Asian dragons are often depicted playing with a pearl. They are revered and admired as powerful and transformational beings exuding wisdom and authority. Chinese emperors used the emblem of the dragon as a symbol of their strength, luck, authority and power, as these mighty beings ruled over all waters and weather.
In Western folklore, a brave young man slays a havoc-wrecking dragon. The fire erupting from the dead creature transforms its flesh and bones into jewels, thereby making the triumphant lad a wise and powerful man.
Chinese art and myth portrays a pearl under the dragon’s chin or as the dragon chasing a pearl in the water. The pearl is a metaphor for wisdom, enlightenment and spiritual attainment. A dragon seizing the jewel symbolizes the good fortune and transformation achieved through conquering one’s base thoughts and actions, to lead a life filled with the power of kindness, joy and peace.
While the European dragons are seen as dangerous creatures needing to be slain, and Eastern traditions see them as more of a protector and something to be honored; both cultures see that it is us humans who must embody these mighty beings’ qualities to gain power…but over ourselves!
The European dragon roaming the countryside, devouring animals, food and people, is a symbol for the relationships, the feelings, the thoughts, behaviors and the objects we get attached to, try to hold on to for dear life, and use to define us with hollow power and authority.
It takes the innocence of child to see how meaningless it all is and summon the inner courage to conquer the dragon within and discover the jewels that were there all along.
Conquering the Dragon means, in both cultures, to stop chasing empty jewels and seize the pearls of wisdom. It means to have the courage to see that our power resides in how much we love, how easy we forgive, how often we see others as Buddhas and how frequently we are focused on building, creating and enjoying what we have, who we are and what we can do to make our world a powerful place to dwell for all.
Conquering Dragons is a 40” x 30” mixed media piece on cradled canvas that needs no framing. It is filled with rich fabrics, pearls, glitter, jewels, and gold paint, The greens and teals are reminiscent of water swirling about, pointing to the center; our heart center, the place deep within that is the source of our real strength, luck, authority and power. With a kind and innocent heart we can slain our weaknesses and receive the riches of spiritual growth: the wisdom of peace, love and happiness. The art is available for you to play with the pearls, conquer your demons and become the emperors of your lives @ Conquering Dragons.
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