Dragon Patterns by Melinda
For unique art from literature and myth, such as dragon patterns, contact Smallwork.com in Portland, OR. Owner, Melissa Patterson, has a wide array to choose from. Take your pick today!
The Real Dragon cloth pattern is an expression of my dedication to dragon folklore and the finest in dollmaking artistry.
This Wyvern cloth pattern, a serpent-bird, is inspired by the stylized dragon images found in the knotwork art from the Irish book of Kells.
The Celtic Dragon cloth pattern with swirl wings and knotted tail is inspired by Celtic knotwork art from illuminated pages and stone markers.
The word typhoon comes from Typhon, the name of the fire breathing monster that served the Titans of Greek myth. The word hurricane comes from Huracan the name of the winged serpent of the Caribbean. In stories worldwide, dragons control the weather and represent the mysteries of nature.
The Dragon is a composite animal with hot and cold blooded features, so it is a symbol of the changing seasons. It is foremost a snake that rejuvenates its skin. Its bird wings give flight to the spirit. It has the mane of a horse and the fins of a fish. The beard is a sign of wisdom and the antlers are the emblem of royalty and renewal. The winged serpent unifies the 4 elements: it is born in the water, breathes fire, inhabits the air, and guards the earth's treasures.
You can create your own Dragon to be your keepsake mascot and household guardian with one of my original patterns.
The first Hexagram of the I Ching is "The Creative" - the ascending dragon. Taoists revere the dragon as the spirit of "The Way" who brings eternal changes and guards the flaming pearl of spiritual perfection.
In China, Dragons are emblems of royalty, guardians of the spirits of the ancestors. Stories from China and Japan frequently connect them to pearls, the treasure of the ocean, the moon, and the pearl of heaven.
Eastern traditions feature courtesies paid to Dragons such as the Indian story of Buddha who honors the Naga king and queen who reared him, and the story of the Zen priest who continued his devotion to the Dragon who turned into Kuanyin, the Goddess of Compassion. The Hindu Dragon goddess that sleeps in the lotus at the base of the spine is Kundalini the Coiled. When she is understood, she will climb to the forehead where illusion will fall from the inner eye to reveal the Golden Embryo of Life.
In western lore the Dragon is a symbol of greed, a monster to be slain by a hero, such as the firedrake in the Scandinavian tale, Beowolf. The tales often mention veils and mirrors and both Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung describe these legends as metaphors for the battle against self doubt, the vanquishing of the shadows of the self, the triumph over one's own internal chaos. It is certain that Dragons are images of transformation. To read more about them, Melinda recommends her favorite from the library by Francis Huxley: The Dragon: Nature of Spirit, Spirit of Nature.
The tail eating snake Uroboros, is the circle of life eating life, the World Stream, the Milky Way, (where Dragon images are involved in four constellations).
The Dragon's Eye symbol stands for the balance of love, power and wisdom. Triple triangles are associated with the Goddess and the nine Muses.
The Dragon is the most universal motif linked to humanity for 5,000 years. The word dragon comes from "derkesthai" (Greek: to glance dartingly) which, in a Hindu tradition, was the hungry look of the very first being when its fiery spirit was born out of the abyss of water.
Cultures the world over speak of dragons when explaining the creation of the earth. Tiamat, the Babylonian dragon, gives birth to the gods. The Egyptian Ureaus headdress stands for the serpent, " The Oldest of the Old," who existed before heaven and earth. The Aztecs have Quetzalcoatl, the feathered god of wind, and Coatilcue, the snakegoddess-earthmother. Greek myth tells of the rivers being formed by Typhon gouging the earth during its battle with Zeus.
Composite creatures are most often the divinities of water sources, the "genius loci" or animating principle of rivers, lakes, and seas. Celtic lore has salmon-dragons and Bride, the serpent-goddess. French lore has the Dracs, Tarasque, Amphitere and Campchurch.
Europe has the Amphisbaena, the Wyvern and Hippocampus. Australia has the Bunyip and Japan has the O-Gon-Cho. Some are like mermaid snake-humans such as the Naga in India, the Makara in Cambodia, the Lamia in Libya, and the Yamaga in Africa.
My work has been included in these books:
Creative Cloth Doll Couture by Patti Medaris Culea (Quarry Books 2006)
Beautiful Animal Dolls by Miriam Gourley (Sterling/Chapelle 2001)
Finishing the Figure by Susanna Oroyan, (C&T 2001)
Anatomy of a Doll by Susanna Oroyan, (C&T 1997)