Born To Ride Dragons

animal spirit family story

There was a time when all of our peoples lived in small bands and made their way through a fearsome world. We knew everything about each other, we had to, that was how we could survive. We also knew everything about the places we lived in.

Everything had a spirit, and every spirit had a way of communicating. This way of living was not quite so bound by time as we are today. Things from the future flowed past us, things from the past visited us. We were comfortable with this because everything was so well organized within our most basic needs. Everything could be understood in how it helped us all to live another season. It was not magical thinking, it was survival.

We moved as a fluid, connected energy, including every aspect of our environment. We tried to make a whole that was strong, failure at that would be the end of all of us. That capacity to know intuitively, and to understand how our own consciousness impacted our ability to survive and thrive, has been demoted to cartoon-like “magical thinking” today. Or perhaps I should say, the remaining fragments of that ability, we now call magical thinking.

Some of us catch glimpses of that way of being – we discover we can talk to ghosts! We can see the future! Nature is alive and conscious! We can manifest what we most need! These are tiny sips from a much larger river. Our ancestors knew those waters well.

Since their time a new world has been made, one designed intentionally not to respond to magical thinking. Mechanized cities and farms, citadels impervious to the impact of our consciousness, are our new habitat. They prove to us day in and day out that those old Pagan ways of being are worthless fantasy.

They tell us that who we are deep within ourselves, has no impact on whether or not we’ll eat tomorrow. No amount of intention or intuition will make the Pentagon go away. Monsanto will some day make corn that does not need the seasons. Stock forecasting replaces the need to cast bones to find out where the herds will be, factories manage the animals we eat.

It took a lot to create a world free of real magic, a world free of true wildness. Countless peoples had to die for it to come into being. Most of us think of this new world as reality, we have even come to believe we are much better without a world spiritually alive, it only brings pain and suffering. What we’ve made may not be perfect, but its sure better than everything else out there!

We tell ourselves that wishing for a cure for cancer does not bring a cure, positive intentions don’t mean shit. Of course when you’ve built a world impervious to magical thinking, that pumps out billions of tons of cancerous poison a day, magical thinking may not bring a cure. We’ve done our job so well, we’ve likely engineered diseases that are impervious to magical thinking. The cures we put in their place may not be perfect, they may even kill us in the end, but at least they’re something.

Despite our best efforts to suppress our own wild spirits and those other spirits they naturally commune with, much has survived. You cannot be alive and not have some part of you available to our Great Mother Earth. You are life itself, it is impossible to be otherwise.

We are fast learning that without unbridled wildness, we cannot survive. Thankfully we in the West still have stalwart allies, beings that have been with us through it all, wondrous spirits who refuse to give up on us. Their time has come to return to us and guide us.

For centuries many have been relegated to books and anti-magical-thinking concepts like “symbology” and “mythology”, but they’re still here. Those lame attempts to tame something that could never be tamed will never work for very long on these creatures. Dragons and the like were never meant to be understood as symbols or myths, they were meant to be ridden by those who had the courage and commitment to submit themselves to their fiery breath of transformation.

When I journeyed to my father, not long after his death, I would often find him riding a Dragon in the spirit world. I didn’t know why this was so important until two Dragons started visiting me asking to be born into this world. The importance of those visits became even clearer when I stumbled across Shonagh Home’s video clip on spirit allies and later read her book, Love and Spirit Medicine.

A rich journal of spiritual transformation, her book details her experience of casting a door to the spirits wide open during a period of great change in her life. Much of what she documents some would categorize as “magical thinking”, especially if they wish to malign it. I believe she was drinking deeply from our ancestral waters.

Shonagh and I have different ways of approaching this work, different ways of understanding some experiences, yet we have both been brought into the company of Dragons. She has risked much to birth her healing story into the world, through that work she has opened the space for us to herald the return of these great spirits to our culture. I am filled with gratitude for her gift.

When I think of my father riding Dragons, I see so much of what was unique in him brought to life. His uncompromising pursuit of truth and justice, his almost superhuman intelligence, and the deep fire he carried within himself – its all there. It is our Dragons that tie us to each other and many generations back to our ancestors. Far from being hunted by knights, Dragons then were likely the guardians and guides of a people. In their fiery hearts still lie protection, wisdom and guidance.

There are some of you now who might be dismissing this as New Age fluff. Indeed those of us privileged enough to grow up in this culture, who later involve themselves in nature based spiritual practices often open ourselves up to much apt criticism. Shonagh’s process reflects the newness of an evolving container, something we all will be working on for generations. We have so much to learn about this medicine, how we buried this knowledge, how race, class, culture and the ongoing effort to annihilate indigenous peoples fit into all of this. We have so much to learn, and we are learning.

But for those of you who have put politics before intuition, critical thinking before dream interpretation, and magical thinking well behind evidence based scientific reason, I offer you this invitation:

The Dragons are a’ coming, best start training on how to ride them or get the hell out of the way!

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