Y Ddraig Goch

Y Ddraig Goch 'The Red Dragon'

Y Ddraig Goch, ‘the Red Dragon’ has been with me for some time; for longer than I have had names and faces for my gods. I spent most of 2009-2010 writing a fantasy novel about a warrior-magician who served a red fire dragon to bring an end to the oppressive regime devastating his world.

A fantasy author I was in a writing group with bought me a statue of a red dragon as a birthday present and she has sat beside my fire ever since. I hadn’t paid much attention to her or the red dragon I stuck above my writing desk to remind me to keep practicing my Welsh.

Then I started dreaming about dragons: two female serpents devouring Manchester Cathedral; a figure with two female torsos but serpentine from the waist down; a vampire hunter from an old Anime film merging with numberless heads, wings, claws, in a cave of dragons; being gifted a full-length dragon-skin coat that allowed me to change colour like a chameleon.

I read The Rain Wild Chronicles by Robin Hobb where dragons drink magic from a well of silver.

I was led back to that old tale about Britain’s dragon fighting against the dragon of the Romans, the red Welsh dragon fighting against the white Anglo-Saxon dragon. Fascinating stories that have lost their origin, I thought as I made the connection between the pit Lludd dug to hold them at the omphalos, ‘navel’, of Britain and the omphalos at Delphi where a python or drakaina resided. Drakainas are female serpents or dragons with women’s features.

There are dragons in most of our world myths and unfortunately they nearly always get slaughtered. Marduk slays Tiamat, Indra slays Vritra, Apollo slays Python. Less violently Britain Y Ddraig Goch and her sparring partner simply get laid to sleep. Although this isn’t the case for the majority of their kindred who are killed off by various ‘knightly’ dragon-slayers.

If Y Ddraig Goch belonged to an older substrate of myth than Lludd and Llefelys what was it?

An answer of a kind came to me in a meditation.


Going Down to the Dragon

I walk in a line of people wearing Roman style tunics and sandals going down to the dragon.

We are descending a spiral stairway carved by the dragon’s tail.

Torches have been lit with fire from the dragon’s breath by the servants of the dragon.

We are guided by the shadowy ones who served the dragon in life and now serve her in death.

I recall there was once an awenydd who could speak the words of the dragon by translating them directly from the reptilian depths of the dragon’s brain before she had spoken a single sound.

The Romans killed the awenydd and nobody knows the language of dragons anymore.

But we all hear the dragon’s scream and feel its effects – weakened warriors with pale skin, barren women, barrener fields, inexplicable outbreaks of madness, an endless paralysing terror.

We fear she demands a sacrifice.

We enter the cavern to see her ruby-winged with mead-gold eyes and dagger-like teeth and claws.

Her presence is immense, filling the cavern like a teeming treasure horde animated by a soul so old…

Who would not want to lay down their lives for her?

Something tells me there is more to being devoured by a dragon than being torn apart and swallowed.

Torches glint in the dragon’s eyes as she stands before the omphalos, the navel of Britain, the well of Awen.

A remembering awakens deep at the base of my brain as two shadow people pull me forward.


16 thoughts on “Y Ddraig Goch

  1. Weird coincidence (or maybe not) but a couple of nights ago I dreamt I was somehow connected with the young of a pregnant dragon. She was travelling through the earth searching for the right place to give birth, not to eggs but baby dragons. The babies needed to be born into fresh water, not a river but a pool or lake. That’s all I remember. Odd!

  2. What a wealth of dragons you have been gifted. I have been listening to Peter’s Clarissa Pinkola Estes CDs and she says that the fairy tales are fragments of older stories, especially the incomplete ones about women or related to us. Maybe we need the dragon skin coat, to shapeshift into new (re)imaginings (the dragon skin coat dream has really sat with me). Then there is the being in service to dragons… somehow, this is important… also re Potia’s story, I wonder if there is more communal dreaming of dragons… that would be fantastic…

    1. Yes, I agree that shapeshifting, sloughing off old skins feels very important now. It’s been intriguing having posted this to hear of others collectively connecting with and dreaming of dragons too – so yes here’s to more communal dreaming of dragons!

  3. A sublimation of all life through all time. Memory incubated. Trans-race, trans-human, consciousness. Geology and mud. Magma and gold. Transformation of the dreams and effluent of stars. What goes beyond sense and limit and judgement. Cavernous emptiness. The breathing of universes. String and superstring. The wriggle that births and eats creation. Beyond the comfort of even gods and immortals, bigger than the doors to any heaven. Perhaps…

  4. An awenydd who knows fhe Dragon’s language …. the Omphalos as the Well of Awen … These are resonant images. To learn the Dragon’s tongue ( like Gwrhyr in Culhwch who can speak with the Oldest Animals) we must find a way back to such speech. The Awenydd’s quest for wisdom!

  5. ywendragoneye

    I dreamed once of a dragon terrorizing a village I lived in. As people were fleeing, I was crossing a bridge, and the dragon leaped out of the water next to me and said “I want you”. I asked it if I went with it, if it would stop terrorizing the town, and it said “yes”. I jumped into the water, and the dream ended. Years later, my husband and I built a labyrinth/stone circle/sacred grove. We named it Cylch Draig. I always felt the dragon had called me to create this sacred space in that dream.

    1. Lovely to hear how you were prompted to set up the sacred space by a dream in which you were prepared to go who knows where with a dragon. Did you ever find out where you went? Is your connection with that dragon the source of your name?

      1. ywendragoneye

        The dream didn’t recur or continue, I suppose it did its job LOL. Yes, it was partly the inspiration for the name. Harvest blessings!

  6. How many more times do I have to tell you, the omphalos of Britain is located within a telephone box in the Forest of Bowland. 🙂

    If we’re going to carry on celebrating the victory of St. George in Sprintime I’ve always felt there should be autumnal festivities in which he gets his comeuppance. Those sound like wonderful dreams.

    Did you see Gordon Buchanan’s film of his visit to a remote tribe who have an intimate connection with crocodiles? Given the above you might find it worth a look on I-player. The folk he visits catch crocodiles in a truly remarkanble way -and also take eggs from their nests. I have some reservations about Gordon’s commentary, but thought this and his other two films on how indigenous peoples relate to predators were quite impressive.


    1. I’m going to have to find that phone box at some point!

      Yes, I’ve felt like celebrating the dragon instead of St George. An alternative would certainly be a celebration of his comeuppance in Autumn.

      I haven’t seen the crocodile video but will hopefully find some time to check it out.

  7. Fascinating dream, Lorna. I have a green dragon who sits on a bookscase looking at me when I read in my study and who overlooks my altar. She is a foot high and has a long tail, made of fabric over a wire frame. Cyrddmach is very powerful and takes a dim view of faffing about. She has been a companion for many years now and is presence to be reckoned with in my space. Dragons are very important creatures. I find the dragons in Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea books very compelling and quite different in energy to those of in the Pern books of Anne McCaffery. In the former they are holders of ancient wisdom and few can speak with them. I think we need to cultivate the ability to hear them and find ways to work with them. The fear we have been taught to have of dragons is unfortunate. We are all the poorer for having lost their wisdom, which is much needed now.

    1. Thanks for telling me about Cyrddmach. I’d be interested to hear more about your relationship.

      I love Ursula Le Guin’s depiction of dragons. If I recall rightly in Earthsea the dragons have their own ancient and universal language only those who know true names of things such as Ged can speak? That really resonated with me. I haven’t read Anne McCaffery’s books.

      1. I’ll email you a photo and tell you more about Cyrddmach. Yes, the dragons of Earthsea have their own language and only speak to certain people, or rather only certain people can understand the language they speak, which is the old tongue.

  8. Then there is the being in table service to dragons… somehow, this is important… also re Potia’s news report, I admiration if there is more communal dreaming of dragons… that would be antic…
    Yes, I’ve felt like celebrating the dragon instead of St George.

  9. Then there is the being in mesa avail to dragons… somehow, this is significant… also re Potia’s news report, I wonder if there is more communal dreaming of dragons… that would be antic…
    Yes, I’ve felt like celebrating the dragon instead of St George.
    Yes, I’ve felt like celebrating the dragon instead of St George.

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