Dragon Archetype

Dragon Archetype

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This is a discussion on Dragon Archetype within the Jungian Theory forums, part of the Other Personality Theories category; What does it symbolise?...

  1. #1

    Dragon Archetype

    What does it symbolise?

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  2. #2

    Shenron from Dragon Ball

  3. #3

    The dark and unwanted side of the psyche thats hidden or avoided to supply short term peace but long term conflict.
    Dalien, Veggie, Forest Nymph and 1 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Ah the dragon.
    The symbol of evil, of everything that can and will destroy you.
    The predator that lurks in both the concrete and abstract.
    It comes in many shapes.



    It needs to be slayed, before it eats you.



    But often people try to keep it as a pet.
    Because it just seems simpler.
    So it is glorified and kept on a pedestal.



    The eating part is never pretty.
    (Certainly not as harmless as the gif I chose to use)



    The dragon has many names. Snake, demon, devil, monster, leviathan, behemoth etc
    In the end it is all the same and it should be respected for the malicious force it represents.

    Daeva thanked this post.

  6. #5

    @Kynx
    The last post was my initial reaction to the topic.
    I'd like to insert one more post with a more researched view.

    "...one after another, the Divine children are handed over to Behemoth, i.e. conscious
    values are exchanged for sheer impulsiveness and stupidity. Conscious values are
    greedily devoured by crude and barbarous tendencies which were hiterto unconscious;
    thus Behemoth and Leviathan erect an invisible whale (the unconscious) as symbolizing
    their principle, while the corresponding symbol of the Epimethean kingdom is the
    bird."
    page 335,- Carl Jung, Psychological Types
    By being impulsive and not preparing, one will lose everything one values.
    The dragon will eat all that one values and wish for one by one.
    Every little issue one lets go of without resolving, falls into the unconscious,
    there it festers under the influence of the dragon and grows into a beast.
    This of course have many layers, but simplified it is like that.

    "Instead of taking for granted, as every rationalist and optimist is inclined to do, that a good state will be followed
    by a better, since everything tends towards "upward development", the man of
    blameless conscience and universially acknowledged moral principles makes a
    compact with Behemoth and his evil host, and even the divine children entrusted
    to his care is bartered to the devil."
    page 228-229, Carl Jung, Psychological Types
    The dragon is something that one enters into a deal with, as soon as one gets complacent.
    Things doesn't improve on their own, it improves by constantly battling little and small dragons.
    As soon as one lays down ones sword the upwards progression stops.
    The dragons circle closer, and no matter how noble ones past deeds where,
    they are all just traded away, given up to the dragon.
    In other words everything of worth and value in ones life is given up.

    "Prometheus the artist, the soul-server, disappears from human ken; while human
    society in obedience to a soul-less moral routine is delivered over to Behemoth, the
    antagonistic, destructive outcome of an outlived ideal. At the right moment Pandora
    (the soul) creates the saving jewel in the unconscious, which however, does not reach
    mankind because men fail to understand it. The change for the better takes place only through the intervention of the Promethean tendency, which by virtue of its insight
    and understanding brings first a few, and then many individuals to their senses."
    page 319, Carl Jung, Psychological Types
    The way this most often happen is by the soul-less routine.
    By doing the same thing over and over, the dragon gets to adapt.
    If you strike and parry the same way over and over, the dragon soon gets wise,
    and it will eat you mid-strike.
    Usually, especially on a collective level, it is only in the belly of the beast
    that we discover "a jewel", a new way of acting, a new ideal.
    In other words a new way of fighting the dragon.
    This will be turned into a routine and the circle starts again.

    "God is like the behemoth and the leviathan; the fruitful nature giving forth
    abundance,--the untamable wildness and boundlessness of nature,--and the overwhelming
    danger of the unchained power."
    page 70, Carl Jung, Psychology of the Unconscious
    In many ways the dragon is the unchecked force of nature,
    that catch up to us as soon as we lower our guard.
    It is the side of God that shows no mercy.

    "There, where the deep sources of the ocean are, the leviathan lives; from there the
    all-destroying flood ascends, the all-engulfing flood of animal passion. That
    stifling, compressing feeling of the onward-surging impulse is projected
    mythologically as a flood which, rising up and over all, destroys all that exists, in
    order to allow a new and better creation to come forth from this destruction."
    page 125, Carl Jung, Psychology of the Unconsious
    The dragon lies in the depths of the unconscious, and once the world gets stale,
    it springs forth as a flood to wash away the old and bring in the new.
    It is at the same time a destroyer and a creator.
    Hence if one keeps oneself vigilant and armed, when the dragon arrives,
    one will reap the benefit of the treasure the dragon brings,
    rather than being swept away in the flood.

    "We can see from the example of the Leviathan how the great "fish" gradually split
    into its opposite of the highest God and hence his shadow, the embodiment of his evil
    side. With this splitting of the monster into a new opposite, its original opposition
    to God takes a back seat, and the monster is now in conflict either with itself or
    with an equivalent monster (e.g., Leviathan and Behemoth). This relieves God of his
    own inner conflict, which now appears outside him in the form of a hostile pair of
    brother monsters. In later Jewish tradition the Leviathan that Yahweh fought with in
    Isaiah develops a tendency, on the evidence cited by Sheftelowitz, to become "pure"
    and be eaten as "eucharistic" food, with the result that, if one wanted to derive the
    Ichthys symbol from this source, Christ as a fish would appear in place of Leviathan,
    the monstrous animals of tradition having meanwhile faded into mere attributes of
    death and the devil. This split corresponds to the doubling of the shadow often met
    with in dreams, where the two halves appear as different or even as antagonistic
    figures. This happens when the conscious ego-personality does not contain all the
    contents and components that it could contain. Part of the personality then remains
    split off and normally mixes with the unconscious shadow, the two together forming a
    double--and often antagonistic--personality."
    page 119-120, Carl Jung, Aion
    This is where it gets a bit complex.
    Yet when we keep Jungs personality psychology in mind it simply means this.
    The opposition of N-S and T-F.
    When you hold an attitude in mind and makes it your guiding principle,
    the opposite of the principle becomes your evil side,
    split off into the unconscious shadow.
    Most of your dragons will spawn from this split of part.
    So an ISFP like me while having Feeling as a conscious value,
    will continualy meet dragons spawned by all the thinking I've neglected to do.
    Only by facing the source of the lesser dragons, (lesser being problems in my life),
    namely thinking, can I hope to defeat my dragons on a somewhat permanent basis.
    And only by constantly being vigilant can I ensure that it doesn't return.

    "If we apply this experience from the domain of practical psychology to the
    mythological material under discussion, we find that God's monstrous antagonist
    produces a double because the God-image is incomplete and does not contain everything
    it logically ought to contain. Whereas Leviathan is a fishlike creature, primitive and
    cold-blooded, dwelling in the depths of the ocean, Behemoth is a warm-blooded
    quadruped, presumably something like a bull, who roams the mountains (as least in
    later tradition). Hence he is related to Leviathen as a higher, superior creature to a
    lower, inferior one, rather like the winged and the wingless dragon in alchemy. All
    winged beings are "volatile," i.e., vapours and gases, in other words pneuma."
    page 120
    The Leviathan/ Behemoth dragon pair is two sides of the divine God-image.
    One lives in the sea of the unconscious and the other in the air as breath (pneuma).
    Behemoth is hence accessible through the conscious control over the breath,
    while the Leviathan is more of less out of our grasp most of the time.
    Since consciousness has a somewhat tentative grasp on Behemoth,
    he is felt as more benign than the more alien and uncontrolable Leviathan.
    Which seem to bring with it all sorts of disasters in forms of "floods"
    that wash away everything of value.
    Dalien, Daeva, Mary Christmas and 1 others thanked this post.

  7. #6

    MMm...I'm trying to construct an interpretive presentation on mythical animals and I have looked in historical cultures (they do exist in every culture, Jung is right and there's so much overlap it's absolutely stupid) and what's interesting to me though, that some of these things DO vary by culture...in Mayan culture they have an entire league of panther gods or mountain lion gods of some sort, they obviously found them a very powerful animal in nature, and constructed the idea of a terrible, evil bat-god (why, I do not know, why are harmless bats scary but murderous jaguars our best friends and messiahs?) ...anyway, this evil bat-god from Mayan culture was apparently either the inspiration for Batman or (this would make Jung happy) Batman is actual a transcultural interpretation of this super powerful half-bat, half-man who kills in the night.

    So dragons...I think Jung tended to lump a certain class of mythical creatures, not just dragons but things like Minotaur being wild animal inner nature that needed to be contained, controlled, and that's why they're battled with in varying mythology.

    I think it's interesting that both David Lynch and Rob Zombie used The White Horse in what I think are respectively some of their most powerful works. The White Horse also represents this evil animalism, this wild, unchecked passion...but unlike dragon and Minotaur there's purity there, innocence, authenticity...it's almost like a different perspective on our wild natures or dark sides. You'll notice that Christians in the West tend to favor the dragon interpretation.
    Dalien and Mary Christmas thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov View Post
    The dark and unwanted side of the psyche thats hidden or avoided to supply short term peace but long term conflict.
    This is a great, succinct answer.

  9. #8

    Dragon chinese culture symbolise powerful figures (the Emperor), wisdom, the earth or heaven. It usually have a more positive symbolism than western counterparts.
    What seems to still be common is both the power and a link to 2 seemingly opposites (material vs spiritual)
    I didn't read anything yet from Jung works about the dragon archetype, so it is only my own interpretation.
    Last edited by VoicesofWinter; 05-15-2019 at 02:45 PM.
    Mary Christmas and Judson Joist thanked this post.

  10. #9

    The way I'd see it is a subcategory of the snake archetype. The dragon can breathe fire, be on land, fly through the air, and swim in the sea, so in this case, the dragon/snake archetype can be in any element and acting as a catalyst for any change (fire).
    Dalien and Mary Christmas thanked this post.

  11. #10

    This is beside the point, but it's always irked me how warriors are often depicted battling dragons with swords. Might as well be armed with a toothpick or a letter opener! Yes, that was a reference to Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit'. A knight with a sword stands no chance against a dragon.

    This is the fantasy.



    This is the reality.



    If you want to do the job right, use the right tool.



    Blazkovitz thanked this post.


     
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