The Myths Behind the Most Famous Paranormal Creatures 3 - Dragons

This week I'll be talking about dragons, my very favorite paranormal creatures. They're very complex creatures, there are many quite different myths behind them. And something new to this feature is that from now on I'll be recommending books in each post. Nice reading! :)

Books are very warm and comfortable to rest on. Good view too!

According to Wikipedia a dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan (namely the Japanese dragon), Korea and other East Asian countries.
The two traditions may have evolved separately, but have influenced each other to a certain extent, particularly with the cross-cultural contact of recent centuries. The English word "dragon" derives from Greek δράκων (drákōn), "dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake".

Unlike other dragons, serpentine dragons' heads resemble to a snake, hence its name. Furthermore, their scales are much smoother and finer than those of other dragons and they have a pronounced underbite.

Europian dragon

In European folklore, a dragon is a serpentine legendary creature. The word for dragon in Germanic mythology and its descendants is worm meaning snake or serpent. In Old English wyrm means "serpent", draca means "dragon". Though a winged creature, the dragon is generally to be found in its underground lair, a cave that identifies it as an ancient creature of earth.
The dragon of the modern period is typically depicted as a huge fire-breathing, scaly and horned dinosaur-like creature, with leathery wings, with four legs and a long muscular tail.

Many modern stories represent dragons as extremely intelligent creatures who can talk, associated with (and sometimes in control of) powerful magic. Dragon's blood often has magical properties. The typical dragon protects a cavern or castle filled with gold and treasure and is often associated with a great hero who tries to slay it, but dragons can be written into a story in as many ways as a human character.

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Chinese Dragon

In China, dragons are amphibious creatures that dwell in oceans, lakes, rivers and even raindrops. They are revered as life-giving symbols of fortune and fertility, capable of unleashing rain in times of drought. They are animal mosaics, possessing the body of a snake, the scales of a fish, the talons of an eagle, the antlers of a stag, and the face of a gilin -- another mythical creature that resembles a deer but whose body is wreathed in flames.


There are nine major types of Chinese dragons:

1. The Horned Dragon
Which can produce rain and is totally deaf.

2. The Winged Dragon

3. The Celestial Dragon
The T'ien Lung, or Celestial Dragon lives in the sky and guards the gods to keep them from falling out of the clouds.

4. The Spiritual Dragon
The shen-lung which generates wind and rain for the benefit of mankind

5. The Dragon of hidden treasures
The Fu-tsang guards hidden treasure or concealed wealth

6. The Coiling Dragon
Which lives in water

7. The Yellow Dragon
Which once emerged from water and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Shi with the elements of writing.

8. The Dragon King
The last of the nine is the Dragon King, which actually consists of four separate dragons, each of which rules over one of the four seas, those of the east, south, west, and north.

9. The most powerful generalized type of Chinese dragon is the horned dragon, or lung, which can produce rain and is totally deaf. Additionally, there is a homeless dragon (Ii) that lives in the ocean and another type (chiao) that is scale-covered and usually inhabits marshes but also keeps dens in the mountains.

There are also nine ways the Chinese have traditionally represented these dragons, each one revealing a different dragon characteristic. There are dragons carved on the tops of bells and gongs, because of the beast's habit of calling loudly when attacked. A second type is carved on the screws of fiddles, since most dragons are fond of music. A third is carved on the tops of stone tablets, because of dragons' love of literature. A fourth is found at the bottom of stone monuments, as dragons can support heavy weights. A fifth is placed on the eaves of temples, as dragons are ever alert to danger. A sixth occurs on the beams of bridges, since dragons are fond of water. A seventh is carved on Buddha's throne, as dragons like to rest. An eighth is placed on the hilts of swords, since dragons are known to be capable of slaughter. The ninth is carved on prison gates, as these are dragons that are fond of quarreling and trouble making.


1904 - Wood Dragon
1916 - Fire Dragon
1928 - Earth Dragon
1940 - Metal dragon
1952 - Water dragon
1964 - Wood Dragon
1976 - Fire Dragon
1988 - Earth Dragon
2000 - Metal Dragon
2012 - Water Dragon

The Wood Dragon is creative, imaginative, and inquisitive. He is both a thinker and a doer and is capable of brilliant new concepts. His every move is guided by sound logic. His drive and ambition allow him to put many of his ideas into practice, nevertheless this Dragon is capable of concealing his domination and tries not to offend. He will even compromise if it is advantages. Although not as self-centered as other Dragons, he is still outspoken and fearless when challenged.

The Fire Dragon is the most extroverted and competitive Dragon. He tends to push too hard and expects a lot from everyone. His criticisms are objective and he has the ability to arouse massive popular support. His insatiable ambition can make him short-tempered and intolerant. He is an empire builder who needs to master his less favorable traits and learn how to communicate more humbly with people as individuals.

The Earth Dragon is a quieter, more reflective Dragon, He will be appreciative of other's opinions even if he fails to agree with them. He is reasonable in his approach to problems and his leadership is less dictatorial. He is not given to outbursts of temper, but at the same time demands respect. He knows the value of cooperation and is more diplomatic than the other Dragons. He is ambitious, but his initiatives are less hurried and more carefully thought out.

The Metal Dragon is the most strong-willed Dragon. He is inflexible, unbending, and combative. He gives little regard to the feelings of others. This ruthlessness can result in a rapid rise to a position of authority, but often at the cost of destroying important relationships. It is futile to attempt to convince him that certain things are simply undoable. He will go it alone if he can't gain support. He succeeds because he refuses to accept failure.

The Water Dragon is less selfish and opinionated than the other Dragons. He is more inhibited and less power-hungry. He can accept defeat without recriminations. He makes a good negotiator as he knows when, where, and how to apply pressure. He has a tendency to be over-optimistic and needs to learn how to relinquish what is unfeasible so that he can concentrate his energies on the most rewarding endeavors.

Dragon ABC

Asian dragons

Chinese dragon - Lóng
Indian dragon - Naga
Indonesian/Malay dragon - Naga or NogoJapanese dragon - Ryū
Khmer dragon - Neak
Korean dragon - Yong (Mireu), Imoogi, Gyo
Philippine dragon - Bakunawa
Vietnamese dragon - Rồng

European dragons

Catalan dragon - drac
French dragon - dragon
Sardinian dragon - scultone
Scandinavian & Germanic dragons - Lindworm
English dragon - Wyvern
Welsh dragon - Y Ddraig GochHungarian dragon - sárkány
Slavic dragons - zmey, zmiy,żmij, змей, orzmaj, or drak, or smok
Armenian dragon - Vishap
Siberian dragon - Yilbegän
Romanian dragons - Balaur, Zburator
Chuvash dragon - Vere Celen
Asturian and Leonese dragons - Cuélebre
Albanian Dragons - Bolla, Kulshedra, Dreq
Portuguese dragon - CocaGreek dragons - Drákōn (δράκων)
Tatar dragon - Zilant
Turkish dragons - Ejderha or Evren
Lithuanian Dragons - Slibinas

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