Notes: Assorted readings on serpent and dragon motifs

 

The earliest surviving examples of Japanese painting are found in late tombs of the Kofun period (4th-7th centuries CE). On the walls of Takehara tumulus (6th century, Kyushu), a man and his steed, a boat in the waves and a fiery horse-dragon in the sky evoke the culture and beliefs of Kofun horse-riders in a naive but symbolic fashion.

A century later, murals in Takamatsu tomb, reveal the rich cosmology imported from China: white tiger, green dragon and black turtle, entwined with a snake mark three of the cardinal points. By the 7th century, however, Buddhism was well established, the practice of tumulus burials gradually disappeared and temples rather than tombs were adorned with paintings.

Japanese Traditional Painting by Marie-Therese Barrett http://www.culturalprofiles.net/japan/Directories/Japan_Cultural_Profile/-10847.html

Dragon/snake worship (竜蛇信仰; to a lot of early peoples in Asia dragons and snakes were one and the same) was seen throughout Japan as well as neighboring regions (Taiwan, etc). As far as I can tell, not much about these beliefs in Japan is known.

There seems to me to be a considerable overlap between countries where snakes are considered to have magical properties and regions that produce wavy or kris blades. Some of this is probably due to cultural exchange, some of it is probably isolated peoples coming up with the same idea independently.

Ryujin and thunder/lightning (supposedly having to do with them “looking” like a lightning-bolt). So more dragons and rain I suppose.

in Ainu myth as well. In the origin story of kamui Fuchi, as she descended from the heavens she was accompanied by kanna Kamui, the god of thunder and lightning, in his guise of a fiery serpent.Snake and Japanese culture

Snake and Japanese culture Ke-hua Liu http://aitech.ac.jp/lib/kiyou/40A/A11.pdf

The Serpent: (from Representation to Shared Awareness and Results) Asia Pacific P.E.N. Conference (Tokyo 26th-28th November 1996)

HATA  Kohei http://umi-no-hon.officeblue.jp/essey4.htm

Japan has lots of water – ponds, swamps, rivers, and of course the sea. It is a country whose mountains, valleys, fields and villages ooze with water. There is nowhere in Japan where snakes do not exist. Thus, most of the deities regarded as gods at old Japanese shrines – Izumo, Suwa, Kamo, Ise, Sumiyoshi, Hachiman, Yasaka, Kumano, Inari, Kifune, Kehi, Sata, Konpira, Itsukushima, Nio, Miwa, Kashima, Mishima, and Matsuo – are water gods, meaning gods in snake form.

According to what the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki have to say about the mythological age of the gods, the origin of the Imperial Family itself cannot be considered apart from the snake, the dragon-snake, and from water-gods and sea-gods or mountain-gods and field-gods. The image of the snake-head biting its tail might be seen as expressing the structuralized discriminations within Japanese society: the nobility and the lowly, town and country, the snake handle of the golden seal of the “Na land of Wa,”  the old Chinese name for Japan. The party that conferred it upon Japan’s ancient rulers would have chosen the design after a thorough study of the recipient’s religious practices. This makes the interpretation of the connection between “na” and snakes less than extraordinary. The snake image figures also in Shinto religious rituals involving tug-of-war and bamboo-cutting. It is recognizable in chi-no-wa dipping, a ritual in which people walk through a suspended talismanic ring made of straw or grass, and in the thick Shinto straw festoons known as shimenawa. Fecund breeders, snakes inspired religious belief in an agricultural society, and the Shinto rituals are indicative of the ties between snakes and people. the dragon is one of the most common figures in Chinese designs. Dragons protect palaces and graves; they are carved in stone, molded out of earth, etched on mirrors, and formed the great Chiu Lung Wall (the wall of nine dragons); they are found on bronzeware and jade ware, flags, swords, clothing, pottery, furniture, roofs, walls, and railways; they decorate everyday dinnerware – there is no end of examples of objects adorned with dragons down the ages through out China. Whether the representation is detailed or sketchy, whether the design is colorful or monochrome, the result offers a mysteriously flamboyant and lively impression. One can see it as well in the Nagasaki Kunchi festival, which originated in China. The Chinese dragon, with its richly powerful and spiritually uplifting nature, suggests a good omen portending an ascent to heaven.

The basic dragon features – long scaly trunk, two horns, wings at the base of the forelegs, powerful dorsal fins leading to the tai1, extraordinary claws and so on – took shape for the most part during the Han Period. The fact that the dragon was an imaginary sacred beast evoked spilitual ease and peace of mind – resulting in the representation of the dragon as a creature of cheer and good fortune. In contrast, the snake crawling on the ground is an image of gloom. Among the four gods of direction, the dragon occupies the east where the sunrises. In one of the twelve styles of writing presented to the emperor, the dragon is used as a crest symbolizing the emperor. To me the charm of Ming and Ching porcelain lies in the dragon design, without which, I feel, they would be somewhat insipid.

Somehow, in Japan, dragons failed to get ahead in life to that extent. To a Japanese mind, perhaps a dragon is only a snake that did well for itself. The Japanese do not surround themselves with objects adorned with dragon motifs. One talks about dragon palaces, but there are few instances of dragons themselves actually appearing, and when they do, as in the eight-headed monster serpent, they tend to take the form of a snake. One could of course mention the “dragon-snake” which is always the central figure of Izumo rituals. The rope-weaving and thick festival pillars of Suwa are also supposed to be in the shape of a snake.

In the Chinese national creation myth, the first clan in the so-called Three Rulers and Five Emperors Period went by a family name meaning “wind.” They are said to have had snake bodies and human heads. There are a number of creation myths of this kind involving snakes. If we consider the issue from a global perspective we will notice many more snake/dragon motifs

From A. N. Mercheryakov’s “The Meaning of “The Beginning” and “The End” In Shinto and Early Japanese Buddhism”  Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 11 (1):43-56 (1984)

The story found in Nihon Ryoiki Vo l. 1 , No. 3 is of much importance in this connection. During the reign of Emperor Idatsu, when a farmer was working in his field, it began raining. The farmer took shelter under a tree. When it thundered he raised his metal rod in fear. The thunder struck before him, appearing as a boy. The farmer was about to s trike him w ith the rod but the boy said: “Please, don’t hit me. I will repay your kindness.  The farmer asked what he should do. The boy answered that he would send a son to the farm er. “Make me a camphor boat, fill it with water, put a bamboo leaf on the water and give the boat to me.” The farmer did this and the thunder god could now ascend to heaven. Later a son was born to the farmer. A snake was coiled twice around his head. This son accomplished miraculous deeds: he defeated a strong prince, expelled an evil fiend from the Buddhist temple Gangoji, and defeated some princes who had stopped the flow of water to the fields owned by this temple. He was ordained under the name of Dojo. In this story the snake is identified with the thunder god, which is quite usual everywhere in the world. The first part of the story, dealing with the meeting of the farmer and the thunder god and the birth of the child, is closely connected to tradition a l Shinto beliefs  (p. 46-47).

Making a boat for the thunder god is a ritual to renew the a b ilitie s of the thunder god which he lost on the ground. One can easily imagine that camphor-boats appearing in excavations of Yayoi and K ofun stratas may be explained as accessories of a thunder god cult. The appearance of a child with a snake coiled twice around his head indicates that the child was a descendant of the thunder god. In its most archaic form, some traces of which can be seen in the Nihon Ryoiki story, the appearance of a miraculous boy resulted from the fecundation of m other-earth by the rain (thunder) god. The com petition with a prince living in a secluded house corresponds to the m otif of the test of the hero, w hich in fact is absolutely necessary in every folk narrative . The Nihon Ryoiki story says that the boy made deep footprints. In another story the snake himself, not his descendant, is featured in the same manner (Dorson 1962)p. 122). One can assume that deep footprints are indicative of a snake. The rain-making function in a highly developed agricultural society is transferred from the snake to his child: as his last deed Dojo opened the sluice gates shut by the evil princes so that the fields of the Gangoji temple were never dry again.

Story 81 of the eleventh century Dai nihon hokke genki treats the snake in a sim ilar manner in connection with his wat r-bringing activities. In this tale a man wishes to build a pagoda but thunder destroys it many times. The monk Jinyu promises to help that man and starts to read the “Lotus Sutra,1′ A t that moment it begins to rain and the man is afraid that the lightning w ill destroy the pagoda once again. But the prayers have an effect and the thunder god, in the form of a young man, falls to the ground. He is tangled in a rope and cannot ascend to heaven. Jin’yu orders him not to destroy the pagoda and to bring water from the valley. The thunder god obeys the command but does not bring water from the valley. When he ascends to heaven a spring of the purest water gushes forth from a rock. This story turns the irregular rain-maker into a permanent source of water. Generally speaking the common Japanese Buddhist comprehension of the snake is as a wholly harmful creature. This attitude can be traced to pre-Buddhist times, and is not connected w ith the snake’s rain-making function — the snake is featured as a sexual trickster. Some examples w ill make this clear. Hitachi fudoki relates the tale of a stranger who used to visit a woman named Nuka-bime. This stranger would appear in the evening and leave in the morning. The woman eventually gives birth to a snake child. The child speaks to his m other in the darkness and keeps silence when it begins to dawn. The m other moves him from one vessel to another but the snake grows so rapidly that one day she has no appropriate vessel for him. The mother says: “Judging by your abilities I have understood that you are son of a god and our fam ily cannot nourish you any longer. Go back to your f the r. You should not remain here The son agrees with her but asks for a child as a guide. When his request is rejected he goes into a rage and with the help of the lightning strikes his uncle Nuka-bime’s brother dead. The m other then throws the vessel the snake had been kept in at him. He loses his divine abilities and cannot ascend to heaven (Fudoki pp. 78-81). Hizen fudoki says that a man once came at night to O tohi-himeko and left at dawn. When the woman traced him she found herself at a lake at the peak of a mountain. She saw a snake there. He had a human body in the w ater and the head of a snake on the shore. A t th a t moment the snake turned into a man and invited O tohi-himeko to descend to his house. O tohi-himeko’s maid returned home and told the story to her relative s. When they climbed the mountain they found O tohi-him eko lying at the bottom of the lake (Fudoki, pp. 396-397). In KoJiki,there is a story very similar to this Hizen fudoki legend, but in K o jiki the story ends at the moment of identification of a stranger w ith a snake-god in the mountain (Philippi 1968, pp. 203-204). Buddhist stories regard relationships between snakes and human women as harmful. Nihon ryoiki II. 41 te lls how a girl was raped by a snake but cured by a magic ritual. Nevertheless she was violated for the second tim e and died. Ryoiki compiler Kyokai ends the story in the following way: “According to the law of karmic causality, one is reborn as a snake, horse, cow, dog, or bird ,or falls in love with a snake because of evil deeds in the past, or is reborn in the form of a ghostly creature .11 Most stories in Nihon ryoiki end with a didactic moral by the compiler which serves as a powerful means for accommodation of non-Buddhist stories. …

Now let us have a look at two very similar legends from Nihon ryoiki (Stories I I . 8 and I I . 12), which are quite interesting for the comprehension they show of the plot making function of syncretic Shinto-Buddhist stories. In one ( II.8), a girl meets a snake who is swallowing a frog. Moved by the desire to save all sentient beings, the g irl asks the snake to set the frog free, and in exchange she promises to m arry the snake. Then in fear she goes to the Venerable G yogi (or G yoki), but he answers that nothing can be done and that she should have faith in the Three Treasures of Buddhism and keep the precepts firmly. On the appointed day the snake appears, clim bs onto the roof and drops in fr nt of the girl. But some crabs she had also saved earlier cu t the snake into shreds, saving her from what Shinto would call a sin. Thus Buddhist virtues protect the girl from evil. In spite of the Buddhist plot of the story the snake is pictured in a Shinto way. At the girl’s house he comes through the roof, which indicates his sacred origin. The following fragments from Kojiki show this quite clearly. When Amaterasu was inside the sacred weaving hall seeing to the weaving of the divine garments, her brother Susanoo opened a hole in the roof and dropped the heavenly pony through it (P hilip pi 1968 p .80). In another fragment the god Take-mika-duti-no-kami sends a sword to pacify the land through a hole in the roof of a store-house (P hilippi 1968, p. 168). In these Nihon ryoiki stories “up” ^=”the sky”) is connected w ith the life of the snake and “down” with his death. Snakes are immobilized or die on the ground in four stories.2 The presence of a frog in the Nihon ryoiki stories also indicates the pre – Buddhist origins of the legend. In Nihon ryoiki the frog is depicted only as a goal for fulfilling the Buddhist virtue of saving a living being. But in other stories to avoid giving birth to a snake’s child a g irl is advised to step over a tub with frogs (Suzuki 1951, pp. 51­ 52) or put a frog in the tub which is used during parturition (Seki 1963, p. 270). On the bronze dotaku from Sakura-ga-oka there is a picture of a frog, a snake and a human being which also proves the antiquity of this motif (Torigoe 1975, p. 29). I believe that in the Nihon ryoiki story we find a fragment of an unknown myth* The meaning of the crabs in the Nihon ryoiki story is not clear enough. But it should be pointed out that the pair girl_crab is found in ancient kagura songs.3 Various folktales have inherited this opposition between snake and crab. Dorson cites the following story. A man named Hachiro was preparing meals for a wood-cutter. He caught a tro u t but liked it so much th at he ate it him self. He then became thirsty and could not slake his thirst, so he turned into a snake and built a dam. The god of Kogage, in whose territory this happened, did not like it, and thus turned into a crab, making a hole in the dam (Dorson 1962, pp. 126-127). In Buddhist stories which appeared after Nihon ryoiki the motif of girl and snake falls into further decline through the introduction of a Buddhist monk. In story X X IX , 40 of Konjaku monogataii Shu a young monk dreams that he slept with a beautiful girl. When he awakens he sees a dead snake near him. In this story we see a total decline of an original story: we now have not a male snake but a female snake; not a girl but a monk; the death not of a human being but of an animal.

 

 

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Winged serpents

Birds The association between birds or wings and the serpent seem to go back i ntime many thousands of years and across the world. To quote John Bathurst Deane

“The hierogram of the circle, wings, and serpent, is ne of the msot curious emblems of Ophiolatreia, and is recognised, with some modifications, in almost every country where serpent worship prevailed … It may be alleged that lall these cannot be resolved into the single-winged serpent once coiled. Under their present form certainly not; but it is possible that htese may be corruptiosn’s of the original emblem which was only preserved acurately in the neighbourhood of the countyr where the cause fo serpent-worship existied; namely in Persia, which bordered upon Babylonia and Media, the rival loi of the Garden of Eden.”

Deane relates these many thousands of images of the “winged serpent” to the Seraphim of the Bible, the “fiery” and “flying serpents”.

These could also be the origins for the flying dragons and why Quetzalcoatl was the “feathered” or plumed serpent among others. The reason given by Deane for this symbolism is proof of deity and consecration of a given Temple. If this is the case then it was certainly believed that the anceitn serpent had consecrated Tmepes acorss the world. And if the serpent was a true symbol of the sun (external) and the inner light (internal) then it ws a erfect fusing of our ancestors belief in one loation at one time (temple).

The real reason for the wings is that the serpent enlightenment aspect gave the adherent wings, symbolically making him/her higher in aspect and part of the “heavenly” chorus.

…In Eurasia and Japan there are definite images of snakes as spirals. In earthenware from the middle Jomon period (app 2000 BC) of Japan these can be seen quite clearly, and are said to be there to protect the contents of the jar from harm; something important was obviously in them. Clay figures from the same period also show wound snaekes on the heads. These sprials became part of family crests and transformed over time in to the Yin and Yang symbol of duality so popular today. These family symbols are called Kamon and one calss of them particularly is called Janome, which basically means they of the snake. Characters for snakes in Chinese became part of the alphabet over 3000 years ago. Another interesting point about the snake in CHina is that the Rainbow is said to be the sname elevated into the sky much like the AUstralian Rainbow Serpent. Indeed the CHinese character for Rainbow reflects this positio nas it has the symbol of the snake within it.

In Peru there is pottery with sprials ending in snakes head. In Taiwan there is a sculptured doror with sprials ending in snakes heads. In many Celitic stone monuments there are similar images — all leading to the now beautiful and ornate Celtic Knot work.

Source: Spirals, SYmbols and Snakes by Philip Gardiner http://www.scribd.com/doc/80516/Spirals-Symbols-and-Snakes

Snake and Dragon Lore of Japan by F. J. Daniels http://www.jstor.org/pss/1258001 1960 Folklore Enterprises, Ltd..

Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. Like these other Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.

When Buddhist monks from other parts of Asia brought their faith to Japan they transmitted dragon and snake legends from Buddhist and Hindu mythology. The most notable examples are the n?ga ナーガ or 龍 “Naga; rain deity; protector of Buddhism” and the nagaraja ナーガラージャ or 龍王 ”Nagaraja; snake king; dragon king”. De Visser (1913:179) notes that many Japanese n?ga legends have Chinese features. “This is quite clear, for it was via China that all the Indian tales came to Japan. Moreover, many originally Japanese dragons, to which Chinese legends were applied, were afterwards identified with naga, so that a blending of ideas was the result.” For instance, the undersea palace where naga kings supposedly live is called Japanese ryugu 龍宮 “dragon palace” from Chinese longgong 龍宮. Compare ryugu-jo 龍宮城 “dragon palace castle”, which was the sea-god Ryujin’s undersea residence. Japanese legends about the sea-god’s tide jewels, which controlled the ebb and flow of tides, have parallels in Indian legends about the naga’s nyoi-ju 如意珠 “cintamani; wish-fulfilling jewels

Aston, William George, tr. 1896. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697. 2 vols. Kegan Paul. 1972

Chamberlain, Basil H., tr. 1919. The Kojiki, Records of Ancient Matters.

Gould, Charles. 1896. Mythical Monsters”. W. H. Allen & Co.

Heinrich, Amy Vladeck. 1997. Currents in Japanese Culture: Translations and Transformations. Columbia University Press.

Ingersoll, Ernest. 1928. “Chapter Nine: The Dragon in Japanese Art”, in Dragons and Dragon Lore, Payson & Clarke.

Smith, G. Elliot. 1919. The Evolution of the Dragon. Longmans, Green & Company. http://fax.libs.uga.edu/BL313xS648/1f/evolution_of_the_dragon.pdf

Visser, Marinus Willern de. 1913. The Dragon in China and Japan. J. Muller.

9. External links

Dragons, Dragon Art, and Dragon Lore in Japan, A to Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhismhttp://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/dragon.shtml

Dragons of Fame: Japan, The Circle of the Dragon http://www.blackdrago.com/famous_japanese.htm

The Japanese Dragon, Dragonorama http://www.dragonorama.com/oriental/japanese.html

Ry?jin shink?, Encyclopedia of Shinto

The Azure Dragon of the East, Steve Renshaw and Saori Ihara

Ryuu 龍, Japanese Architecture & Art Net User System

Lucky Motifs on a Dragon Robe, Kyoto National Museum

***

In China, it was because the woods of the pine or ir and the cyprus were used for making coffins and grave-vaults and that pine-resin was regarded as a means of attaining immortality (De Groot, op cit. pp. 296 and 297) that such veneration was bestowed upon these trees. At an early date, Taoist seekers after immortality transplanted that animation [of the hardy long-lived fir and cypress] into themselves by consuming the resin of those trees, whcih apparently they looked upon as coagulated soul-substance, the counterpart of the blood in men and animals.” p 40 The Evolution of the Dragon

In America, as in India and Eastern Asia, the power controlling water was identified both with a serpent (which in the New World, as in the Old, was often equipped with such inapproapirate and arbitray appendatges as wings, horns and crests) and a god, who was either associated or confused with an elephant.

The Indian sea-goat or Makara was in fact intimately associated both with Varuna and with Indra. This monster assumed a great variety of forms, scuhc as the crocodile, the dolhpnin, the sea-serpent or dragon, or combinations of the heads of different animals with a fish’s body. Amongst these we find an elephant-headed form of the makara which was adopted as far east as Indonesia and as far west as Scotland. p 88

See the evolution of sea-goat Babylonia into makara from Buddhist Gaya and Mathura around 70BC-70 AD and into the CHinese Dragon via the Silk Road influences.

In China and Japan, the Indra-episode plays a much less prominent part, for the dragon is , like the Indian Naga, a beneficient creature, whcih approx more nearly to the Babylonian Ea or th Egyptian Osiris. It is not only the controller of water, but the impersonation of water and its life-giving powers: it is identified with the meepror with hsi standard, with the sky, and with all the powers that give, maintain and prolong life and guard agsint all kidns of danger to life. In other words, it is the bringer of good luck, the rejuvenator of mankind, the giver of immortality. pp 91

i

enemy of the thunder bird

Nwo the attributes of the Chinese and Japanese dragon as the controller of rain, thunder and lightning are identical with those of the American elephant-headed god. It also is associated with the East and with the tops of mountains. it is identified with the India n Naga, but the conflict involved in this identification is less obtrusive than it is either in America or in India. In Dravidian India the rulers and the gods are identified with the serpent: but among theAryans, who were hostile to the Dravidians, the rain-god s the enegmy of the Naga,. In America the confusion becomes more pronounced because Tlaloc (Chac) represents both Indra and his enemy the serpent. The reperesentation in the codices of his conflict with the serpent is merely a tradition which the maya and Aztec scribes followed, apparently with out understanding its meaning.

In China and Japan,

Minn claims that representations of the dragon are … But the legend of the dragon is much more ancient. The evidence has been given in full by Visser. He tells us that the earliest reference is found in the Yih King, and shows that the dragon was “a water animal akin to the snake which [used ] to sleep in pools during winter and arises in the spring. “It is the god of thunder, who brings good crops when he appears in teh rice fields (as rain) or in the sky (as dark and yellow clouds), in other words when he makes the rain fertilize the ground” (p. 38)

In Shu King there is a reference to the dragon as one of the symbolic figures painting on the upper garment of the emepror Hwang Ti (who according to the Chinese legends, which of course are not above repraoch, regined in the 27th century B.C.) In this ancient literatyre there are numerous references to the dragon, and not merely to the legends, but also to representations of the benigh monster on garments, banners and metal tablets. “The ancient texts …are short, but sufficient to give us the main conceptions of Old China with regard to the dragon. In those early days [just as at present] he was the god of water, thunder, clouds, and rain, the harbinger of blessings, and the symbol of holy men. As the emperors are the holy beings on earth, the idea of the dragon being the symbol of Imperail power is based upon this ancient conception”.

In the fifth appendix to the Yih King, which has been ascribed to Confucius (i.e. three centuries earlier than the Han dynasty mentioned by Mt Minns) it is stated that “K’ien (Heaven) is a horse, Kw’un (earth) is a cow , Chen (Thunder) is a dragon”.

The philosher Hwai Nan Tsze (who died 122 B.C.) declared that the dragon is the origin of all creatures, winged, hairy, scaly and

Mankind cannot see the dragons rise: wind and louds and his ascending to the ksy. Today I saw Lao Tsze; is he not like the dragon?”

the dragon had the power of hiding itself in a cloak of invisibility, just as clouds in whcih the Chinese saw dragons) could be dissipated inthe sky).

The giger and the dragon, teh gods of wind and water, are the cornerstones of teh doctrine called fung shui.

The dragon in China is “the heavenly giver of fertilizing rain. In the SHu King”the emblemati figureso f the ancients are given as the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the dragon and the variegated animals (pheasants) which are depicted in the supper sacrificial garment of the Emperor”. In Li Ki the unicorn, the phoenix, the tortoise, and the dragon are claled the four ling, which de Visser translates “spiritual beings,” creatures with enormously strong vital spirit. The dragon possesses the most ling of all creatures. The tiger is the deadly enemy of the dragon.

The dragon sheds a brilliant light at night usually from his glittering eyes. He is giver of omens, good and bad. rains and floods. THe dragon-horse is a vital spirit of Heaven and Earth and also of river water: it has the tail of a huge serpent.

The ecclesiastical vestments of the Wu-ist priests are endowed with magical properties which are considered to enable the wearer to control the order of the world, to avert unseasonable and clamitous events such as drought, untimely and superabundant rainfall and eclipses. These powers are conferred by the decoration upon the dress. pon the back of the chief vestment the represetnation of a range of mountain is embroidered as a symbol of the world: on each side (the right and left ) of ita large dragon arises above the billows to represent the fertilizing rain. They are surrounded by gold-trhread figures representing clouds and spirals typifying rolling thunder.

A ball sometimes with a spiral decoration, is commonly represented in front of the Chinese dragon. The CHiens ewriter Koh Hung tells us that “a spiral denotes the ruling of thunder from which issues a flash of lighting. De Visser discusses this at length and refers to Hirth’s claim that the CHinese triquetrum, ie the well known three-comma shaped figure, the Japanese mitsu-tomoe, the ancient spiral representat thunder also. Before discussing this question which involves hte consideration of the almost world-wide belief in a thunder-weapon and its relationship to the sprial ornament, the octopus,  the eparl, the swastika and triskele, let us examine further the problem of the dragon’s ball.

De vVisser puts fortward the suggestion that the ball is the moon or the pearl-moon which the dragon is swallowing, thereby causing the fertilizing rain. The CHinese refer to the ball as the “precious pearl” which thunder the influence of Buddhism in CHina was identified with the pearl that grants all desires” and is under the special protection of the Naga, ie the dragon. Arising out of this de Visser puts the conundrum “Was the ball orginally also a pearl, not of Buddhism but of Taoism?”

The gems of civilization were first planted in China by people strongly imbued with the belief that the pearl was the quintessence of life-gaviginand prosperity-conferring powers powers: it was not only identified with the moon, but also was itself a particle of moon-substance which fell as ddew into the gatping oyster. It was the very people who held such views about pearls and gold who, when searchin for alluvial gold and fresh-water pearls in Turkestan were repsonsibile for transferring these same life-giving properties to jade; and the magical value thus attache  otjade was teh nuclueeus, so to speak, around which the earliest civilization of CHina was crystallized.

The thunder-weapon the luminous pearl, which was believed to have fallen from the sky was homologized with the thunderbolt with functions of its own magical properties were assimilated.

Kramp called de Viseser’s attention to the fact that the Chinese hierogypphic character for the dragon’s ball is compounded of the signs for jewel and moon, which is also given in a Japanese lexicon as dividne pearl, the pearl of the bright moon.

“When the clouds approached and covered the moon, teh ancient the Chinese may have thought that the dragons had seized and swallowed this pearl, more brilliant than all the pearls of the sea”.

The pearl-ball was provided with the spiral, painted red, and given flames to represent its power of emitting light and shinging by night, the fact ofo the spiral ornamentation and the pearl being one of the surrogates of the thunder-weapon was rationlaized into an identification of the ball with thunder the light it was emitting as lightning .

Brahmanism in Indai throws light upon the real significance of the ball in the dragon-symbolism. Vritara is the moon, who swims into the sun’s mouth on the night of the new moon. The sun rises after swallowing hm, and the moon is invisible because he is swallowed. The sun vomits out the moon and the latter is then seen in the west … It is the pearl-moon which is both swallowed adn vomitted by the dragon. The sanme takes a more obtrusive part in the Japanese than in the Chinese dragon and it frequently manifests itself as a god of the sea. The old Japanese sea-gods were often female water-snakes. The cultural influences which reached Japan from the south by way of Indonesia–many centuries before the coming of Buddhism–naturally emphasized the serpent form of the dragon and its conennxion with the ocean.

But the river-gods or “water-fathers” were real four-footed dragons wiidentifiedwi withtthe dragon-kings of CHinese myth, but at the same time were strictly homologous with the Naga Rajas or cobra-kings of India.

The Japanese “Sea Lord” or “Sea Snake” was also claled “abundant-Pearl-Prince who had a magnificent palace at the bottom of the sea. His daughter (“Abudnant-Pearl-Princess”) married a youth whom she observed, reflected in the well, sitting on a cassisa tree near the castle gate. Ashamed at his presence at her lying in she was changed int oa wani or corcodile, elsewhere described as a dragon (makara). De Visser gives it as his opinion that the wani is “an old ancient Japanese dragon, or serpent-shaped sea-god, and the legend is an ancient Japanese tale, dressed in an Indian garb y later generations”. He is arguing that the Japanese existed long before Japan came under Indian influence . BUt he ignores the fact that at a very early date both India and CHina were diversely influenced by Babylonia, the great breeding place of dragons, and secondly, that Japan was influenced by Indonesia, and through it by the West, for many centuries before the arrival of such later India in legends as those relating to the palace under the sea, the castle gate and the cassia tree.

essentially the same dragon-stories had been recorded in the Kei Islands and Minahassa (Celelbes).

In light of this new information that”the resemblance of several features of this myth with hte Japanese one is so striking that we may be sure that the latter is of Indonesian origin.

“proasbly the foreign invaders, who in prehistoric times conquered Japan, came fro mIndonesia and brought the myth with them”.  The wani or crocodile motif thus introduced from India, via Indonesia, is really the Chinese and Japanese dragon as Aston has claimed Aston refers to Japanese picturesi nwhich the Abundant-Pearl-Prince and his daughter are represented with dragon’s heads appearing over their human ones, but in the old Indonesian version they maintain their forms as wani or crocodiles.

The dragon’s head appearing over a human one is quite an Indian motive, transferred to China and from tehere to Korea and Japan, and also to America.

The hewels of flood and ebb in the Japanese legends consist of the pearls of flood and ebb obtained from the dragon’s palace at the bottom of the sea. By their aid storms and floods could be created to destroy enemies or calm to secure safety for friends. Such stories are the logical result of the identification of perals with the moon, the influence of which upon the tides was proably one of the circumstances whic hwas repsponsibile for bringin the moon into the circle of the great scientifici theory of the life-giving powers of water .This in turn played a great if not decisive, part in originating the earliest belief in a sky world, or heaven.

The AMerican and Indonesian dragons can be referred back primarily to India the Chinese Japan variet8ies to India and Bbylonia 104. THe dragons  All dragons that strictly ocnform to the conventional dea of what such a wonder-beast should be can be shown to be sprung from the fertile imagination of ancient SUmer, the “great breeding place of monsters”

But the dragon-kyth is made upof many episodes, some of which wer enot drived from Babylonia.osoe of which were not derived from Babylonia.

Egyptian ierature affords a clearer insight into the devt of the Great Mother, the Water God and the Warrior Sun GOd.

Osiris or the fish-god Ea could destroy mankind. In other words, the fish-dragon or the composite monster formed of a fish and an antelope could represent the destructive forces of wind and water. Thus even the malignant dragon can be the homologue of the usually beneficient gods Osiris and

ThOrigianlly Hathor used a flint knife or axe and id the excution as the “Eye of Re” the moon the fiery bolt from heaven: Osiris sent the destroying flood and the intoxicating beer, each of wich like the knife axe and moon of Hathor were animated by the deity. Then Horus came as the winged dishk, the falcon, the sun, the lightning and the htunderbolt. As the dragon-stroy was spread abroad inteh world any one of these “weapons”was confused with alny or all the rest. The Eye of Re was the fire-spitting sperent and foreign poeple like the Greeks , Indians and others gave the simile literal expression and onverted the Cycoopean eye in theforehead whi hshot out the destroying fire.

The warrior od of Babylonia is called the bridhgt one, the sword ofr lightning of Ishtar, who was herself called both the sword or lightning of heaven.

The Indian story – the creation of men from clay is acredited by the Greeks to the falaming one the fire eagle Prometheus who stole fire from heaven and brought it to earth. The double axe was the homologue of the winged disk which fell or flew from heaven as the tangible form of the god. The fire from heaven came to be identified with the lightning.

The bird poised upon the axe in teh Cretan picture is the homologue of the falcon of Horus: it is in fact a second representation of the winged disk itself. This iThe falcon ma is later replaced by the eagle, pigeon, woodpecker, raven or toher substitiosn repeatedly made by ancient priesthoods. Same pehnonmenon and painters represneted the bird perched upon thetree of life as a falcon, an eagle ,a vulture a macaw or even a turkey.

All gods of thunder, lightning , rain and clouds derive their attributes, and the rperespentations from the legend which the EGyptian scribe has presereved for us in the Saga of the Winged Disk.

The sacred axe of Crete is represented elsewhere as a sword whic hbecame the visible impersonation of the deity. There is a Hittite story of a sword-handle coming to life – saeme story in Sarwak legends

The thunderbolt and winged disk there is a crossing of the two emblems and is often drived from lightning or some floral design. The trident might still be found at Boro-Bodur in java – the same disk is transformed into a most comlplicated ornament sometimes crowned by a Trident and is also met with between two serpents – the trisula or trident icommonly surmounts the entrance to the pdagodas depicted in the bas-reliefs – bledning of two designs the lotus and the winged disk. The weapon of Poseidon or Trident of Netptune iss sometimes crowned with a trilobate lotus flower or with three lotus beds or sometimes depicted in a shape that represents a fishing spear.

The Greek trident is conventionalized int oa lotus blossom o nGreek soil and othe Assyrian thunderweapon into two flowers pointing in ossposite directions.

Gygyptian than transfers this and so Hathor is seen as a sacred lotus from whcih the su-god Horus is born. The god of light is identified with the waterplant whether lotus, iris or lily and the lotys form of Horus can be correlated with the Hellenic Appollo Hyakinthos.

The fleur delus type now emerges beside the sacred lotus.

The trident and fleur delys are thunderweapons becomes  represent forms of Horus or his mother.

The classical keraunos is still preserved i nTibet as the dorje, which is identified wit hIndra’s thunderbolt the vajra – the

The Tibetna dorje like its Greek orgiinal is a conventionalzied flower the laf-design abotu the base of the cornoa being clearly defined.

Summary: From the old Babylonian representation of the lightning the two or three zigzag lines represneting flames, a tripartite thunder-weapon was evolved and carried east and west from the ancient seat of civilziation. Together with the axed, the double-edged and towards the centre of Asia the single – edged axe, it became a regular attribute of the Asiatic thunder-gods – the Indian trisula and the Greek trianana are oth its descendants.

Mount Meru is placed in the sea upn the tortoise avatar of Vishnu and is used to churn the food of immprtality for the gods.

THe lihgtning which is Horus in the form of the winged disk – strikes Typhon and throws him flaming to earth.

Ea wsa origianlly the ogd of the river and was also associated with the snake – the old serpent-goddess the lady Nina was transformed into  into both antelope and serpent – at times Ea was regarded as a gazelle rather a san antelope – stag Lulim – both lulim and elim are equivalent to sarru , king – – the association of the antelope with homologous deities in India and Egypet  – Ea was represented bboth by tfish and antelope and so Eas’s animal consisteing of an antelope’s head and the body of the fish so that  the ideogram became the antelope of the sea – the goat fish or the protytpe of the dragon

The early Indians – te Sanskrit name for the lunar mansion over whihc Soma presides is the deer-headed  the Moon the lord of the stars Soma has the natelope has his symbol.

In CHina the dragon was sometmes called the “celeestial stag”.  The deer became interchangeable with the gazelle in Asia – the Indian god Soma arrived i nChina

Taurus or the ram bull with the curved sprial horn became associated with the sun-god Amon in Egypt and with the thunder god as well – the spiral became a distinctive feature of the god of thunder throughouth the Hellenic and phonician worlds – the ram-headed god of thunder became associated with Agni theInidan firegod and the spiral as a head-appendage became the symbol of thunder throuhtou CHina and Japan, and fro mAsia spread to America where Tlaloc still retian this distinctive token of their origin from the Old WOrld.

pp. 134

Iron is lethal ot monsters in mythology – part played by smiths who foreged iron weapons with whic hHorus overcame Set and his followers – though the the assocaition ofmeteoric iron with the thunderbolt the traditional weapon for destroying dragons gave added force for destroying dragons – gave frroce to the ancient legend. Though the dragon is afriad of iron, hel ikes precious gems and is fond oroasted swallows.

Dragons and swallows due to a very anceitn stor of the Great Mother who iin the form of Isis was identified with the swallow. In CHina so ravenous is the monster that anyone who has eaten of swallows should avoid crossing the water lest the dragon devour the traveller – but those who pray for rain use swallows to attract the beneficent deity.

The beautiful gems remind us of the indian dragons – the pearls of the sea were of course in India as well as CHina and Japan and were considered to be in the special possession of the dragon-shaped sea-gods.

The cultural drift fro mWest to EAst along the southern coast of India was effected mainly by sailors searching for pearls.

the shark is supposed to have been tran was the guardian of teh pearls but became iidentiifed with the Naga and the dragon and the store of pearls became a vast treasure-shoue which becme one of the chief functions of the dragon to guard.

The legends fro mthsi point on range from Western Europe to Farthese t Asia.

The beneficent water-god Ea came from Babylonia – produces order

The cowry as a giver of life shell used in thesame way as red ochre placed int eh grave to confer vitality on the dead and worn on bracelets and necklaces to secyre good luck by giving the giver of life to avert the risk of danger to life.   same function as red ochre  pp 1250

it was the surrogate of the life-giving oran an amulet to increase the fertilit of women to assit in childbirth therefore worn only by women and tohelp them in childbirth.

Persians regarded pearlas as

ancient Persian word margan fro mmar giver and gan life – the owrd was borrowed by many lagnuages the same life-giving attrigbutes were also qcquired by other pearl bearing shells. Red had acquired magic potency as a surrogate of life-givign blood

Pearl -divers where afraid of sharks awhic hwere regarfrded as demons guarding the treasure-houses at te hbottom of the sea. Out of these crude materials the imaginations of the early pearl-fishers created the picture of wonderful submarine palaces of Naga kings in which vast wealth not merely of pearls but also of gold precious stones and beatufiul maidens all givers of life placed under the protectoin of shark-dragons. The idea of the pearl guarded by dragons linked with early Erythraean and Mediterranean beliefs.

So it is believed that these stories were first inventd somewhere on teh shores of the Erythraean Sea probably in Southern Arabia – the animation of the incense-tree by teh Great Mother – the link of her identification with the pearl – in the Perasian myth the white Haoma is a divine tree growing in the lake Vouruskasha: the fish Kharmishi circles protectingly around it and defneds it agsint the toad Ahriman – it gives etneral life children to women husbands to girls and horses to men.

The idea of guarding the divine tree by dragons was praobably the result of the transferene of the hsark stories whic horigianted from the pearl divers.

hence in Western my

Four corners – the four cardinal points four was a sacred number associated wit htime measurement especially with hte sun. ni the Early Dynastic period of Egypt – the moon goddess lent the sanctity of her divine to the number 28. THe Great mother and them oon was the regulator of human beings – Egyptian belief.- led ot the devt of the ppyramid.

The mythology the dragon guards the fruit bearing tree of life

Soma’s deer is thought to have provided the deer’s antlers of the eastern Asiatic dragon.

The seven or eight headed dragon probably originated from the seven Hathors  – the seis found also in the Scottish myth and the legneds of Cambodia, India, Persia, Western Asia, East Africa nd the Medierranean area. In SOuthern India the Dravidian people seem to have borrowed the Egyptian idea of the seven Hathora. Ther are sevevn Mari deities all sisters wh oare worshipped in Mysore – all sivew or sisters of Siva. The goddess wh oanimates seven pots who is also the seven Hathors is transferred to the dragon with seven heads. The East AFrican serpent comes in a storm of wind and dust . the Babylonian story seven winds destroy Tiamat – the famous legend of the seven devils ws throughouth the Mediterranean. Descriptions of the seven demons – the second one is a dragon with a open mouth.

The Babylonians not only adopted the Eguptian conception of the power of eveil as being seven demons but fused these into the dragon seven-fold attributes. In “The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, (British Musem) Marduk’s weapons is compared to the “fish with seven wings”. The god himself is represented thus “The tempest of battle, my weapon of f50 heads, which liie the great serpent of seven heads is yoked wit hseven heads which like the strong serpent of the sea (sweepsaway) the foe”.

In the worldwide association of seven-headed dragon with storms – the Argonaut was the strom-bibringer was a form of the Great Mother a benevolent warner agaist the storms – a link between the seven-headed dragon and the cephalopoda. The process of belnding the seven avatars of the dragon into a seven-headed dragon mya have been faciliated y itse identifiaction with the octopus – the shell fish forms assumed by the dragon – the Babylonian reference to t”the fish with seven wings” whcih was rationalized into a great serpent with seven heads – clues to the origin of the sevne-headed dragon. If Hathor was a seven-fold goddess and idenfiedn wit hthe sevne-spiked shell and the shell-sfishs seven wings converted into seven heads of the dragon would ve asimple one for an acneint story-teller on the shores of Southern Arabia.

Study of the “Ameno Toribune” (Heavenly Bird-Ship) in Japanese Mythology : Navigation in Eastern Seas of Ancient Time  [in Japanese] by Saito J. http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110006446565/en

The Evolutionof the Dragon by G. Elliot Smith The Evolution of the Dragon  (the Univeristy Press)

http://fax.libs.uga.edu/BL313xS648/1f/evolution_of_the_dragon.pdf The Evolution of teh Dragon

Ancient prospectos from the South exploted the rivers of Turkestan for alluvial gold and fresh water pearls they also collected pebbles of jade – the conisdred the properties of the stone to have magical reputation along with gold and pearls – the outcome was the life-giving qualities given to jade. These Prospectors made their way east past Lob Nor and desicovered the depsoits of gold and jade in Shensi province. Thus jade became the nucleus around which the distinctive civilziation of CHina became crystallized. The ancietn Chinese wishing to faciliate the resurrection of the dead surounded tehm with jade gold pearls timber and other things imbued with influences emitted from the heavens – with objects pervaded wtih vital energy drived from the Yang matter .

The indians to whom these beliefs wer etranfrerred “the naga owns riches, the water of life, and a jewel that restores the dead to life”

The Indonesians (the association of the moon with round stones) the sun (winged disk) with a stnone axe regarded as alternative weapons for the destructio nor creation of man – split stone

Assuming tat the early Egyptian beliefs made itself felt in India emergin in the details of the Naga worship in Inida. The Naga rulers were associated with springs, streams and lakes – the power was ascribed to the serpent-gods of the sun-worshipping ocuntries of CHina, Manchuria and Korea – the supposed ability to command the elements and especially the waters arose from their connection with the sea? But htis is not so, ithe belif in the Egyptian king’s power over water was certainl older than sun-worship and the peronsiifcation of the moon as the Great Mother brought the sky-deities and the control of water into correlatio nthe one with the eother. Sunworhsip did not begin unti Osirian beliefs and personification of the moon as Great mother brought hte sky deities and hte control of water with th other the sun and serpent in the royal insignia was al ater devt.

The early Egyptian goddess was identified with the uraes serpent in that Lower Egypt – the earliest deity in Crete was a goddess who was also closely assoicated with the serpent. The ophidian nature of hte earliest Sumeria mother goddess Innin is unmistakable

The earliest Indian deities were goddesses and the first rulers were regarded as divine cobras to whom was attriuted the power of controlling water. Tese Nagas whether kings or queens, gods or goddesses wer eprototypes of the Eastern Asiatic dragon whose origin

In Jpaan the earlist sun deity was a goddess who was identifeid with a snake.

(Miwa serpent)

The Mother Serpent controlled crops, associaed with teh coming of death into the world, with intro of agriculture and the discover of fire

All the serpetn sprits could take the form of a stone, sacred stones were connected the snake

The real dragon was created when all three larval types – erpent-eagle-lion and antelope fish were belnded to form a monster with bird’s feet and wings a lion’s forelimbs and head and fish’s scales, the antelope’s horns and a more or less serpentine form of trunk and tail and of head.

The dragon-mth of the West is the reglin of China

The dragon was originally a concrete expression of the divine powers of life-giving –

The Persian designo of the Winged Disk above the Tree of Life – is th

is combined with the Assyrian Tree of Life in which the god is riding in a crescent replacing the Disk pp 127

The significance of gates was suggested by the idea they represented the means of communicatio nbetween the livign and the dead, and symbolically the portal by which the daed acquired a rebirth into a new form of existence. The symbol of the winged disk as a symbolo f life-giving was placed above the lintels of these doors in modified forms in India, Idonesia, Mealnesia, Cambodia, China and Japan pp 185.

power of life-giving the healing in tis wings,  the Dravidian temples of India and the symbolic gateways of China and Japan

The Mycenaen tree form of the Great Mother i is transformed into the “tree of life” and the winged disk is perched ipon its summit. Thus there is a duplication of the life-giving deities. The tree of life of the Great Mother surmounted by the winged disk whic his really the surrogate of the sun-god who took over from her the power of life-givign.

mythology magi could summon the dieties into their presences – users of the shell or pearl et all could summon the deity

The Persian word for the madndrake was the man-like plant – the tgiver of life the tree  in any case the coral whic his a maritime product used to make ornament  for maidens is a giver of life identified with a maiden as the most potential emodiment of life-giving force.

The Egypitain story of Sekti which pounded the dididi na mortar to make the giver of life became the Indian legend Lakshmi or Sri born at the churning of the ocean – the goddess of beauty love and proserity. The role of

The role of blood red stained beer red wine red earth red berries in various legends – were life givin and death dealing substances all associated wit hte colour red – in time these were the destructive demons Sekhet and Set in their red froms which in turn were tranmitted to the drgaon,   and to that of the specialized form of the dragon or Satan. The mandrak legend spread to China attached t ginseng. – the fact that the Chinese make use of teh Syriac word yabruha (vide supra) suggests the source of these CHinese legends.

s transformed

The earliest known pictorial representation of te hdragon consists of the forepart of the sun-god’s falcon or eagle united with the hindpart of the mother-goddess7s lioness. The student of modern heraldry would not regard this as a dragon at all, butmerely a gryphon or griffin.

A recent writer on heraldry as complained that in spite of frequent corrections this creature is persistently confiused in popular mind with the dragon, which is even more purely imaginary.

But thought the fish, the falcon or eagle and the composite eagle-lion monster are early known pictorial representations of the dragon, good or bad, the serpent is proably more ancient still.

The earliest form assumed by the power of evil was the serpent but it is import to remember as each of the priamr ydeities can be a power ofeither good or evil, any of the animlas representing them can symbolize either aspect.

The Nagas are semi-divine serpents which wveryo ften assume human shapes and whose kings live with their retinues in the utmost luxury in their magnificent abodes at the bottom of the sea or inrivers or lakes. When leaving the Naga world they are in constant danger of being grasped and killed by the gigantic semi-divine birds, teh Garduas which also change themselves into men.

The Nagas are depicted n three forms: common snakes , guarding jewels; human bengs with four snakes in their necks; and winged sea-dragons, the upper part of the body human, but with a horned ox-like head, the lower part of the body that of a coiling dragon.

Here we find a link beweteen a link between t snake of ancient India nad the four-legeed Chinese dragon, hidden in the clouds , which the dragons’s breath. The gertilizing rain was thus in fact the vital esence of the dragon, being both water and the breath of life.

We find the Naga king not onl in possession of numberless jewles and beautiful girls, but also might y charms , bestwoing supernatural vision and hearing. The palaces of the Naga kings are always described as extremely speldnidd, abounding with gold and silver and precious stones and te Naga women, when appearing in human shape, were beautiful beyond description”. pp 108 The Evolution of the DRagon Dragons ad Rain Gods

THe story of an evil Naga protectin a big tree hat grew in a pond who failed to emit clouds of and thunder when the tree was cut down becau he was netiher despised nor wonunded for his body became the support of the stupa nad thre tree became a beam of the stupa. This aspect of the Naga as a tree demon is rare in India but common in CHina and Japan.

iIn far Eastern stories it is interesting to note the antagonism of the dragon to the tiger, when we recall that the lioness-form of Hathor was the prototye of the earliest malevolent dragon. There are five sorts of dragons:

serpent-dragons; lizard-dragons; fish-dragons; elepehant-dragons; and toad-dragons

blue is chosen in CHina colour of the East fro mwhere the rain must come this quarter is represented by the Azure Dragon, the highest in rank among all the dragons

Indra the rain-god is the patron of the East and iNdra-coour is nila dark blue or blue-black the regular epithet of the rain clouds

Nagas were said to live in the western quarter and that in India the West corresponds with the blue colour.

Facgin the East, however seems to point t an old rain ceremony in which Indra was invovled to raise the blue-black couds.

The ragon myth

The destruction of mankind

p 114 Sun god Ra – when the practice of human sacrifice was abandoned and substitutes were adopted – either the blood of cattle owhih by means of appro ceremonies could be transformed into human beings or red ochre was used to colour a liquid which was used ritually to replace the blood of sacrifice. Whe nthis phase of culture was reaached the goddess provided for the king an elixire o f life consisting of beer stained redby means of red ochre so as to simulate human blood.

Ra into the story marks the beignning of the belief in the sky-wrold or heaven.

The moon became the Eye f the Sky and the sun necessarily became itso ther Eye. but clearly the sun was more important. Eye seeing that it determined the day gave warmth and light for man’s daily work ws the more important deity.  But aRe at tfirst hte Brother-Eue of Hathor, and afterwords ther husband became the supereme sky-deity and Hathor merely one of this Eyes. The Eye of Ra or Hathor called as the giver of life, she was identified with the fire-spitting serpent which the king or god wore on his forehead. She was both the moon and the fiery bolt whicih shot down from the sky to slay the enemies of Re.  – bthe new incident emerges that by means of a human sacrifice the Nile flood can be produed – the goddess who originally did the slaughter becomes the victim – later animal or figure substites ritual practice – in legends the hero rescued the maiden as Andromeda was saved from the dragon. The dragon is the personification of the monsters taht dwell  in the waters as well as the desctructiv forces of the flood itself .But the monsters were no other followers of Set; they were the victis of the slaughter who ebecame id …the flood causes the destruction in Eguptian sumeraia Babylonian Hebrew myths – R’s boat becomes the ark, the winged disk which was despathced by Ra form teh boat bcomes the dove and the other bobirds sent out to spy the land, as the winged Horus spied the enemies of Re.

Hathor  defies Re and continues the destruction she is playing the part of her Babylonian representative Tia mat and is a dragon who has to be vanquished by the drink which the ogd provides

The red earth whic hwas pounded in teh mortar to make the elixir of life and the fertlizer of the soil also came to be regarded as the material out of which the new race of men was amade to replace those who were estroyed.

The god fashioned mankingd of this earth and instead of the red ochre being merely the material to give the blood-colour to the draughte of immortality, the story became confused; theacutal blood was presented to the clay images to give them life and consciousness.

Footnote There can be no doubt that the CHinese dragon is the descnedant of the early Babylonian monster, and that the inspiration to create it proably reached Shensi during the third millenium BC by the route indicated in my “Incense and Libations”. Some centuries later the Indian dragon reached the Far East via Indonesia and mingled with this Babylonican cousin in Japan and China.

http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/webclient/StreamGate?folder_id=0&dvs=1261044123602~75

Relationships between Jomon Culture and the Cultures of the Yangtze, South China, and Continental Southeast Asian Areas by Segey Lapteff Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature, Moscow Russia Japan Review 2006, 18: 249-286

http://shinku.nichibun.ac.jp/jpub/pdf/jr/JN1807.pdf

SImilarities between Hemudu cultures, Fujian cultures, Indochina cultures (Ban Kao and Southern Thailand)

***

Wooden bird statues are on the roof and the gate. In the Yayoi period, a bird seems to have been a symbol or Gods messenger that brought spirits of crops and exorcised the evil spirit.

Utlization of Aves in the Yayoi period – By Bird remains excavated from Archaeologic site of Yayoi period http://www.is.nagoya-u.ac.jp/thesis/M2007/cs/M350404356e.pdf goose and pheasant increased because not hunted postiively – not a lot hunted compared to land animals such as boar and deer.

**Naxi tribe(China) http://www.chubun-chan.com/minzu/minzu_naxi.htm and Aka tribe(Thai) were both originally from Tibet.http://homepage3.nifty.com/yao/minzoku-akha.html  It’s originally Uefukazarumon於不葺御門. It’s from Onmyodo.

I’m wondering if bird perches were a religious icon; in Korea they seem to be just that, placed outside villages for auspicious reasons. Then again, it could just be that birds gathered on them (like any telephone wire today) and so “torii” came to just be a name for such a structure. The name means “bird perch”, and one of the things that I noticed in Korea was an early religious association with birds. There are still sotdae, (also soldae, Susaldae, Jimdae) which according to Korean Cultural Heritage (vol. 2) are a type of totem pole with a bird on top. They are believed to go back to the Three Kingdoms Period, and, according to KCH, probably originated in the traditions of North Asia.
Considering that these are basically birds, sitting on perches, I can’t help but wonder if there is a connection with the “torii” in Japan.
I’ve also heard that the torii is connected to the sun cult–since birds (particular roosters) crow for the sun, they are connected with Amaterasu. I’ve heard some theories that this is where the idea of a bird perch came from. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotdae http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sotdae.JPG
Sotdae were generally set up alone, but sometimes, along with jangseung (Korean totem poles), doltap (??, a pagoda built with stone) or sinmok (??, sacred trees). It was worshiped as a village guardian. The birds may look like wild geese, crows or ibises in some areas, but ducks are the most common.The worship of sotdae-like objects was commonly found in North Asia.[7] Figures or patterns on Bronze Age relics of the that included a pole with a bird on it were discovered around these areas. As people began to develop techniques for metalworking and increased their agriculture production, power differences among tribes emerged. Dominating class sought a political and religious foundation needed to maintain their powers from gods in the heaven.[8][9] So it was assumed that appearance of sotdae stemmed from the integration between “Cosmic Tree” and “Sky-Birds”[8][9].A similar sacred pole is found among the Omaha tribe of the central United States.
A similar record was found in a book titled Dongguksesigi (?????, 東國?時記), which said that 12 wooden poles were set up to welcome a god on February 2 in Jeju island.[10] Also Dangun ‘s father, Hwanung, descended from the heaven to the top of a tree, Sindansu (???, 神壇樹) in Korea’s founding myth.[11] People selected a tree which was beyond the reach of humans and they conducted ceremonial rites before they cut down the tree. On top of that, the poles and posts were believed to offer protection a village against calamities and disasters and also acted like a mast in a U-shaped land area balancing and making the land stable
BirdsSotdae birds may be wild geese, gulls, ibises, Korean magpies or crows, but most commonly they are ducks.[3] Ducks give an important symbolic meaning to sotdae. They are able to travel on water as well as on land and in the air and also can go under water. Because of the relation to water, ducks were regarded to have an ability to control rain and thunder, to survive in the floods and to protect a village from fire. This belief made people think of ducks as a guardian in ancient agricultural societies.[3][8][9] Relating to this, a famous scholar, Lee Gyubo (???, 李奎報 1168?1241) wrote a following phrase in his garland called Dongguk I sangguk jip (??????, 東國李相國集: Collected works of Minister Yi of Korea): “Because of the rain for 7 days in a row, the capital of Songyang was submerged. The king, Jumong, was riding a duck horse stretching a reed rope across the river and his people were all holding that rope.” This suggests that people considered a duck as a rescuer from flood.[6]Another characteristic of ducks is that they are migratory birds coming to Korea in autumn. Migratory birds appear and disappear on a regular basis and it was believed that ducks travel to the world beyond the Earth and act as a messenger between the physical world and the realm of the spirits. In agriculture, this periodicity might be associated with the cycle of monsoon which brings rain. Also, the fact that ducks are fertile species and lay bigger eggs than chickens do would be a good reason for ducks to be an idolized object representing abundance.[3][edit]Meaning of the number of birds and their directionThe shape of birds on sotdae was carved as minutely as possible but it was sometimes simplified to just Y or ? shape. The number of birds seated on sotdae was different from village to village, from one to three. Commonly one bird was seated on a pole, but sometimes two or three birds on a Y-shape branch were found on a pole ― either facing each other or facing the same direction. Nothing is exactly known concerning the number of birds but it is assumed that the number of birds on a pole was decided according to the number of places which ‘qi’ should be complemented.[8] The direction of the bird’s heads varies. People made sotdae erected toward south to wish moderate weather for farming or let it direct north to bring rain. Sometimes sotdae turned toward the outside of the village to make sure that ducks take all the evil spirits and fly awayhttp://www.amateras.com/trip/japan/kofun/YgrMuseo320x210.jpg
That’s kind of what I’m thinking: birds perch on the top of the gateway (because in most early settlements, the area around the walls was probably clear-cut for some distance, and this was a high place they could look out from), just like on telephone poles and electrical lines. “Torii” does not necessarily imply a single bird. reconstructions at Yoshinogari have been made under the interpretation that “two standing round columns in some isolation must have been torii”
Yoshinogari two big columns with a lintel form the most basic open gateway possible — and that areas set aside as special were just ringed with what could be compared to the classic “white picket fence” and the open gateways were of the column-and-lintel construction. They were more sturdy (and permanent) than the fences would have been, and even without the fences they would have then defined the “entrance” to someplace. Probably someplace religious (i.e., not needing strong, defensible gates). And, somehow, that style… stuck.
As for the name — it may well be “just a name” because it *resembles* smaller scale *actual* bird perches that were made at some point — not because they were actually *intended* to function as such. Indeed, chickens don’t (as a rule) fly that high, and there’s no reason that doves would be particularly interested in torii rather than anything else around to perch on
The earliest known examples of “pictorial art” in Japan occur in the so-called Middle Yayoi period (first century A.D.) and take two forms: designs engraved on vases and line reliefs on dotaku (bronze bells).
The ceramics decorated with these primitive line drawings come chiefly from Karako, south of Nara, where a large Bronze Age village was discovered. The stratigraphic excavations of I936-I937 established the fact that these designs appear only on Type IV pottery of the late Middle Yayoi period. The most frequent themes are animals, chiefly stags, rendered with a liveliness that shows clearly how familiar these animals were to the inhabitants of the village. Anthropomorphic figures, very primitive and crudely drawn, are always shown with uplifted arms. There is also a boating scene, with three men rowing and some water birds near by; another shows a house on piles, with two men mounting the ladder. But on the whole the very notion of composition is absent; the design comes as the fanciful outpouring of a naive and spontaneous spirit.http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/studypages/internal/japan682/ch1.htm
the “divine bird” (red sparrow, guardian of the south) of ancient Chinese tradition.Otsuka tomb the “divine bird” (red sparrow, guardian of the south) of ancient Chinese tradition. Distinguishable on the left is a large tortoise which brings to mind the tortoise with two snake-heads (black tortoise, symbol of the north). It is interesting to note several elements in the decoration of this tomb which clearly point to an influence from the mainland, from Korea. Neverheless, as compared with the Koguryo wall paintings of Korea, the Japanese composition ; seen to be especially remarkable for the same naivete and clarity of expression which lend so much charm to the haniwa.
Korean Spiritual Beliefs and Birds:Ancient people believed that the souls of the deceased were guided to heaven by birds; therefore they put bird bones or feathers beside the dead. Around the 3rd CE the people oin the south of the peninsula had a mortuary custom of burying bird-shaped pottery along with the deceased. Found mostly in the outer coffin tombs, these pottery had an opening in the back through which liquid could be poured, presumably for funerary ceremonies.
Paekche of Korea and the Origin of Yamato Japan by Wontack Hong. All of this book is available in PDF format at this site: http://gias.snu.ac.kr/wthong/publication/paekche/eng/paekch_e.html
PreBuddhist Painting by Akiyama Terukasu http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:2cIeabvjjNkJ:kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/studypages/internal/japan682/ch1.htm+Karako+bird&cd=89&hl=ja&ct=clnk&gl=jp
The earliest surviving examples of Japanese painting are found in late tombs of the Kofun period (4th-7th centuries CE). On the walls of Takehara tumulus (6th century, Kyushu), a man and his steed, a boat in the waves and a fiery dragon in the sky evoke the culture and beliefs of Kofun horse-riders in a naive but symbolic fashion.A century later, murals in Takamatsu tomb, reveal the rich cosmology imported from China: white tiger, green dragon and black turtle, entwined with a snake mark three of the cardinal points. By the 7th century, however, Buddhism was well established, the practice of tumulus burials gradually disappeared and temples rather than tombs were adorned with paintings.
Japanese Traditional Painting by Marie-Therese Barrett http://www.culturalprofiles.net/japan/Directories/Japan_Cultural_Profile/-10847.html

Dragon/snake worship (竜蛇信仰; to a lot of early peoples in Asia dragons and snakes were one and the same) was seen throughout Japan as well as neighboring regions (Taiwan, etc). As far as I can tell, not much about these beliefs in Japan is known.
There seems to me to be a considerable overlap between countries where snakes are considered to have magical properties and regions that produce wavy or kris blades. Some of this is probably due to cultural exchange, some of it is probably isolated peoples coming up with the same idea independently.Ryujin and thunder/lightning (supposedly having to do with them “looking” like a lightning-bolt). So more dragons and rain I suppose.in Ainu myth as well. In the origin story of kamui Fuchi, as she descended from the heavens she was accompanied by kanna Kamui, the god of thunder and lightning, in his guise of a fiery serpent.Snake and Japanese culture
Snake and Japanese culture Ke-hua Liu http://aitech.ac.jp/lib/kiyou/40A/A11.pdf
The Serpent: (from Representation to Shared Awareness and Results) Asia Pacific P.E.N. Conference (Tokyo 26th-28th November 1996) HATA  Kohei http://umi-no-hon.officeblue.jp/essey4.htmJapan has lots of water – ponds, swamps, rivers, and of course the sea. It is a country whose mountains, valleys, fields and villages ooze with water. There is nowhere in Japan where snakes do not exist. Thus, most of the deities regarded as gods at old Japanese shrines – Izumo, Suwa, Kamo, Ise, Sumiyoshi, Hachiman, Yasaka, Kumano, Inari, Kifune, Kehi, Sata, Konpira, Itsukushima, Nio, Miwa, Kashima, Mishima, and Matsuo – are water gods, meaning gods in snake form.According to what the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki have to say about the mythological age of the gods, the origin of the Imperial Family itself cannot be considered apart from the snake, the dragon-snake, and from water-gods and sea-gods or mountain-gods and field-gods. The image of the snake-head biting its tail might be seen as expressing the structuralized discriminations within Japanese society: the nobility and the lowly, town and country,the snake handle of the golden seal of the “Na land of Wa,”  the old Chinese name for Japan. The party that conferred it upon Japan’s ancient rulers would have chosen the design after a thorough study of the recipient’s religious practices. This makes the interpretation of the connection between “na” and snakes less than extraordinary. The snake image figures also in Shinto religious rituals involving tug-of-war and bamboo-cutting. It is recognizable in chi-no-wa dipping, a ritual in which people walk through a suspended talismanic ring made of straw or grass, and in the thick Shinto straw festoons known as shimenawa. Fecund breeders, snakes inspired religious belief in an agricultural society, and the Shinto rituals are indicative of the ties between snakes and people. the dragon is one of the most common figures in Chinese designs. Dragons protect palaces and graves; they are carved in stone, molded out of earth, etched on mirrors, and formed the great Chiu Lung Wall (the wall of nine dragons); they are found on bronzeware and jade ware, flags, swords, clothing, pottery, furniture, roofs, walls, and railways; they decorate everyday dinnerware – there is no end of examples of objects adorned with dragons down the ages through out China. Whether the representation is detailed or sketchy, whether the design is colorful or monochrome, the result offers a mysteriously flamboyant and lively impression. One can see it as well in the Nagasaki Kunchi festival, which originated in China. The Chinese dragon, with its richly powerful and spiritually uplifting nature, suggests a good omen portending an ascent to heaven.
The basic dragon features – long scaly trunk, two horns, wings at the base of the forelegs, powerful dorsal fins leading to the tai1, extraordinary claws and so on – took shape for the most part during the Han Period. The fact that the dragon was an imaginary sacred beast evoked spilitual ease and peace of mind – resulting in the representation of the dragon as a creature of cheer and good fortune. In contrast, the snake crawling on the ground is an image of gloom. Among the four gods of direction, the dragon occupies the east where the sunrises. In one of the twelve styles of writing presented to the emperor, the dragon is used as a crest symbolizing the emperor. To me the charm of Ming and Ching porcelain lies in the dragon design, without which, I feel, they would be somewhat insipid.  Somehow, in Japan, dragons failed to get ahead in life to that extent. To a Japanese mind, perhaps a dragon is only a snake that did well for itself. The Japanese do not surround themselves with objects adorned with dragon motifs. One talks about dragon palaces, but there are few instances of dragons themselves actually appearing, and when they do, as in the eight-headed monster serpent, they tend to take the form of a snake. One could of course mention the “dragon-snake” which is always the central figure of Izumo rituals. The rope-weaving and thick festival pillars of Suwa are also supposed to be in the shape of a snake.
In the Chinese national creation myth, the first clan in the so-called Three Rulers and Five Emperors Period went by a family name meaning “wind.” They are said to have had snake bodies and human heads. There are a number of creation myths of this kind involving snakes. If we consider the issue from a global perspective we will notice many more snake/dragon motifs_________________Winged serpentsBirds The association between birds or wings and the serpent seem to go back i ntime many thousands of years and across the world. To quote John Bathurst Deane”The hierogram of the circle, wings, and serpent, is ne of the msot curious emblems of Ophiolatreia, and is recognised, with some modifications, in almost every country where serpent worship prevailed … It may be alleged that lall these cannot be resolved into the single-winged serpent once coiled. Under their present form certainly not; but it is possible that htese may be corruptiosn’s of the original emblem which was only preserved acurately in the neighbourhood of the countyr where the cause fo serpent-worship existied; namely in Persia, which bordered upon Babylonia and Media, the rival loi of the Garden of Eden.”Deane relates these many thousands of images of the “winged serpent” to the Seraphim of the Bible, the “fiery” and “flying serpents”.These could also be the origins for the flying dragons and why Quetzalcoatl was the “feathered” or plumed serpent among others. The reason given by Deane for this symbolism is proof of deity and consecration of a given Temple. If this is the case then it was certainly believed that the anceitn serpent had consecrated Tmepes acorss the world. And if the serpent was a true symbol of the sun (external) and the inner light (internal) then it ws a erfect fusing of our ancestors belief in one loation at one time (temple).The real reason for the wings is that the serpent enlightenment aspect gave the adherent wings, symbolically making him/her higher in aspect and part of the “heavenly” chorus.
…In Eurasia and Japan there are definite images of snakes as spirals. In earthenware from the middle Jomon period (app 2000 BC) of Japan these can be seen quite clearly, and are said to be there to protect the contents of the jar from harm; something important was obviously in them. Clay figures from the same period also show wound snaekes on the heads. These sprials became part of family crests and transformed over time in to the Yin and Yang symbol of duality so popular today. These family symbols are called Kamon and one calss of them particularly is called Janome, which basically emmeans ey of the sname. Characters for snakes in Chinese became part of the alphabet over 3000 years ago. Another interesting point about the snake in CHina is that the Rainbow is said to be the sname elevated into the sky much like the AUstralian Rainbow Serpent. Indeed the CHinese character for Rainbow reflects this positio nas it has the symbol of the snake within it.
In Peru there is pottery with sprials ending in snakes head. In Taiwan there is a sculptured doror with sprials ending in snakes heads. In many Celitic stone monuments there are similar images — all leading to the now beautiful and ornate Celtic Knot work.Source: Spirals, SYmbols and Snakes by Philip Gardiner http://www.scribd.com/doc/80516/Spirals-Symbols-and-Snakes
Snake and Dragon Lore of Japan by F. J. Daniels http://www.jstor.org/pss/1258001 1960 Folklore Enterprises, Ltd..
Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. Like these other Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.
When Buddhist monks from other parts of Asia brought their faith to Japan they transmitted dragon and snake legends from Buddhist and Hindu mythology. The most notable examples are the n?ga ナーガ or 龍 “N?ga; rain deity; protector of Buddhism” and the n?gar?ja ナーガラージャ or 龍王 ”N?garaja; snake king; dragon king”. De Visser (1913:179) notes that many Japanese n?ga legends have Chinese features. “This is quite clear, for it was via China that all the Indian tales came to Japan. Moreover, many originally Japanese dragons, to which Chinese legends were applied, were afterwards identified with n?ga, so that a blending of ideas was the result.” For instance, the undersea palace where n?ga kings supposedly live is called Japanese ry?g? 龍宮 “dragon palace” from Chinese longgong 龍宮. Compare ry?g?-j? 龍宮城 “dragon palace castle”, which was the sea-god Ry?jin’s undersea residence. Japanese legends about the sea-god’s tide jewels, which controlled the ebb and flow of tides, have parallels in Indian legends about the n?ga’s nyoi-ju 如意珠 “cintamani; wish-fulfilling jewelsAston, William George, tr. 1896. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697. 2 vols. Kegan Paul. 1972Chamberlain, Basil H., tr. 1919. The Kojiki, Records of Ancient Matters.Gould, Charles. 1896. Mythical Monsters”. W. H. Allen & Co.Heinrich, Amy Vladeck. 1997. Currents in Japanese Culture: Translations and Transformations. Columbia University Press.Ingersoll, Ernest. 1928. “Chapter Nine: The Dragon in Japanese Art”, in Dragons and Dragon Lore, Payson & Clarke.Smith, G. Elliot. 1919. The Evolution of the Dragon. Longmans, Green & Company. http://fax.libs.uga.edu/BL313xS648/1f/evolution_of_the_dragon.pdfVisser, Marinus Willern de. 1913. The Dragon in China and Japan. J. Muller.9. External linksDragons, Dragon Art, and Dragon Lore in Japan, A to Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhismhttp://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/dragon.shtml Dragons of Fame: Japan, The Circle of the Dragon http://www.blackdrago.com/famous_japanese.htmThe Japanese Dragon, Dragonorama http://www.dragonorama.com/oriental/japanese.htmlRy?jin shink?, Encyclopedia of ShintoThe Azure Dragon of the East, Steve Renshaw and Saori IharaRyuu 龍, Japanese Architecture & Art Net User SystemLucky Motifs on a Dragon Robe, Kyoto National Museum
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In China, it was because the woods of the pine or ir and the cyprus were used for making coffins and grave-vaults and taht pine-resin was regarded as a means of attaining immortality (De Groot, op cit. pp. 296 and 297) that such veneration was bestowed upon these trees. At an early date , Toaist seekers after immortality transplanted taht aniamtion [of the hardy long-lived fir and cypress] into themselves by consuming the resin of those trees, whcih appretnly they looked upon as coagulated soul-substance, the counterpart of the blood in men and animals.” p 40 The Evolution of the Dragon
In America, as in India and Eastern Asia, the power controlling water was identified both with a serpent (which in the New World, as in the Old, was often equipped with such inapproapirate and arbitray appendatges as wings, horns and crests) and a god, who was either associated or confused with an elephant.
The Indian sea-goat or Makara was in fact intimately associated both with Varuna and with Indra. This monster assumed a great variety of forms, scuhc as the crocodile, the dolhpnin, the sea-serpent or dragon, or combinations of the heads of different animals with a fish’s body. Amognst these we find an elephant-headed form of the makara which was adopted as far east as Indonesia and as far west as Scotland. p 88
See the evolution of sea-goat Babylonia into makara from Buddhist Gaya and Mathura around 70BC-70 AD and into the CHinese Dragon via the Silk Road influences.In China and Japan, the Indra-episode plays a much less prominent part, for the dragon is , like the Indian Naga, a beneficient creature, whcih approx more nearly to the Babylonian Ea or th Egyptian Osiris. It is not only the controller of water, but the impersonation of water and its life-giving powers: it is identified with the meepror with hsi standard, with the sky, and with all the powers that give, maintain and prolong life and guard agsint all kidns of danger to life. In other words, it is the bringer of good luck, the rejuvenator of mankind, the giver of immortality. pp 91
i
enemy of the thunder bird
Nwo the attributes of the Chinese and Japanese dragon as the controller of rain, thunder and lightning are identical with those of the American elephant-headed god. It also is associated with the East and with the tops of mountains. it is identified with the India n Naga, but the conflict in volved in thsi identifiacation is less obtrusive than it is either in America or in India. In Dravidian India the rulers and the gods are identified with the serpent: but among theAryans, who were hostile to the Dravidians, the rain-god s the enegmy of the Naga,. In America the confusion becomes more pronounced because Tlaloc (Chac) represents both Indra and his enemy the serpent. The reperesentation in teh codices of his conflict with the serpent is merely a tradition which the maya and Aztec scribes followed, apparently with out understanding its meaning.In China and Japan, Minn claims that representations of the dragon are … But the legend of the dragon is much mroe anceint . The evidence has been given in full by Visser. He tells us that the earliest reference is found in the Yih King, and shows that the dragon was “a water animal akin to the snake which [used ] to sleep in pools during winter and arises in the spring. “It is the god of thunder, who brings good crops when he appears in the rice fields (as rain) or in the sky (as dark and yellow clouds), in other words when he makes the rain fertilize the ground” (p. 38) In Shu King there is a reference to the dragon as one of the symbolic figures painting on te upper garment of the emepror Hwang Ti (who according to the CHinese legends, which of course are not above repraoch, regined in the 27th century B.C.) In this ancient literatyre there are numerous references to the dragon, and not merely to the legends, but also to representations of the benigh monster on garments, banners and metal tablets. “The ancient texts …are short, but sufficient to give us the main conceptions of Old China with regard to the dragon. In those early days [jst as at present] he was the god of wtaer, thunder, clouds, and rain, the harbinger of blessings, and the symbol of holy men. As the emperors are the holy beings on earth, the idea of the dragon being the symbol of Imperail power is based upon this ancient conception”.In the fifth appendix to the Yih King, which has been ascribed to Confucius (i.e. three centuries earlier than the Han dynasty mentioned by Mt Minns) it is stated that “K’ien (Heaven) is a horse, Kw’un (earth) is a cow , Chen (Thunder) is a dragon”.The philosher Hwai Nan Tsze (who died 122 B.C.) declared that the dragon is the origin of all creatures, winged, hairy, scaly and
Mankind cannot see the dragons rise: wind and louds and his ascending to the ksy. Today I saw Lao Tsze; is he not like the dragon?”the dragon had the power of hiding itself in a cloak of invisibility, just as clouds in whcih the Chinese saw dragons) could be dissipated inthe sky).The giger and the dragon, teh gods of wind and water, are the cornerstones of teh doctrine called fung shui. The dragon in China is “the heavenly giver of fertilizing rain. In the SHu King”the emblemati figureso f the ancients are given as the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountaint, the dragon and teh variegated animals (pheasnts) which are depicted nthe supper sacrificial garemnt of the Emperor”. In Li Ki the unicorn, the phoenix, the tortoise, and the dragon are claled the four ling, which d Bissser translates “sprirtual beings,” creatures with enormously strong vital spirit. The dragon possesses the most ling of all creatures. The tiger is the deadly enemy of the dragon.The dragon sheds a brilliant light at night usually from his glittering eyes. He is giver of omens, good and bad. rains and floods. THe dragon-horse is a vital spirit of Heaven and Earth and also of river water: it has the talil of a huge serpent.The ecclesiastical vestments of the Wu-ist priests are endowed with magical properties which are considered to enable the wearer to control the order of the world, to avert unseasonable and clamitous events such as drought, untimely and superabundant rainfall and eclipses. These powers are conferred by the decoration upon the dress. pon the back of the chief vestment the represetnation of a range of mountain is embroidered as a symbol of the world: on each side (the right and left ) of ita large dragon arises above the billows to represent the fertilizign rain. They are surrounded by gold-trhread figures representing clouds and spirals typifying rolling thunder.A ball sometimes with a spiral decoration, is commonly represented in frotn of the Chinese dragon. The Chinese writer Koh Hung tells us that “a spiral denotes the ruling of thunder from which issues a flash of lighting. DeVisser discusses this at length and refers to Hirth’s claim that the CHinese triquetrum, ie the well known three-coimma shaped figure, the Japaense mitsu-tomoe, the ancient sprial representat thunder also. Before discussing this question which involves hte consideration of the almost world-wide belief in a thunder-weapon and its relationship to the sprial ornament, the octopus,  the eparl, the swastika and triskele, let us examine further the problem of the dragon’s ball.
De vVisser puts fortward the suggestion that the ball is the moon or the pearl-moon which the dragon is swallowing, thereby causing the fertilziign rain. The CHinese refer to the ball as teh “precious pearl” whci hunder the inflence of Buddhism in CHina was identified wit hthe pearl that grants all desires” and is under the special protection of teh Naga, ie the dragon. Arrising out of this deBViser puts the conundrum “Was the ball orginally also a pearl, not of Buddhism but of Taoism?”The gems of civilization were first planted in China by people strongly imbued with the belief that the pearl was the quintessence of life-giviing and prosperity-conferring powers powers: it was not only identified with the moon, but also was itself a particle of moon-substance which fell as ddew into the gatping oyster. It was the very people who held such views about pearls and gold who, when searching for alluvial gold and fresh-water pearls in Turkestan were repsonsibile for transferring these same life-giving properties to jade; and the magical value thus attache  otjade was teh nuclueeus, so to speak, around which the earliest civilization of CHina was crystallized.The thunder-weapon the luminouspearl, which was believed to have fallen from the sky was homologized with the thunderbolt with functions of its own magical properties were assimilated.Kramp called de Viseser’s attention to the fact that the Chinese hierogypphic character for the dragon’s ball is compounded of the signs for jewel and moon, which is also given in a Japanese lexicon as divine pearl, the pearl of the bright moon.”When the clouds appraoched and covered the moon, teh ancient the CHinese may have thought that the dragons had seized and swallowed tis pearl, more brilliant than all the pearls of the sea”.
The pearl-ball was provided with the sprial, painted red, and given flames to represent itsepower of emitting light and shinging by night, the fact ofo the spiral ornamentation and thepearl being one of the surrogates of the thunger-weapon was rationlaized into an edicentiifaction of the ball with thunder the light it was emitting as lightning .
Brahmanism in Indai throws light upon the real significance of the ball in the dragon-symbolism. Vritara is the moon, who swims into the sun’s mouth on the night of the new moon. The sun rises after swallowing hm, and the moon is invisible because he is swallowed. The sun vomits out the moon and the latter is then seen in teh west … It is the pearl-moon which is both swallowed adn vomitted by the dragon. The sanme takes a more obtrusive part in teh Japaense than in the Chinese dragon and it frequently manifests itself as a god of the sea. The old Japense sea-gods were often female water-snakes. The cultural influences which reached Japan from the south by way of Indonesia–many centuries before the coming of Buddhism–naturally emphasized the serpent form of the dragon and its conennxion with the ocean.But the river-gods or “water-fathers” were real four-footed dragons wiidentifiedwi withtthe dragon-kings of CHinese myth, but at the same time were strictly homologous with the Naga Rajas or cobra-kings of India.The Japanese “Sea Lord” or “Sea Snake” was also claled “abudnat-Pearl-Prince who had a mangificent palace at the bottom of the sea. His daughter (“Abudnant-Pearl-Princess”) married a youth whom she observed, refelcted in teh well, sitting on a cassisa tree near the castle gate. Ashamed at his presence at her lying in she was changed int oa wani or corcodile, elsewhere described as a dragon (makara). De Visser gives it as his opinion that the wani is “an oldanciold Japanese dragon, or serpent-shaped sea-god, and the legend is an acneint Japanese tale, dressed in an Indian garb y later generations”. He is arguing that hte Japanese existed long before Japan came under Indian influence . BUt he ignores the fact that at a very early date both Inida and CHina wre diversely influenced by Babylonia, the great breeding place of dragons, and secondly, taht Japan was influenced by Indonesia, and through it by the West, for many centuries before the arrival of such later India n legends as those relating to the palace under the sea, teh castle gate and the cassia tree.esentially the same dragon-stories had been recorded in teh Kei Islands and Minahassa (Celelbes). In light of this new information that”the resemblance of several features of this myth with hte Japanese one is so striking that we may be sure that the latter is of Indonesian origin. “proasbly the foreign invaders, who in prehistoric times conquered Japan, came fro mIndonesia and brought the myth with them”.  The wani or crocodile motif thus introduced from India, via Indonesia, is really the Chinese and Japanese dragon as Aston has claimed Aston refers to Japanese picturesi nwhich the Abundant-Pearl-Prince and his daughter are represented with dragon’s heads appearing over their human ones, but in the old Indonesian version they maintain their forms as wani or corcodiles.The dragon’s head appearing over a human one is quite an Indian motive, transferred to China and from tehere to Korea and Japan, and also to America.

The hewels of flood and ebb in the Japanese legends consist of the pearls of flood and ebb obtained from the dragon’s palace at the bottom of the sea. By their aid storms and floods could be created to destroy enemies or calm to secure safety for friends. Such stories are the logical result of the identification of perals with the moon, the influence of which upon the tides was proably one of the circumstances whic hwas repsponsibile for bringin the moon into the circle of the great scientifici theory of the life-giving powers of water .This in turn played a great if not decisive, part in originating the earliest belief in a sky world, or heaven.
The AMerican and Indonesian dragons can be referred back primarily to India the Chinese Japan variet8ies to India and Bbylonia 104. THe dragons  All dragons that strictly ocnform to the conventional dea of what such a wonder-beast should be can be shown to be sprung from the fertile imagination of ancient SUmer, the “great breeding place of monsters”
But the dragon-kyth is made upof many episodes, some of which wer enot drived from Babylonia.osoe of which were not derived from Babylonia.Egyptian ierature affords a clearer insight into the devt of the Great Mother, the Water God and the Warrior Sun GOd.Osiris or the fish-god Ea could destroy mankind. In other words, the fish-dragon or the composite monster formed of a fish and an antelope could represent the destructive forces of wind and water. Thus even the malignant dragon can be the homologue of the usually beneficient gods Osiris andThOrigianlly Hathor used a flint knife or axe and id the excution as the “Eye of Re” the moon the fiery bolt from heaven: Osiris sent the destroying flood and the intoxicating beer, each of wich like the knife axe and moon of Hathor were animated by the deity. Then Horus came as the winged dishk, the falcon, the sun, the lightning and the htunderbolt. As the dragon-stroy was spread abroad inteh world any one of these “weapons”was confused with alny or all the rest. The Eye of Re was the fire-spitting sperent and foreign poeple like the Greeks , Indians and others gave the simile literal expression and onverted the Cycoopean eye in theforehead whi hshot out the destroying fire.The warrior od of Babylonia is called the bridhgt one, the sword ofr lightning of Ishtar, who was herself called both the sword or lightning of heaven.The Indian story – the creation of men from clay is acredited by the Greeks to the falaming one the fire eagle Prometheus who stole fire from heaven and brought it to earth. The double axe was the homologue of the winged disk which fell or flew from heaven as the tangible form of the god. The fire from heaven came to be identified with the lightning.
The bird poised upon the axe in teh Cretan picture is the homologue of the falcon of Horus: it is in fact a second representation of the winged disk itself. This iThe falcon ma is later replaced by the eagle, pigeon, woodpecker, raven or toher substitiosn repeatedly made by ancient priesthoods. Same pehnonmenon and painters represneted the bird perched upon thetree of life as a falcon, an eagle ,a vulture a macaw or even a turkey.
All gods of thunder, lightning , rain and clouds derive their attributes, and the rperespentations from the legend which the EGyptian scribe has presereved for us in the Saga of the Winged Disk.
The sacred axe of Crete is represented elsewhere as a sword whic hbecame the visible impersonation of the deity. There is a Hittite story of a sword-handle coming to life – saeme story in Sarwak legends
The thunderbolt and winged disk there is a corssing of the two emblems and is often drived from lightning or some floral design. The trident might still be found at Boro-Bodur in java – the same disk is transformed into a most comlplicated ornament sometimes crowned by a Trident and is also met with between two serpents – the trisula or trident icommonly surmounts the entrance to the pdagodas depicted in the bas-reliefs – bledning of two designs the lotus and the winged disk. The weapon of Poseidon or Trident of Netptune iss sometimes crowned with a trilobate lotus flower or with three lotus beds or sometimes depicted in a shape that represents a fishing spear.The Greek trident is conventionalized int oa lotus blossom o nGreek soil and othe Assyrian thunderweapon into two flowers pointing in ossposite directions. Gygyptian than transfers this and so Hathor is seen as a sacred lotus from whcih the su-god Horus is born. The god of light is identified with the waterplant whether lotus, iris or lily and the lotys form of Horus can be correlated with the Hellenic Appollo Hyakinthos.The fleur delus type now emerges beside the sacred lotus.The trident and fleur delys are thunderweapons becomes  represent forms of Horus or his mother.The classical keraunos is still preserved i nTibet as the dorje, which is identified wit hIndra’s thunderbolt the vajra – the The Tibetna dorje like its Greek orgiinal is a conventionalzied flower the laf-design abotu the base of the cornoa being clearly defined. Summary: From the old Babylonian representation of the lightning the two or three zigzag lines represneting flames, a tripartite thunder-weapon was evolved and carried east and west from the ancient seat of civilziation. Together with the axed, the double-edged and towards the centre of Asia the single – edged axe, it became a regular attribute of the Asiatic thunder-gods – the Indian trisula and the Greek trianana are oth its descendants.
Mount Meru is placed in the sea upn the tortoise avatar of Vishnu and is used to churn the food of immprtality for the gods. THe lihgtning which is Horus in the form of the winged disk – strikes Typhon and throws him flaming to earth.
Ea wsa origianlly the ogd of the river and was also associated with the snake – the old serpent-goddess the lady Nina was transformed into  into both antelope and serpent – at times Ea was regarded as a gazelle rather a san antelope – stag Lulim – both lulim and elim are equivalent to sarru , king – – the association of the antelope with homologous deities in India and Egypet  – Ea was represented bboth by tfish and antelope and so Eas’s animal consisteing of an antelope’s head and the body of the fish so that  the ideogram became the antelope of the sea – the goat fish or the protytpe of the dragon
The early Indians – te Sanskrit name for the lunar mansion over whihc Soma presides is the deer-headed  the Moon the lord of the stars Soma has the natelope has his symbol. In CHina the dragon was sometmes called the “celeestial stag”.  The deer became interchangeable with the gazelle in Asia – the Indian god Soma arrived i nChina Taurus or the ram bull with the curved sprial horn became associated with the sun-god Amon in Egypt and with the thunder god as well – the spiral became a distinctive feature of the god of thunder throughouth the Hellenic and phonician worlds – the ram-headed god of thunder became associated with Agni theInidan firegod and the spiral as a head-appendage became the symbol of thunder throuhtou CHina and Japan, and fro mAsia spread to America where Tlaloc still retian this distinctive token of their origin from the Old WOrld.
pp. 134Iron is lethal ot monsters in mythology – part played by smiths who foreged iron weapons with whic hHorus overcame Set and his followers – though the the assocaition ofmeteoric iron with the thunderbolt the traditional weapon for destroying dragons gave added force for destroying dragons – gave frroce to the ancient legend. Though the dragon is afriad of iron, hel ikes precious gems and is fond oroasted swallows.Dragons and swallows due to a very anceitn stor of the Great Mother who iin the form of Isis was identified with the swallow. In CHina so ravenous is the monster that anyone who has eaten of swallows should avoid crossing the water lest the dragon devour the traveller – but those who pray for rain use swallows to attract the beneficent deity.The beautiful gems remind us of the indian dragons – the pearls of the sea were of course in India as well as CHina and Japan and were considered to be in the special possession of the dragon-shaped sea-gods.The cultural drift fro mWest to EAst along the southern coast of India was effected mainly by sailors searching for pearls.the shark is supposed to have been tran was the guardian of teh pearls but became iidentiifed with the Naga and the dragon and the store of pearls became a vast treasure-shoue which becme one of the chief functions of the dragon to guard.The legends fro mthsi point on range from Western Europe to Farthese t Asia.
The beneficent water-god Ea came from Babylonia – produces order
The cowry as a giver of life shell used in thesame way as red ochre placed int eh grave to confer vitality on the dead and worn on bracelets and necklaces to secyre good luck by giving the giver of life to avert the risk of danger to life.   same function as red ochre  pp 1250 it was the surrogate of the life-giving oran an amulet to increase the fertilit of women to assit in childbirth therefore worn only by women and tohelp them in childbirth.Persians regarded pearlas as ancient Persian word margan fro mmar giver and gan life – the owrd was borrowed by many lagnuages the same life-giving attrigbutes were also qcquired by other pearl bearing shells. Red had acquired magic potency as a surrogate of life-givign blood Pearl -divers where afraid of sharks awhic hwere regarfrded as demons guarding the treasure-houses at te hbottom of the sea. Out of these crude materials the imaginations of the early pearl-fishers created the picture of wonderful submarine palaces of Naga kings in which vast wealth not merely of pearls but also of gold precious stones and beatufiul maidens all givers of life placed under the protectoin of shark-dragons. The idea of the pearl guarded by dragons linked with early Erythraean and Mediterranean beliefs.So it is believed that these stories were first inventd somewhere on teh shores of the Erythraean Sea probably in Southern Arabia – the animation of the incense-tree by teh Great Mother – the link of her identification with the pearl – in the Perasian myth the white Haoma is a divine tree growing in the lake Vouruskasha: the fish Kharmishi circles protectingly around it and defneds it agsint the toad Ahriman – it gives etneral life children to women husbands to girls and horses to men.
The idea of guarding the divine tree by dragons was praobably the result of the transferene of the hsark stories whic horigianted from the pearl divers.hence in Western myFour corners – the four cardinal points four was a sacred number associated wit htime measurement especially with hte sun. ni the Early Dynastic period of Egypt – the moon goddess lent the sanctity of her divine to the number 28. THe Great mother and them oon was the regulator of human beings – Egyptian belief.- led ot the devt of the ppyramid.  The mythology the dragon guards the fruit bearing tree of lifeSoma’s deer is thought to have provided the deer’s antlers of the eastern Asiatic dragon.The seven or eight headed dragon probably originated from the seven Hathors  – the seis found also in the Scottish myth and the legneds of Cambodia, India, Persia, Western Asia, East Africa nd the Medierranean area. In SOuthern India the Dravidian people seem to have borrowed the Egyptian idea of the seven Hathora. Ther are sevevn Mari deities all sisters wh oare worshipped in Mysore – all sivew or sisters of Siva. The goddess wh oanimates seven pots who is also the seven Hathors is transferred to the dragon with seven heads. The East AFrican serpent comes in a storm of wind and dust . the Babylonian story seven winds destroy Tiamat – the famous legend of the seven devils ws throughouth the Mediterranean. Descriptions of the seven demons – the second one is a dragon with a open mouth. The Babylonians not only adopted the Eguptian conception of the power of eveil as being seven demons but fused these into the dragon seven-fold attributes. In “The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, (British Musem) Marduk’s weapons is compared to the “fish with seven wings”. The god himself is represented thus “The tempest of battle, my weapon of f50 heads, which liie the great serpent of seven heads is yoked wit hseven heads which like the strong serpent of the sea (sweepsaway) the foe”.In the worldwide association of seven-headed dragon with storms – the Argonaut was the strom-bibringer was a form of the Great Mother a benevolent warner agaist the storms – a link between the seven-headed dragon and the cephalopoda. The process of belnding the seven avatars of the dragon into a seven-headed dragon mya have been faciliated y itse identifiaction with the octopus – the shell fish forms assumed by the dragon – the Babylonian reference to t”the fish with seven wings” whcih was rationalized into a great serpent with seven heads – clues to the origin of the sevne-headed dragon. If Hathor was a seven-fold goddess and idenfiedn with the sevne-spiked shell and the shell-sfishs seven wings converted into seven heads of the dragon would have a simple one for an ancient story-teller on the shores of Southern Arabia.

Study of the “Ameno Toribune” (Heavenly Bird-Ship) in Japanese Mythology : Navigation in Eastern Seas of Ancient Time  [in Japanese] by Saito J. http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110006446565/en
The Evolution of the Dragon by G. Elliot Smith The Evolution of the Dragon  (the Univeristy Press) http://fax.libs.uga.edu/BL313xS648/1f/evolution_of_the_dragon.pdf

The Evolution of the Dragon Ancient prospectos from the South exploited the rivers of Turkestan for alluvial gold and fresh water pearls they also collected pebbles of jade – the conisdred the properties of the stone to have magical reputation along with gold and pearls – the outcome was the life-giving qualities given to jade. These Prospectors made their way east past Lob Nor and desicovered the depsoits of gold and jade in Shensi province. Thus jade became the nucleus around which the distinctive civilziation of CHina became crystallized. The ancietn Chinese wishing to faciliate the resurrection of the dead surounded tehm with jade gold pearls timber and other things imbued with influences emitted from the heavens – with objects pervaded wtih vital energy drived from the Yang matter .The indians to whom these beliefs wer etranfrerred “the naga owns riches, the water of life, and a jewel that restores the dead to life” The Indonesians (the association of the moon with round stones) the sun (winged disk) with a stnone axe regarded as alternative weapons for the destructio nor creation of man – split stone Assuming tat the early Egyptian beliefs made itself felt in India emergin in the details of the Naga worship in Inida. The Naga rulers were associated with springs, streams and lakes – the power was ascribed to the serpent-gods of the sun-worshipping ocuntries of CHina, Manchuria and Korea – the supposed ability to command the elements and especially the waters arose from their connection with the sea? But htis is not so, ithe belif in the Egyptian king’s power over water was certainl older than sun-worship and the peronsiifcation of the moon as the Great Mother brought the sky-deities and the control of water into correlatio nthe one with the eother. Sunworhsip did not begin unti Osirian beliefs and personification of the moon as Great mother brought hte sky deities and hte control of water with th other the sun and serpent in the royal insignia was al ater devt.The early Egyptian goddess was identified with the uraes serpent in that Lower Egypt – the earliest deity in Crete was a goddess who was also closely assoicated with the serpent. The ophidian nature of hte earliest Sumeria mother goddess Innin is unmistakable The earliest Indian deities were goddesses and the first rulers were regarded as divine cobras to whom was attriuted the power of controlling water. Tese Nagas whether kings or queens, gods or goddesses wer eprototypes of the Eastern Asiatic dragon whose originIn Jpaan the earlist sun deity was a goddess who was identifeid with a snake. (Miwa serpent)
The Mother Serpent controlled crops, associaed with teh coming of death into the world, with intro of agriculture and the discover of fire
All the serpetn sprits could take the form of a stone, sacred stones were connected the snakeThe real dragon was created when all three larval types – erpent-eagle-lion and antelope fish were belnded to form a monster with bird’s feet and wings a lion’s forelimbs and head and fish’s scales, the antelope’s horns and a more or less serpentine form of trunk and tail and of head. The dragon-mth of the West is the reglin of ChinaThe dragon was originally a concrete expression of the divine powers of life-giving –

The Persian designo of the Winged Disk above the Tree of Life – is this combined with the Assyrian Tree of Life in which the god is riding in a crescent replacing the Disk pp 127The significance of gates was suggested by the idea they represented the means of communicatio nbetween the livign and the dead, and symbolically the portal by which the daed acquired a rebirth into a new form of existence. The symbol of the winged disk as a symbolo f life-giving was placed above the lintels of these doors in modified forms in India, Idonesia, Mealnesia, Cambodia, China and Japan pp 185.power of life-giving the healing in tis wings,  the Dravidian temples of India and the symbolic gateways of China and Japan
The Mycenaen tree form of the Great Mother i is transformed into the “tree of life” and the winged disk is perched ipon its summit. Thus there is a duplication of the life-giving deities. The tree of life of the Great Mother surmounted by the winged disk whic his really the surrogate of the sun-god who took over from her the power of life-givign.mythology magi could summon the dieties into their presences – users of the shell or pearl et all could summon the deity The Persian word for the madndrake was the man-like plant – the tgiver of life the tree  in any case the coral whic his a maritime product used to make ornament  for maidens is a giver of life identified with a maiden as the most potential emodiment of life-giving force.
The Egypitain story of Sekti which pounded the dididi na mortar to make the giver of life became the Indian legend Lakshmi or Sri born at the churning of the ocean – the goddess of beauty love and proserity. The role of The role of blood red stained beer red wine red earth red berries in various legends – were life givin and death dealing substances all associated wit hte colour red – in time these were the destructive demons Sekhet and Set in their red froms which in turn were tranmitted to the drgaon,   and to that of the specialized form of the dragon or Satan. The mandrak legend spread to China attached t ginseng. – the fact that the Chinese make use of teh Syriac word yabruha (vide supra) suggests the source of these CHinese legends.s transformed
The earliest known pictorial representation of te hdragon consists of the forepart of the sun-god’s falcon or eagle united with the hindpart of the mother-goddess7s lioness. The student of modern heraldry would not regard this as a dragon at all, butmerely a gryphon or griffin. A recent writer on heraldry as complained that in spite of frequent corrections this creature is persistently confiused in popular mind with the dragon, which is even more purely imaginary. But thought the fish, the falcon or eagle and the composite eagle-lion monster are early known pictorial representations of the dragon, good or bad, the serpent is proably more ancient still.
The earliest form assumed by the power of evil was the serpent but it is import to remember as each of the priamr ydeities can be a power ofeither good or evil, any of the animlas representing them can symbolize either aspect.

The Nagas are semi-divine serpents which wveryo ften assume human shapes and whose kings live with their retinues in the utmost luxury in their magnificent abodes at the bottom of the sea or inrivers or lakes. When leaving the Naga world they are in constant danger of being grasped and killed by the gigantic semi-divine birds, teh Garduas which also change themselves into men.The Nagas are depicted n three forms: common snakes , guarding jewels; human bengs with four snakes in their necks; and winged sea-dragons, the upper part of the body human, but with a horned ox-like head, the lower part of the body that of a coiling dragon.
Here we find a link beweteen a link between t snake of ancient India nad the four-legeed Chinese dragon, hidden in the clouds , which the dragons’s breath. The gertilizing rain was thus in fact the vital esence of the dragon, being both water and the breath of life.We find the Naga king not onl in possession of numberless jewles and beautiful girls, but also might y charms , bestwoing supernatural vision and hearing. The palaces of the Naga kings are always described as extremely speldnidd, abounding with gold and silver and precious stones and te Naga women, when appearing in human shape, were beautiful beyond description”. pp 108 The Evolution of the DRagon Dragons ad Rain Gods THe story of an evil Naga protecting a big tree hat grew in a pond who failed to emit clouds of and thunder when the tree was cut down becau he was netiher despised nor wonunded for his body became the support of the stupa nad thre tree became a beam of the stupa. This aspect of the Naga as a tree demon is rare in India but common in CHina and Japan.iIn far Eastern stories it is interesting to note the antagonism of the dragon to the tiger, when we recall that the lioness-form of Hathor was the prototye of the earliest malevolent dragon. There are five sorts of dragons:serpent-dragons; lizard-dragons; fish-dragons; elepehant-dragons; and toad-dragons
blue is chosen in CHina colour of the East fro mwhere the rain must come this quarter is represented by the Azure Dragon, the highest in rank among all the dragonsIndra the rain-god is the patron of the East and iNdra-coour is nila dark blue or blue-black the regular epithet of the rain cloudsNagas were said to live in the western quarter and that in India the West corresponds with the blue colour.Facgin the East, however seems to point t an old rain ceremony in which Indra was invovled to raise the blue-black couds.The ragon myth The destruction of mankind
p 114 Sun god Ra – when the practice of human sacrifice was abandoned and substitutes were adopted – either the blood of cattle owhih by means of appro ceremonies could be transformed into human beings or red ochre was used to colour a liquid which was used ritually to replace the blood of sacrifice. Whe nthis phase of culture was reaached the goddess provided for the king an elixire o f life consisting of beer stained redby means of red ochre so as to simulate human blood. Ra into the story marks the beignning of the belief in the sky-wrold or heaven.
The moon became the Eye f the Sky and the sun necessarily became itso ther Eye. but clearly the sun was more important. Eye seeing that it determined the day gave warmth and light for man’s daily work ws the more important deity.  But aRe at tfirst hte Brother-Eue of Hathor, and afterwords ther husband became the supereme sky-deity and Hathor merely one of this Eyes. The Eye of Ra or Hathor called as the giver of life, she was identified with the fire-spitting serpent which the king or god wore on his forehead. She was both the moon and the fiery bolt whicih shot down from the sky to slay the enemies of Re.  – bthe new incident emerges that by means of a human sacrifice the Nile flood can be produed – the goddess who originally did the slaughter becomes the victim – later animal or figure substites ritual practice – in legends the hero rescued the maiden as Andromeda was saved from the dragon. The dragon is the personification of the monsters taht dwell  in the waters as well as the desctructiv forces of the flood itself .But the monsters were no other followers of Set; they were the victis of the slaughter who ebecame id …the flood causes the destruction in Eguptian sumeraia Babylonian Hebrew myths – R’s boat becomes the ark, the winged disk which was despathced by Ra form teh boat bcomes the dove and the other bobirds sent out to spy the land, as the winged Horus spied the enemies of Re. Hathor  defies Re and continues the destruction she is playing the part of her Babylonian representative Tia mat and is a dragon who has to be vanquished by the drink which the ogd providesThe red earth whic hwas pounded in teh mortar to make the elixir of life and the fertlizer of the soil also came to be regarded as the material out of which the new race of men was amade to replace those who were estroyed.The god fashioned mankingd of this earth and instead of the red ochre being merely the material to give the blood-colour to the draughte of immortality, the story became confused; theacutal blood was presented to the clay images to give them life and consciousness.

Footnote There can be no doubt that the CHinese dragon is the descnedant of the early Babylonian monster, and that the inspiration to create it proably reached Shensi during the third millenium BC by the route indicated in my “Incense and Libations”. Some centuries later the Indian dragon reached the Far East via Indonesia and mingled with this Babylonican cousin in Japan and China.

http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/webclient/StreamGate?folder_id=0&dvs=1261044123602~75

Relationships between Jomon Culture and the Cultures of the Yangtze, South China, and Continental Southeast Asian Areas by Segey Lapteff Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature, Moscow Russia Japan Review 2006, 18: 249-286 http://shinku.nichibun.ac.jp/jpub/pdf/jr/JN1807.pdf SImilarities between Hemudu cultures, Fujian cultures, Indochina cultures (Ban Kao and Southern Thailand)

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