As a precursor to reading the content on Draconem.net (every philosophy, every piece of art and every mythological tale), we ask that you read this page. It is our belief that an acute understanding and application of the balanced duality of light and shadow, grail and serpent, is a foremost requirement. Everything is subsequent to this.
What is Shadow and Light? The Ying-Yang Concept:
According to Chinese philosophers, Yin-Yang is a concept used to describe the inextricable dichotomy of shadow and light. There is no good or evil here; no right and wrong; no moral prescription instructing us to value one and shun the other. As it is with all opposites, one is properly defined and appreciated by the intimate knowledge and recognition of its opposite.
With black and white existing in equal parts, Yin-Yang is one concrete symbolic manifestation of a broader philosophy which acknowledges the necessity of both. Taoism symbolically defines the yin (shadow) as a fenghuang (phoenix) and the yang (light) as a serpent.
Here, we will modify this concept, defining the shadow as a serpent, and the light as being of the grail.
What is the serpent?
Viewed literally, a serpent can first be defined by its physical attributes and actions. A predator by nature, a serpent is stealth; a hunter in the purest form, it often employs camouflage and stalking techniques before striking and devouring its prey. Because of this, in mythology and lore, the serpent has metaphorically represented actions and attributes such as subterfuge, cunning, seduction, and even hidden knowledge. In essence, what the serpent exemplifies is a hidden power that’s purely focused, biding its time before striking fast and forcefully, when appropriate or necessary.
What are its modern applications?
Removing something from its mythological and literal contexts, while never forgetting what they are, is necessary when applying symbolic attributes to the self. In the case of the serpent, what can be derived are the more focused and pointed aspects of personality; cunning patience, a staggering exactness of purpose, and the ability to deeply affect one’s surroundings with precision are all examples of embodying serpentine qualities.
Separate from this, there are various conspiracy theories revolving around a ‘reptilian’ species on Earth. We do not subscribe to these theories and they are not applicable to this philosophy — in theory or in practice.
Examples of serpent energy:
It’s important not to allow the moral interpretation of “darkness”, as it applies to the serpent, take hold. Manufactured morality would have us bracket and declare light “good” and shadow “bad”, but the principals of good and evil should not be imposed upon the purity of energy and its deliberate manifestations. There is a time and place for the application of innate morality, in the matters of corrupt application and interpretation. But, here, put it aside.
Serpentine energy itself, as it applies to the dragon, is hunger incarnate; there is a natural carnivorous nature to its source and deliberately savage power. Watch any predator stalk its prey, and you’ll see the dominant posturing and movement of the hunter — the snake, the lion or the wolf. The primal urge to recoil and strike.
What a serpent is not:
A serpent, or the manifestation of serpentine energy, is not emotional. It is not informed by things like malice, nor is it a tool with which to extract revenge.
What triggers serpent energy?
There is a twofold principal called the Law of Attraction. The first element of this principal is like attracts like, while the second is the idea that focus causes expansion. Basically, as opposed to what physics teaches us, where similar magnetic polarity repels while opposite magnetic polarity attracts, “like attracts like” is magnetic attraction in reverse. So, as it applies to serpentine energy, it is triggered by the same. Again, secondary to this is “focus causes expansion”, and so it is with serpent energy as well.
Recognition triggers a reaction, and the focus on that reaction fuels its manifestation.
What is the grail?
According to legend, grail (also known as the Holy Grail) is a term which refers to a cup, plate, or stone which carries profound spiritual significance. While there are many examples of non-Christian inspired grail lore, the most famous account of a grail is the one said to have been used by Jesus Christ at the event prior to the crucifixion, known as The Last Supper. It appears throughout Arthurian legend, and factors into countless spiritual quests. So much so, the term grail itself has taken on an almost cliched status as any “thing” one earnestly and fervently hopes to attain.
In spite of its religious connotations, our use of the term grail as it applies to the “light” side of this dichotomy has nothing to do with religion. It is deeply symbolic, and derivative of its broader application to the existence of a dragon bloodline. It is synonymous with other interpretations of this element of light and power, be it the transformative fire of a phoenix or the majestic strength and fortitude of a lion.
What are its modern applications?
As it is with the serpent, recognizing the modern applications and manifestations of the grail requires that we remember mythology while removing ourselves from it. In the case of the grail, it is the fabric with which kings are made; those who employ the full measure of its potential will have a natural charisma and not only the ability to lead, but the desire to put it into action. Other examples of applicable attributes include a gift for creation, high intelligence, and purposeful control over one’s emotions and impulses. Psychologically, those who fully embody grail attributes are known to recover more quickly and completely from psychological trauma, relative to others, while using these experiences as springboards for growth and evolution, rather than allowing adversity to hinder their progress.
Examples of grail energy:
Again, as it was with the serpent, the tenets of manufactured morality, or of good and evil, find no practical application here. While grail energy is “light”, that does not imply it is good or right or noble. This, especially, is very easy to confuse because grail manifestations are frequently objectively good, while the energy itself, being pure force, isn’t bound to these kinds of judgements.
Grail energy is resolute; immovable power which exists for its own sake, is defined by its integrity, and can very easily be compared to the eye in the center of a storm. It is a remedy not for darkness, which is its willing and focused accomplice, but for chaos. This is the energy that effortlessly inspires devotion and faith in others; forthright where its opposite is cunning. As described in spiritual alchemy, light emerges from a darkness filled with possibility.
It is an energy which is an innate privilege, inherited through bloodlines, not something to be learned but, instead, awakened and refined.
What a grail is not:
Oftentimes when people talk about bloodlines, it’s steeped in conspiracy. It is not our intention to associate our philosophy with any similar assertions, or obscure our message with theatrics of any kind. Furthermore, it is also not our aim to imply that these inherited traits are purely that; our picture of what a grail bloodline is, and is not, is conditioned upon not only concrete genetic attributes, but those attributes that are proven through time, action, and ability. Dragons are comprised of many things, and ultimately revealed by the complete picture.
In conclusion, a fully realized dragon is an individual who has awakened to both sides of his nature: shadow and light, serpent and grail. It is essential for those who find themselves with one aspect dominent over the other to understand the necessity of balance, and work toward achieving it. Primary to this process is understanding the nature and full range of potential on each side, being careful not to allow the concepts of good and evil to hold any sway.
There are several ways this inner balance is manifested and exemplified in nature, and in practices such as hieros gamos — the sacred union between twin souls.
It is our hope that an understanding of this fundamental philosophy will serve as a guide for the material presented here, and that the consistent reciprocal relationship between the aspects of shadow and light will be revealed and recognized as self-evident.