse is the latest model, with
Automatic transmission and built-in
Obsolescence. My spear is custom-built,
And my prototype armour
Still on the secret list. You can't
Do better than me at the moment.
I'm qualified and equipped to the
Eyebrow. So why be difficult?
Don't you want to be killed and/or rescued
In the most contemporary way? Don't
You want to carry out the roles
That sociology and myth have designed for you?....


Beowulf vs Grendel
Artist: The Fool 432

http://www.khandro.net/mysterious_dragon1.htm
[Added 16 January 2012]: Already listed in my "Dragons in the East" section, this cross-cultural site also includes mythic dragons from ancient Sumeria, Greece, and other Western locales. There is an especially good section on Beowulf's battles with Grendel and Grendel's mother.
http://www.draconian.com/movie/movie.php
[Added 16 January 2012]: This is "Dragons of the Silver and Small Screen" -- an impressive, well-illustrated  compilation of plotlines, brief reviews, etc. This comes from Jennifer Walker, whose site, "Here Be Dragons," is also listed on my Common Themes:  Dragon and Serpent page.
http://www.blackdrago.com/media.htm
[Added 16 January 2012]: From Black Drago (also listed on my above-mentioned page) comes "Dragons in Media" -- he has book reviews and many other forms of media available here.
http://www.squidoo.com/2012yearofthedragon
[Updated for 2012]: Zany, witty, often shallow, sometimes unexpectedly deep, this odd site provides just about anything you ever wanted to know about the dragon from a zillion "contemporary cultural" perspectives.  It seems to go on forever with its goofy graphics, video clips (e.g. Puff, the Magic Dragon), and silliness.  But it's entertaining and great fun to explore!!
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Additional Art Sources:
http://www.chinesepaintings.com/
A good, searchable source of commercial Chinese art on various themes.
For example, see their "Flying Dragon" above.
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OTHER RELEVANT Myth*ingLinks PAGES:

2012-2013 Lunar New Year of the Dragon

Common Themes:  Dragon and Serpent

Dragon & Tiger in Chinese Starlore, Constellations, and Zodiac

and General Data on Lunar New Year

To Common Themes: Star Lore & Astrology

To Current Winter Greetings & Lore page

To the Imbolc page

To the Annual Springtide Greetings page


My complete Table of Contents
& e-mail address are on my Home Page.

© 2012 Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

11 January 2012, 1:30-3am: couldn't sleep after finishing the new Dragon/Tiger Starlore page after midnight, so began re-organizing and pruning earlier, unrevised material from various sources on this page.

14 January 2012: still organizing,  pruning, and finally grokking new links & adding new art. Started the Naga section & found lovely art for it.

15-16 January 2012 (worked much of the day until 4am 1/16/12). I'm continuing with the Naga-s, explaining about the story I heard in grad school, grokking links, and working on various versions of Naga art, etc. Everything's done now except for the "Dragon in the West" section, which I plan to keep brief.

16 January 2012, 10:08 pm: again I've spent much of the day finishing up the final section. It's done now but I want to proof it tomorrow and will wait until then to launch it.

17 January 2012, 6:30pm: finished proofing and tweaking. Now launching the page at last. :)
Later, 7-7:20pm: had to tweak and mute the 2nd full painting of Nagarjuna & Naga as the color balance was all wrong.