The dragon of Wales

As I may have mentioned a few times, I live in Wales (though I never act like I am), and the most prominent symbol of Wales is the dragon. There was always something I found perplexing about that.

The dragon is a symbol of the raw chthonic force in nature that permeates through all and manifests as Nature. This force is rejected by Christianity, which is the largest religion in Wales. In fact, in Christian belief the dragon is a symbol of the devil, Satan, or The Beast (the three are synonymous in this case). By following the cross, one rejects the dragon and the chthonic, primal power it is associated with. So how do the Welsh accept both the cross and the dragon at the same time?

Honestly, the people of Wales most likely do not view the dragon as symbolic of raw primal power, but rather as merely a symbol of their nation. The original myth of the red dragon was about the red dragon fighting and defeating the invading white dragon, and the red dragon represented Wales while the white dragon represented England. Thus the original myth is a tale designed to espouse Wales’ superiority over England. So the red dragon is associated with Wales and national pride (if you can call it national in this case) more than anything else. I feel this is what allows the Welsh people to associate with the dragon while embracing the cross.

I however have no interest in such things as national culture. The dragon to me still means raw primal and chthonic power, as well as nature and paganism in some way. Thus I don’t believe you can embrace both the dragon and the cross. While I do venerate the dragon, it is the dragon as a mystical and spiritual symbol of the power I have described, not a national emblem.


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