GIFTS: True fearlessness. Mastering all the elements. Balancing emotions, actions, vision, and passion. Integration. Deep personal power. Wisdom. Magic.
CHALLENGES: Lack of balance. Too much destructive energy, not enough constructive. Reckless fearlessness. Power to the point of authoritarianism.
You have probably heard the phrase, “Never wake a sleeping dragon.” The motto of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is “Draco Dormiens Numquam Titillandus,” which means “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.” In the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” Viserys Targaryen says to his sister Daenerys, “You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?”—calling himself the dragon (season 1). And, of course, people (especially life coaches) speak frequently of “slaying our dragons.”
Well, my philosophy is that not only we must wake our inner dragons, we must also learn to ride them. This does not mean taming them or training them (as much as I do enjoy the movie “How to Train Your Dragon”). Like all vibrant, healthy spirit animals, our inner dragon must remain wild and untamed. And at the same time we must learn to ride that profound, scary, and truly awesome power that lives in each of us.
Does that mean that each of us has Dragon as a spirt animal? No.
Does that mean that each of us can access spirit animal Dragon’s power? No.
I am speaking metaphorically. When I say “our inner dragon,” I an referring to our inner fears, our limiting beliefs, the powers the scare us about ourselves. We all can work with our inner dragons.
When I say “spirit animal Dragon,” that is an entirely different matter.
Perhaps I should call Dragon’s gifts “rewards” because they are not freely given. Rather, they are earned. Having Dragan as a natural spirit animal does not automatically make you fearless, balanced, integrated, or wise. Spirit Animal Dragon challenges you to practice, master, and, thus, earn these gifts.
Spirit Animal Dragon can be an extremely difficult spirit animal to work with, especially if you doubt your power or lack the patience for mastery. Dragon does not make your path easier; it confronts and challenges you every step of the way. It is similar to the adage about asking God for patience and receiving an abundance of situations that try your patience. When you ask Dragon for help, be ready for obstacles.
Think of the mythical knight on a quest, perhaps to slay dragons. (No, you are not supposed to slay your spirit animal Dragon.) A quest is worthy of a knight only when it presents the knight with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the risk of death. While Dragon represents true fearlessness, the knight represents true courage—facing fear and moving through it.
Dragon is one of the ultimate symbols of fear-less-ness. In Dragon’s case, it is true fearlessness—as in, the absence of fear. Dragon can be difficult energy to work with if Dragon is not your natural spirit animal. (A natural spirit animal is one that has chosen to work with you, as opposed to your choosing a spirit animal from whom to temporarily borrow their gifts.) Even if Dragon is your natural spirit animal, it can take time and concerted focus to fully harness Dragon’s gifts. That, of course, is one of Dragon’s lessons. Power, strength, wisdom, mastering all four elements (fire, air, water and earth), magic and true fearlessness are not bestowed upon you. They must be taken, wielded, practiced and mastered.
Having Dragon as a natural spirit animal means you have the inner resources to embody Dragon—even if you don’t feel it yet.
If you are borrowing Dragon gifts, take care not to give into fear-based desire for power. Approach Dragon with both personal power and humility. If Dragon shares its gifts with you, you have passed its test.