Not All Who Wander Are Lost

17 x 18 acrylic and liquid watercolor on board by MShannonHurst

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Into the Forest 24 x18 acrylic by MShannonHurst

Over land and over sea, into the unknown searching high and searching low. Everyone is searching for something in life. To make them happy, healthy, uplifted, to give them joy, to ground them to give the fulfillment in life, a purpose.

Red Sky at Night Sailors Delight 24 x 18 acrylic by MShannonHurst

Hopefully along the way we will encounter some Legends that will teach us and encourage us and bring us good luck. Don’t blink or you might miss it.

The Origins of Chinese Dragon Legends

No one knows exactly when legends about dragons first originated, but the symbol dates back to at least 3000 BCE. According to one theory, the legendary Chinese dragon evolved out of ancient totem-worship practices. Dragons may have been created by combining the attributes of several creatures like tigers, snakes, eagles, and carps. 

A different theory posits that the Yan emperor(炎帝 Yán Dì), a legendary Chinese leader from pre-dynastic times, was born of an encounter with a powerful dragon. As a result, Yandi was more powerful than most leaders. He partnered with Emperor Huang Di and together they conquered their enemies and unified China. The two are suggested to have pioneered Chinese civilization.

As time progressed, many Chinese came to believe that Yandi was one of their ancestors, which by extension meant that they also descended from dragons.

Where Do Dragons Live?

In the real world, dragons do not exist (surprise!). In the mythological stories they inhabit, however, dragons are thought to reside in a variety of places. The celestial dragon, for example, is said to live in the sky, while the coiling dragon lives in the sea.

The Importance of Dragons in Chinese Culture

Dragons are significant in Chinese culture because they are associated with the following:

  • Business prosperity – During the Chinese New Year, many celebrations start with a dragon dance. The aim of the dance is not just to attract attention but also to ask for a prosperous new business year from the dragon gods.
  • Good harvest and health – In traditional times, Chinese farmers requested plentiful harvests by making offerings to dragon gods. When drought struck, they did the same in an attempt to encourage a downpour from the heavens. Some also believed that dragons could protect their lands and harvests from flood damage. In addition to the Chinese New Year, the dragon is a very significant creature during the Dragon Boat Festival, a Chinese holiday that is celebrated throughout China in late spring or early summer. During this festival, dragon-shaped boat races are traditionally held. Although there are many theories about how the festival originated, one theory suggests that in its earliest form, the festival was celebrated in an attempt to request good health as well as a bountiful harvest from the dragon gods.
  • Protective tokens – The Chinese dragon is believed to offer protection to homes and businesses. They are seen as protective figures that can be printed or engraved on sentimental or valuable objects.

What Do Chinese Dragons Symbolize?

Dragons are powerful creatures in Chinese mythology. They are associated with the ability to control the seasons, time, and harvests. Generally, they symbolize the following:

  • Everything male – In traditional Chinese society, men were considered to be physically strong and powerful and were often influential in community matters. Such trends are embodied in the dragon.
  • Nobleness – According to the Chinese astrology, those born in the Year of the Dragon are more prosperous and noble than others. For example, 1988, 2000, and 2012 are considered dragon years (see our full article on Chinese Zodiac Animals). Those born during dragon years are considered strong-willed, decisive, and self-confident.
  • Agricultural life – In Chinese mythology, dragons are believed to control the weather and the seasons. Though most Chinese dragons are wingless, male dragons possess the power to fly to the heavens and bring rain, while the female controls earthly waters like rivers, lakes, seas, and wells.
  • Good fortune – Some people also believe that dragons symbolize fortune and good luck. Thus, dragons are engraved on utensils and personal items to attract the best life has to offer.
  • Kindness – The Chinese dragon is mostly held to be a sign of kindness and warmth. (Remember, the Chinese dragon does not breathe fire as its European counterparts do.) However, there are some exceptions, as we will see below.

Note the faded dragon symbol on the clothing of the Yongle Emperor (1360-1424).

What is the Symbolism Behind Dragon Colors?

Chinese dragons are colorful creatures and every such color holds unique symbolism. For example, the blue and the green dragons symbolize nature, health, and tranquility. Some people also associate blue and green dragons with healing, peace, and rest. Other notable dragon colors are:

  • Black Dragon – Most people associate the black dragon with vengeance. Thus, it’s often linked to catastrophes like storms and floods.
  • White Dragon – The white dragon is thought to symbolize purity, just like in the West. However, it is also sometimes associated with death and mourning and some see it as a bad omen.
  • Red Dragon – The red dragon symbolizes good fortune. For this reason, the symbol is popular at weddings and other celebrations to encourage happiness and good luck.

Dragon 24 x18 acrylic by MShannonHurst

You might be blessed to stand in the light underneath the might white oak tree a historical symbol of peace and calmness.

In the Light of the White Oak Tree 32×20 acrylic by MShannonHurst

Unity is needed for survival. As we all know unity protects us from all the evil doings, hence we people should help each other and together we should fight and face the evil and negative things, when we together stand only then we get freedom from all kind of negativity.

Unity 16×20 watercolor on board by MShannonHurst

Published by maryshannonhurst

My name is Mary Shannon Hurst, I am a mother of three children, and two grandchildren. Making the transition navigating my way through teenage pregnancy, motherhood, marriages, divorces and navigating sisterhood, job skills training, community relations, international relations, cultural relations, and educating children begins as soon as they are conceived from the foods that go into their mouths the nutrition that they eat, if they get enough sunshine, and exercise fresh air hugs and love and attention. I believe there is a reason and a purpose for everything, from scribbles, to spilled paint, over spray happens, paint bleeds, chalk dust gets up your nose you sneeze. Just like pollen in the air, and dust in the air makes you sneeze and some people pee a little but when they sneeze. If you make a mistake, or have an accident you clean it up. You laugh, a little or cry a little or a lot and go on about your day, you own it. Clean up your mess. Always find a reason to smile, find some joy in everyday. Always be kind. And Pay it Forward. Tell someone you Love them, Have a Nice Blessed Day!

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