Raising the Dragon: Folklore and the Development of Contemporary British Eco-Paganism


  • Andy Letcher Sheffield Hallam University




Paganism, eco-paganism


This 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.

Author Biography

Andy Letcher, Sheffield Hallam University

Andy Letcher recently completed a post-doctoral research assistantship at Sheffield Hallam University, with the Sacred Sites project. He is currently researching and writing a book on contemporary myco-spirituality.


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How to Cite

Letcher, A. (2007). Raising the Dragon: Folklore and the Development of Contemporary British Eco-Paganism. Pomegranate, 6(2), 175–198. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v6i2.175