The water dragon meaning
In The Oracle of the Druids, How to Use the Sacred Animals of the Druidic Tradition (Original Edition 1994; French translation Guy Trédaniel Éditeur 2006) by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm.
There are three keywords associated with the Water Dragon (Draig-uisge) are suggested:
The card depicts “Stoor Worm,” a great sea dragon whose “head was like a mountain and eyes like lakes, very dark and very deep.”
Living off the coast of northern Scotland, it could only be appeased by offering seven virgin girls on a rock every Saturday, hand and foot and bound.
A young man named Assipathe, entering the water dragon’s body by boat, set fire to its liver to kill it.
As it crashed to the ground, the tongue of the struck water dragon produced the Baltic Sea, and its teeth the archipelagos of Orkney, Shetlands and Faeroe.
Finally, he rolled up and sank to the bottom of the sea. Some say that his body now forms Iceland, and that his liver still burns deep down, consuming the surface.
The water dragon brings to the surface everything that lies beneath. Certain memories and desires, forgotten or repressed for a very long time in your unconscious, may seem to carry a negative and destructive force.
They may frighten or overwhelm you as they flash before you. But if you courageously accept to take them into account, they will serve you to advance on the spiritual path and feel closer to the whole of creation.
Your emotions will not disappear; you will most certainly be overwhelmed again. However, your conscious mind, having learned to know them, will help you keep your balance and face them.
Turned upside down, this card advises us to be vigilant as we explore our psyche and our past.
It is wise not to try to uncover everything in your unconscious at once, as the conscious self can only absorb a small amount of unconscious or repressed material at a time.
It is often better to take your time to find peace and health. Don’t get caught up in your emotions; you’ll regret it later.
The Water Dragon in Tradition
In the Wear on a Sunday morning. Little Lambton
There a very strange fish hung on his hook.
He thought it looked strange, and could not give it a name
Lambton of course was not going to bring it home.
So he threw it into a well.Excerpt from “Lambton Worm”.
It is said that life was born from the depths of the primeval ocean. Like her, the water dragon begins its life as a worm, a large creature resembling a snake or an eel, sometimes known, living in lakes, wells or the sea.
Then according to mythology, two small wings grow on his back, and two feet under his belly. He then becomes the Wyvern, before transforming into a true water dragon, a creature with four legs, large wings and a clawed tail.
Some water dragons leave the water to wrap themselves around the hills and terrorize the countryside. Others stay in their natural environment and become water dragons or sea monsters, the most famous of which lives in Loch Ness.
The first appearance of the Loch Ness monster dates back to the time of Saint Columba. The saint saw the roaring monster appear behind one of his friends who was swimming across the river.
As the creature opened its mouth wide to swallow the swimmer, the saint shouted at it, “Stop and leave this man. Go! Withdraw!” The monster obeyed him.
The Lambton Worm
Living in County Durham, the Lambton worm was immortalized in the above song.
A young boy named Lambton discovered it while fishing in the Wear River, but disdaining his catch, he threw the eel-bodied creature into a well.
He had long forgotten the incident when, returning from a crusade several years later, he learned that the worm had “grown so large in power and flexibility” that it no longer lived in the well.
It “crawled out of it at night to inquire about the news of the country” and “milked a dozen cows when it got thirsty on the way.”
Then after feasting well on calves, lambs, sheep, and children, he would glide back to Lambton Hill, around which he would wrap his tail ten times.
Hearing this, Lambton had a suit of armor made with steel blades. Thus equipped, he climbed onto a rock in the middle of the river and blew his horn to awaken the monster.
The monster slid down to the river and wrapped itself around Lambton, trying to crush him, but the blades pierced him and cut him to pieces and he fell into the river.
Water dragon symbolism
In the life of these monsters, whether they are true water dragons or more primitive creatures, water plays a predominant role in one form or another: river, well, basin, lake, swamp and sea.
For the druids, water was the threshold to the Other World and therefore sacred. It is therefore normal that water dragons emerge from it since they live in the Other World.
In psychology, water represents the unconscious; water dragons emerging from lakes, seas, rivers and wells therefore signal unresolved complexes or repressed and distorted tendencies and desires that rise from the depths of the unconscious.
The water dragon is destructive and perfectly symbolizes the damage that certain elements of the psyche can cause.
In order to heal our wounds, we must transform these destructive elements and integrate them into our conscious. This process can be described as symbolic death.
For over a thousand years, it was rumored that a water dragon called Knucker lived in a pool, the Knucker Hole, in Lyminster, Sussex.
The pool was said to have no bottom and was fed by an underground spring (in reality it is about ninety meters deep).
At night, Knucker hunted in the swampy Arun Valley, feeding on horses and cows. After the hunt, he would “sit on the Causeway.
If disturbed, he would snatch up intruders with a flick of his tongue, like a toad snatches up flies lying on a stone.”
A local boy, Jim Puttock, had the idea of cooking a huge indigestible pudding and feeding it to the water dragon.
While the beast was writhing on the ground in pain, suffering from a stomach ache, he cut off its head.
Jim Puttock’s tomb, without an epitaph, can still be seen today in the church at Lyminster.
This tale, while discouraging local children from going near a dangerous place, combines mythology and humor: everyone knows that the “Sussex pudding” is particularly indigestible.
As long as they are not disturbed, the water dragons of the air and the earth are usually harmless, as it is rare that the earth and the sky threaten us.
Fire and water, on the other hand, are much more dangerous. The water dragon can rent us under emotions and sadness, leading us to feel sorry for ourselves.
But if we tame it to make it an ally, it can teach us passion, compassion, depth of feeling, and make us realize our connection to all of creation.”
For Gilles Wurtz, in his book, Celtic Shamanism, Wild and Mythical Power Animals of our Lands (Vega Publishing, 2014),
“The sea dragons were large, their skin ranged from gray to blue, it was a very hard and thick leather, which protected them from the cold and allowed them to slide more easily in the water.
The sea dragon is very similar to the large marine animals that lived at the time of the dinosaurs, a large tapered body to penetrate the water with a long neck and a long tail often of equal size and four large limbs that resemble the flippers of a whale and which are used to swim.
Like all dragons, it also has a mouth full of sharp teeth to be able to grab its prey. In the Celtic stories, the sea dragons populate the oceans as well as the lakes and the big rivers.
For the Celts, they were the guardians of the waters, they were the ones who could cause floods, tsunamis and tidal waves to purify the land when nature was out of balance.
Some great storms were also attributed to them: it was said that these great dragons shook and stirred the water to oxygenate it and purify it from what was spilled.
Quiet tides were seen as the peaceful rhythm of the ocean’s breathing, a sign that the dragons were resting comfortably, lulled by the gentle swirls in the underwater depths.
Celtic shamanic applications in the past
The sea dragon was the messenger and servant of the waters, and the Celts involved him in water cults by making offerings and prayers to him, as they did not want to antagonize him by clumsy acts towards the water that could provoke his sometimes disastrous anger.
Fishermen near large bodies of water by the sea or near lakes and rivers at that time practiced rituals to associate the sea dragon with their fisheries, asking it to direct the fish in their nets.
In exchange, they gave the entrails of the gutted fish back to the water and the dragons so that the latter would also benefit from their catch and so that the balance would be maintained.
There were later communities that frequented the oceans and had learned to live in perfect osmosis with the sea dragons, such as the Vikings who used boats, the drakkars (from the Swedish, drake, dragon) representing a sea dragon on which the crew was in perfect safety.
The bow was often the neck and head of a dragon, the hull represented its body and the stern of the drakkar was the proudly erect tail of the great protective animal.
Before going out to sea on a campaign, the Vikings participated in ceremonies to gain the favor and protection of the sea dragons, guardians of the waters.
Once these favors were acquired, everything became possible and nothing could threaten them on the water.
Like other elemental dragons, sea dragons were also called upon for their own medicinal virtues.
The Celts invoked them to help cure any problem related to circulation, dehydration and more specifically to all the liquids and fluids of the body.
Our ancestors also knew that water purifies. It purifies nature, it purifies the human body. Tears allow for a fresh look.
They therefore took care to ensure the purity of the water around them and within them.
Celtic Shamanic Applications Today
Today, a Celtic shamanic practitioner can work on himself with the help and guidance of the sea dragon spirit for any problem related to body fluids and liquids, and benefit from its medicine.
In Celtic shamanic practice today, it is still possible to contact the sea dragons to ask them for advice on how to better manage water, how to better respect it or how to cleanse it. Because water is very badly treated in the whole world.
We could work individually and collectively with the spirit of the sea dragon to ask it to help us become aware that water is life.
Once this simple and fundamental awareness is achieved, we will spontaneously and profoundly change the relationship we have with water.
And to start with, the relationship we have with our own body, composed of more than 70% water…