Neil Gaiman wrote in ‘Coraline’: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
I certainly agree with the importance of fairy tales and fantasy stories.
After all, I was a Dungeons & Dragons player and master in my teen years, and my first published writing works on a magazine date back to 1994, in the shape of ‘adventures’ for two other role playing games. I recently re-read them, and I can guarantee you that they are atrocious. Nevertheless, they reconnected with an earlier version of me who was not yet prey to the worries and fears that surfaced later, when I started living (now an ‘adult’) by following what society demanded, not in my own way, and I got out of tune with my inner child’s voice.
I lost touch with dragons, too, and you might think that dragons are always evil – but dragons in those fantasy stories were not always evil, after all!
The real scary dragons are the ones living inside of us in the form of fears and worries that our mind and ego conjure. They often originate from those experiences in the past that have wounded and hurt us. Every time you had to ‘toughen up’ and ‘get on with it’. Every time you felt hurt and misunderstood. Every time that you felt pain. Those emotional memories come back and taint the present situation, the plots get re-played by the imagination with the present actors, and we project the pain of the past onto our (otherwise glorious) future. And they will continue to do so, until the wound is healed.
in this context, I don’t like the verb ‘beating’. These ‘dragons’ are parts – wounded parts – of ourselves. And we don’t need to beat ourselves up even more for those. We should not even deny them, because they’ll come knocking harder and harder, and eventually take down the house.
I believe that our dragons can be tamed, instead, by giving them lots of Love and acceptance, feeling thru their pain, listening to their screams and fires that rage inside of us, and admire their beauty – without acting on them. Just allow them the space to exist, acknowledge their existence. Go back to where that pain and worry really originated, and hug your wounded self of a long time ago. Tell him or her that it’s all going to be fine.
“I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “The Little Prince”
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