Dragons are often lumped together with sea serpents for obvious reasons. Most early dragons were creatures of the chaotic sea with its wild storms. (Tiamat - Mesopotamia, the Leviathan – Hebrew.) Occasionally they were creatures of vast rivers and fresh water springs highly prone to raging floods (Apep - Egytiam, Lotan - Mespotamia, eastern Lungs - Asia, Jormungandr, the world serpent - Norse.) If there was a difference between dragons and sea serpents in the early days, perhaps it was the ability to move about on land and/or the ability to fly, with or without the presence of wings. Many eastern dragons fly without wings, they ungulate through the air on the wind currents.
Sea serpents often share many traits with serpents in mythology for more obvious reasons. Often sea serpents are mostly huge water snakes. There is a wealth of myths related to snakes. This probably comes from prehistoric people's world wide affinity to snake worship. In many cultures people believed that some snakes could shape shift into humans and even interbreed with them. Serpent people are quite popular in Indian mythology. In the mythology of the snake clans of Native American tribes legends claim interbreeding as their origins.
Shape shifters can usually change forms like werewolves. Possible forms for shape shifting humanoid transformations :
- completely animal body and mind
- animal body with a human mind
- animal body with human head
- half animal/half human body
- completely human body with slightly animal like traits
- completely human with latent abilities to transform back, sometimes caused by the taking and hiding away of one's animal skin used to transform
Given the unique features and habits of snakes, it is no wonder people have been fascinated by them and that they have had such a huge impact in our myths and our imagination.
How many of you have ever had a dream about snakes, serpents or dragons? [Daydreams count. too.] Please share them, I'd love to hear from you! I welcome any opinions about dragons, too. I'll be publishing several posts on this topic. If you have any questions about dragons, let me know and I'll try to find an answer for you from my research.