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Episode 520th January 2021 • Saga Kraft • Betsy Bergstrom, Gabriela Sarna, Sea Gabriel: Saga Kraft
00:00:00 00:51:05

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Sea: Welcome to Saga Kraft. Myths, fairytales, legends, stories comfort us, inspire us, and heal us. Please join us as we share stories both old and new. More than anything, we are open to the story and it's unfolding. At times it may be one story told by one person, at times it's the same story told through three different voices. In the end, we go where the story takes us, and we invite you to follow. 

I'm Sea, a writer, artist, and storyteller. 

Betsy: I'm Betsy, a medium and teacher of mystery traditions. 

Gabriela: I'm Gabriella, an artist and practitioner of folk magic. 

Saga Kraft: We are magical berries in training.

Sea: Welcome to the world of dragons. 

Betsy: My story is the dragon of Provence. 

Different worlds were created at the same time by the creator. No one world was more important or better than another. These worlds were not nesting one within another like Russian dolls, but were each equal to one another with one right next to the other. Between worlds were thin places where inhabitants from one world might find their way to cross through and enter another world, for their own reasons. There are many reasons to cross and all are dependent on what sort of person is entering into another world. 

This state of affairs was not obvious to most inhabitants of the worlds. These inhabitants were in pursuit of their daily life, trying to make a living and succeeding at it, or not. Where once they may have lived in smaller groups or bands, over time each prominent species found their way, whether it was to live in a town or a city, or to become a single hunter. 

Drak the Hunter was a sorcerer dragon in the dragon world, who considered himself to be at the top of the top. He had lived a very long time and realized that, though he never really needed to fear any greater predator because there wasn't one, his chief and only enemy was boredom. 

At first he became a collector, as dragons are prone to do, and then he developed into a philosopher. Philosophy became his chief pursuit and he delved into the mysteries of every world he could enter, and they were many. He learned many languages and hoarded rare texts and artifacts. Without realizing it, he became a bit of an intellectual aesthete. 

It may have transmitted to him partially through osmosis., because the thin place that allowed him to enter the human realm was located in a very beautiful part of France. Here, castles abounded, built on top of mountains and the Rhône river flowed fast and deep.

He found a cave under the river in the bottom of a mountain valley, and here he learned this river was the home of sorceress water fairies who claimed alliance with him and who felt themselves to be immune from his hunting. They convinced him that they were not to be eaten. He respected their wishes, not because their logic compelled him, but because they were the closest thing to being interesting that he had found for a long while.

 He focused on hunting humans who were alone, and for more pleasure, he hunted in the marketplaces of various towns, where he concealed himself in visibility and waited for a strange child or a man relieving himself in an alley after a big meal and a lot of ale.

He had something of a soft spot for human women. In this region, the fairies made many amorous conquest, and he did not want to eat a hybrid fairy and human woman. When it was necessary from time to time to consort with his own kind, a mercifully rare event, he found himself becoming quickly irritated and desiring retreat. Not in defeat, but because of boredom. Over time he could think of no great reason to connect with another dragon because they were so tedious.

He lived this way for a long while growing, ever more precise and opinionated. In the spring of his world and those closest to his, a longing grew in him that was so unexpected. It made no sense to him for quite some time. Eventually the thought came to him in full clarity. 

I want a child now.

To sire offspring required consorting with a lady dragon. Like any well set up intellectual bachelor, he began to make lists of the dragon Queens. He knew, and of their principle characteristics, which might be passed to their offspring. With this unromantic list in hand, he narrowed his choices and began his round of investigation designed as courtship. 

The Balkan queen was rejected for her extremely robust, but very dark, humor. The English queen seemed very dull and without conversation. The Danish queen was too recently widowed to be interested. The Scottish queen was strong and fiery and steeped in Highland magic. He chose her. 

She let him know that she had her own domain and would not be joining him in his, though a visit in a great while might be possible. He agreed, with relief and together they waited until the autumn to join each other and to mate.

Two eggs came from this union. One was taken back to Scotland by the queen. He took his egg to his cave under the river Rhône, where he would be a brood father, close to good hunting. 

Months passed in this way. The dragon, Drak, studied, hunted, and meditated on what his offspring would be like. He hoped that it would have the invisibility powers that were part of his magical traits. The Highland magic was yet a mystery in how it would manifest.

 In due course the egg showed signs that hatching time was near. Drak began a different kind of hunt. He went invisible and watched in the marketplace of the sunny village of B????. He saw a few women that met his needs. He stalked them all. 

One felt his presence and was very afraid. Another felt him nearby but, though she looked over her shoulder, she did not scuttle home like the others. He decided on her. He drank in her scent so that he could find her anywhere and watch, waiting for his moment.

 It came. She went to the river to wash clothes on the banks of the fast running Rhône. Her new baby, a tast, looking morsel, was in a basket on the bank, well away from the water's edge. Unseen, Drak was in the water, and he held a golden goblet glinting with gems, just out of her reach. The water fairies watched with interest. The bank was steep and a little treacherous. She reached out towards the shining cup. It seemed to move a little farther away. She braced herself and stretched her arm even farther and overbalanced and went right into the water. Her last image in her mind before she fainted in fright was of her crying baby and the family's clothes left on the river bank. The Rhône engulfed her.

 She woke to find herself dripping wet and in a crystal cave, with a pair of large emerald eyes watching her. Shuddering and fright, she saw they belonged to an enormous scaly bronze colored dragon. The glimmering cup was there between them. 

Her panic increased, and she nearly fainted again. A palpable energy emanated from those emerald eyes and she found her panic subsiding. She watched as her memories of her family, her sun splashed village, and her whitewashed house began to fade and disappear like scattered dreams in the light of dawn. 

She heard the voice of Drak in her head, humming and soothing her. He just turned to an egg, enthroned on a pile of velvet cushions. His humming song, his emerald eyes, and the glinting watery light of the crystal cave all were lulling her into a sense of calmness, and somehow of purpose. He wove the emotions and love that he found within her for her baby, and drew them to the egg with his intentions. With his voice and eyes and the heat spiraling from his body he wove a spell that touched her heart and mind and bound her to the egg.,the leathery looking oblong egg, which was rocking back and forth, back and forth, hatching. 

When the little and fragile dragon emerged from the broken shell, Drak felt the most enormous love. The dragonling was iridescent and mewling. Drak gestured to the woman and she obeyed his unspoken command to pick up and cuddle the dragon. The voice of the dragonling had its own power over her. She bared her breast and began to nurse her new child.

Gabriela: Betsy, that was absolutely lovely. Thank you so much.

Sea:  Yeah, that was very fun. 

Betsy: Thank you. A very well-known dragon in his region of Provence. Sometimes shows up as a female. 

Gabriela: See, would you like to share your story? Your dragon story?

Sea: Sure, thank you. 

I just really need to pee. I'm curled up, guarding my hoard for nigh on to an eon without a scheduled potty break. Gerdy, my compliment, is held up on the other side. Some liminals are exhibiting bad behavior in an attempt to protest the passing of time, just as some carnates are protesting the agreements that deter them from tearing down our magical forest to build a community of mud houses.

I know she'll be here as soon as she can, but I am getting a little anxious. It's several miles to the protected glacier nearby. Exhibitionism is not my thing, as it were. 

I usually enjoy my incarnate shifts, after all I just lay about and watch for requesters then administer the appropriate tests. Are they courageous? Are they cunning? Are they chivalrous? Then I set up a scenario in which their failings are teachings, and they get another chance, up to a point.Some succeed and are called heroes. A few, as few as I can manage, need a little bit more time. They're called bad examples, a kind of martyr, if you will. After their failed tests, they go through a magical initiation process, much like an enchanted version of your baptism, and spend a millennia or so in a liminal form, taking on challenges and lessons to ensure their successful completion of the questing process.

It was not permanent of course. Nothing is,hence all the protesting. Eventually the initiates are returned to their current forms, though, by that time they find themselves many generations further up the branches of their family trees. 

So here I am, legs crossed thinking dry thoughts and hoping for a swift, peaceful resolution on the other side. I'm asking the wind to let Gerdy know that I'd really like to see her sooner rather than later, when the knight comes crashing through the trees. He is wearing silver armor and jewels and stands with a dignity he could not possibly have earned. He thinks he's here to prove something. I know he's here to learn something. No one approaches like this and goes away the same. 

He leaps from his horse, loosens his spear, and charges at me without so much as a hello. Clearly, he is an eldest son, and I am in no mood. I don't want to get up until I can make it to the glacier. So I tightened my thighs and bat him away with my wings, sending him flying into his horse.

This is intentional. Horses are soft compared to rocks and trees, which are his other options. The horse turns to offer a soft belly, then neighs. The knight bounces to a stop before leaping up and charging at me again. I find the faster they charg, the slower they learn. I spit a little well-named fire at him, just enough to melt the sword and scorched the beautiful sheen off his armor. I'm hoping it will distract him and he'll spend a moment or two buffing it out, but no.

 He attempts to bellow "Die, you beast!" Even he knows the effect is lessened by his coughing as he fans away the smoke. 

He puffs himself up to almost a sisteenth of my size and strikes a dramatic pose. I look around searching for a beast.

"Me?" I asked pointedly, trying to feign my usual easygoing nature while the pressure rises in my bladder and I put out another, more urgent, call to Gerdy.

At that he looks around, suspecting that it came from elsewhere. On second thought he may be a middle son. 

"Me?" I say again, more assertively this time, pointing at my chest to help him reconcile. "Did you call me a beast after you eschewed all social niceties and greeted me with a charge?"

"AAAAAAAAAAH!" he thoughtfully replied, retrieving a spear from his horse and heaving it at me. I like the horse. Maybe she'll help with the training. 

I deflect again, this time with my tail, but the movement threatens leakage. Thankfully, I feel Gerdy just on the other side of the scribe.

 "One moment" I say "I believe we can come to an arrangement. I invite you to look at my hoard. Window shop for your future boon, while I excuse myself for a moment. My colleague will arrive promptly to assist you. Agreed?"

"I shall reign down upon you as an eternal blight, foul demon!" he passionately replies. 

My brain reels. So many places to go. By foul, is he making a speciesist reference to my wings? To the domesticated airborne lines of my extended family? And demon? Is the rustic youth honoring me as the inter realm creature that I am, or inferring the vilified representation of the christian god shadow? Is blight meant as an allusion to the magical forest creeping invasion of suburbia?

But the word that wraps my attention, breaking through the confusion, is rain. I leap from my seated position directly into the air, desperately clenching my pelvic muscles as I begin not so subtly spewing a torrent of bodily fluids directly into the misguided and inadvertent initiates. 

I shall not share the details of this unfortunate event again, suffice to say that now Gerdy and I have a new charge. He is doing well in that he lives and breathes, but he is not yet what one would call teachable. He will be in time. They all are. Look for him in about two thousand years. 

Betsy: I love the Dragon's point of view, thank you. 

Gabriela: I would love to be friends with this dragon. I believe I would be friends with this dragon. 

Betsy: And now, your dragon story, Gabriela.

Gabriela: I'd be delighted to share it. 

Some people will claim that the sharing of the story I am about to tell you is forbidden. I am breaking all kinds of oaths by speaking some of the names and secrets that were kept for so long. Knowing all this, I must tell the story, for it as a story of where I came from, of my people and of a great power that still binds many destinies together to this day.

My name is Darisi and I was born in a small fishing village on the coast of the Black Sea, in a land which was then called Thracia. I never knew my mother, for she died bringing me into this world and my father never forgave me for it. 

He was a blacksmith. The best in the village, from what I was told, but that was long before I was born. He had lost all hope for work and life after my mother's death and was in no condition to care for a child. I was raised by my grandmother who was a stern and superstitious woman, but did her duty and raising me the best she could.

 She, just like my father, never spoke of my mother. Only to say when I grew a little older that I looked just like her and that my eyes shined with the same strange golden fire. When she spoke of this it was not with admiration, but with a sense of dread. I could tell she did not care for my mother or for my amber colored eyes.

Some people said that my mother was a sorceress from a far away land, who'd be witched my father so she could become pregnant and have a child. Other say that when she came to our village she was already with child, seduced my father and made him believe that I was his. I still don't know which was true, but I always felt deep in my bones that my mother came with a great magical power. This great power and magic also lived in me and what I dreamed at night. I could hear a voice calling me from across the land. Comforting me, telling me to wait, telling me that somebody was coming for me, somebody great. 

A few days before my ninth birthday, a strange traveling woman came to our village. I knew the moment I saw her that my life was about to be forever changed. She demanded to speak to my family, and after a short deliberation, my grandmother shared with me the news of my fate. She seemed relieved to tell me that I would go away to live with my mother's people, far from here. I didn't resist or cry, even though I was leaving the only home I've ever known. I heard my father's heavy sobs in the next room as the strange woman wrapped her cloak over me and led me out. He didn't come out to say goodbye. And I have not thought about this until just now, remembering that day.

 The woman who came to claim me was Zaskia. And she was the oldest of the dragon priestesses, sacred fire keepers from S.,as my people called it, or middle mountain. My mother was also a fire keeper of this order. Her name was Kaya and she was the first oathbreaker of our sacred ways, but her reasons for doing it were more important than the oath itself. 

Zaskia shared with me the story of and the nine fires. The story was the most forbidden to share because it's also the one that is true. For thousands of years are people worship the night skies and the stars, long before they knew that some of those stars were dragons. They built blazing fires on top of mountains and on sea shores, to announce to the great ones above that they were paying attention, looking for signs, and interpreting them accordingly. 

One day, one of the younger star dragons felt a great curiosity for the earth and dove down to meet the ground for the first time. This dragon was the youngest daughter of an ancient and powerful dragon who came into being long before people did. The dragon child was found by a young peasant woman who was sleeping at the edge of the forest nearby when she heard a strange piercing scream. She came upon the dragon in the field by the forest, and knew right away that she was destined to either die in that moment or become somebody new altogether, somebody great.

She cared for the dragon child and fed her, even though her arms would blister from the fire the dragon breathed and her lungs would be thick with smoke. She knew she had to do it, for the dragon child was not able to care for itself on earth and would perish in this unknown world. She also knew that she had to hide the dragon, for if found, it would be bound and enslaved for its great power, so she led it to a cave to keep her safe.

 Azdaha, the young ones mother, watched from above. She was surprised to see a human risk her life to care for one of her own, and she decided she would reward the human in gratitude. She offered the peasant woman the gift of the nine fires. This was no small gift, and even though it was a great blessing never before offered to a human, there had to be an exchange in order to contain the gift without destroying the receiver. 

The nine fires needed nine hosts. Nine women who would commit to this honor entirely for as long as they lived. These fires also came with other gifts and strengths, like a very long life, health, abundance, and great luck, and as long as they were used for good and shared with others in balance, they could keep them. 

The peasant woman, and first carrier of the fire, was the same woman who has come for me, and the woman who initiated my mother into the priesthood. By the time she came to find me, she was over one thousand years old. As the first, she held the fire of lineage and had the power to find and initiate the other keepers.

She searched for years to find the others and each one had to withstand the initiation of the flame. If they were pure and strong enough, they received the fire that was best suited for their own magic. The women had to take a vow of celibacy, which enhanced their focus and dedication to their magical practices. These keepers were healers, diviners, blacksmiths, sorcerers, charmers, protectors, and warriors. My mother Kia was to become the reciever of the ninth fire, since she was the ninth priestess. 

Hundreds of years have passed since the original oath was taken. A few of the priestesses blessed with long life and cunning and health have grown tired of only serving and tending to the restrictions around their fire, and began to abuse it, use it for their own benefit and outside of balance. The corrupted Azdaha fire became impossible to contain or navigate, which created unnecessary deaths during initiations, healings, and caused people to distrust and fear the once sacred fire keepers of Azdaha, which caused dishonor to the great dragon.

 On the night of my mother's final initiation, Azdaha came to her and Zaskia and shared with them how the blessing and integrity of her fire could be saved. My mother was to give birth to a daughter who would receive all of the nine gifts and would be able to rebuild the order and balance, and serve Azdaha with honor. She would save the wisdom of the fire and create a new temple appropriate for the changing times.

 My mother agreed. She had always longed for a child, but knew it was impossible since she took the oath. Now as Azdaha asked, she would have to break the oath so a child could be born. As instructed, with the gift of the nine fires in her belly, she traveled far from the temple at the mountains and headed for the shore of the Black Sea. There she met a handsome blacksmith. They fell in love and I came into the world.

My mother agreed to give me life, even though she knew that the only way to do it, and to pass on the nine fires to me, was if she was the offering vessel. She gave herself gladly. She did it with love. She did it knowing that through her offering, I would always be connected to her and the blessing of the fires. As I was meeting this world, with all the nine gifts safely ignited within me, my mother died. But it was only her body that perished. Her spirit went up into the sky where she has been able to watch and guide me, always helping me tend to the fates and the fires.

 The ninth fire, which was my mother's to bring through, was the fire of creation. It was me. I am the last and the first of my kind, I am the last fire keeper of the great dragon as she arrived on earth long ago, and I'm the first keeper of the fires, that can be shared as often as needed and changed for the right purpose and not bound to anyone priestess forever. I am to Darisi, the first sovereign priestess of Azdaha, and my fires of liberation and transformation will burn brightly long after I'm gone. 

Sea: Lovely.

Betsy: That's absolutely beautiful, very touching. 

Gabriela: It was very fun to write and I feel like there may be more, but trying to contain a story sometimes is part of the deal. What was it like being with your dragons? 

Betsy: I loved the different sides of my dragon, the particular pursuits that he had in his life, but also the experience of the colderr kind of dragon, cunning, and also the love that he had for his offspring as well. I loved that. How about you? Did you get a chance to experience that greater dragon?

Gabriela:  The Azdaha dragon? I did a little bit, but I feel like in many ways through the story she has released herself and released her followers to be separated somehow. So my connection was to the priestesses and to her journey, and to the aspect of commitment, oath, the breaking of oaths at the right time in order for things to move forward, in order for creation and transformation to fully occur. It's almost like there has to be a split in the river. There, there has to be a rattling to break something apart that no longer serves. So I really felt deeply moved by that. And I do feel it was the dragons power that was making me look at these different aspects of the self and sovereignty, power, magic. Because I do feel like talking about dragons we were talking about power and magic, different kinds. And how are we bound to it. Are we bound to it? Are we binding it? So, long-winded answer, it was wonderful to spend time with these ancient beings and the stars and the star dragons. 

Betsy: I was also really struck by the choice of father that the priestess made for her daughter. That he was a blacksmith, which in ancient times is such a role for a person who has that magical quality of being able to smelt ores and create something in the forge and the fires. And that feels like, what a perfect and really beautiful choice to support his daughter who's to hold all the nine powers. It was a deliberate choice.

Gabriela:  It's not clear if it was the Dragon's choice or the mothers, and I kind of like that. All of that is still unknown, and many parts of the story are unknown.

Sea:  I totally loved that both of you essentially were looking at the lineage of the dragon and how to move the dragon forward. 

Gabriela: You did that as well. 

Sea: Yeah, I did. Yeah. We all did it a different way. 

Gabriela: I am curious about what happened to the knight. Who did he become? Did he perish?

Sea: No, he's pulled into the liminal world where he will train with dragons until they decide that he is adult enough.

Gabriela:  I love that, I love that.

Betsy:  I thought that too, the being tended by dragons, and in my story my choice was made, by the dragon I think, to just end the story when the woman that he chose was in ensorcelled into becoming the mother of the dragonling, or whatever that word would be for a young dragon. But what I found interesting in the histories, um, the French histories, was that there were many stories for hundreds of years of this particular dragon making depredations on the human villagers in the area. In various villages, but kind of centering around Beaucaire. And there's several different endings to the story. One ending is that the mother spent seven years as the nurse to the dragon, because that was kind of the critical time, and in that time she spent time reading, you know, learning how to read and reading some of the things that the dragon had as part of its horde. And ultimately becoming a mate in intellect and interest to the dragon. That's one story. And the other story is that after seven years, and the dragon is... the dragonling is now, um, weaned and able to move forward in its life and its own way. The dragon Drak decided not to kill her, but to take her back to her village and dump her back on the side of the river. And he does that and she's disheveled and doesn't remember anything because her memory has been wiped, but also it's disclosed that during the time that she was tending the young dragon, part of the tending was putting these ointments in the eye of the dragon to help develop the sight and the vision of the dragon to be able to see into the various realms, and of course she puts it into her own eyes and later when Drak is hunting in the.... you know, when she's reconciled with her family and returned to her home and everyone's happy to see her, but of course her own child is now seven years old or more, it's been seven years, but at some point in the future, she sees Drak hunting in the marketplace and, like a fairy story he says, you can see me? And then he puts one clawed hand over one eye and said, can you still see me? And then he puts his clawed hand over the other eye and says, can you still see me? And when he determines which eye that she can see him from, he rips it out of her head. 

Gabriela: Wow.

Betsy:  Which to me links the dragon in France with these water fairies also, in a certain kind of way, because that is such a story, that idea of being able to see into the other realms is something that those realms don't always want human beings to be able to do, and so they make dire choices like that to preserve their secrecy. To preserve their secrecy.

Gabriela:  Yeah I'd certainly pretend I don't see a dragon if I ever do, knowing this thing. 

Betsy: Well, I think for her, what happened when she saw him was that the whole memory of the seven years came flooding back to her. But, in your story, I was really struck by what you were talking about in the beginning about the secrecy of those, of how people who have this initiation into the dragon connection, the dragon lore, it's necessary to keep that a secret. Was that your experience with this particular dragon? 

Gabriela: Very much so for many reasons. One of them being, mostly in the Balkan lore and legends, men were the dragon people. I mean, they are a dragon people, but there's a lot of association of men with dragons and whether magic and things of that nature, that's very much connected to dragons. Um, the female dragons were considered to be more dangerous and evil, and I think that's because they were more powerful. So there is that whole concept of keeping that lore hidden so that they cannot be bound. And just the concept that women are the only ones who can really hold that power is once again, you know, part of that secret. So yeah, the secrecy is definitely there. And that was part of the oath that the women took, was to never speak of it so that people never knew where their power really came from. Because to know a source of power gives somebody the ability to bind it or take it away.

Betsy: Yeah, as in knowing someone's reall true name. 

Gabriela: Exactly. 

Betsy: So that kind of access to it. 

Gabriela: Yeah. 

Betsy: And that makes me think of Sea's story, of the would be hero coming and naming the dragon in his own way, to which the dragon is like, are you talking to me? 

Sea: Maybe improperly naming the dragon.

Betsy:  Improperly naming the dragon.

Sea:  I wondered in yours, how the mother would bond with the dragon. How the human, you know what I mean? How much can you cuddle a baby dragon? How do you communicate with the baby dragon? You'd think she would be very, very different by the time she left. 

Betsy: Well, and I think that what was really true with Drak was that he mesmerized her, and I mean, I just found that so interesting that he could go into her mind and take the love that she naturally had for her own human offspring and transfer it to the dragon and thus ensure his offspring safety was an ingenious plan for certain. Yeah. Very cold and calculating. 

Sea: Yeah. But weirdly also loving, very loving. 

Betsy: And also, you know, very respectful towards what she had given to him, so that when it was time for her to be brought back into her own world, making that choice not so much as the way I told the story originally, but in one of the versions anyway, making the choice not to kill her. It's actually quite an example of dragons clemency, I guess, of compassion. Yeah, dragon compassion, cause there is dragon expedience and saving her would not necessarily be an example of that. I also loved the notion of it being a dragon that was underwater, whereas your dragon sea was a dragon that seemed to live on land, but could fly in the air, and Gabriela your dragon was the dragon from the stars, but who could come to land also. And that notion of how dragons are inhabitants of all the elements, as we know them anyway. 

Gabriela: Yes, they certainly can possess the powers of earth if needed, and I do wonder how much of that is because of their connection to humans. And would they be something else entirely if humans didn't seek them out, didn't see them, didn't fear them, didn't seek them out to be changed by them.

Betsy: Or to try to, in the case of Sea's story, to master them. 

Gabriela: Right. 

Betsy: It does just bring up the notion for me of, to what degree when we encounter a being from an unknown realm, does it matter how we, how we approach them? In Sea's story, maybe it would've made a difference, but maybe not, who knows. In my story, what became clear was that the beguiling nature of the water fairies just charmed the dragon in a sort of way to give them clemency, but for the reason, not because he believed it, but just because he was charmed by the effort that they put into it in some kind of way.

Gabriela: i'm very curious about all the books that he had gathered and collected. And what magic. 

Betsy: I found it fascinating, too, with him just to see the other female dragons through his eyes. 

Gabriela: Brilliant.

 Whether those were mothers that he wanted to have for his child or not. And what was interesting and why you ruled out some of them.

Sea: Well, yeah, I was surprised that he wanted them to birth the dragon, but not raise it. Like, now that I have it you're done. 

Gabriela: Well, they kept one. So I'm wondering if there was an agreement ahead of time. Did they know there would be two and one would go to the mothers realm and one would go to his realm? 

Betsy: Yeah, I mean, the sense was that there was sort of a clutch of dragon eggs that would be laid and it could be more than... it could be two at least and maybe more. And then that was a decisive factor. I was curious in your story about the dragons who were in the sky, who were, they were like stars?

Gabriela:  I'm not really sure. That's how it was translated to me, is that they were like stars, but it's unclear if they were stars or if they were something else entirely, but the texture and the tapestry they came from was, it was a sky star tapestry, so they contain that element. So it was definitely fire and it translated to fire once on earth, but I feel like it was something else altogether where they came in. 

Betsy: And with Sea's story, the curiosity that I had was of a dragon being willing to school humans over time. 

Sea: Yeah. That for whatever reason, that was his duty. That was his job. 

Betsy: And schooling somebody in nobility and consciousness. What was your sense about that seat? 

Sea: Yes. I think he was schooling them in terms of their internal makeup. Like, were they willing and able to show up and be the best that they could be? And his preference was to school them in a, you know, a matter of minutes or days when they came to do their quest, and then have them go back and have it done. But if for whatever reason that didn't work out, then he would end up taking them in and schooling them over a prolonged period of time.

Betsy: Well then they become the kin of the dragon at that point, right? 

Sea: Yes, what are they like when they come back? I was actually curious about that. 

Betsy: I'm very curious about that. If they become the heroes of particular cultures, arriving back from the dragon real in a particular moment in time when earth's history needs them.

Gabriela: Well, and I wonder if they would play the role of the dragon slayer, but really be the dragon writer or the dragon ambassador, somebody who knows the realm and can protect the dragon from people. 

My feeling from that dragon, was that there was no such thing as a slayer. People would pretend to slay, and if they did a good job of showing up and they impressed him, he would give them a gift and let them pretend that they slayed. He would sort of back up the story, but that they absolutely had no chance. 

Betsy: I think that was similar in this prevencal dragon, because this dragons activity was noted amongst the different villages in this area for hundreds of years and then all of a sudden it stopped. And so people just assume, Oh, the dragon died, but dragons have more than one realm in which they can habit. So it died or it didn't die, who knows what happened to it. But I think that's, you know, in my story, it was sort of that my sense about this particular dragon was of, how many towns or cities are there, where a dragon may be lurking to make a meal out of someone who is just on the edges, who's just on the fringe?

Gabriela: A delightful thought..

Betsy: But all of our stories like ??????? People, you know, in a certain way, I mean, one has to kind of look at it. A knight coming, they're wanting to build their reputation, obviously. And the dragon is either agreeing to that or not agreeing to that or putting it in a particular timeline. And in your story, the dragons had something formidable to teach with all these different strands of power and medicine that could only... until the dragon power had landed on the earth and these different... for thousands of years in these different priestesses, who, whether they became corrupted or not, maybe they set the stage for this one woman to be able to hold all nine powers. 

Gabriela: Yeah, absolutely. That's very well put. I do feel like the priestesses that held that power because of the original oath that was taken in the original setting, it was, it would be impossible for one person to be given pretty much immortality. And this cunningness and all these strengths and powers, and just to be expecting, them to be unchanged as the world around them changed. So even that in itself was an impossible task. And them not fulfilling the impossible task meant that things had to be shifted, and how the power was honed was different. And it would have to be different so that it was no longer kept by one person, but it was shared. It was differently shared and it was free to be shared. And it was a fire that could change from one person to another, depending on what their gifts were. So it becomes something else entirely. What, I'm not exactly sure, but I'm kind of excited about that. That it's sort of, the story was left in a way that makes you think, well, what happened next? Is it still happening? Who is still alive of these priestesses? How does it all work? And it's maybe that part of the story was not told.

Sea:  Right. And how do they feel? How do they feel about this other person sort of taking it.

Gabriela:  I'm sure some of them were not thrilled, and maybe others were greatly relieved.

Sea: Right. Yeah. And I really wanted to hear more about the dragons, all of the dragons, honestly. 

Betsy: I think important to also just kind of consider that dragons are part of the stories of every continent on the planet. So in the deeper sense, what role have they played in our consciousness? Predator, initiator, and nobler teacher, friends, adversary. Perhaps times all of those.

Gabriela: And what does that say about us? I mean, that's really, once again, we're back to that, looking at it from a perspective of, you know, as we tell stories of dragons, what stories are we telling. Is it then really about the dragon? Or is it about us?

Sea:  Right. Yeah. They feel like a standard we hold ourselves to.

Gabriela: Yeah. And it seems that in some ways the dragons become the judgers, they judge character. There's a certain initiation that has to be met. We have to meet the dragon in a certain way before it even reveals itself. 

Sea: Right. When Betsy was talking about the dragon picking the person who wasn't cowering in fear, I'm like, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm completely conflicted about the selection. 

Gabriela: Well, the one in fear probably would not be as fun. 

Sea: No. 

Betsy: Well, and the sense was his notion, which I think was very much a sort of a medieval notion, which is, the child is going to be drinking in the mother's milk and so what kind of mother is it. Like, what are the qualities that they drink in with that mother's milk? And he didn't want this to be a fearful child. It's so interesting to spend a week with whomever it is that we're bringing through in our stories because, honestly, I would have steered my story in a different direction, but the dragon inhabits a mind and wanted the story to go where it went and to end when it ended. So I hope that this stories speaks to the listeners and I hope that your stories speak to the listeners as well. The stories of mystery, or the stories of testing our metal in the face of a great adversary, who can ultimately become a great mentor. One who can bring on great change. 

Sea: Oddly, I think that's what I'm going to think about this week. What are really the differences between an adversary and a mentor? And am I choosing wisely? Am I discerning that properly? 

Betsy: I like that because it was told to me at a certain point in my life that I should really pay attention to whomever shows up as an adversary in my life, because that is the true measure of me in a certain kind of way. And in this time when we're inspired to be, and inspired perhaps is the the wrong word, because I think of inspiration as being something that comes from spirit. Goaded perhaps is a better word, to be adversarial. Perhaps what I will take into this week is in what way might I be inspired by somebody that I find to be adversarial? And how does it inspire me to be better in my own life?

Gabriela:  I love that too. I love both of those. On a similar thread, because I do feel like it comes with, uh, what I'm about to say has to do with not necessarily with an adversary, but with somebody who binds us in some way, or allows us to remain bound, parts of us being bound or power or joy, whatever it may be, I want to look to the dragon to see that if when think upon a dragon, that it is not bound and its true power is truly magnificent when it's released. I want to see that in myself. I want to look at places of where power may be, that I'm allowing to be bound, whether it's for fear of speaking out against what is appropriate, fear of breaking oaths, fear of breaking family ties and traditions. That will be my gaze this week. 

Betsy: Well, for myself, I want to thank all of the dragons in story, history, and myths, and the skies. Thank you. 

Gabriela: May we continue to be worthy of their sighting and power and protection, and may we learn both from them and from our projections of them.

Sea: And special thanks to the fantastic Zoë Magik for her phenomenal editing skills.