The Magic Of The Dragon Tattoo
One of the most intriguing tattoos out there today is the dragon tattoo. This is one of the most common designs on the market today. In history, many tribes believed that a person captured the power of a beast when the image was imprinted on their skin. It is not hard to understand why a warrior would want to contain the power of the majestic dragon.
The word dragon is derived all the way back from the Greek word “derkein” which means, “sharp sighted one.” This was later translated into Latin terms meaning “giant snake.” Mythology has embraced the dragon as far back as the Greeks. Dragons have taken many, many forms and each of these forms has been a little different.
Some believe that these mythical creatures stem from the dinosaurs and exaggerated tales of real life large serpents that have since left the animal world. Each time a tale is told, the serpent becomes larger and larger and the evil intent of the creature becomes more well defined. In more modern tales, the dragon was not always evil, or the intent was less malevolent. Stories of dragons guarding treasure under the spell of a great wizard.
Dragons of the World
Much like legends of other mythological creatures, the culture of the area affected the type and style of the dragons that filled their tales. Japanese dragons often lived in the deep ocean that bordered their land. Their dragons were vengeful and intelligent and their actions were not that of a blind rage, but expressions of the emotions and feelings of the people. Japanese warriors and Japanese monks used these stories to explain the conflicted nature of mankind. Using the dragon as a symbol of the anger and rage that exists in each person, tales of jealous, angry dragons taking out their rage on their enemies became the bedtime stories for Japanese youngsters.
The Chinese, while their country was close the same sea that the Japanese people looked upon, spun yarns of a different type of dragon. As the Chinese people looked to the skies and tried to understand things like the weather and the stars, dragons became the Gods that governed the unexplainable. The sometimes ill tempered serpent Gods became an easy way to explain why rain and storms would emerge from clear skies and the winds would violently pound the shores where only a moment ago stillness rest.
In the Mesopotamian area, the long and scaled creatures were hero Gods. As opposed to their Asian neighbors not far away, these people needed a strong benevolent force to protect them from a large and unexplored world. When adversity and ills struck these people, they looked to the skies, to invisible heroes that would save the day. Deeply intelligent and kind, the hero dragons would protect and frightened people from the world and its demons.
In Europe, dragons served a few different purposes. With long winters that forced the people inside for long periods of time, the boredom and silence would give way to legends. Heroes from the night needed a strong and intelligent foe to vanquish and the dragon was the perfect match. The different areas and tribes of the European area gave way to slightly different dragons. Some of these explained plights that could not be explained other ways and other dragon’s tales would keep children deeply ensconced in their beds during the dark winter nights.
Dragons Grow Up
As older times gave way to more modern eras, the dragons were forced to grow up. A still male dominated society began to explain things away. Dragons receded into symbolical areas. While the woman was a dark and seductive mystery, the male represented a harsh rage that was barely contained. Emotions that worked their way through the souls of men needed a symbol and explanation and the dragon fit the bill perfectly. Like the male human, the dragon could change quickly. Sometimes the protector of mankind and sometimes a destroyer.
In the dark hills near Romania lived a man whose reign over his people was cold and hard. Vlad the Impaler was a tyrant king that protected his people from its enemies with violence that shined from his heart like dark rays of light. His reign gave way to the stories of Dracul, or later, Dracula, whose family name meant dragon.
The Dragon of Today As A Symbol
Many people believe that the dragon tattoo is a new fad of the past few years and the truth is that the dragon has been a symbol in tattoos for ages. Sometimes the dragon represents the rage that is contained in its wearer. Other times the dragon is a symbol that is supposed to help contain that same rage. Even in modern times, there is a warrior in the heart of most people. There is an urge that rises to the surface when opposition stands in the way of a person or when met an enemy. This urge cries out to fight and fight hard. The part of the human soul that refuses to slink away into the night is the dragon. Tattoos of the dragon tell the potential enemy of its wearer that there will be no going quietly, but that there is a fight to be had.
In modern times, it is understood that this spirit and fight is not only contained in the heart of men, but in all the people. Men and women alike don the image of the dragon. Sometimes this symbol is hidden under the clothes, like the hidden rage that is hidden in the heart and other times it is worn proudly, for all those to see and fear. One should take a little time to prepare the heart before getting this mysterious tattoo. Quiet contemplation of what the symbol means to the individual should be taken just before receiving the serpent.
There is pride in wearing the dragon and there is respect that should be had for the beast within. Many Asian warriors would wait until they felt that they had earned the right to wear the serpent tattoo. Like a military award or badge of courage, representing that the dragon inside the warrior has been properly tamed and can be properly used.
The Dragon In Modern Works
Everywhere from music, movies to games showcase the majestic dragon. Dungeons and Dragons is a game that has been around for many many years, and even today, many video games feature the dragon as an enemy or weapon. Dragon tattoos have even appeared in a few modern video games as a way of showing other players and non-players in the game that the power of the dragon is contained in the heart of the player.
Movies have showcased the giant serpent in so many forms there is no way to touch upon them all. From fairy tales brought to life, to dragon tattoos, the video scene has shown our dragon friends in many forms. One of the most noted are the Disney films portraying the story of Sleeping Beauty. Other films such as “Red Dragon” an adaptation of the novel by the same name. In the film the serial killer has an obsession with a painting of a red dragon that he believes represents his transformation into a god. He has a large red dragon tattoo that encompasses most of his back.
A more modern set of films are the trilogy of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” These are just a few of the films that can be seen featuring dragon tattoos. There are also a host of films that use dragons in forms that range from the hero to the enemy. Giving a very modern look and feel to dragons was the film “Reign of Fire.” This was a movie that took the fairy tale out of dragons and brought the mythical creature into the real world. A male dragon rises from the depths of the earth and gives way to hordes of females that cover the planet wreaking havoc and bringing death.
Animated films are filled with dragons as everything from cute pet like creatures to dark gods of old. Many of these are based on fairy tales that are as old as modern media and even older. As the technology that brings these creatures to life gains more and more power, the dragons become more and more lifelike. In high definition or 3D these creatures leap off the screen for children of all ages.
Games like Dungeons and Dragons allow players to immerse themselves in a world filled with dragons. Sometimes a mysterious bearer of knowledge, but most times a fearsome adversary, the dragons dominate the lands waiting for a passerby. Somewhere deep in the world of D&D awaits the mother of all dragons, ready to impart knowledge and assistance, but only to those worthy of it.
Video games are the home of many dragons. Often a dragon is the creature that must be defeated at the end of the game. It is not uncommon for a human appearing creature to unleash a dragon serpent from themselves at the end, becoming a much more difficult opponent.
Are You Ready For The Dragon Tattoo?
Whether it is simply for decoration or to serve as a reminder of the hidden rage in the human soul, the dragon tattoo can be an adventure for anyone. They can be anywhere from an intricate maze of colors and light to a symbolic rune symbol. The dragon inside of everyone is waiting for its chance to shine. Because of the vast variety of dragons, the variety of dragon tattoos is even more vast. A person can get a dragon tattoo that is small and unobtrusive or literally be covered in the serpent design.
As society opens more and more everyday to the fact that tattoos are here to stay and that anyone can have them, it is going to be more commonplace to see these fantastic creatures adorning the skin of your fellow man. While it is inexpensive and easy to get a dragon tattoo, take a little time beforehand and contemplate what the tattoo means to you. If you feel the call of the dragon, then this is something that you absolutely must do. The dragon will never release your soul once it has curled its serpent body around it, but take the time to fully appreciate the history and the meaning behind this truly awe inspiring design. Look at pictures of the dragon and find your soul mate.
Once you have chosen, take a deep breath and ready yourself. You are joining the ranks of those from the history books. The dragon tattoo is as old as man and as mysterious. To some it is just ink and color, to those of us that hold the dragon as sacred, it is both a symbol and a way of life.