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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Understanding Lunar Dragons

A long time ago, back before the ease and versatility of digital cameras proliferated --and rendered my photographic skills obsolete-- I took a telescopic picture of the moon. I remember it involved removing a telescope's eyepiece assembly and aiming through the objective lens from six feet back. As with many things done a long time ago, I look now and wonder --how the heck did I do that?
At the time, I was felling and bucking 70-foot-tall eucalyptus trees that overhung the house --how the heck did I do that?-- and found this knot where a limb had rotted from its branch-bark ridge and left a hole. I made a frame of it, an eye, a dragon's eye --a moon dragon. Here is what a whole moon dragon looks like:
Ok, I just doodled it an hour ago, but it's got to be accurate because I never heard of such a creature before making an eye for one long ago and --how the heck...never mind. I am now making a long arm and unshelving my volume of J. E. Cirlot's A Dictionary of Symbols.
Señor Cirlot says dragons are linked with color symbolism, that red ones are guardians of higher science and "...the white dragon is a lunar dragon". This, of course, sends the serious scholar straight to the moon. Cicero noted that "Every month, the moon completes the same trajectory completed by the sun in a year." This makes the moon very useful as an instrument of prophecy --much like the minute-hand of a clock, or a clock to a calendar. But you need dragons.

When the moon completes these exertions in spacial-temporal-metaphysics it needs some sort of expression, some voice, and so creates the lunar dragon who says, "How the heck did I do that?"


30 comments:

  1. A dictionary of Symbols-How the heck....?
    Is the moon dragon eye hypnotic? It seems to be.
    Not sure how you did it, but glad you did.

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    1. Thanks Tom. Cirlot's dictionary is one of my favorite reference books and a great contribution to Symbology. Don't know how the heck he did it.

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  2. How the heck DID you do that? Colour me impressed.

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    1. Most kind. In crafts, things find ways to combine almost on their own.

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  3. There are a lot of 'how in the heck did I do that?' in my life too. And a few 'Why in the heck did I do that?'. And not enough dragons. Never enough dragons. Too many dragons would be barely enough.

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    1. That much is certain. Part of dragons' work is hauling weather around the world. Lately, I suspect they're shorthanded.

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  4. I initially thought this would be the very first post you've ever written that wouldn't compel me to consult a dictionary - - but you craftily saved special-temporal-metaphysics until the very end. You always force me to learn, Geo., and I like that.

    I also love the entire concept of the white moon dragon, inspired by the knot of a rotting eucalyptus tree. Acute imagination is an incredibly delightful thing.

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    1. Jon, space, time and tremendous magical operations combine to generate great enigmas. That's why dragons need to be big, so they can keep these things organized.

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  5. When I look back at my life I am often amazed at what I could and did do when I was younger. I think it was because my dragons told me to believe in myself and nothing was impossible. I wanted to, so I tried, and I did. Now my dragons sit in the corner eating pie but we still occasionally look to the moon and say "maybe" .

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    1. Arleen, I love the idea of dragons taking time out to eat pie. And it's very encouraging when they say "maybe".

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  6. Everything according to the lunar goddess . . . I believe we're in a new moon phase currently. It's a beautiful thing to see.

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    1. Yes, truly beautiful, Amy. Amazing cosmos we get to live in, isn't it?

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  7. I think it is impossible to understand a dragon, and especially not a lunar one (do you know that in Germany the moon is male? Very strange - sun is female - that is an unsolved mistery too). Dragons are there to be feared or to be loved (I do the letter - well, in modern times a girl needs all the protection she can get...).
    Your drawing is - as ever - exquisite - the photo: baffling.
    Do you know the wonderful short story of Tove Jansson: The Last Dragon of the World? (A Mumin troll story). Highly recommended!

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    1. Yes, der Mond, die Sonne. And dragons in myth, I think, are there to make heroes of us. In reality, though, I would much rather make friends with them. I will be on the lookout for Tove Jansson's story.

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    2. The story is worth it!
      Today I read such a beautiful quote about dragons and forgot to copy it - a psychologist, I think, said: "You cannot live in a neighbourhood of a real dragon and not fight it" - though it was said in a more sophisticate way.

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  8. Does it not make you feel a little bit afraid that a lunar dragon is influencing your thoughts to such a degree? This has been happening for many years. At the same time hangng out with dragons could be fun.

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    1. Oh I've been a lunatic long enough to get used to it --and yes, dragons are good company!

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  9. You live in a wonderful world, Geo., and that's why I like to visit here :)

    And I love EC's statement "Too many dragons would be barely enough" ...

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    1. O Jenny, it's a fine world in the company of good minds like yours.

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  10. I often think we get things done by not knowing we can't do them.
    I envy your dragon's eye. You're right, we need dragons!
    x

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    1. Laura, as you are among my foremost heroes, I learn a lot from you about dealing with dragons.

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  11. When I look back on the things I managed to create and accomplish when I was young, like you, I wonder how in the world did I DO all of that? How was it possible? Maybe because in the wondrous heat of youth, we believed anything was possible, and believed ourselves capable of doing whatever it was we were willing to tackle. We didn't have more hours in a day; it just seemed like it. We definitely had more energy, but now, we've learned to cogitate a bit more before jumping into something. And, thankfully, we've learned NOT to test the waters with BOTH feet. :)

    Love your dragon, dude.

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    1. Thanks for kind compliment on dude-doodle, Susan. I wholly agree with your ideas about the years recalibrating our energies and cautions. Am also a fan of fabulous creatures (had a fine conversation with one 2 weeks ago --see "Giant Rat Of Sacramento", this blog), and like to make friends with them as I age.

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  12. I've come back and read this several times, and now with my typing being compromised I'm even more limited....have you read Ursula LeGuin's 'Earthsea' books? Dragons figure prominently in them, as creatures of wisdom, if not kindness.
    As to examining one's past, a few years ago I found going through old boxes a paper I'd written for a conference. I read it with interest, thinking this was well done, and something I should research. At the end, seeing my name, I felt a sense of loss. I didn't know I had known this, and then lost it somewhere.

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    1. Dear Mike, I get the same feeling when I go out to the barn, which I built alone over 30 years ago, with its huge rafters and beams positioned by come-along and block&tackle, corrugated steel walls and roof. I've lost the strength to do that --the confidence. It's like somebody else did it. As to Ms. LeGuin, I read "Lathe Of Heaven" in the 1970s and was much impressed. Will read Earthsea next chance. Looked her up and she's still with us at 86.

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  13. I'm not sure why, but the first two pics are missing except for a little thumbnail to let you know there should be something there. Dang it! I want to see your version of the moon dragon. I'm glad Ms. Britta mentioned the German gender of sun and moon. When I was a child and trying to figure out what phase the moon was in, my mom (who hails from Germany) told me that when it is zu-nehmen, it is going toward a full moon and looks like this: ) or the top portion of a cursive Z. When it's receding, it's ab-nehmen and looks like ( or the first part of a cursive A. Okay, I need all the help I can get when it comes to remembering things.

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    1. Ah, zunehmen and abnehmen --increase and decrease-- according to letter segments. Kids lose a lot by not learning cursive these days. Thank you. Don't know what's happening to post photos for you --I was running a pc security scan at the time of your comment but that wouldn't affect Google Blogger. Let me know if refreshing the page helps.

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  14. I would like to believe that a moon dragon would be a gentle, nurturing beast.

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    1. So long as you believe it, you will not be disappointed.

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