Raising the Dragon: Folklore and the Development of Contemporary British Eco-Paganism
AbstractThis article traces how a motif from folklore, that of the marauding dragon, became reinterpreted by UK Pagans and Earth Mystics—for whom it symbolised a mysterious ‘dragon energy’ circulating harmoniously through the landscape—and by a radically motivated branch of Paganism, namely Eco-Paganism. Eco-Paganism, which emerged during the environmental anti-road protests of the 1990s, advocated a blend of direct and magical action in the form of ‘dragon-raising’ rituals for the protection of threatened pieces of land. The history of this idea of the dragon is presented, with examples of political and dragon-raising rituals, with particular reference to those performed by the Dragon Environmental Group.
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