> >When Sundaland perished in volcanic eruptions, the dragons in panic
> >came out of the forest and people had to fight them too, as if it
> >wasn't bad enough already (hello, Hollywood, are you guys
> His condition is getting worse. Now on to Cort...
> >True, but the composite animals may have been put together in order
> >to create a fantastic monster without having to describe
> >characteristics outside of cultural experience.
> >OK. I do agree that the dragon and the water are probably
> The latter comment negates the former, so, as I had already
> the dragon is a symbolic, not just a fantastical or fear-inspiring,ignore.
> construct initially representing rain, and as you've discovered for
> yourself, this particular connection is too common a motif to
> I can't deny that there may have been some desire to create awe-
> inspiring creatures out of rampant imagination but this is not
> the main inspiration of these ideas. The main inspiration is from
> abstract symbolism, the one thing that us Homo Sapiens are really
> >However, I am not in favor of reducing a mythological character to
> >natural phenomenon like "water" or the "clouds" ala Max Muller.the
> >I think this kind of reductionist interpretation can blind us to
> >bigger picture._on_
> There's a difference between ludicrous reductionist theories that
> ignore the facts, and interpretation of mythological symbols based
> the facts. All creatures, gods and icons can and SHOULD beinterpreted
> if their functions and origins are to be understood properly. Idon't
> think defining the dragon's initial function in the mythologicalcosmos
> as the "bringer of rain" is offbase at all.redefined its
> Granted, it is overlayed with millenia of new symbols that
> role in later belief systems and so you're very right to state thatmy
> explanation "does not explain all of the significant elements of thebase
> dragon myth, especially in western myth". It wasn't meant to; it was
> meant only to explain the origin of the dragon's form and function.
> However, I think we can start with the rain connection as a strong
> and work our way out from there.treasure?
> >Couple of questions: What is up with dragons guarding sacred
> In honesty, that's a lesser connection at best and we're straying
> the core of the dragon's original function. However, it probablystems
> all the way back to at least the Indo-Europeans. Remember thatthere is
> the story of the three-headed serpent stealing the cattle from thehero.
> Now replace "cattle" with "treasure" and you start to get it.How do we know which is the "lesser" motif and which is the "Core"
>But the dragon slayer motif is already present in the stories of
> >And by what means were they transformed into demonic hero-fodder in
> >Medieval Europe? Breathing fire?
> The later reinterpretation of dragons as demons is simple to explainthanks
> since it stems from Christianity where the Devil deceived Eve in
> the form of a serpent in the book of Genesis. From that, the serpent
> came to be a demonic symbol in the minds of all Christians. That's
> probably one reason why there are only three Mayan codices left,
> to those damn pyromaniac priests bent on converting natives to theirHowever, the motif of the treasure-gurading dragon is witnesed in
> silly serpentophobic cult. The Mayans were innocently using the
> serpent imagery in connection with Kukulkan, not the Devil.
> >Also, there are numerous stories of fire-breathing multi-headedogres
> >and giants that closely resemble dragon stories. How are we toa
> >explain the overlap here, if dragons are ultimately water/rain
> If you speak of the Indo-European story of the three-headed serpent,
> there _is_ a connection with water as usual but yet again there are
> symbols overlayed on top of the original function.
> Actually, _that_ serpent may not be related to rain and so it's not
> "dragon" in the true sense. I was thinking that it was probablyjust a
> cute little story to explain the origin of rivers. (In other words,the
> serpent is slain by the hero and we end up with a giant, slitheringsymbolism
> river.) The three heads are probably because of the tripartite
> of the three social castes a la Dumezil. This symbolism exists inlater
> Indo-European mythologies enough to appear credible.less
> Number symbolism is common in mythology. The number of heads have
> to do with creating a fearful monster (although this may be part ofit)
> and more to do with abstract symbology.
> - gLeN
> Help STOP SPAM: Try the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*