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
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
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
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
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
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.