Dragon’s Breath in the Earth
Many of the old legends speak of killing the dragon. Sometimes, the real meaning of this term is clarified when one is told that the dragon continued to live. Of course, if you are reading Christianized stories of dragons, the dragon is always killed by a faithful saint or hero; this is a less than subtle reference to Christianity “killing” Paganism. But a great many of the legends were in existence long before Christians came along; therefore the term “killing” must mean something far different than destroying your religious rivals.
If you look at ancient Egyptian paintings of Horus and his Sun Boat sailing over Apep, sometimes called Apophis, serpent of the Underworld and the dead or winter season, and read the ancient stories of these daily and seasonal voyages, you become aware that the word “killing” has another meaning. The picture show the God Set “staking” or guiding Apep by a series of rods driven into the ground. A similar practice is still used to control or change the Earth’s energy in certain areas of the world in the belief that out-of-control dragon energy adversely affects humans, crops, animals and the land in general.
The Chinese emphasized the importance of controlling the “dragon’s breath” in architecture and landscape. This is still a respected belief in Hong Kong and other places having Chinese communities. There are professionals adept at finding imbalances of the dragon’s breath, and they are in demand, not only by home owners, but by businessmen. If a series of unexplained illnesses or misfortunes strike a business, for instance, the owner will go though the ordinary procedure to discover the cause. If there is nothing found, or nothing appears to alleviate the problem, he will send for a person skilled in detecting a disruption of dragon’s breath; this person is called a Feng-shui diviner.
A visit to the premises is made. This Feng-shui diviner sometimes uses a special magnetic compass that has as many as 38 concentric rings around the needle. Each ring is divided into special traditional measurements of space and time. The diviner takes sightings along what are called the vains of the dragon. These veins are raised features of the landscape, such as trees, rocks, watercourses, valleys, etc. Within buildings, the diviner considers such things as doorways, halls, the directions of corners, and so on. Any recommendation made by the diviner are implemented with great seriousness. If possible a small garden, aligned in certain ways, is made outside for the dragons of the region. Inside a shine is placed in a particular corner or area to accommodate the reigning draconic being. Dragon images are placed in both the garden and the shrine to honor the dragon, and also to remind it of its good fortune to be recognized and given respect by the human residnets.