My Red and White Dragon

The young Myrdhin when taken to the doomed tower of King Vortigern saw a vision. He saw that beneath the tower were two dragon eggs out of which hatched one white dragon and one red dragon. There have been many theories as to what this vision might have meant but the most popular is that it describes the oncoming battle between the Britons (the red dragon), and the Saxons (the white dragon). The red dragon is still on the Welsh flag, but the English sadly adopted the George Cross.

For many years it was thought that the English were the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons, a simple dividing line that separated England from Wales, Scotland and Cornwall quite neatly. But some years ago extensive DNA tests revealed that it was not that simple. That a good majority of people living all over England also had within them the genetics of the indigenous Briton, as well as the Saxon and (in some areas) the Viking. This suggested that although there certainly were battles, these battles were not constant over time, and that the Saxons, rather than invading and forcing the indigenous population to the western fringes of the island, actually lived together with the Britons, and obviously found companionship in each other, and gave birth to children of both Briton and Saxon parents.

Therefore I know that within me flows the blood of the red, and the white dragon, and I find that very exciting. I am Briton, and Saxon (and many other things too I’m sure!). I have spent, and will continue to spend, much time with my inner Briton, and right now I can feel the eyes of the white dragon turning its gaze towards me – beginning to stretch its wings. Among the voices of the Horned One, Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd and Taliesin, I also hear strange voices in another language speaking of Woden and Wayland. The Gods of the Briton and the Saxon are not at war within me, they are seeking a better understanding of each other, as they meet in this one body. Who knows what I might hear them say, what they might tell me, but their songs need to be sung too.

12 Comments

  1. John Willmott February 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    A wonderful reminder that there are no dividing lines between cultures of people, just gradual changes over distance, like the landscapes.

    Fascinating too are the ancient merging tribes that formed what we call Britons, Saxons and Vikings.

    Another important point, I feel, is that term “we call … “.

    I do not think the Britons, Saxons, and Vikings actually called themselves those names, “Hi Bob, I’m a Viking”.

    They seem to be names that other people first put upon them, names for the unknown and mysterious people, just like what happened with naming Celts, Keltoi, Scots and Scotia.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Damh the Bard and Brynneth, Ross Hemsworth. Ross Hemsworth said: RT @Paganmusic: New Bardic Blog post. My Red and White Dragon: http://bit.ly/heX5Ht […]

  3. Maria February 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Well said! I love that we are melting pots, culturally and genetically -there is a great strength in it. There is always more that joins us, than separates us,and those boundaries and divisions that humans seem so good at constructing dissolve in an instant when we choose to think a little more expansively and openly towards each other. I so agree with you that there is that link between the conflicts we struggle with inside us and the battles we create in the world and our communities. If we can find peace with ourselves, we stand a better chance of creating peace in the world.

    Also there are so many expressions iof the Divine out there (and inside us!), it is wonderful to find that we can learn a little more about the Mystery of life from the Gods and Goddesses that have inspired or continue to inspire other cultures. Great post Damh!

  4. Lesley February 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Damh thank you – at a time when we are told that, apparently, we are incapable of being multicultural it is good to be reminded that we ARE totally multicultural, genetically speaking!

  5. Avebury wanderer February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Brilliant post Damh! Sorry to see the white dragon being used by certain”nationalist” groups to infiltrate Norse and Heathen society in this country……You can be proud of your heritage(all of it) without attacking anothers!

  6. sheblyth February 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Damh. I really enjoyed your post. Is there such a thing as coincidence – because I have been giving this question of ancient ancestry a great deal of thought lately.

    • Damh the Bard February 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people seem go be exploring this right now too.

  7. Skye February 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I have a whole bunch of conflicting heritages: (Scandinavian, Dutch, Scottish and Welsh) but I never felt them at war. Simply, the only gods to ever call out to me were the Norse gods, so the way of the heathen I will follow! But if a Celtic god calls to me, I won’t have a problem with heeding it’s call either.

  8. elmcloud February 10, 2011 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Well said Dave, we are a mix, not just of celt & saxon, but of many many races, like a xmas pudding, it’s the spices that make us so rich.
    BTW: does this ‘new’ inner saxon mean we can look forwards to the bards vertion of Beowulf?…….now that would be awesome
    Be Blessed Sir
    elm

  9. Sheran February 10, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Interesting that there is a ruined tower at Glastonbury,
    with a red and white spring flowing from the earth at the foot of the hill.

  10. Gwernen February 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Rather brings to mind the idea of ‘something new coming about’ that is truly ancient. We’ve always been mixed, the people trying to promote an idea of ‘purity’ are blind to our long, long, long history of movement, migration, and marriage.
    I feel its the spirit of the land, and the Ones dwelling where we are or were born, that have the most effect on our lives, if we’re open enough to hear. Thanks Damh.

  11. Susa Morgan Black June 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Brilliant post, Damh! I also learned (from Mara Freeman) that the colors red and white repeat themselves in the folklore and landscape of Britain – the red and white streams in Glastonbury, the red and white Tudor rose, and the fairy animals that have red and white coloring. Some say the red and white are the colors of male and female energy, as well.

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