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Re: Very long "plumed" serpents.
>What, exactly, were the perpetrators of various myths really referring
>to? How many of them actually used the word dragon? What word did they
>really use? What "non-scholarly type" simply dumped the word dragon in
>as a translation for some other word to either inadvertantly or
>deliberatly bowdlerize the concept?
>It is a propensity of modern "new age" life to sort of pick and chose
>what feels good in a conversation and often what is the easiest or
>simplest way to put something. While I won't debate (or debase) the
>merits of that methodology, it's clear that it is, often as not, based
>on subjective agendas, and not on direct translation or any kind of
>genuine inquiry into the facts.
>Hence: D R A G O N. What the heck is that anyway? Is it the thing that
>Sean Connery did the voice for in Dragonslayer? Is it what St. George
>killed? Or is it one of the four different flavors of creature that the
>Chinese scare away with firecrackers on New Years.
>Beware (he said ominiously and melodramtially) of cultural centrism!
Flawless assertion. Dragons. monsters and hybrids in general are common to
all ancient cultures and indeed to every mythology, but never had the same
symbolism. As cultural inventions they have peculiar characteristics
attached to the culture's characteristics and many times refer to the
psychological relationship of man and nature, and the need of humans to
grasp some control on things they don't understand. Worship them is the
main way to keep the fear localized.
Each part of a chimerical animal is a symbol representing the ideals of
people in any given population on Earth.
What about Quetzalcoatl in the Aztec culture? Original interpretations seem
to favour that the Quetzals in the rainforests with their long plumes and
peculiar way of flying were interpreted as feathered or winged serpents.
Apply that to mythical thinking and and you get the adequate symbolism.
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