The mythical and legendary creature known as the dragon has been present in nearly every culture of the world in some form of mythos. In paying homage to the theme of Irish/Celtic mythology, this special St. Patrick’s Day creature feature will primarily delve into the mythos of the Celtic dragon.
In Celtic mythology, the dragon was believed to be of a world that was parallel to the physical world. Druidic beliefs held that the path dragons took was important to the flow of energy through the physical world. Areas in which a dragon passed often, crossed paths with other dragons, or places wherein a dragon stopped to rest became more powerful than the areas surrounding it.
Two types of dragons can be found in Celtic lore: winged species with four legs, and the sea serpent that was depicted as either a giant wingless serpent, or huge serpent with wings and no legs. Celtic dragons were also thought of as gatekeepers to other worlds, and guardians to the secrets and treasures of the universe. As creatures that protect the Earth and all living things, Celtic dragons were considered the most powerful of all the Celtic symbols, and were often depicted side by side with Celtic gods.
Used as a symbol of power and wisdom among leaders, dragons were often displayed on many coats of arms. As a heraldic symbol, depictions of Celtic dragons often varied greatly. Wings were always that of a bat, with tails and tongues differing between barbed or smooth and pointed. In Celtic artwork, dragons were often drawn with their tails in their mouths symbolizing the cycle of nature in the world, and immortality.