Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dragons and People

("My dragon" by Maryann Sterling)

From “Dragons!”: “Dragons and People” by Virginia Carper

People and dragons have a long history together. The world over, people have told of friendly dragons bringing rain or ancient ones creating the cosmos. Until recently, people believed that they could actually go out and see the dragons. When the scientists started measuring Nature’s secrets, the dragons disappeared. However, they simply chose to remain out of sight. Today the dragons choose to reveal themselves to those who seek them with an open heart.


· Mythology: At first, people personified demonic and divine forces. To the ancient peoples, dragons were the forces of nature in all her aspects.

· Hearsay Animals: Then, travelers from faraway places told about the exotic creatures they saw to their neighbors. For example, Romans reported on the dragons living in Joppa in the Middle East.

· Medieval Dragons: During the Middle Ages, various bestiaries listed dragons, detailing their habits. In addition, many noble people had them on their family crests.

· From Actual to Mythical: In the 1700s, scientists started collecting natural histories. Then, dragons seemingly disappeared. Afterwards, modern people sought rational explanations for every phenomenon.

· Return of Mythical Beasts: However, dragons never really went away. The mythic imaginations of modern people led scholars to collect tales of dragons. Today, we discover dragons in movies and find them in books.


Where can the dragons be found today? How do we begin the search? How do we deepen relations with the dragons, we meet? What can the dragon stories, from around the world, tell us? What is the true dragon treasure that we search for? Only each of us can answer those questions in our own way.

Purchase "Dragons" from "Dragons!" by Virginia Carper. E-book: $US 5.19, hardback: $US 12.00

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What is a mythic animal?

What is a mythic animal? A product of people’s imaginations? Traditionally, they are animals that do not exist. As combinations of several real animals, many mythical animals have the characteristics of these animals. For example, griffins are half-lion and half-eagle. Lions and eagles both represent royalty. Moreover, the eagle is the Ruler of the Skies and the lion, Ruler of the Land. Griffins govern both realms.

Mythic animals live at the edges of our minds. Moreover, they live in our world, in places where everything is a little wild and primitive. Furthermore, we may encounter them, when we least expect it. For example, on a foggy day or a moonlit night, you may glimpse one.

The edges of cultivated areas and wild areas are the best places to encounter mythic animals. Since they are “between places”, these border areas have great power and mystery. At marshes and beaches, encounters with water beasties often occur. Also, you can come upon mythic animals in the deserts or deep in the forests, where things are lonely and wild.

Purchase from Animal Teachers:
Mythic Animals! $US 12 hard back, $US 5.59 e-book.

Or it's companion: "Dragons"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Great Round of Life

Ancient peoples perceived the world as the Great Round. Observing the cycles of the sun and moon, they viewed time as a circle. In fact the ancient Greeks called the changing stars of the sky: "The Circle of Animals", commonly known today as the Zodiac.

In the Great Round, there is the coming of Heroes and the aging of Kings. Cyclical time is endless, offering a moral dimension that linear time lacks. People repeat the cycle at different points and experience the same things from different perspectives.

An outward manifestation of the reverence for circles is sacred places in nature. Circles of stones dot the European and North American landscape. Another manifestation is stories of beings traveling in and out of connecting worlds. Myths of dragons and fairies are actually stories of interactions between various circles of existence.

Circles of Animals

Many cultures saw the passing of time in terms of animals. The Greeks saw animals in the stars. The animal signs of the Zodiac are Ares the Ram and Taurus the Bull of spring, Cancer the Crab and Leo the Lion of the summer, Scorpio the Scorpion of the fall, and Capricorn the Goat and Pisces the Fish of the winter. (These animals feature prominently in Greek and later Roman mythology.)

Native American Medicine Wheel

In the western areas of North America are large stone wheels, formed in prehistory. Called "medicine wheels", they reflect the Native Americans reverence for the Four Directions. Although many Indian Nations have different interpretations of the Medicine Wheels, they do agree that the Four Directions are governed by various animals.

Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008. Contact animalteachers @

Monday, September 08, 2008

Other Worldly Beings: Star Trek: The Next Generation (2)

("Picard and Q" courtesy of

As an Old Soul, Picard goes toe-to-toe with Q to defend humanity. Deeply committed to humanity‘s evolution, Picard fights Q’s machinations. He challenges Q, “If we are going to be damned, let us be damned for what we really are.”

With his knowledge of the law, Picard becomes “Perry Mason” (the fictional lawyer) to thwart Q. Frustrated with Picard, Q becomes more arbitrary in his actions. Then in a “Perry Mason moment”, Picard thunders at him, “It is **your** conduct that is uncivilized!” Because, he knows that humanity has progressed, Picard sees through Q’s baiting. Finally using his authority, Picard, the Old Soul, orders the omnipotent Q off *his ship*.


(Mason and his secretary, Della Street)
Perry Mason: From stories written by Erle Stanley Gardner, "Perry Mason" the TV series (1957 - 1966) set the tone for other lawyer/mystery series. Mason, a defense attorney, solved cases through logic and close observation.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Other Worldly Beings: Star Trek: Next Generation (1)

(Deanna Troi and William Riker, courtesy of

When I watched the first episode of “STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION” (1987-1994, Roddenberry): “Encounter at Far Point” (101, 102), I thought that several of the characters were “other-worldly beings”. Captain Jean-Luc Picard was an Old Soul. Commander William Riker was an Incarnated Star Person, and Counselor Deanna Troi, an Incarnated Angel.

As an Incarnated Angel, Troi uses her special abilities to heal. With her luminous looks, she conveys an aura of healing and serenity. Being an empath, she struggles to shield herself from the painful emotions of others. Because she is an Incarnated Angel, Troi seeks to quiet people’s roiling emotions. In encountering the two nebulous space aliens, Troi puts herself at risk to aid them. Although, their pain and anger overwhelms her, she continues to help them.

Unlike Troi who is a Betazoid, Riker is an Incarnated Star Person in a human body. In fact, he has a prior relationship with her. Because of their deep relationship, Troi and Riker greet the other telepathically as “Imazi”. Besides being comfortable with non-humans, Riker treats Data, the android, as a person and not a curiosity.

When Picard orders him to join the Enterprise’s two halves manually, Riker does so with great aplomb. While the rest of the crew is nervous, he is relaxed. Moreover, Riker reassures the crew that everything will be fine. As an Incarnated Star Person, he is used to meeting these challenges, and merges the two parts of the spaceship with ease.

Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008, animalteachers @

Friday, September 05, 2008

Meditation (3)

In midmorning, I did this meditation after I fixed a pot of tea. I find that drinking tea relaxes me. Taking tea encourages me to go into a trance. Sitting at the kitchen table, I did the meditation.

The cool light of the moon filled up the sky. Big, round, and softly glowing, the moon sent out a shaft of light. Wrapping me around itself, the shaft became me. Together, we slid down the Tree of Life.

At the base of the Tree, I grew roots. As the roots reached deep into the earth, I felt heat traveling up my legs. Then, the earth leapt up and embraced me. As the boiling magma surrounded me, I became very warm.

The cool light of the moon mixed with the hot magma to make steam. A fairy mist surrounded and transported me, outside of time and space. I found myself at the Nexus of Life.

Then I anchored at the Axis of the Tree. The fairy mist crystallized as silver dew drops on the tree branches. Like glittering diamonds, the drops became stars. The white-yellow moon reappeared. The red earth was below smiling at me.

I felt that I was a part of the Axis of the World. I was the Tree, the meeting place of the Two Powers – the Earth and Sky. At that moment, I realized that what I do matters. It had impact in ways I would never know. As the intermediary between Earth and Sky, I felt the need to be a moral being.

The moon put out a silver beam for me to travel back home. The earth embraced the beam with a red lava burst. Entwined, they dissolved into the Tree guiding me home. The smell of my tea woke me out of the dream. I drank my tea and felt refreshed.

Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008
animalteachers @

Monday, September 01, 2008

Saging or Smudging

(Sage by Maryann Sterling)

The smudging ceremony is a sacred ritual for Native Americans and for other peoples. It is a ritual of cleaning and purification. Indian People burn tobacco, cedar, sage, and sweetgrass in offerings to the Four Directions. The Journey of Life begins in the East and ends in the North. By offering to the Four Directions, the person opens themselves to guidance and wisdom from the Spirit.

“Smudging” which is the burning of sacred plants is a time honored method for healing. People bath themselves in the smoke of the burning herbs. Sage, one of the sacred plants, drives out the negative energy. Sweetgrass helps brings in the positive energy. Smudging helps to restore the person to spiritual health.

Often, people will burn tobacco or sweetgrass as offerings to the various spirits – plant, stone, animal, and earth. The smoke purifies people, their homes, and sacred things. Smudging is a method of inviting the spirit to come and be with you.

I smudge often my home to make an offering, and to purify the room. I keep the sage in a medicine pouch. When I am ready to burn it, I place the sage in an abalone shell. After getting the fire going, I fan the embers with a feather to spread the smoke. I leave a window cracked open to allow the spirits to leave. I sage the room, starting in the East, moving South, West, North, and East again.

Smudging can be done by anyone. All you need a fireproof bowl and sage. Light the sage and fan the smoking embers. Let the smoke drift over you and feel yourself opening up to the Spirit.

Please do not gather the sage, sweetgrass, tobacco, or cedar yourself. These plants are regulated under various laws, and can be only harvested by selected groups such as Native Americans.


Resource: “Sacred Sage, How It Heals” by Wendy Whiteman. (Purchase from, along with sage supplies.)


Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008