Dragons In Alchemy
In alchemy, the dragon was considered to be matter, metal and the physical body. Often mentioned in conjunction with the dragon was the dragon’s sister: spirit, metallic mercury, and the soul. Ancient alchemy used the picture of a dragon or winged serpent as one of its many secret symbols. A common symbol of spiritual alchemical work was the dragon or serpent holding its tail in its mouth, an unending circle of eternity. Near this circled dragon was written the Greek motto “en to pan,” or “all is one.” The fabled Philosopher’s Stone of alchemy was also considered the One Which Is All. This Stone was closely connected in ancient writings with the Great Work of alchemy; the Great work simply means humankind becoming God, or merging with the Supreme Creative Forces within, thus completing the cycle of human growth by returning to the Source.
Jung wrote that the alchemists considered the winged dragon as female, the wingless dragons as male. Jung also considered water in dreams and analysis as unconscious spirit or the water dragon of Tao. This water dragon of Tao symbolized the yang embraced in the yin, or balanced growth in spirit. In Chinese Taoist symbolism, the dragon was seen as ‘the Way,” the bringer of eternal changes. Often in was depicted as guardian of the Flaming Pearl, or spiritual perfection. Joseph Campbell also speaks of the winged dragon or serpent as being the balance between Earth and Spirit. To the Chinese, the dragon was a potent symbol of luck and power. Silver dragon amulets were worn to help gain these qualities.
“Dancing with Dragons”
D. J. Conway