When you think of a dragon, what comes to your mind? A fire-breathing flying amphibian-like creature? Something that inspires fear? Or do you think of wisdom, benevolence and a gentle nature? In our western culture, it would surprise me if you think of a dragon as other than scary.
Dragons have wings which allow them to fly above the worldly drama, or to get places quickly. In flight, they are able to see the big picture. In other aspects they are able to see into the future, to see things that are coming when we are blinded by fears, lack of vision, or anger. In the Orient, dragons are seen as benevolent.
In most western cultures, the dragon is seen as a larger-than-life foe, and that foe is primarily fear. The hero of a mythic story is the slayer of the foe, of the frightening creature that inspires quaking fear. In spite of that, in some stories & traditions, dragons can be symbols of wisdom and possess great magical powers. In many stories they are the jealous guardians of treasure.
I have been thinking about times when I breathe fire, when I belch out painful flames within the context of creating something new. In so many images, dragons are fire-breathing, terrifying creatures. Aren’t we all when we breathe the fire of anger? That expression of fury is terrifying, and yet, at times, it can be transformative. Anger can show us a number of things if we are ready to listen. It can show us what is treading on our turf (or invading our boundaries). It can show us areas in which we might be defensive when we need either to strengthen our fortress or stop the automatic lowering of heavy gates and instead allow the entry of something new, an antidote to the old wounds. Often, anger comes out as a habitual reaction or an expression of frustration and we might breathe fire at our loved ones. That fierce breath tends to burn relationships into little black crisps. If we try we have options when the dragon inside rises. We can calm the fire by learning how to calm ourselves, how to bring peace to our minds and spirits.
The best way is to train your mind by meditating, or finding ways to adopt alternative reactions. This can represent years and even decades of hard work. Meanwhile, on your journey to peace, having lovely scents around you can help. Lavender is known to have relaxing, calming properties. Remember your affection for lavender next time you need to respond with calmness in the face of a dragon.