I have always had a thing for dragons. Ever since I first read the Dragonriders of Pern books, I realized dragons had been getting bad press for ages and were much more sensitive creatures many people give them credit for.
For years, this fascination lay dormant but since I 'met' a fire-breathing dragon in one of my trance journeys a few years ago, I had been on the lookout for dragons on a more conscious level. My fire-breathing dragon had introduced himself to me as 'Fred', which made me giggle: such a common name for such an impressive creature. I felt 'Fred' (if that is his real name, I still suspect he was joking) around for quite some time, but I didn't really know how to deepen our relationship.
And then I decided to enrol in a shamanism 101 class.
Now shamanism has also been a subject to my heart for a long time. I have read quite a few books on the subject, fiction and non-fiction, and as a past life therapist I felt confident enough in my own shamanistic 'roots' to write the 500 year old shaman Yldich, one of the main characters in Curse of the Tahiéra.
Unlike I had expected, the class is mainly focusing on North American Native shamanism, which is fine with me though: I am eclectic through and through. So, I expected to meet a nice forest dweller on my trance journey to meet my totem animal. A petite big-eyed deer or a swooping falcon. I did not.
I met a dragon.
A big, red, fire-breathing dragon.
Now as 'coincidence' would have it, I was at this time also drawn to a YA fantasy novel written by a fellow writer, Derek Hart:'The Secret of the Dragon's eye', which, surprise surprise features an impressive fire-breathing dragon (not a red one, though): Sir Thaddeus Osbert. He reminds me a lot of Fred. In fact, there are strange parallels between Mr. Hart's book and 'Curse of the Tahiéra' (in which dragons make a short appearance) which makes me wonder: how many dragon-loving artists are drawing from the same source? The same archetypal well?
Anyway, I decided to bring my wee stuffed toy dragon from Wales, Sir Caradoc, to shamanism class last night. When my friend pulled into the only parking space left in the The Hague street, the Netherlands, she burst out laughing. There, in front of us, was a parked car with a bumper sticker of a red dragon on a green background.
A dragon from Wales!