Dragon

The dragons form appears to be essentially informed by flowing; in water, (predominantly they are water spirits with the ability to control rain and bodies of water), clouds and we might infer, fire or the striations in jade. They are most often depicted in coiling flight like a ribbon in the wind and often chase a flaming pearl. The dragons are considered to be able to change their size from that of a worm, to the whole universe and can also hide themselves in water or clouds. As well as a water spirit, the dragon may be considered as an embodiment of qi energy (life energy) and in this respect the dragon may represent a certain primordial image of life wherefrom the ancient Chinese believed themselves to be “descendants of the dragon”. Antecedent images of the dragon in ancient Chinese art are extremely old, at least 4000 BC, where they take on a more uroboric form such as can be seen in the pig dragon carvings form the Hongshan culture. The Chinese dragon also has a relationship with the discovery of dinosaur fossils which were considered to be bones of dragons. During the imperial dynasties of China’s history, the dragon was used as a state symbol of power and authority; for example, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the motif of the five clawed dragon was reserved solely for the emperor, whereas the four clawed dragon was allocated to certain high ranking members of the court.