A Dragon Tale: Love Conquers Fear


Odile is a friend who lives in the mountains of Colorado. She is 87 and lives with her son and granddaughter in a double-wide mobile home. When Odile was 16, living in the Great Smokies of West Virginia—Appalachian country—her father died of Black Lung disease and Odile was diagnosed with the same disease. Doctors told her she must leave West Virginia and they sent her to Colorado for better air quality in the higher altitude region. She married at 16 and her husband and she moved to the same land she is on today. They started with a small trailer on one plot of land. Odile fell in love with Colorado and this land. After a divorce and remarriage, her second husband built onto the trailer and she lived there with him and raised three children for around 60 years before her husband passed away from cancer. Meanwhile, Odile came to see herself as a protector of the pristine quality of this land, which lies adjacent to a National Forest. Over the years she purchased twenty additional lots of this pristine wilderness, just in order to preserve the forest and to prevent development in the immediate area. Many potential developers have sought her out to offer even higher than current prices for this land, but Odile is resolute; she will protect the purity of the forest.

Harz Mountains, Germany

Around ten years ago, a Dragon of sorts appeared in Odile’s otherwise settled life.  A minister for a religion that represented a survivalist approach purchased land adjacent to Odile’s sacred grounds. About a hundred followers of this minister followed after him from California to Colorado. Reports revealed that this group was storing guns and other weapons at the house the minister had purchased just a mile or so from Odile’s trailer. The minister himself started appearing at Odile’s door, asking to buy up her lots to add to his survivalist base.

Military target on vehicles

Now you have to understand, Odile has a strong spiritual focus of her own that it is definitely not of a survivalist bent. She had built the largest spiritual library I have ever seen, representing all sorts of spiritual, religious and metaphysical traditions. People would come to Odile’s trailer from far and wide just by word of mouth to borrow books from her library. She herself hardly ever leaves her trailer home; she has an aversion to towns or cities.

When Odile realized what this man’s presence could mean, at first she was appalled, even frightened. She felt this was a negative challenge to her own intention to maintain the positive, natural spirituality of the forest. She worried about what might develop; what this survivalist group might create on this land. Would they hold military-like war games, threatening the wildlife? What was such a group capable of?


These fears and worries were Odile’s Dragon, threatening to destroy the peace of mind she had so carefully cultivated for over 60 years.

So, Odile contemplated the situation. She researched the group and similar sects. Of course she kept turning down the offers to strip her of her lots.

A month or two went by since Odile shared with me what she was facing.  When I called her back, her attitude was completely changed. She had found a way to use her own strengths to integrate her Dragon energy, I would say.

red dragon decoration

 Odile’s strength, she came to realize, was LOVE. Love, not Fear, would be Odile’s approach, because she chose not to waste her life in a fearful condition, she told me. So every morning, since realizing this strength, Odile would simply send Love and Light inwardly to this man, to his land, and to all of his people. Every time she would think of him or the situation, she would remember to send this Love and Light. When he showed up at her door—and still he did—she met him with love, light and laughter as she made it very clear her land was not for sale.

Guess what happened? About a month later, the minister was arrested because of tax evasion. He was sentenced to a jail term. His followers left the area. The property was sold; a wealthy Catholic woman purchased the land and created a peaceful sanctuary on the land. She invited Odile to come see her land; the sanctuary was flooded with a natural Light that Odile could relate to!


Our Dragons challenge us at our Core.  Any buried fears we harbor, they can amplify. Yet these Dragons are our Allies at the same time. They help us to identify our fears so that, as we choose, we can make necessary changes to overcome these fears; to go beyond them so that we may approach our greater goals and fulfill our Purpose and Dreams in this life.

So again, I invite you: What Are YOUR Dragons? When do they “show up” in your life? What are they showing you about yourself? How can you use this awareness to make a CHANGE that will propel you beyond any fears or guilt? LOVE matters more; Do that which you Love, and the Universe/ Spirit/ Divine Love in return will carry you above and beyond these perceived self-limitations.


I welcome your Insights and Stories!

Dragon Dialogues


It is fascinating for me to see how synchronous these topics are being as they come up; I suppose that is because they are sequenced within a definite process. So I’m hoping you may be finding the same as readers.  This week we are focusing on DRAGONS: those unconscious monsters that pen us into a guarded space and do not allow us to soar freely toward the fulfillment of our goals or desires.

This week for me the Dragon has surfaced while writing an invited book chapter I have committed to deliver.  Most of it is ready but I am hemming and hawing about the most important piece: my own unique data and interpretation.  So, let me walk the talk by engaging in an Archetype Dialogue with this Dragon that smoulders within:


L:  Hullo! I see you there, hiding in the Shadow of your Cave.

D: (Snorts, pulls further back into the Cave’s interior.)

L:  I need help!

D:  (Dragon says nothing but steps a little forward, into better hearing distance.)

L: I don’t know if I can do this! I am afraid that whatever I turn in will be attacked because my viewpoint in this paper is opposite in theory to almost all of the other authors. I was invited to represent a competing point of view.

D: (Breathes fire in my direction, landing just in front of me; I back away!)


L: So is it you preventing me from finishing? I have one major section left to produce. The deadline is in two days.

D: (More Fire-Breath; I back into a corral; the gate closes me in.)

[Thoughts aside: I recognize this is self-protective behavior. How can I get beyond my Dragon’s charge?]

Buddhist temple Borobudur

L:  Dragon, please let me out. I really need to do this. We have been asked and this gives back to our friends at Zuni. I’ll take the responsibility. Could you help in another way? Maybe if you let me ride you we could scan the work in progress together so then from a higher perspective I could finish and still be safe. Could we do that together? I really need your help. I need the ‘distance’ factor.

D: [Fire burns the gate right off its hinges! Dragon approaches and lowers Her head into the corral. I clamber up onto her scaly back, where a natural saddle appears.]


Gate Gothic Fantasy Background

Next Day: Fellow readers and bloggers I have to tell you this: It worked! After reaching the awareness that I needed “distance” from the task that I had allowed to intimidate me, I went to the office the next day and “got it done”!  I felt inwardly supported throughout the day’s work, too.

Archetypal dialogue journaling helps you to exteriorize a situation at the same time as it helps to ‘interiorize’ by “going Down/ or Within.” As both James Hillman and Carl Jung emphasized, it is important to meet your archetypal personae—including your Dragons—in their own domain, rather that expecting them to “come UP” to meet with you or to express their concerns. It is the dynamic tension between Up and Down, or conscious and personal unconscious that may in fact spark change. Stirring up the Depths can release awareness you might otherwise overlook.


Try it with your Dragons, if you would! They are not here to harm you, Really!

What Do Your Dragons Guard?


Okay, so I’ve devised this acronym:

Deep Raging Animistic Giant of Negativity


So, what are Yours?


We are speaking (initially at least) not of the positive, Bountiful, Life Breathing dragons like the Chinese New Year puppet forms, but rather of the “negative”, Fire Breathing, monstrous Dragons that jealously guard their hidden treasures.

These negative dragons can pin us down with their talons inciting fear and trepidation. They tell us what we CANNOT do or Be, what we SHOULD NOT attempt for fear of failure or public ridicule.  In a sense, “Your Dragon is your Ego,” says Joseph Campbell in A HERO WITH 1000 FACES.  In a self-protective mode it is that which might aim to “hold you back” from taking risks and, hence, at times it may prevent you from actively seeking or achieving your Bliss.


So what is it that your Dragon might be telling you that YOU should never attempt?  Is it to be an Author, a famous Musician or a Dancer or Artist, or to move to your favorite place on Earth? Maybe it has to do with your relationship “patterns” or with your “real,” physical self-limitations? Let me ask you in another way; WHAT IS YOUR BLISS that you would wish to fulfill with all of your Soul, if only you COULD?


Many speak of “Slaying Your Dragons,” including Campbell.  That makes sense. But I prefer the notion of TAMING them, instead. This is similar to the idea in the recent books and animated films, How to Train Your Dragon” (1 and 2).

By TAMING your Dragons, I mean first you need to identify them within your unconscious archetypal cast of dramatic players, then you need to get to know each one—as they are after all a part of your own dynamic multiplicity. Once you and your Dragon get to know one another—each of your dreams, fears, goals and desires—you can aim to ENLIST your Dragon into the common cause of being an Archetype Ally.


Hmm, maybe a new acronym is in order now:

Dearly Respected Archetypal Giver of Needs


Super Hero Riding Dragon

Since it is your Dragon who knows your deepest fears, of course S/He can give to you whatever you might also need to overcome or to transcend these fears and to assert your Dreams and go boldly to achieve them. This reminds me of Falcor the Luckdragon from The Neverending Story, one of my favorite animated characters. Once you have befriended your Dragon, S/He may allow you to RIDE on Its magnificent back and soar to the realm of your Blissful achievement.

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I invite you to engage via Archetype Dialogue through active imagination or journaling with one of your own Dragons.

I welcome your comments and stories!

Your Guardians of the Threshold

Viking Ship

What major resistances show up in your life that seem to always obscure or obtrude your progress? You would like to go back to college, but no, there are so many reasons that pop up to say you can’t. (What is it you really wish to study or to learn and how else might you go about that?) Or you want to try a new diet and start exercising regularly, but where is the time? The money? If you could form a mental image of the naysayers within your own “conscience”, what would they look like to you? I call them Gremlins and will tell you why in a bit. These are your Threshold guardians!


Joseph Campbell talked about Dragons and about Threshold Guardians separately because the way these archetypal mythological figures show up in your consciousness, dreams, or fixed attitudes varies, but they are related notions.  According to Campbell your inner Dragons are those internal voices that “hem you in;” they appear in your consciousness as self-limiting constructs that aim to hold you back from achieving your “Bliss” or your highest potentials. In a way, these sorts of internal Dragons are protecting you from failure; if you never strive to achieve your dreams, then you can avoid the feelings of failure that could occur if you fall short of fulfilling your desires. So the Dragon protects a part of you from venturing forth into the “big bad world” of external hardships and challenge. But of course, those challenges are what we are here to engage, from another point of view!


Guardians of the Threshold pop up in your consciousness—perhaps in nightly dreams, waking dreams, or “road blocks” generally—when you are getting closer to attaining the fulfillment of a worthy Quest.  These Guardians guard the passageway that would allow you to finally “cross the threshold” by overcoming the final obstacles between you and your ultimate Goal/Bliss/Life Dream. In mythology and fiction, Guardians of the Threshold are those towering, often stone statues—usually paired as two Guardians facing each other—that wield powers that can destroy you if your heart is not pure when you attempt to step across into a field of “Higher Power” or higher Awareness and achievement. Often a set of Tests or Riddles are issued by the Guardians; only if you pass the tests can you survive in stepping forward. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, for instance, while Indie’s father lies dying from a gunshot wound, Indie aims to cross a Void in order to find the chamber in which the Golden Chalice is protected by an ancient guardian and ancient magical forces.  He must answer three riddles and then he must step into the Void, demonstrating absolute Trust and purity of heart and mission. He takes the step, and a stone passage way opens beneath him. He confronts the knightly Guardian and wins the chance to choose the chalice, a final test of his wisdom and worthiness. As confirmation of his purity, Indie uses the water of immortality from the chalice to save his father’s life.


I had a significant, archetypal dream (we can call it) about two years ago in which I found myself in a realm of higher energy; even the air was “rarified,” as in a high altitude region.  I saw horses there; not just any horses but what I awoke calling “Horses of Heaven”. Yes, these were winged Pegasus horses, huge, beautifully colored and magnificent Beings whom I knew instinctively served the missions of heavenly Masters or Saints, transporting them on their Missions throughout the Cosmos.  These Horses lived in this rarified zone when they were not in service on their missions. It was like there was a boundary line between where I was standing and this heightened realm where the Horses of Heaven abide.


So, of course, I wanted to enter that beautiful realm of the Horses of Heaven.  I approached the boundary, when all of a sudden, Gremlins popped up all along the boundary! Literally gremlins, these fiendish appearing little fellows had broad ears and flat, rodent like faces. They were grinning, but I knew if I approached any further they would attack and I would be gremlin fodder! So, I paused and knelt, content not to approach any further but to remain in this place to be even this near to the realm of the Horses of Heaven.

  Alien world   in blue

A beautiful, familiar seeming, White Pegasus appeared, returning along with one of her fellow Horses from a service they had performed.  As they approached to step across the boundary, the other (dapple colored) Horse went on across, but the White Horse knelt on one beautiful, graceful leg, inviting me silently to climb up onto her back. She rose with me gratefully astride her wide back as She stepped across into the heavenly realm. I awoke, humbled and grateful!


My dream, which I have titled “The Horses of Heaven” and which I will ALWAYS remember, is an example of how Guardians of the Threshold might appear in a dream; the Gremlins protected that rarified Heaven from any impurity. I have felt ever since that dream that this was a blessing; a confirmation that I can proceed with my own Life Dreams. It has fueled my ambition ever since.

So, what are YOUR Guardians of the Threshold? What Threshold, first of all, would you approach in aiming to Cross a Threshold to achieve your Higher Purpose? And then what “pops up” to test your resolve or your purity of heart and Spirit if you would step forth to realize that Goal? Have you had any dreams of this nature? Perhaps recurring dreams from childhood or as an adult? Or do recurring situations tend to pop up every time you try to make a meaningful change of course for the sake of realizing your deeper purpose? What is your Quest? And of course, it may be that the life you are currently living is already fulfilling that Purpose; it does not have to be something more, but then you can better appreciate how you can serve and develop the deep potentials all around you, Here and Now!

Gate to Heaven Fantasy Background

As a tool for understanding and contemplating your own Guardians of the Threshold, I invite you this week to represent them artistically via a poem or a picture or song lyrics, or to reflect and talk about them with loved ones, or to dialogue with them in an archetype dialogue through active imagination and journaling, such as I introduced last week. Get to know your Gremlins; they may never befriend you as that is not of their nature, but after all, they are of a positive force that allows you to refine your Purpose!