Dragons and Their Families

In scientific classification, organizing species into groups gives scientists a framework to learn about them. For most people, the easiest basis for classifying Dragons is by where they live, since European Dragons seem different from Asian ones. After studying the lore, I realized that Dragons could be better classified by the elements they governed. Moreover, I learned that each Dragon Family governs a cardinal direction.

I sorted Dragons into families, with each governing a common element and direction. When I pondered these families, I saw that each maintained an aspect of the Cosmos. Also, I went beyond what people think of what a “classic” dragon is to include Lake Monsters such as Ogopogo (of Canada), Fire Beings such as Salamander, and Cosmic Beings such as Leviathan. The details of each Dragon Family are listed in the tables.

Water Dragons maintain an aspect of the Cosmos – the Cauldron of Plenty. Encountered in storms, Air Dragons can be fierce like the Huracan of the Atlantic. Most people have heard of the Earth Dragons of European lore. To many, Earth Dragons are the “classic dragon.” Keepers of the Inner Flame, Fire Dragons include Salamander, who lives in the fire itself.

The Dragon Families of the Two Axes and the Center oversee places rather than elements. I met my first Ice Dragon on a freezing January night, circling a gibbous moon. Ethereal silver and white, Ice Dragons govern the North-South Axis. The small Dragons who dance with butterflies and delight in flowers are the Field Dragons of the East-West Axis. Chaos Dragons, on whose bones that the Cosmos is formed, are in the Center. They are equal of the Gods in their power and being.

Water and Air Dragons are both benign and destructive. But They can be approached for soft breezes and gentle rains. Guarding the earth’s treasures, Earth Dragons kill first and ask questions later. Nonetheless their greatest treasure is their profound wisdom. (The Forest Dragons are a sub-group of Earth Dragons. (Note.)) Rarely encountered by humans, Ice Dragons prefer the silence and stillness of the Polar Regions. Their intense life force warms the coldest heart. On the other hand, the noisy Field Dragons love being the Guardian Dragons of humans.

Fire and Chaos Dragons are dangerous for different reasons. Traditionally hostile to humans, Fire Dragons must be approached with great care. Meanwhile, Chaos Dragons who are part of the Universe’s fabric have intense unbounded energy. They can annihilate a careless person.

Note: Forest Dragons are the protectors of the wild places.


AIR: The Breath of Life
Wisdom: Insight, respect
Direction: East
Oversees: Winds (with Water and Ice Dragons)
Where Encountered: Storms, thunder and lightning, whirlwinds
Communicates by: Clouds, gongs, windsocks, flags
Gifts: Creativity

WATER: Cauldron of Plenty
Wisdom: Passion, depth, compassion
Direction: West
Oversees: Seas and fresh water
Where Encountered: Fjords, rapids, waterfalls (Dragon Gates)
Communicates by: Water spouts, rising steam, mist, fog
Gifts: Help with emotions

FIRE: The Inner Flame
Wisdom: Leadership, vitality
Direction: South
Oversees: Fire, sunbeams, volcanoes
Where Encountered: Fire, lava, hot arid air
Communicates by: Fire, sunbeams
Gifts: Purification
(Note: Unpredictable and difficult to work with.)

EARTH: Heart of Life
Wisdom: Grounding, acquiring riches
Direction: North
Oversees: Mountains, caves, forests
Where Encountered: Towns, boulders, groves, mountains
Communicates by: Tree leaves, rolling rocks
Gifts: Stability, foundations of life

CHAOS: Timeless Cosmos
Wisdom: Divine knowledge
Direction: Center
Oversees: Earth and sky
Where Encountered: In ritual, since they live in the Cosmos
Communicates by: Lighting, strong energy current
Gifts: Recreates life
(Note: Contact with forethought and caution.)

ICE: Eternal Darkness
Wisdom: Silence and listening
Direction: North-South Axis
Oversees: Ice deserts, Polar regions
Where Encountered: Icebergs, Midwinter freezes
Communicates by: Crashing icebergs, breaking ice, falling icicles
Gifts: Serenity

FIELDS: Dancing Light
Wisdom: Wonder at small things
Direction: East-West Axis
Oversees: Fields, meadows, grasslands
Where Encountered: Gardening, flowers, ploughed earth
Communicates by: Billowing grass, dancing flowers
Gifts: Play, joy


3 thoughts on “Dragons and Their Families

  1. Pingback: Dragons and Their Families – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

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