Symbology of Dragons, with Jodi L. Milner

One of the best things about journeying ever deeper into the world of writing and publishing is getting to meet and learn from other authors. Today, I’m excited to have a guest post for you, written by a new friend of mine, a fellow author with Immortal Works, as well as fellow dragon lover, Jodi L. Milner.


Symbology of Dragons

By Jodi L. Milner

If you are a fantasy fan you are very familiar with dragons. Ranging from the tales of Middle Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien to Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, dragons take prominent roles. They are mighty destroyers, fierce predators, and often laden with the knowledge of thousands of years.

But where did this myth come from? Did there used to be flame spitting serpents who sailed the skies and terrorized villages both small and large? Or is this a creation of man to be able to better understand his place?

Here is a brief cultural tour of dragons throughout the world and what they symbolize.

Asian Dragons can be broken down into three specific cultural traditions, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese. An Asian dragon has a long snake like body with small fore and hind limbs, they are wingless but being spiritually powerful, can fly. In Japanese and Vietnamese cultures, they are closely tied to the life-giving waters and are often bringers of clouds and rain. They symbolize wisdom, longevity, and regeneration and are seen as deities.

Chinese Dragons hold a much stronger cultural significance than their counterparts. Often seen as bringers of energy and good fortune, they are harbingers of incredible luck, prosperity, and high achievement, among other things. This traditional dragon is often seen during festivals and holidays as an elaborate and playful puppet that leaps and dances through the streets. The Chinese Dragon is paired with the Phoenix and together symbolize perfect balance.

European Dragons hold several visual distinctions to Eastern dragons, but the biggest is that they have impressive wings and bodies closer to that of prehistoric dinosaurs with comically small front limbs and muscular hind limbs. Those depicted without forelimbs are known as wyverns. Where Eastern Dragons are known for their wisdom, European dragons are often depicted as greedy pests who guard their treasures. Legends often contain a brave knight fighting a ferocious dragon. In Medieval Christianity, dragons were symbolic of sin and wickedness. This is most famously seen in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon.

American Dragons stem from beliefs of the indigenous peoples and range from being described as a ‘Horned Snake’ who comes to the aid of young women in the northern part of the Americas, and a feathered serpent deity among the Aztecs and Mayans, known as Quetzalcoatl or Kukulkan. These dragons are considered benevolent and are often given the honor of having created the earth. They are known to devour evil people and can control the wind and rain.

Jodi L. Milner

Jodi L. Milner

Growing up, Jodi L. Milner wanted to be a superhero and a doctor. When she discovered she couldn’t fly, she did what any reasonable introvert would do and escaped into the wonderful hero-filled world of fiction and the occasional medical journal. She’s lived there ever since.

These days, when she’s not folding the children or feeding the laundry, she creates her own noble heroes on the page. Her speculative short stories explore the fabric of dreams and have appeared in anthologies and magazines, while her novels weave magic into what it means to be human.

She still dreams of flying.

Jodi’s Links:

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Stonebearer’s Betrayal

A secret society of immortals tasked to protect the world

A demon bent on revenge

And a girl brave enough to fight for her family when the two collide

 When Archdemoness Wrothe stirs the ashes from a long dead war, it rekindles a fire that threatens to burn the world. The immortal Stonebearers have the power to bring her down, if they learn of her awakening in time.

 Katira didn’t believe the legends. It wasn’t possible for a person to bend the very fabric of reality or live forever. She didn’t believe in the dark mirror realm either or that forces were at work to destroy the waking world.

 That was before the first demon shadow hound came for her.