Folklore Gods and Goddesses

Dragon Gods and Goddesses

The gods of the ancient were intrinsically connected to animals. Our ancient ancestors were animistic so to find an image of a god or goddess in the likeness of an animal was commonplace. In China and the Celtic Empire, the dragon was feared and honored. Dragon gods and goddesses sprang up from the belief in the dragon. Claude Lecouteux, a french folklorist, theorizes that dragons were guardians of sacred places in nature – caves, rivers, and mountains. The dragon god Fuxi and god Veles are detailed below. Also the dragon goddesses Melusine, Medea, and Nuwa.

Fuxi: The Chinese Dragon God

Fuxi is a figure and dragon god in Chinese mythology. Born to a powerful being Hua Hsu, Fuxi was a half-man half-serpent creature that came to be the “first human being”. Fuxi was born along the Yellow River, with his twin sister Nuwa, who he would marry and establish the marital ritual for the Chinese culture. Fuxi’s mythology is complex – there are also Chinese tales including Fuxi as one of the first Chinese emperors.

Fuxi’s Lessons

Fuxi taught the Chinese how to hunt with bone and bamboo weapons, how to fish with nets, and how to cook. He was also creator of the I Ching. Because of his close ties to the rivers in China, this may be why he is associated with the dragon. Fuxi has a connection with the element of fire, as do dragons.

Fuxi: Chinese Dragon God

Medea: The Dragon-Taming Goddess

In Greek mythology, Medea was a niece of Circe and a high priestess of the goddess Hecate. Medea’s story in the Argonautica, written in the third century B.C., describes her barter with Jason of the Argonauts. Jason promises he will marry Medea if she helps him retrieve his throne. Medea provides Jason with magical charms – two of which involved dragons.

Medea Helps Jason

First, Jason was required to sow a dragon’s tooth in a field and henceforth fight off warriors that sprouted from the seed. And second, to gain the “golden fleece” which would give him the throne, Jason had to kill a dragon that was guarding the golden fleece. The problem with this dragon was that it did not sleep and would kill anyone who came near the golden fleece. Medea put the dragon to sleep using a mixture of sedative herbs, and Jason retrieved the reward. Medea is portrayed as a woman with magical abilities – a sorceress and priestess. She is one of a very few Greek dragon goddesses.

Melusine: The Dragon Goddess of the Well

In the thirteen hundreds, Melusine emerged in French folklore. Many female figures in folklore were prominent goddesses in ancient times, then were slowly demonized by the Church. Melusine was once a dragon goddess of sacred wells in Northern France. Before that she might have been a guardian nature spirit (one of the genius loci).

Melusine’s Avalonian Origins

Melusine and her three sisters grew up on the Isle of Avalon. When Melusine is fifteen, she discovers why she and her sisters live in Avalon – their father broke his oath to their mother. The oath was that he would not enter her chambers while she gave birth or bathed, as she assumed an otherworldly form that no mortal should see. Melusine left Avalon to exact revenge upon her father, and when her mother learned of this, she was punished. Melusine was cursed to turn into half-woman half-serpent on Saturdays.

Eventually, a man named Raymond of Poitou fell in love with Melusine, who also broke his promise to her and spied on her while in dragon form. She forgave him, until he called her a “serpent” in front of his comrades in court. Upon hearing this, Melusine transformed into a dragon and flew off.

Melusine was the french dragon goddess of the well.

Melusine was a figure in French folklore but might’ve once been a dragon goddess.

Nuwa: The Creator Dragon Goddess

Nuwa was the twin sister of Fuxi, the serpentine dragon god mentioned previously in this article. She is a creator goddess with the head of a woman and the lower body of a serpent. In the Songs of Chu (circa 340 BC), Nuwa created human beings from yellow clay and then worked to repair damages to the pillars of heaven. Nuwa was known as the “snake goddess”, but as we have seen in many other tales, the serpentine deities were also associated with dragons. Dragon and serpent were often interchangeable terms. Just like with her brother Fuxi, Nuwa is associated with fire and snakes and is one of the dragon goddesses.

Veles: The Slavic Dragon God

Veles, also known as Volos, is a Slavic dragon god of the earth, water, and underworld. He is similar to Mitra and Loki. Veles was a Slavic god composed of different animal parts (the head of a bear and tail of a snake) and so he is a chimeric being. Veles’ nemesis was Perun, the thunder god. Their worship and sacred places were kept separate. Veles was worshiped in the valleys, close to the water and earth, while Perun was worshiped on hills and mountainsides, close to the heavens.

Veles the War Dragon

When Perun and Veles battle, Veles first takes the form of a dragon. When fleeing from the thunder god’s retalation, Veles hides among the earth creatures later to be found by Perun, killed, and his treasures bleed out of him in the form of rain. Because of this death ritual, Veles is a dragon god of the underworld. The tale of Perun and Veles is a representation of the wheel of the year (the changing of the seasons).

Gods and goddesses associated with dragons.
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6 Comments

  1. Angelia

    June 20, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I recently found out that through my family, that we are allegedly we are descended from the Water Goddess Melusina. Is she the same as the demon Vespar?
    I’m also named after a demi-goddess.

    1. Heidi

      June 3, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Angelia, my family is also descended from Melusina. I do not believe she is the same as the demon Vespar. I see her as A Light Goddess and Warrior as I Am. She was a Guardian and Protected others that were deformed As well as was ethical and had Catholic Virtues. I feel her heart was saddened because she felt as an outsider instead of embracing All that she became. The women in my family resonate with her. WYPquestions@gmail.com please connect:)

  2. How to Start Working With a Goddess or God - Otherworldly Oracle

    January 2, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    […] new to paganism and recently discovered your god or goddess. Maybe both. While there are many forms of paganism and having a god or goddess in your religious […]

  3. Patricia Hammett

    October 26, 2018 at 10:42 am

    How do you find out who your god/goddess is?

    1. admin

      October 26, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Patricia – typically they come to you through recurring symbolism. Sometimes you choose based on gods/goddesses you’re drawn to or who your ancestors might have worshiped. Hope this helps.

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