Sunday, 20 May 2012

Dragon People


Dragon People


What do all these people have in common?
See at the bottom for a list of names

Hint: This year, 2012, is also a year of Dragon.

Still guessing?

Answer: They are all born in the year of Dragon. Those born in the Dragon year, besides being fortunate (the Chinese name “lung” is a sign of luck), are also honoured and well respected.


Here is some character traits associated with the Dragon Personalities:


Dragons are free spirited persons always being free and uninhibited, for conformation is a Dragon’s curse. Restrictions snuffs out the ample creative spark that is always ready to flare.  Dragons feel that all rules and regulations pertain to others and not to them. 
The Dragon beings are beautiful creatures; their natural instinct is to be colourful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly, utterly irrepressible, in fact, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale: big ideas, ornate gestures, and extreme ambitions. Because they are confident and fearless in nature, they will always overcome any challenge and are inevitably successful in rising to the very pinnacle of any profession.

A note of caution: Dragon people need to be aware of their ambitious nature however, for too much enthusiasm can leave them fatigued and unfulfilled. Though they are always ready to give any assistance whenever the need arises they are also proud and loathe accepting any form of aid from others.

The Dragon's originality is the most impressive and outstanding of all his characteristics. The Dragon is quite imaginative and always able to see new paths where others may run into brick walls. Dragons are very adaptable and are fit for various occupations, especially those occupations that allow them to bathe in the limelight. Dragons work hard, but would rather give orders than receive them. Therefore to be content, they should avoid jobs that encompass too much routine, and opt instead for the positions in which their self-reliance can be an asset. Some of the occupations best suited for the Dragon are Computer analysts, Inventors, Engineers, Architects, Lawyers, Philosophers, Psychoanalysts, Brokers, Managers, PR People, Advertising agents, Sales people, Officers in the military, Campaigners for Charities or Politicians. In any of these occupations the Dragons will often take a radical approach

Not the most domesticated of the Animal signs, Dragons may be more content out and about rather than stuck at home. Nevertheless, blessed with imagination and artistic sense, they may enjoy decorating their home or anywhere else where their extravagance can be expressed and duly appreciated. A Dragon's home is usually large and majestic in accordance with his personality, providing ample space for that fiery temperament or sudden emotional eruptions that are typical of their character.  Keep in mind also that Dragons are egotistical and love to be the center of attention; modesty is not one of their assets. Add to that the Dragon temper and you have a commanding, domineering and authoritative chief. They do hate unsolicited advice and can be hopelessly tactless and insensitive to their lovers and spouses. It takes someone who is easygoing yet has a thick skin to be the Dragon's partner because, despite their sentimental characters, Dragons can be moody and insensitive. All the same, Dragons are loved so much because they are generous, charismatic, irresistible, and so brave that standing beside them banishes fear. They generate excitement and turn heads anywhere they go. They are free-spirited and impulsive and can help others achieve their dreams. Others love to be around Dragons because they have a way of making people feel better.

True enough, the Dragon’s generous personality gives them the ability to attract friends easily, but they are rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon’s self-sufficiency means that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people. Dragons are quick to fall in love, but do not surrender their independence easily leaving most of them to live life by themselves. Yet, a smart, witty, and funny companion may intrigue the Dragon long enough to make him want to get married and, once the Dragon becomes committed, they will be fiercely loyal and most unlikely to ever leave.

Many people will want to run when the Dragon's temper is provoked. Chinese horoscopes are very specific about which partnerships have the potential to be successful in love and in business. Yet, though destiny can point us in the right direction, we must still make all efforts to maintain loving relationships.



Dragons and Other Animals:


Dragons are compatible with, and are best friends with, Rats and Monkeys. There is an easy bonding with the Snake and few problems; not much understanding with the Ox and Sheep and Rabbit. Tigers present a challenge but also many thrills. When it comes to the Horse and Pig there are complications with their different attitudes and dragons have some difficulty in getting along with them. Dogs meanwhile are considered a mortal Enemy for Dragon folk.

In a scenario where Dragon marries another Dragon, they need to learn to share the spotlight; once this is accomplished, they will live in absolute bliss. Furthermore nothing is beyond their reach.

A Dragon and Snake union: A clever, crafty and quick-witted relationship as they fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
Dragon marrying a Horse: In this case you share a powerful sexual chemistry.
Dragon marrying Rabbit or Sheep: Despite the sexual attraction, eventually you'll find too many differences to overcome.
Dragon marrying Monkey: You share similar opinions and goals that destine you for happiness.
Dragon marrying Dog: A truly tumultuous affair-not recommended for peace of mind.
Dragon marrying Pig: A caring and deeply affectionate relationship.
Dragon marrying Rooster: You make a beautiful couple, but your egotism blinds you.
 
Because people born in the year of the Dragon are so bent on furthering their careers, they usually put off having and raising children until late. Parenting doesn't come very naturally or easily to the Dragon. However, when Dragons do become parents, they approach it with the same enthusiasm as their other endeavors. They are proud parents and tend to boast about the accomplishments and good looks of their children. Dragons, noted for their benevolence, tend to shower their children with toys and spending money. It has been remarked that they substitute material things for quality time with their children. Even so, Dragons take parenting seriously and are quite protective of their children's welfare. Should anything upset them, or should anyone wrong them, the Dragon will prepare to fight and avenge the people who have hurt or belittled their offspring.

Like their adult counterparts, children born in the Year of the Dragon have vivid personalities and are independent from birth. Noisy and active, parents should stimulate their imaginations as soon as possible. Their imagination and inquisitive natures can be troublesome for the Dragon child and can often land them in a heap of trouble at school which can cause teachers and other parents to deem them troublemakers or naughty.
Sometimes Dragon children are loners who daydream and drift to into their own world of make-believe. They are creative and are able to entertain themselves for hours on end. They don’t mind playing by themselves, often inventing games and puzzles while doing so. All the same, Dragon children are responsible children who love to take on and complete as many tasks as possible for it gives them a sense of accomplishment. They do however demand careful attention and special handling in order to bring out the best in them. Their creativity and talents must be encouraged, even if it means spending extra time in certain school subjects in order to help them master the subject.

As we mentioned earlier, Dragons are usually popular people, but because of their personalities, they seem to gather as much criticism as they do esteem. Due to their tumultuous temperaments, Dragons are not the most sensitive friends to those in need of a shoulder to cry on; however, those who truly know the Dragon know he is a loving soul who will become your best ally in times of need. Once the dynamic Dragon has given his friendship, he will not let his friends down and will never falter in his allegiance to his companions. To a Dragon, a friend is a friend for a lifetime. Incredibly honest, Dragons are known for sincerity and are trusting souls. Because of this honesty Dragons don't realize others may not demonstrate or uphold the same codes of ethics. Making the discovery that they placed their trust in someone who is dishonest makes the Dragon person quite sad, yet much more perceptive for future encounters.

Dragons are attracted by the bizarre. No self-respecting Dragon desires to walk in a tourist's footsteps. Instead, they take a lot of gratification in finding hidden destinations, or, closer to home, locations off the beaten track. But Dragons also need thrills, which they might find by taking an unplanned winter break to go skiing or a spontaneous rock climbing trip in the spring. They may even test their bravery by daring to ride the highest roller coaster in the world. Dragons are also sentimental at heart, so conquering their childhood haunts, or taking a second honeymoon would bring immense pleasure too.

Dragons also like to spend money and are most charitable. They do not know the meaning of the word "accumulate," and making money does not intrigue them as it may others. Many Dragons will take big chances with their finances, sometimes betting on their shirt and losing it right off of their backs. Yet, they were born with the Midas touch, and it very rare that a Dragon remains poor for long. Dragons will always be straightforward in financial dealings and can always be trusted. 

Other characteristics are as follows: Innovative, Enterprising, Flexible, Brave, Passionate, Conceited, Tactless, Scrutinizing, Unanticipated and Quick-tempered.
Dragons take thrilling risks and burn the candle at both ends so they are fortunate to be blessed with good health. Among the heartiest of the Animal signs, they can suffer bad health as a result of stress. Symptoms of their personalities often stem from emotional outbursts and can range from tension headaches to depression to hypertension. Dragons can remedy these problems by maintaining their cool, implementing a routine in their daily lives, and utilizing exercises such as yoga or tai kwon do that soothe the mind and spirit as well as tone the body.


Some of the likes and dislikes of the Dragon personality:


Color Preference: Greenish-Blue
Gems and Stones: Opal, Sapphire, Amber
Suitable Gifts: Tarot cards, camera, a copy of the I-Ching, mirror, a family crest, a mobile phone
Hobbies and Pastimes: Computer programming, public speaking, fossil hunting, astrology
Dragons Dislike: Taking orders, unnecessary bureaucracy, discounted ideas, people who don't give 100%



Now here are the people in the photo, have fun matching their names:

Maya Angelou, Joan Armatrading, Joan Baez, Sandra Bullock, Bing Crosby, Salvador Dali, Charles Darwin, Chiristian Dior, Placido Domingo, Fats Domino, Sigmund Freud, Che Guevara, Joan of Arc, Immanuel Kant, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Edgar Allan Poe, Vladimir Putin, Keanu Reeves, Isabella Rossellini, George Bernard Shaw, Alicia Silverstone, Ringo Starr, Shirley Temple, Andy Warhol, Raquel Welch, and Mae West



Other notable Dragon Year people are:
Jeffrey Archer, Joan Armatrading, Count Basie, Roseanne Barr, Maeve Binchy, Juliette Binoche, Alexandra Burke, Michael Cera, Courteney Cox, Russell Crowe, Roald Dahl, Neil Diamond, Bo Diddley, Matt Dillon, Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Colin Farrel, Dan Fogler, Bruce Forsyth, Calista Flockhart, Graham Greene, James Herriot, Paul Hogan, Boris Johnson, Sir Tom Jones, Wyonna Judd, Courtney Love, Elle Macpherson, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Nick Nolte, Julia Ormond, Sharon Osbourne, Al Pacino, Gregory Peck, Pele, Nikki Reed, Ryan Reynolds, Sir Cliff Richard, Martin Sheen, Dinah Shore, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Dave Stewart, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Maria von Trapp, Louis Walsh, Mark Webber, and Reese Witherspoon. Just to name a few.


To find out what years belong to which of the Chinese Animal Signs (and to you) see our blog: The Year of the Dragon Brings Ups and Downs for the full list.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Death of Fafnir (Part II)

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The Death of Fafnir the Dragon 

Part II, click here for Part I

Sibling rivalry exists among families of every race, there is nothing new there. What is interesting, however, is when it also manifests among the Gods and Immortals of ancient lore.

It so happened that Regin the Dwarf was consumed with utter hatred for his brother Fafnir, who had stolen their Father’s gold as well as the cursed ring Andvaranaut. Curses being as they are, the ring influenced the two rival brothers Regin and Fafnir to form an unholy alliance in order to kill their father Hreidmar.

That’s right, but once its hold was set on Fafnir, the ring fanned the fires of Fafnir’s greed and bewitched him into driving his brother Regin away in order to have sole possession of the entire gold hoard called the Ottergild. And here the story takes on a typical turn for Fafnir’s avarice became insatiable; so overwhelming in fact that it gradually transformed the Dwarf into a mighty Dragon. In the form of a Dragon he easily secreted the hoard away into a cave on Glittering Heath and from then on stood guard over it, lest any get stolen.

Meanwhile back at his castle Regin’s heart burned with revenge as his mind was increasingly bent on one thing and one thing only; securing that gold hoard he so coveted.

About this time the foster-son of King Alf, Sigurd (also known as Sigfried) was sent to live with Regin. The Dwarf, recognizing the strong qualities in the boy, schemed to make him his instrument for enacting his odious revenge.

Sigurd (Sigfried) knew very little of his parentage, being the posthumous son of Sigmund (who had died attacking a disguised Odin) and Hiordis who then had married King Alf. Furthermore, his only patrimony was the shattered fragments of Sigmund’s sword. Embarking on his dire plan Regin first strove to make Sigurd resent and abjure Alf’s household but, because Alf was a fair foster-father and shared anything with Sigurd, this ploy failed miserably. Alf even gave his son the horse Grani, sired by Odin’s own horse, Sleipnir.

In a last-ditch effort, Regin pretended to take Sigurd into his confidence and, in an extended dramatic rendition, related to him the story of his own past and the treasure of the Ottersgild. Convinced of the unfairness of Fafnir’s theft, Sigurd agreed to help Regin retrieve his treasure.

Delighted, Regin at once turned his smithing skills towards forging a mighty weapon for Sigurd. Unfortunately, his first two attempts failed. Each time Sigurd tested them on Regin’s anvil the swords shattered. With extra diligence Regin incorporated the fragments of Sigmund’s sword and finally made a superb blade, Gram. When Gram was tested by Sigurd, it proved so powerful that it cut clean through the anvil dividing it into perfect halves. Success at last! Surely this would kill the Dragon!

Sigurd_VS_Fafnir_by_Relotixke
Once Regin had a sword capable of piercing the Dragon’s tough hide, the only problem remained was how to incapacitate the fearsome beast long enough for Sigurd to strike a death blow.
Adept at cunning, Regin then developed the plan of digging a pit on the path Fafnir took down to the brook near his cave on Glittering Heath, hiding in the pit then stabbing Fafnir as he passed over it. In order to absolve Sigurd of the crime of killing his brother, Regin proposed that if Sigurd would cut out the Dragon’s heart, which conferred power over all other men, roast it and feed it to him he would forgo the family’s vengeance. The naive Sigurd agreed.

Regin and Sigurd went out and quickly dug up the pit, but Regin being fearful, made a false pretence and left the Sigurd to face Fafnir alone while he, himself, retreated to safety. After Regin had gone Odin, disguised as an old man, visited Sigurd and told him that if he stayed in the pit he would be drowned by the vast flow of Dragon’s blood pouring out of Fafnir’s body. Odin advised him to dig trenches to drain the blood into holding pits and, after the Dragon was dead, bathe in the beast’s blood, covering his whole body with it so that his skin would gain the property of invulnerability. After Odin vanished Sigurd dug the trenches just as Odin had directed then lay down in the main one on the path to await the arrival of Fafnir.
Fafnir by the Creek by BoSt

The earth started shaking and a loud, fearsome, noise was heard over the Heath as Fafnir approached, snorting venom ahead of him. All this was for naught, however, for Sigurd was not afraid. As Fafnir crawled over the pit Sigurd thrust the enchanted sword Gram upwards with all his strength, aiming at the heart and burying it up to his shoulder in the body of the Dragon. As soon as the blow was delivered Sigurd drew out his sword and leapt out of the pit to get a safe distance away from the thrashings of the Dragon’s body.

Fafnir knew he had been dealt a killing blow but was intent on finding out the name of his slayer so that he could hurl his death-curse at him. He roared, “Who art thou that has done this deed? Who is thy father and what manner are thy kin that ye should come to bear weapons against me?” (Dragons were very formal when weaving curses).

Sigurd knew to avoid the curse and answered that he was born of neither man nor woman and had acted alone.

Fafnir, of course, saw through this and challenged him once more to tell the truth and Sigurd then gave his name and the name of his dead father. Fafnir then asked who had counseled him to attack him. Sigurd again denied that he had any help, whereupon the Dragon then wove a web of assertions and questions that gradually, through circumstantial evidence, drew the answer, unspoken, out of Sigurd. “So it was Regin, my brother, who has brought about my end! It gladdens my heart that he will bring about yours, too, and thus all things will have been shaped to his will.”

“I have reigned in terror over this Heath for many years, spewing out poison so none would come near, and no weapon would be drawn against me. I thought myself stronger than all, for all men were sore afraid of me.”

Sigurd answered, “Few may attain victory by means of terror, for whoever does so comes to discover that no one man is for long the mightiest of all.”

Seeing that Sigurd was going back towards his cave, Fafnir called out, “Ride to my lair, then, and you will find gold enough to last your entire life long, yet that very gold will be your undoing, and the bane of whosoever owns it.”

“If by losing that wealth I would be assured that I would never die, then I would gladly leave the gold where it lies, but every man is fated to die, and I would fain do so with your wealth at my command. You, however, shall wallow in thy death pain until Hel and Death take thee, and thy gold will do thee not good at all.”
siegfried_kills_fafnir_by_katepfeilschiefter-d35g5yc
And so Fafnir died.

Sigurd then went over to one of the holding pools where Fafnir’s blood had gathered, stripped off his armor and bathed in the rank fluid so that it covered his whole skin, except for a spot on his shoulder where a linden leaf had fallen and stuck to him. Once he became invulnerable, Sigurd cut out Fafnir’s heart and began to roast it over a fire as he had promised Regin he would. While the heart was cooking Sigurd got some of the Dragon’s blood on his finger and licked it off. To his surprise he found he could understand the language of birds and some other animals.

Listening to Odin’s ravens as they talked in the tree above him, Sigurd discovered that Regin had indeed plotted to kill him after eating the heart of the Dragon. Thereby having knowledge of the doom Regin had planned, he beheaded him with one stroke of Gram as soon as the Dwarf reappeared to claim his prize. Sigurd ate the roasted Dragon heart himself and gained the gifts of wisdom and prophecy.

As for the Ottersgild treasure, including the ring Andvaranuat, Aegishjalmr the Helmet of Awe, the Golden Byrnie (cuirass), and all its attendant curses, Sigurd took it north with him to Hindfell where he met Brynhild the Valkyrie and had another, much different, adventure of no interest to us as it has no Dragons in it. If you are somewhat interested, however, you may find it told in the Opera by Richard Wagner called The Ring of the Nibelungenlied.