It's officially the year of the Dragon, and according to the Chinese Zodiac, it's a Water Dragon Year. I was born in the year of the Dragon and although I am not Chinese, I have always identified heavily with Draconic energy and with the attributes associated with people born in the year of the Dragon. The motto for the Dragon is "I Reign." On Sunday night, I put together a ritual where I invoked the spirit of the Dragon and let it ride my body. My partner Kat witnessed the ritual and ended up speaking with Dragon as well. The initial part of the ritual involved the prep work.
I decided that a Green Tea offering and Rice would be appropriate. While that was being made, I also decided I would paint my body, in order to invoke the spirit of the dragon.Here's a picture of the ritual tools: Brushes and Q-tips for the painting as well as Body Paints:
I've always liked using body paints for ritual work. There's something powerful about painting symbols onto your body, as a way to shift your presence into a ritual space. You Embody what you work, even as you create to embody the sacredness of the ritual. First I painted Talons on my legs:
I chose Blue talons for the Water Element. I then painted the Arm talons in Orange to acknowledge the element of Fire (since I was born in the year of the Fire Dragon).
Finally I finished up by painting my chest, stomach and Face with a design that I felt embodied the energy of the Dragon.
After the body paint was applied, the offerings were brought into the ritual room. Additionally a Hot bath was started up with a Green Tea Fizz added in for scent and ambiance. Both the doors of the ritual room and the bath room were closed.
To invoke the Dragon, I first presented the offering to a statue of Dragon. It's a statue of a Western Dragon, but the spirit of Dragon was not offended.
The offering was a bowl of Rice and Green Tea. The bowls there offering was served in actually have enameled blue dragons and phoenixes on them.
I danced, allowing Dragon to take over my movements. At first he was on the floor moving on all fours. but gradually he climbed up until he was on two feet, and then continued to dance with angular movements. He had a low hiss according to Kat. After he'd danced for a bit, he drank some Tea, ate some Rice, and then drank some further Tea. He danced a bit longer. Then he walked to Kat and beckoned her to stand. He placed his mouth against her throat, and breathed into it, from three different directions. Kat said her neck felt different afterwards, that energy had been breathed into it.
Next he spoke with her about my desire to channel the energy of the Dragon for the Year. He told her he knew my desire to channel it toward business prosperity and Creativity for my writing and art. He also told her that it was important for us to continue our ongoing work together as it pertained to finances and love. The momentum of this year would really help with that work. Finally he told her that each week he wanted an offering made to him in the bowls that we'd used that night and once a month he wanted a full invocation/possession ritual. Kat was asked to relay that message to me.
After that he walked to the door of the ritual room. He explained that when he opened the door he would be opening it to financial and relationship success for both of us. After he opened that door, he opened the door to the bathing room, again explaining that he was also opening it to prosperity and creativity for my business and writing/artistic endeavors.
The bath was used to wrap up the invocation. He went into the water, and Kat bathed the body, and afterwards I emerged as the paints were removed. She told me the conditions he'd asked for and I felt them reasonable.
This was a powerful experience for me, both in terms of the ritual itself, and in terms of reclaiming my artistic approach to magic. I haven't used body paints in a long time and my choice to use them was part of my reclaiming and celebrating of my artistry and its place in my magical practice.
Book Review: The War of Art (Affiliate Link) by Stephen Pressfield
This is the kind of book you need to read whether you're an artist, writer, musician, or a business owner. In this book, the author explores the feeling of resistance and how it shows up to impede your work as well as presenting strategies to help you overcome that resistance. He also discusses metaphysical aspects of inspiration. I found his advice useful and to the point. It helped me identify places where resistance had shown up to impede my own work. This book is essential because it provides a different perspective on resistance, while helping you find ways around and through it. Pick it up today!