In our book, When the Dragon Wore the Crown, we contend that long ago cultures all over the world shared an ideology of a great flying serpent that wrapped his considerable bulk around the North Celestial Pole and chased his own tail for literally thousands of years.
In other words, the source of this myth was astronomical.
This seems to be John Michel’s opinion, too. From chapter two of his work, The View Over Atlantis,
“Every aspect of the dragon’s career is represented in stories, songs and dances. The stages of its seasonal growth are celebrated all over the world in the rites and festivals which reach their climax at the beginning of winter in the processions that mark the dragon’s death.”
He goes on to list a number of locations all over England that lay claim to these Dragon paths.
“A number of parish churches contain an effigy of the local dragon killer and early Celtic stone carvings show that the legend is of an age far more remote than that of its traditional historical heroes.”
Amen. What my own research has revealed is that, as legend records, the Dragon was born of the Egg, and like Pan Ku of China and the Dioscuri (Castor and Polydeuces) of Greece who were also born of the Egg, this simply indicates that they were born during a period of time when the Twins of Gemini were marked by the constellational passage of the Vernal Equinox (Spring) through this sign. These ‘myths’ were told sometime between 6300 and 4800 BC when this was the astronomical ‘picture’. These myths preserve traditions which were in place long before ‘history’ came to be. History is founded on the written word, and this was a period of time long before writing as we know it came to be.
“This story was certainly one of those enacted by local or wandering players at fairs and religious festivals, and the life of the dragon, the annual rise and wane of the fertilizing principle, much at one time have been seen as a seasonal dramatic ritual by almost everyone in the country.”
Among other things, the observation of the Dragon helped to define the celestial passage of the year through the Seasons and provided a framework against which to observe stellar passage and to provide guidelines for the local farmers and the tending of their crops. To this day the Chinese remember this tradition in their New Year’s association with the Dragon in a celebration of the end and beginning of the year.
“When visiting some of these mounds, stones and ancient church sites associated with the dragon it is hard to avoid the impressions that they were located according to principles similar to those adopted by the geomancers of China. There it was said that the dragon’s heart is to be found at a lonely knoll standing in a small plains or valley among the hills. From the central spot the veins of the dragon current run over the surrounding ridges.”
What we have here is our ancient observatory, where artificial mounds were carefully constructed to give an excellent spot to observe the heavens, marking by the contours of the local terrain, just like the Native American Mississippian cultures build artificial mounds for the same purpose all over the eastern US.
“These mounds, like the stone rows and circles from which they form alignments, are typical of those once used in both countries in connection with astronomy. The mounds, which form the centres of the dragon current in China, were also used for planetary observation, as we know from living traditions and from the survival of the practice into modern times.”
“Like St. Patrick’s in Ireland, illustrating his control over a natural, elemental force, was taken by early Christians to represent the defeat of the old religion by the new. This selective interpretation hid the dragon’s wider elemental and astrological significance.”
Many indigenous traditions still have stories about the great serpent, who once spread his wings over and embraced the entire planet.