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it from Amazon UK
The Fon of West Africa have a legend that says:
In the beginning, the world was created by Nana-Buluku, the
one god, who was genderless. Nana-Buluku made itself a companion named Aido-Hwedo,
who was a rainbow serpent. The dung from this serpent or dragon created the mountains,
and nourished the earth so that plants could grow. The writhings of the dragon
created rivers and valleys.
When the world was complete,
it was so overladen with plants, animals and mountains that they feared the world
might collapse. Aido-Hwedo offered to help by forming a great circular loop,
with its tail in its mouth, and enfolding the world (see Ouroboros).
Aido-Hwedo could not tolerate heat, Nana-Buluku created a great cosmic ocean for
him to live in, and there he has stayed. He was fed iron bars by red monkeys
that lived beneath the sea. If and when the monkey's iron supply runs out, Aido-Hwedo
will be so hungry that he will eat his own tail. Then,
writhings will be so terrible that the whole earth will tilt, and then slip into
the sea, and that will be that!" 
This is just a small portion of my online book, Survive
2012 - a look into possible ways our world might end, and how to survive.
Available in bookstores sometime before 2012, fingers-crossed...|
ancient legends of the Nordic race were often practical warnings, in allegorical
form, against the dangers of the world. The destructive power of nature was typically
symbolised by predatory animals. The wolf was the more common symbol, but it
was the dragon which represented peril on the grand scale. The dragon's favourite
victim was the virgin: a fertile woman who represented the source of human life,
and the continuation of our species. Just as she indicated how precious our existence
was, and how easily it can be lost due to major catastrophes, the dragon represented
those terrible scenarios himself.
there were two worlds, one of fire and one of ice. When they became joined, the
ice melted and from the water came Ymir, an enormous sleeping giant. From the
sweat of his armpits a race of Frost Giants were created. The goddess Audumla
had also formed from the melting ice, and she gave birth to a dynasty of gods.
Three brothers - Odin, Vili, and Ve, were the first Aesir gods. They attacked
the sleeping Ymir and killed him. His wounds let loose a torrent of blood which
drowned all of the Frost Giants except for one family that managed to float to
safety, thus saving their race from extinction. Odin and his brothers proceeded
to chop up Ymir's body and from the pieces they made the levels of all the worlds.
Ymir's flesh became land, his bones formed mountains, his hair grew as trees,
and so on. Holding it all together was the Norse symbol for the universe - the
giant ash (or yew) tree Yggdrasil. Its shaft was the pivot of the revolving heavens,
and its limbs and roots spread into a variety of worlds or planes of existence.
There were levels within levels, all connected and each containing beings such
as gods, elves, humans, giants, dwarves and the dead.
world was above ground, that of Midgard (Middle-Earth), the world of human beings.
Below it Yggdrasil's immense roots descended into three levels: one into Asgard,
the second into Jutanheim, and the third into Niflheim.
was the dwelling of the gods.
was an eternally-frozen land and abode of the Frost Giants; enemies of men and
Niflheim, was a region of cold
and darkness, the land of the dead. Imprisoned there was the fallen trickster-god
Loki. Mating with a giantess he produced three monstrous beings - each of which
were consequently forced into binding roles by the great Odin. Their first child
was Fenrir, a huge wolf, who was imprisoned in Asgard. Hel was a woman, half
alive and half corpse, banished to the kingdom of Helheim, where she fed and housed
the dead. And thirdly Jormungand was a huge serpent which Odin threw into the
sea, where it grew until it encircled the Earth while biting on its tail - an
Ouroboros. His twisting and turning beneath the sea was the cause of storms and
earthquakes. Nearby lay another giant serpent-dragon Nidhoggr, who devoured the
bones of the dead as well as gnawing at the root of Yggdrasil, the axis of the
ash tree Yggdrasil suffers anguish
More than men can know
The stag bites
above; on the side it rots;
And the dragon gnaws from below".
Graves, The White Goddess
if the gnawing of a dragon wasn't enough, there were four deer and a goat living
on Yggdrasil's limbs eating all the leaves and the trunk was infected with rot.
All of these creatures were awaiting their release and the beginning of Ragnarok,
the battle of the End of the World. The root that extended into Asgard was tended
by the three Norns, Urdur, Verdandi and Skuld - goddesses representing the past,
the present and the future. Each day they applied the healing water from Urd's
Well to the trunk of Yggdrasil, chanting the Orlog - mysterious laws of the universe
that the myths do not reveal to us - making sure that the great tree lived on,
despite the attacks upon it. The giants were determined to eventually overthrow
and destroy the gods, and Ragnarok occurred as prophesised. Battles raged for
three years, followed by three summer-less years of terrible cold. Then a huge
earthquake broke the bonds of Loki and his son Fenrir. The huge serpent Jormungand
came ashore, making the ocean surge upon the land. The forces of good and evil
met and did battle at the plain of Vigrid. Fenrir swallowed Odin. Thor killed
the giant serpent Jormungand, but succumbed to its poison. The world was engulfed
in fire and smoke and all those who fought were killed. The stars disappeared
and the earth sank below the sea. Eventually a new, fertile world emerged, and
it was populated by two humans who had hidden in the Yggdrasil tree. In another
chapter we will discuss the relevance of a serpent gnawing on the axis of the
world, and the disappearance of the stars. For the time being, it is enough to
absorb how often dragons and "the end of the world" combine in global mythology.
She cloaked ferocious dragons
with fearsome rays
And made them bear mantles of radiance, made them godlike
(Enuma Elish, - Tablet III)
Elish" is the Babylonian creation epic, a thousand-line poem inscribed 4000
years ago upon seven clay tablets. It was probably a chant to help welcome in
the Babylonian New Year. 
In this epic there is a huge dragon named Tiamat who is the
personification of the ocean and chaos, who is the mother of all that exists,
of even the gods. She is an uncontrollable creature made of "formless primordial
partner was Apsu, the personification of the freshwater abyss that lay beneath
the Earth. With their union, when saltwater mixed with freshwater, the first
gods were born - Lachmu and Lachamu, who begat Ansar and Kisar, parents of Anu,
Bel and Ea.
These offspring irritated Tiamat and
Apsu - so they decided to kill them all. Ea discovered their plans and struck
first, killing Apsu in his sleep. When Tiamat heard of this she flew into a violent
rage and created a legion of eleven monstrous creatures - a viper, a shark, a
scorpion man, a storm demon, a great lion, a dragon, a mad dog and four nameless
ones - which she assigned to her new husband, her son Kingu.
young gods were terrified, knowing that they were no match for the powerful Tiamat.
They persuaded Ea's son Marduk to be the champion of the gods by promising to
make him the supreme god and ruler of the universe. Marduk fought well and was
finally able to shoot an arrow into Tiamat's mouth, cleaving her dragon body in
two. From her upper half he made the arc of the sky and from her lower limbs
he created the earth. He also slaughtered Kingu, and from his blood and bones
Marduk created the first humans. He then firmly fixed the stars, arranging the
constellations of the zodiac, and created the moon - "sets him as a creature
of night, to make known the days monthly without failing". 
again stars were integral to the story. Across nations and cultures the dragon
is an emblem of destruction and anarchy, misdirected violence and untameable animal
passions. The myth of Tiamat represented how destruction and chaos were transformed
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Comments from Visitors
i never realised that dragons were such a "universal" beast among cultures. not only dragons/serpents/snakes or whatever they're reffered to as, but this image of one swallowing it's own tale is in every ancient culture.
Whee!!! Finally I can get all the info to finish my study of Dragons! Thanks, it`s the best page so far.
>[*] NB: Early Sumerian and Akkadian artifacts >(circa 2500 BC) show pictures of a pole or >tree which is called the "axis mundi " - the >world axis. It is the shaft that runs >through and supports the world. Guarding >this tree or pole is a snake or pair of >intertwined snakes.
- have you ever seen the caduceous - latin/greek symbol for mercury? It is even used by some pharmaceutical products - it too depicts two intertwining serpents encircling a pole.
there is also a celtic story my grandfather told me in his particular archaic welsh attatched to the flag of my country...his version was noteably more terrifying and apocalyptic than the english translations i've heard - celtic pagans out there, remember that our religion is embedded in the things we still have left, that were untouched by rampaging invaders...look for words like 'madarch', mushroom, or mad=goodly arch=vessel...our red dragon is a deity for not just the welsh, and the green land and grey sky behind are just as important. seven years, my peoples, let's form some allegences with the tribes of nature not of human. they are still out there. and the old ones (dare i use the word neanderthalensis?) still live, far in the east of where i sit.for those who would be gentle they will offer their protection. as you approach them use the australian abboriginal greeting for peace stick or ambassador. love you all ppl
can you help me im trying to figure out about a 8 foot dragon that was held capative in nebraska can you give me proof like pictures or an in an old news paper?
The comments section is now closed, but you can still email me, or even
better, visit 2012 Forum
Script by Alex
[*] NB: Early Sumerian and Akkadian artifacts
(circa 2500 BC) show pictures of a pole or tree which is called the "axis
mundi " - the world axis. It is the shaft that runs through and supports
the world. Guarding this tree or pole is a snake or pair of intertwined snakes.
Allen and Jeanne Griffiths, Book of the Dragon (London: Orbis Publishing
Ltd., 1979) page 19.
 The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 7th ed. (1982), s.v.
 The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV, Copyright ©
1908 by Robert Appleton Company - Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
May 23 2000 --Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor -- Imprimatur. +John M. Farley,
Archbishop of New York