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~  July Supplemental  ~



Lars Grant-West


Releasing the Dragon

by Joanne Elliott


Within us lies the Green Dragon, an aspect of ourselves that is deeply connected to the Earth, our physical home on this plane of existence. It's true that ultimately we come from the Source that births all things and is all things, but some aspect of ourselves recognizes Earth as its home and will fiercely protect it. The dragon is a guardian, a guardian of Earth.


The Green Dragon came back to human consciousness last year via a group of Christian fundamentalists backed by a right wing think tank called Cornwall Alliance. Here is how they describe themselves: The Cornwall Alliance is a coalition of clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, academics, and policy experts committed to bringing a balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development.


The Cornwall Alliance created a series of DVDs under the title: "Resisting the Green Dragon" and by Green Dragon they mean the environmental movement as they believe it to be. This DVD series has no real purpose but to scare Christians and anyone who will listen into believing that environmentalism is dangerous, even evil. They describe environmentalism as promoting paganism, pantheism and being against Christianity.


See: http://wildhunt.org/blog/2010/11/conservative-christians-and-the-green-dragon.html


This group appears to be so terrified of their own Green Dragon within that they needed to externalize it in those who cared for the Earth. Some Christians may be terrified or led to be afraid of the environmental movement as pagan and dangerous, but Cornwall Alliance is more allied with big oil interests than Christians trying to save their religion.




This underlying motivation of greed that hides behind religious concern would allow them to rape and pillage Mother Earth until she dies.


Christianity externalizes evil in the Devil; therefore we can see how some Christians are quite ready to externalize their own powerful Green Dragon energy and so are easily used by big oil interests. Capitalism's all-consuming force and Christian fundamentalism are both related to Green Dragon energy. They are a form of it that has become distorted and fearful.


Many Pagans and Buddhists and others who love the Earth have expressed interest in using the Green Dragon as a positive sign for the environmental movement. Some Pagans relate to the powerful energy of the dragon and are ready to fight. This too, is Green Dragon energy ready to defend its home, but it can get out of hand. Bron Taylor, author of Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and Our Planetary Future says:


"The "dark" of the title further expands this idea by emphasizing the depth of believers' passion and also suggesting a potential shadow side: besides uplifting and inspiring, such religion might mislead, deceive, or in some cases precipitate violence."




Bron Taylor comes to the conclusion that the benefits of Dark Green Religion far outweigh any negatives. Our Earth is in trouble and therefore so are we. Truly being connected to Earth may be our only hope.


We need to expose the greed, the fear, the hate, but it can't be our sole focus. Our focus needs to be on the Green Dragon energy that resides within us all, and within the Earth, and not the externals of a war against anyone lest it get out of hand.


Dragons are fierce only when left alone in the caves, when they are kept on the margins and in the shadows, hence the fear some have of this aspect which also resides within them and which they have ignored at best or wounded at worst. Western culture wants to slay the dragon, our so called baser instincts. But what if these instincts were listened to and used? What if we let them fly so we could use our higher brains to understand what the Green Dragon sees and feels? (This Green Dragon energy may be connected to our reptilian brain.) We've always been afraid of freeing our animal nature, but it means us no harm. By default, it does harm when we ignore it. All it wants to is to be connected to the Earth, to feel free to roam its home. Not only does ignoring it cause it to become the fierce dragon, ignoring it causes us to do great harm to its home, our home, Earth, which in turn makes the Green Dragon even more angry and desperate to save its Mother.


Earlier, our reptilian brain was mentioned because it seems that much of our ways of being are connected to parts of our bodies; compassion to our heart, psychic abilities to our pituitary gland, etc. The theory of humans having three brains speaks of our first brain as the reptilian brain, an earlier form of being. But the Green Dragon, as a metaphor, reaches higher and deeper.


Dragons have wings and can fly. With this ability the Green Dragon can rise above it all to gain perspective, it can see the 'big picture' and from that do more than just react. Dragons are not only creatures of air and earth; they are also beings comfortable in water. This means as a metaphor they represent exploring the depths of our psyche.


We can no longer afford to ignore the Green Dragon energy because the Earth, our home, is dying. If we do ignore this energy we can fall into the trap of externalizing and then demonizing it as the fundamentalists and others have done. This would leave us fighting against the very energy that could save us. It's an energy that is a mixture of both spirit and matter. Dragons breathe fire; this along with flying is another sign of spirit. These creatures are a marriage of matter and spirit which is what we humans are as well.


So how do we use this powerful and fierce energy to save the Earth and therefore ourselves? Being a guardian, the Green Dragon instinctively wants to protect the Earth, we need to listen to this instinct and become protective guardians of our home. The Green Dragon is also deeply connected to the Earth and is being wounded by our destruction of Earth. But it is the wounded Green Dragon that is also behind the fear and greed of those who would demonize environmentalists, pagans, pantheists, and anyone "Green." Having been kept locked away it is restless, angry, disturbed, and deeply wounded. It seems we have become very confused by not connecting, not letting our Green Dragon connect to the Earth. We need to remember this connection, go into our inner depths, for this is the only way to heal this wound. In remembering, we will feel the pain of our Green Dragon, but this pain will open us to our Earthly Mother in such a way we will have no choice but to stop hurting Her. The earthly wound may now be so deep that we can no longer stop the bleeding with physical means. We will need to spiritually heal the Earth and this begins by spiritually healing ourselves.


We do this by bringing an awareness of life to the world. Our Western culture sees only dead, inert matter; it has become a culture of death. Christians focus on a dead man hung upon a cross and only twice a year celebrate his birth and rebirth. If we exercise our ability to see, and realize that all we see is really a part of ourselves, for there is no 'out there,' then we have a chance. With our inner eye and heart open, life flows. Our inner eye and heart are one and the same for they are both connected to the source of all life. Seeing this way imbues the 'outer world' with life.


There is a story of the early English settlers in Australia in which the aboriginal people showed these colonists a beautiful oasis, a pure water source in the middle of the desert. The settlers brought only their dead eyes to bear upon this sacred land. They saw the water, but not the life force so they held no reverence for the land and soon the oasis dried up. Their lack of connection to the life-giving energy changed their environment. The energy of death they carried overwhelmed the aboriginal's connection to the life source. The colonists of the Western world brought death to the new world lands in many ways.


Ultimately the Earth is deeply rooted in our psyche. Just as we have our origins in Spirit, the Earth as we perceive it, has its origin in us. If this were not so we wouldn't be able to heal the Earth by healing ourselves. When the dragon flies it will understand this. We've always been afraid of releasing the Green Dragon so we've left ourselves blind to the truth. The Green Dragon thinks its home is only the physical plane because it has been locked away in a cave. The reptilian brain only remembers being close to the ground covered in dust because it is not consciously connected to our other brains. Our brains have developed other layers and these layers took over and suppressed the early reptilian brain instead of letting it develop along with them. The reptilian brain developed somewhat by becoming The Green Dragon, but it was a water, winged, fire spirit locked in a cave.


We should thank those who wish to demonize the environmentalists and all who feel deeply connected to Earth by calling their movement and love of nature the Green Dragon. They have reminded us of this power that we, they included, all carry within. They have brought us to the cave where the Green Dragon resides. We need only to release this powerful spirit, which feels so deeply rooted to Earth, into the sky and depths so that we may better know who we really are. Then we can begin to see our earthly home as it is and imagine it anew.



You are sitting around a fire after a hard day of work. The air cools and the sun sets, the frogs and crickets begin singing as the sky darkens. Suddenly the person you have been eagerly awaiting leaps to the center of the circle. Your Shaman begins her story. You have heard the story a hundred times, but the antics of the animals and the wisdom in the story never fail to give you pleasure. As she weaves her tale, the knowledge that every thing is alive, carrying its own power and wisdom, soothes your soul.

Let us join together, in this virtual circle, and share these Animal Tales. Let us once again feel how the stories connect us to the natural world and remind us that we are all part of a vast Circle of Life. Listen now as the Shaman's animal stories whisper tales of that power and wisdom in your ear.


Today's tale is from a Papago creation story, Earth-Maker created the world and Elder Brother created people. Elder Brother is I’itoi, spirit of goodness. He watches over the Papago from his home on top of a cloud-covered mountain.


How Butterflies Came To Be

Native American - Papago (Tohono O'odham) Story

retold by Sanjit


A long time ago, Elder Brother was out walking. The summer rains had finished and everywhere he saw the colours of autumn, brightly coloured flowers and trees and the blue sky.


He heard birds singing. He came to a village where young women were grinding corn and children were playing. They ran around, noisy and happy, and he felt happy too. "The world is beautiful," he thought, and he sat down to enjoy it.


Suddenly he was sad. "It will be winter soon. The leaves will shrivel and fall and the flowers will fade. The beautiful colours will be gone and it will be cold."


As he watched the children playing, he decided the summer colours should be kept somehow so that he and everyone else could enjoy them longer. He would make something to hold them.


Elder Brother always had a special bag with him, his creation bag. It was big enough to hold whatever he needed to carry.


He opened it up, looked around and began to collect colours from things: gold from a ray of sunlight, blue from the sky, shiny black from a woman’s hair, white from the cornmeal, green from pine needles, yellow from leaves, and purple, red and orange from flowers.


All the colours went into the bag.


He thought he was finished, but then he heard the birds singing again and he added their songs to the colours in the bag.


Then Elder Brother called to the children. "Come here. I have something for you." Several of the children ran over and he held out his large bag to them. "Take this and open it," he said. "There’s a surprise in there for you all."


The children took the bag and opened it.


Hundreds of coloured butterflies fluttered out. They flew up around the children’s heads, landing on their hair and arms.


The children laughed with joy. The women stopped grinding corn and came over and men joined their families from the fields.


Everyone watched the butterflies and stretched out their hands for them to land on. They had never seen such beautiful colours.


And then the butterflies began to sing as they flew around.


The people were very happy, but the birds were not.


One bird perched on Elder Brother’s shoulder and tapped him with its beak. "You’ve given our songs to these new creatures and we don’t think that’s fair. When we were made, we were given a song each – our own song. Now you’ve given all our songs away. And to creatures that already have more beautiful colours than we do."


"You’re right," said Elder Brother. "The songs belonged to you and I shouldn’t have given them away. I’m sorry." He reached out to the butterflies, took away the songs gently and gave them back to the birds. This made the birds happy again.


This is how butterflies came to be, and why they are silent.


Their colours are a gift of beauty for everyone to share, whenever they appear.

Just as Elder Brother wanted.





Animal Tales Column brought to you by Kamala.

Animal Tales logo by Anne Gauldin, Gauldin Farrington Designs