Over at The Big Study I've been reading the Prof on "Dragon": A Mass of Confusion and this was my probably equally confused answer.
'If the culture of the times was like current US culture...the Berkeleys couldn't have gotten away with just making up such an "unusual" claim, and so we'd have good reason to believe that we had a good dragon story on our hands.'
Prof let me suggest the possibility the de bERKeley family's use of their ancestor’s dragon on their crest may once’ve been signalling (“to whom it may concern”) the idea they were a lineage of initiates capable of harnessing and/or supressing what’s known in the Hindu take on these things as Kundalini a kind of evolutionary energy imaged as a ‘serpent’ coiled round the base of the spine which once activated rises through a series of ‘petal’ surrounded chakras to the top of the head bringing about enlightenment and the onset of siddhis (or ‘mystical’ type powers).
But the Aztecs may also’ve been alluding to this same energy (and those same ‘petals’) with their image of the ‘winged’ ‘serpent’.
Ditto the cult of Melek Taus with its Peacock Angel.
Ditto the Hebrew Cabalist notion of hierarchies of ‘angels’ ranked according to different numbers of ‘wings’.
And the same idea (amongst other things) may even be encoded in the story of Eve's interaction with the 'Serpent'.
Remember it’s only later on the ‘Serpent’ ends up cast on its belly in the ‘dust’ [‘ordure’ or base of the spine?] because at the beginning it seems perfectly capable of conducting Eve’s efforts to achieve the topmost region of the ‘tree’ (where of course the ‘petal’ surrounded ‘fruit’ can be attained) and its only after she then gets Adam to taste the ‘fruit’ too (without obliging him to actually ascend the ‘tree’ himself) things start going awry because he now starts acting all weird and self-conscious to the degree he becomes obsessed with concepts like nakedness (not to mention concealment of nakedness using garments) becoming so neurotically anxious in fact he becomes overwhelmed by the far more far reaching concept of fear hence his insane efforts to hide (from God!).
At which point of course God asks “Where are you Adam?” but if by definition God’s omniscient then He already knows where Adam is meaning I suggest He’s actually treating Adam much like a psychiatrist testing whether he needs sectioning giving him the opportunity to realise his recent experience’s so profoundly affected him his connectedness to and participation in the perfection and totality of the ‘internet’ of the ‘garden’’s been catastrophically severed leaving him no longer aware where or even who he really is.
Which in fact’s exactly what’s supposed to happen whenever the ‘Holy Ghost’/kundalini/baraka/hvarna/chi/lung/tummo/etc spontaneously gets loose inside an unprepared or insufficiently refined human being – the arising of chaotic external environment phenomena such as poltergeists and ‘hallucinations’ combined with mental confusion/bewilderment or/and increasingly inflated ideas about one’s importance and indispensability compared to others.
Cranking up the level of this ‘Holy Ghost’ effect (adding a dash more ego/conceptuality) produces say serial killers or cold blooded scientific types who imagine it’s their divine right to have the likes of Burke and Hare procure them ‘fresh’ corpses for their world important researches.
Cranking it up still more (and dashing in even more ego/conceptuality) results in would-be superhuman ‘Jealous God’ types (eg the likes of Jack the Ripper and Springheel Jack) who aren’t just content to cut a vast swathe of mayhem through their inferiors the highly dispensable masses but need to know their ‘peers’ aren’t missing a thing.
Nor is this restricted to particular individuals because supposedly collective manifestations can occur.
I’ve already alluded to the poltergeist effect (often associated with a disturbed young female) but the Saint George story may actually be an example of a collective version of this effect induced by the children of Silene’s awareness (on some level) their parents’re perfectly capable of sacrificing them to save their own arses unwittingly conjuring up or summoning the dragon in the first place (ditto Andromeda’s distress over her mother’s impious exaltation of her beauty).
In Tibetan Buddhism for instance it’s supposed the main reason we don’t all go round summoning up huge great ‘dragons’ by way of expressing our discontent (instead of the tiny little niggly ones we often unwittingly do)’s because this energy hardly ever gets the chance to do what it’s supposed to – flow in the manner of a perpetually rotating waterwheel up a channel running parallel to our spines before descending a matching channel running down inside our chests.
The reason for which’s supposedly the effect of karmic misbehaviour (such as that exhibited by Silene’s parents or Andromeda’s mother) combined with the belief reality can be made ever more manageable and eventually brought totally under our control by splitting it up into an ever expanding range of concepts ultimately causing our minds and thus the energy to split too leaving it trapped with nowhere to circulate in two lesser channels running alongside the central one.
This scenario’s often represented in two very simple forms: a two lined version (sometimes topped off by a cross bar) and a three lined one (not unlike a very stylised serpent with wings) such as the three dot topped lines converging on a common unseen centre depicted in the Druidic Awen diagram (which itself’s almost certainly based on the trapezoid formed by the ‘belted’ lower half of the Orion constellation – when you include the ‘sword’).
The Melek Taus Cult seems to use the image of the three fore toes of the peacock to represent this same idea.
Many ancient images depicting gods or goddesses flanked by twin creatures standing on their hind legs I suggest also allude to this same idea (amongst a number of others).
Other images depicting the likes of Moses or Alexander the Great with ‘horns’ allude to individuals who’ve successfully undergone the process of restoring the trapped energies to the central channel (as well as the two ‘prongs’ of the upper half of the Orion constellation) sometimes styled as reviving the ‘gods’ dwelling behind the temples of our skulls or using the twin pillars to restore the Temple.
This idea of restoring the side energies to the central channel I suggest’s also encoded in the story of Samson collapsing the pillars of Dagon (as well as transmitting the idea the Dagon spiritual era’s being superseded and the predictive notion any civilization without sufficient numbers of authentic ‘wise’ people must collapse).
But in concluding (and there was so much more I could’ve rattled on about [including how the ‘sleeping serpent’ transforming into the ‘winged dragon’ motif took the equally ancient form during the Crusader period of the sleeping cur transforming into the vaulting lion: viz by some accounts Richard the Lionheart]) let me point out how as Adam and Eve left the garden a fiery sword was left in place supposedly to deter their return.
Was that sword the ‘sword’ of Orion and was it really there as a signpost how to get back?